Tag Archive | vaniqa

Cause of Idiopathic Hirsutism and Possible Natural Treatments


Ok so you know that idiopathic hirsutism is abnormal hair growth that’s strictly genetic.

Meaning that your blood levels are fine, your menstrual periods are fine, you are not diagnosed with any hirsutism-inducing condition at all.

That’s my issue!

I have written about this before but not in this capacity.

For a great explanation of idiopathic hirsutism and to see whether or not you have it, click here!

Women with idiopathic hirsutism get their hair because in their blood, they have a sensitivity for androgens. Specifically, the 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme,  contributes to the metabolism of sex hormones. It is high in women with idiopathic hirsutism, thus, because of the increased number of sex (androgens), their skin is delicate to male characteristics, like hair.

Sometimes, women with IH also exhibit voice-deepening, smaller breasts, and enlarged clitoris, amongst other abnormalities.

But the mystery behind it is that we don’t yet know how or why 5-alpha reductase acts the way it does, unfortunately.

Sometimes, I wish I could submit myself for research!!!

For now, the best treatments are anti-androgen drugs (spironolactone, Ketoconazole, finasteride, flutamide, cyproterone acetate, amongst others) and birth control, particularly ones with estrogen in them.

The use of Vaniqa may also help in managing the hair growth on the face but as far as the hair growth on the body, that will be determined by how well the body reacts to the anti-androgens.

The idea of laser hair removal or electrolysis may give more desired results quicker. Waiting for the drugs to work alone may take several months to a year.

Some of us more desperate IH girls can consider hormonal therapy but please know what you are getting into and only undergo such treatment under the direction of a reputable doctor.

Now, after a little research, I have found some natural foods that could help lower the 5 alpha reductase activity in blood and skin of IH patients, but I was not able to find a lot of medical documentation on humans that these foods really work. And it would likely take a while for these foods to take effect in the body to see any real improvements in IH.

FOODS THAT MIGHT LOWER YOUR 5 ALPHA REDUCTASE ACTIVITY

  1. Green or Spearmint Tea
  2. Saw Palmetto
  3. Krill Oil
  4. Coconut Oil
  5. Fatty foods
  6. oily seafood
  7. lean meats
  8. the closer to Paleo, the better

So the more you exclude sugars and processed stuff, the likelihood your 5-alpha reductase will come down, much like in a Paleo diet.

The good thing is that us IH girls do not have worry about underlining issues like PCOS, adrenal problems or thyroid issues. I never really had to deal with painful periods at all, ever. And then I had kids and that wrecked my whole body!

Either way, there is something telling me, my very being, that there is a reason, a cause for our 5 alpha reductase to act the way it does. Maybe it is strictly genetics. I have yet to meet a hairier woman than me in my family. Maybe she was a great-aunt in the 1800s or something.

Bottom line, whatever treatment you consider will take time and dedication. If you try one of the anti-androgens listed, you will need to give it time to work. If you want to establish a Paleo diet for yourself, that will take time and dedication as well.

And also talk to your doctor first. I have noticed a lot of girls who chat with me say their OBGYN blow off their hirsutism without the offering of an endocrinologist to which I say: To Hell With your Doctor! Get a New One!

No one should have to live like this with NO way out. You have many!

Good Luck!

This may be why Vaniqa is so damn expensive


I must admit that this little tube worked for me! When used as instructed, it really does slow down my hair growth. I remember using this cream religiously for several days straight with barely any hair growth.

After a couple of weeks, when the hair did start growing back some, it was little at a time and it was much finer. If the hair grew ingrown, they were much easier to extract too.

I was so happy to have this cream!

I read over the studies posted on the US FDA website about Vaniqa and roughly 58% of the participants using Vaniqa reported improvement. The other 42% did not have much improvement. The info is in PDF format so you will need to download it to read the document.

Remember that your hormonal makeup and general health play a huge role in how your skin will react to Vaniqa. Pregnancy, smoking, and skin conditions like acne may contribute to the success or failure of you Vaniqa regimen. My personal opinion is that Vaniqa is most optimal with women with idiopathic hirsutism.

My only beef with the medication is this: IT COST TOO DAMN MUCH!

I have yet to be on an insurance that will even cover it’s cost! Paying out of pocket means me paying nearly $100 for a tiny tube that fits in my tiny hand!

