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Vaniqa is otherwise known as eflornithine. It is a topical cream which has been licensed for use in the UK for the reduction of facial hair in women. It’s recommended use is only on the face and surrounding areas such as underside of the chin and upper neck.

However there have been no proper studies of use in men or transwomen. Anecdotal studies and case reports have suggested that using vaniqa in these patient groups, does reduce hair growth velocity and the need for regular shaving. Moreover its use has also been described for body hair with similarly favourable results. A limiting factor for this use is the relatively small size of the tube and it’s price.

Side effects are mostly localised with acne, rash, tingling and skin sensitivity being described, but also headaches in a few.

We are currently recommending it’s use (off label) for the treatment of unwanted hair in transwomen and are in the process of embarking on a study (in association with the manufacturer), to assess the effect of vaniqa in transwomen, both on the face and on the body.



Dr Helen Webberley is the founder of GenderGP. A passionate advocate for the transgender community, she continues to campaign for real change in the way that trans people are treated in society and particularly in relation to the barriers they face when accessing healthcare. Dr Webberley believes in gender-affirmative care and that the individual is the expert in their own gender identity.