1. Vaniqa is a chemical called eflornithine that suppresses an enzyme that makes hair grow. Vaniqa is a prescription-only topical cream that has been FDA-approved for reducing and inhibiting the growth of unwanted facial hair.

    The active ingredient in Vaniqa is eflornithine hydrochloride, which has been used to treat African sleeping sickness and certain cancers. Vaniqa works by inhibiting an enzyme that is needed for cell reproduction and other cell functions necessary for hair growth. Vaniqa is applied twice a day to areas of unwanted facial hair. Noticeable results are usually observed after 4-8 weeks of therapy. Application must be continued for as long as inhibition of hair growth is desired. Vaniqa continues to reduce facial hair growth for up to 8 weeks after discontinuing treatment.

    Vaniqa causes inhibition of the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, important for the growth of rapidly dividing cells, such as hair follicle phase cells. Since follicles spend part of their time in the dormant hair phases (catagen (rest phase) and telogen (shedding phase)) they aren't always affected by the drug. It takes approximately 2 to 4 months to inhibit all hair follicles.

    Reported side effects of Vaniqa in the clinical trials included temporary skin redness, stinging, burning, tingling, rash, "razor bumps," and acne. Skin Biology customers who have used Vaniqa have complained that the product made their face look "old". This is a possibility since the chemicals that stop hair growth can also stop skin repair and regeneration.

  2. Estrogens: One study found topical estrogen to hault the loss of head hair in 89% of the women treated, but conversely, estrogen reduced facial hair at the same time. Estrogen and leuporide are used together in the treatment of hirsutism. Estrogen treatment may cause irregular menstrual cycles, and possibly increased or decreased risk of cancer in women, depending on the dosage used
  3. Lupron / Leuprolide is a GNrH (Gonadotropin Hormone) Agonist which is used in combination with antiandrogens in to reduce body hair growth in women. It is in clinical testing.
  4. Flutamide is a very powerful antiandrogen that blocks the androgen receptor so completely that androgens virtually have no effect in the body. Generally, it is not recommended for men. However, some physicians use it in small doses mixed into topically-applied minoxidil. They report that the combination promotes some hair growth and a reduction of facial hair in women. Potentially adverse effects include diarrhea, impotence, liver problems, and high blood pressure
  5. Casodex is a new derivative of flutamide, and a powerful antiandrogens that blocks the androgen receptors. It has fewer side-effects than flutamide. Because of its anti-androgen effects it has more serious side-effects in men than women. It is not yet available for marketing.