But I think I know why Vaniqa is so expensive:

  1. Most medications that are considered for elective or cosmetic use are typically pricy. Think of it like getting a boob job. Do you really NEED it or is it a “vanity need?” Insurance companies have no desire to pay for your lack of self-esteem or need to feel and look better about yourself. It is perfectly fine to want to look better, but no one else should have to pay for it!
  2. While there is no solid research for this, in the data provided in the pdf link above, some women became pregnant during clinical studies and a small fraction of those pregnancies were not successful and one child was born with defects. Again, researchers were unable to find  clear link between the fetus and pregnancy development and/or if the ingredients in Vaniqa disrupt the nutrient quality in breast milk. Thus, creating a price for unknown variables. Happens all the time in medicine. If there is an inkling of risk, especially with fetal development, in any medicine, be prepared to pay a little extra!
  3. There is a high concentration of eflornithine hydrochloride. Though the only major side effect reported from Vaniqa on the skin is acne, it is still a high concentration for a cream that work for only a little more than half of the consumers who may use it.
  4. As I stated, a very rare side effect of this medication is acne. Using a medication that may cause more skin issues may come with a higher price tag.
  5. Ranaxby Laboratories Limited is the company that makes, Eflora, which is India’s version of Vaniqa. I must admit, it felt good to pay for the same cream for WAY less money and achieve the same results. I was able to purchase my Elfora from an online pharmacy. The cream worked great but I have to say, I was not fond of the condition my package came in. The bottles themselves were not tampered with but the envelope was busted, the writing on the package looked questionable, like it was written by a kid. So this may be another reason why Vaniqa is expensive: it has some much cheaper, easier accessible competition. And to get an official tube of Eflora, which is available in Europe, Canada, and parts of Asia (let me stress the word OFFICIAL) you may need a prescription as well.

You can also try Kalo Lotion which is an inhibitor for hair growth as well. A prescription is not required. This is strictly a commercial product. I used this lotion as well and it worked a little bit on some areas but not others. It does not have the same ingredients as the Vaniqa and Eflora have, so if your hirsutism is pretty severe, unfortunately, I do not see this working well for you.

So that may be why Vaniqa cost so much and why it is so hard to obtain. You most cannot blame these pharmacy companies for charging so much for these medications. With competition and risk involved, they have to protect themselves, regardless how in-demand a medication is!

A good way to reduce your hirsutism: Get more active and Stop giving a Damn!


Ok ladies. I have been thinking about this specific topic for a while; hirsutism and stress.

But until now, I have not come across anything credible as far as stress relating to hirsutism….and now I finally have!

This article posted in the U.S. National Institute of Health Library website details very briefly how stress differs from IH women and normal women. While this was posted on a federal U.S. health website, I believe the research itself was European.

According to the briefing, 90 normal ladies and 90 hirsute ladies had several cortisol-based levels tested. Cortisol is mainly produced in the adrenal glands. It is a steroid that can alter throughout the day depending on your activities, food intake, etc. Depending on what type of medications you take, like birth control or performance enhancers, they can alter your estrogen and androgen levels, thus increasing/decreasing your cortisol levels. Too little can potentially cause the body to produce too much androgen, thus causing your hirsutism.

The findings from the article indicated that “due to stress, these hirsute women do have altered adrenocortical function, as assessed by the estimation of these corticosteroids of which urinary unconjugated cortisol was found to be the most sensitive index.”

When I saw the word stress, I was not surprised. From personal experience, I know about stress all too well.

***NOTE*** IF YOU PAID ATTENTION TO THE MEDICAL ARTICLE, THE TESTED WOMEN WITH HIRSUTISM HAD IDIOPATHIC HIRSUTISM! MEANING THEIR BLOOD  AND MENSES LEVELS WERE JUST AS NORMAL AS THE “NORMAL” GROUP OF WOMEN!

I can admit I do not always handle it easily and many of times go off on a major tissy due to unwelcome and unnecessary stress.

As a single mom, money issues stress me COMPLETELY THE FUCK OUT!!! I worry about gas to get them to school, lunch money for the month, uniforms for leisure activities, keeping the lights on, buying them clothes they like to keep them from being teased, to getting enough food in the house, to wondering when the hell I’m going to get married to that one special man for me and great step-dad for them, to why won’t these God-awful student loans disappear to why the sky is blue to why my toe nails stay over grown to why grass grows…..STTTTTOOOPPPPPP stressing ladies!!!

Even if you think it’s important, if you cannot simply do nothing about it, stop tripping about it! PERIOD! You’re killing yourself! And making your hormones clearly work out of wack! Re-read my note above! If the stress levels of IH women were compared to those of normal women, when all menses levels were normal in all subjects, that tells you IH women simply stress too much and one of those side effects is abnormal hair growth!

Just this past week, I walked about of my job in tears because I was stressed out over nonsense. My boss delivered an assignment to me under conditions I (and everyone else in the building) know I cannot deliver without some assistance even though I was directed NOT to get help with the assignment! HUH?…..Yes, I have one of those type of bosses. I do take comfort in knowing all (and I do mean ALL) my coworkers know this individual is a piece of work…though I can find another suitable word in place of piece of “work” !!!!

So I told myself “I need to leave this fucking place!” and that’s what I am trying to do! But in the meantime, the most I can do is do my best on the job, even if it means defying my boss’s instructions. If I know shit will get done right, then so be it. I know I did it right and I did my best! And you need to take the same attitude with various bullshit going on in your life too!

Be righteous in your behavior; know that you are being good to people. If they don’t act the same way back, just give them a “fuck you” smile and keep it moving! Money…if you cannot afford the shoes knowing you need groceries, this should be rhetorical but the shoes will simply have to sit on the shelf a little longer!

