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Facial Hair Removal
Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) affects between 5 -10% of women. Men may also suffer from the condition, but the emotional and psychological effects of excessive hair growth are more serious in women. Unwanted growth of facial hair and body hair can be treated with Vaniqa Cream, available for free next day delivery at DoktorABC. Our online GPs are here to help and will issue a prescription if the cream is safe for you to use.Read more about facial hair removal
Prices from £80.90
(incl. prescription + next day delivery)
Start your order for facial hair removal treatment by completing our short online medical questionnaire. Our online GP will check your health profile to make sure that the medication is safe for you to use. If your prescription is approved our pharmacy will ship your order for next day delivery. Checkout price includes prescription, medication and next day delivery by UPS courier.
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What is hirsutism or excessive hair growth?
Hirsutism in women is the excessive and unusual growth of body hair and facial hair. The condition can affect as many as 10% of women, particularly those of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and South Asian heritage. Sufferers may experience growth of dense, thick, and darker hair anywhere on the body, particularly the lower abdomen and facial regions. These areas are more normally associated with masculine hair growth. The condition can be highly distressing, especially for young women and teenagers. Women with facial hair growth may develop serious psychological problems, including issues with self-esteem and body image, loss of self confidence, depression, and even social avoidance.
There are a variety of possible causes of facial hair growth in women and it may be important to treat the underlying condition as well as focusing on safely removing unwanted hair. The usual biological trigger for hirsutism in women is an excess level of androgen hormones. These ‘male hormones’ are present in all women’s bodies, but usually in small amounts. Medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), adrenal gland disorders, androgen secreting tumours, and some prescription medications can all cause excessive hair growth.
Causes of hirsutism and facial hair growth in women
Hirsutism (excessive hair growth) in women is caused by an excess of androgens in the body. These naturally produced substances are commonly regarded as ‘male hormones’ because they control the production of male physical and sexual characteristics. All women produce androgens in their ovaries, adrenal glands and fat cells. When there are too many androgens, they can produce masculine traits in your body. The most immediately obvious of these is facial hair growth. You may also experience the growth of dense, thick and more darkly coloured hair around your lower abdomen, pubic region, and thighs, as well as other parts of the body.
High levels of androgen can also cause other physical changes such as virilization:
- Enlarged clitoris
- Deep voice
- Increase of muscle mass and musculature
- Smaller breasts
- Irregular periods or lack of periods
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be responsible for up to 70% of cases of hirsutism in women. Other symptoms can include:
- Mood changes
- Insulin resistance
- Female pattern hair loss
Adrenal gland disorders
Adrenal glands naturally produce androgens. Disorders of the glands may cause hirsutism as well as other problems:
- Cushing’s disease
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Adrenal cancer
- Adrenal tumors
- Anabolic steroids
Androgen-secreting tumours in the ovaries or adrenal glands can also cause hirsutism, although this condition is unusual.
There are cases where women suffer from idiopathic hirsutism, which means there is no detectable cause for the disorder. Usually, this happens in women of South Asia, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean ancestry.
Symptoms of Hirsutism in Women
The symptoms of hirsutism in women are self evident. The condition causes excessive and unwanted growth of hair on the body and face. The new hair is often masculine in appearance; dense, thick and sometimes more darkly coloured than your existing hair.
Although excessive hair growth usually causes no physical pain, the emotional and psychological consequences can be devastating. This is particularly the case when it occurs in young women and teenage girls.
Emotional and psychological symptoms of hirsutism can include:
- Low self-esteem
- Poor body image
- Loss of self confidence
- Depression or suicidal feelings
- Social isolation or rejection by peers
- Social avoidance and loneliness
Problems and symptoms may be compounded by any underlying hormonal imbalance or illness that is causing hirsutism. It is important to get a medical checkup if you begin to develop excess hair on your face, neck or other parts of your body.
How is hirsutism in women diagnosed?
Hirsutism or excessive hair growth in women is immediately obvious. An initial diagnosis can be made on the basis that a woman has male pattern hair on her face and neck, or on other parts of her body like her back or chest.
To treat the cause of hirsutism (rather than just the symptoms) and to protect your health, it’s necessary to carry out tests and check whether there is an underlying medical problem that may require treatment. If you have an unusually high level of androgens (sometimes called male hormones) in your body, you may have noticed other changes in addition to unwanted facial and body hair. These could include an enlarged clitoris, acne, thinning hair on your head, a deeper voice, a more muscular body, smaller breasts, fewer or irregular periods.
If you’re suffering from hirsutism, you may have a genetic predisposition to the condition, especially if it is a family trait. There are also women who suffer from idiopathic hirsutism (the problem appears spontaneously and there is no known cause). Your doctor may also check for:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Cushing’s disease
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Adrenal cancer
- Adrenal tumors
- Medications that may be causing side effects
- Tumours that produce androgens
Treatments for hirsutism and facial hair in women
There are a variety of treatments for hirsutism or excessive hair growth in women. These include medications, procedures, and several home remedies. Women often combine a number of different types of treatment according to the severity of their facial hair growth, personal preferences, and available budget.
Medications for facial hair growth in women
Hormonal contraceptives that contain the hormones oestrogen and progesterone may be used to treat hirsutism in women who do not currently want to start a family.
Medications like Aldactone block androgens from attaching to their receptors in your body. They may prevent facial hair from growing but must be used in conjunction with contraception as they can cause birth defects.
Vaniqa Cream is a topical cream that contains 11.5% Eflornithine. It can be applied directly to your face and will prevent new hair from growing. Vaniqa Cream may be used alongside laser treatment for hair removal. It is available on prescription at DoktorABC (subject to a basic online health check) and comes with free next day delivery.
Procedures to treat facial hair growth in women
Electrolysis uses tiny needles to introduce an electric current to individual hair follicles. Over time the process will prevent hair growth.
A laser is aimed at your skin to damage hair follicles and prevent hair from growing. You might need multiple treatments.
Home remedies to treat facial hair growth in women
Most women will combine any treatment with various home remedies, or they will visit a beautician. Solutions include, plucking, shaving, and waxing unwanted hair, as well as bleaching or using chemical depilatories.