As a professional electrologist, women often ask me if there are additional actions they can take to achieve permanent hair removal for unwanted hair. In general, 40% to 55% of women who seek electrolysis have a medical condition. There are many medications that often help control excessive hair growth on the face and body. Before trying medications, you should work with a doctor to diagnose the cause of the unwanted hair. Many oral contraceptives are prescribed to aid in reducing the excess hair growth because they reduce male hormones secretions of your ovaries. The best contraceptives for this are ones that are higher in estrogen and lower in androgens. Estrogen is a considered a female hormone and androgens are considered a male hormone which include testosterone. If a woman begins producing too many androgens it can cause unwanted facial and body hair. This is because the effect of androgens on hair follicles may be intensified by a deficiency of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) produced in the liver, and by conversion to stronger forms of androgens in fat cells. The following is a list of oral contraceptives with high estrogen levels and lower androgens to help permanently lessen excessive unwanted hair.
Individual women respond differently to different contraceptives, so if one doesn’t work move on to another. If hair growth increases in women taking oral contraceptives, it is more often due to decreased levels of sex hormone binding globulin as a result of too low an estrogen dose, rather than too high an androgen activity from the progestin. Approximately 10% of women will respond well, that is noticed a significant reduction in hair growth. A combination of oral contraceptive and an anti-andgrogen drug is even more effective.
Many endocrinologists consider Flutamide (Eulexin) to be the best anti-androgen available. It works by blocking the binding of testosterone to its receptors, while also affecting the hypothalamus and pituitary. The results are more regular menstrual cycles. A dosage of 125 mg pills twice a day is considered a low dosage that is very effective in treating hair symptoms, although some women might need a higher dosage.
Another option is a cream called Vaniqa, which has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of unwanted facial hair. This cream is only to be used on your face. It blocks an enzyme that permits hair follicles to develop. However, it will not dissolve or get rid of the hair you already have. Vaniqa works for most women and results start showing after approximately three months.
Always consult a doctor before taking or using any medication. Also, let your electrologist know any medications that you are on. Book your appointment today!