How Does Vaniqa Work?

Specifically, I am wondering how vaniqa affects the size of the hair follicle. I read that vaniqa decreases the size of the hair bulb. If this is true, then would the individual hairs grow finer since the hair follicles are smaller?

Doctor Answers 3

Hair reduction with Vaniqa

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Vaniqa is a cream that works by blocking a specific enzyme in hair growth pathway.  It's approved for the use for unwanted facial hair in women, and our patients have had some good success with it.  We often suggest it in combination with laser hair reduction.


Anatoli Freiman, MD, FRCPC

Toronto Dermatology Centre

Toronto Dermatologist

How does Vaniqa work

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Vaniqa is used to slow the growth of unwanted hair on the face in women, usually around the lips and chin. It is ONLY approved for use on the face, and should be used in conjunction with other hair removal methods too. It can take several months to see results. Vaniqa works by blocking a natural substance that is needed for hair to grow and is located in your hair follicle (the sac where each hair grows). By blocking this substance, the hair follicle isn't able to generate a hair. Over time, the hairs aren't finer, no, that particular follicle just won't grow a hair at all. 

Vaniqa works for facial hair

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unwanted facial hair can be distracting and at times discouraging.

we can pluck, tweeze, wax, thread, dermaplane, and laser our unwanted facial hairs--but they usually grow back.

vaniqa has been found to block a certain enzyme, which is needed for cell division and growth inside the hair follicle...therefore, it slows down the time it takes for a hair to grow back once it is removed.

in my experience, hairs do not necessarily grow back finer, but rather-- just not as fast.

vaniqa works.

your dermatology office will be able to help you manage those unwanted hairs.

Kristen A. Richards, MD
La Jolla Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.