I had a bad habit of dressing to the nines……….for no reason! I barely went on dates, I don’t have many boyfriends so I had to give myself a big time reality slap: “Monica, why are you buying all this bullshit to wear….like….ONCE?!” It was ridiculous!

Dating?! Oh god…that word is stress in its own right! I will tackle dating in a later post!

SO…WHAT AM I DOING TO REDUCE MY STRESS, YOU ASK?

One, Maintaining my hirsutism routine. I am still taking my medicines for it. I still epilate and use my generic Vaniqa cream which is definitely slowing the growth. I am even considering laser hair removal for my neck to slow the growth and clear up my skin a little more. I found out I could get a great (and I mean GREAT!) discounted price on my treatments at a well known spa so why not?! 🙂

Secondly,  I am giving my boss the finger (at least in my head, I am!), and cautiously establishing some bonds at the workplace (I say cautiously because not everyone in your workplace is your friend! Keep some stuff to yourself!). It’s a good way to have a professional outlet, especially one that has been there done that in a hostile working environment! In the meantime, I discussed my issues with my superiors of the nonsense I am dealing with, as well as seek other employment options privately. I have considering blogging for side income too! Nothing like getting paid to do what you’re passionate about!

Third, I try to cook more as opposed to fast foods. I made chicken and rice for my kids last night and made myself a cucumber salad with seasoning. It’s quite good. I am actually addicted to it! And I posted on a previous blog for PCOS/Hirsutism diets that cucumbers are great for helping to regulate sugar levels. Insulin resistance is related to PCOS and hirsutism in numerous cases. This also ties in with my money issues. The less frivolous spending I do with leisure crap, the more money I can conserve and stay out of the negative in my bank account! This also helps me build my Roth IRA back up! (Yes, I am a little financially savvy!) Like many folks, I had to deplete my IRA savings to survive a few years back. Now I can finally build it back up and it makes me feel good!

Fourth, I signed up for Zumba and Bollywood dancing classes! I am so excited about it! I heard it works your mid section, hips and boo-tay!

Cartoon of lovely Bollywood dancers!

Fifth, I signed my children up for gymnastics come January! I was more excited for them than they were! I love watching them smile!

Sixth, I take advantage of cheap vacations like cruises! My girlfriend books them for a living and often gives a great rate! So I take advantage of those type of offers. I don’t need a balcony room or anything like that! I go for the economy $400-$500 bucks a person-type rooms and of course, you can pay in installments, which is great! And I also go for the ones where I don’t have to fly to the port where the boat is leaving! Luckily, my friend was able to find a cruise leaving from a nearby city in my state! HOLLA!

Seventh, I simply cut off flaky people in my life and people who I held in high regard at one point (males AND females, friends and family!) who seem to have forgotten me or pay me no mind! I know they upset you and hurt your feelings, but being angry and disappointed is also a form of stress. You don’t need it! Stay off Facebook and Twitter! Who cares about their damn updates! And I am not trying to be a pessimist about it but really…..who REALLY cares? And certainly don’t start comparing yourself if you don’t exactly have much to boast about on social media. Hell, there is a beauty in keeping shit to yourself ladies….SERIOUSLY, THERE IS!!!! TRUST ME! And honestly, If they cannot entertain the thought of your company, don’t entertain the thought of them PERIOD!

Lucky number seven! Those are things I am slowly trying to do for myself to make me more active and less stressed….and ultimately not give  a damn!

There is not justification in worrying over what you cannot control and what does not worry over you! You may find yourself happier and hopefully a little more hairless!

Thanks for reading!

Pics of my reducing hirsutism progress so far!


Ok! Here are some pics of my progress thus far trying to manage my hirsutism!

Keep in mind this is from me epilating with a Panasonic epilator, (not tweezing), using eflornithine hydrochloride cream 2x a day (the brand name is Vaniqa), birth control Beyaz, Spironolactone (when I could get it; doctor has been a little stubborn lately!) Inositol, Vitex (or chasteberry), fenugreek, washing my face daily with an liquid soap made of african black soap and using a mild glycolic cream, two salicylic chemical peels, two homemade turmeric and cucumber facial peels.

I did very little waxing or tweezing on my face but I did post one before and after results of my sugar wax of my bikini line.

I must say I think my face is clearing up! I had very dark marks under my neck and side burns but it’s really trying to clear up.

The pics are in chronological order from mid August 2012 to today, September 25, 2012.

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My neck in early to mid August
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My neck and sideburn mid August
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my neck today! Sept. 25th, 2012. It’s is a wee bit blurry, but it is lighter that’s for sure!
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My side burns today, Sept. 25, 2012
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My other sideburn today, Sept. 25, 2012

So as you can see, I am definitely making some noteworthy progress clearing my skin up! I am not totally satisfied with my neck just yet but it’s an improvement for sure! I mostly credit the lack of a tweezer to my face, cleaning and the peels, though I am sure all my routine and medications played a part in slowing the growth as well as clearing my skin!

Improving, but still a work in progress! Thanks for reading!