How to Stop Hair Growth With a Prescription Cream

by Lisa Sefcik paralegal ; Updated July 18, 2017

There's only one way you can stop hair growth with a prescription cream, and that's with the aid of a topical medication called eflornithine, otherwise known by its trade name Vaniqa. Eflornithine is a hair-growth inhibitor for use on the face, and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for females aged 12 and older, according to Eflornithine works by blocking the enzyme in the hair follicle that causes it to grow. You must continue to use some form of hair removal while you use this medication, according to the manufacturer, be it shaving, waxing or tweezing. It might be several months before you see optimal results from topical eflornithine, cautions This prescription cream must be used on an ongoing basis to maintain good results.

Cleanse and dry the treatment areas, advises the National Institutes of Health. Don't apply moisturizer, sunscreen or makeup. If you've used another form of hair removal, wait at least five minutes before applying topical eflornithine.

Apply the eflonithine in a thin layer to the parts of the face you wish to treat and rub it in well, notes the National Institutes of Health. Avoid getting the medication in your eyes or mouth. Do not apply to any other body parts. Wait until the Vaniqa dries before putting on moisturizer or makeup. The doctor who prescribes topical eflonithine or the pharmacist who dispenses it will instruct you on how to use your medication.

Apply topical eflornithine twice daily, unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. According to the manufacturer, you can put it on in the morning and again at night. Wait eight hours between each application. Don't wash your face for four hours after applying Vaniqa.

Report severe side effects to your doctor. These may include stinging and burning of the skin, acne, inflammation, rash and ingrown hairs. If you experience severe skin irritation, the NIH advises that you stop using Vaniqa and contact your doctor immediately.


  • Topical eflornithine has not been studied in expectant or nursing women; the NIH advises you to tell your doctor if you're trying to get pregnant. If you don't see any reduction in hair growth after six months, contact your doctor, advises

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About the Author

Lisa Sefcik has been writing professionally since 1987. Her subject matter includes pet care, travel, consumer reviews, classical music and entertainment. She's worked as a policy analyst, news reporter and freelance writer/columnist for Cox Publications and numerous national print publications. Sefcik holds a paralegal certification as well as degrees in journalism and piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin.