Hair Removal

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideBeauty Problems Pictures: Cellulite, Stretch Marks, and More in Pictures

Beauty Problems Pictures: Cellulite, Stretch Marks, and More in Pictures

Do any prescription medications or products stop hair growth?

There is a prescription medication, eflornithine cream (Vaniqa), that inhibits hair growth by inhibiting an enzyme in the hair follicle that is required for hair growth. This does not result in a permanent hair removal since after the medication is no long applied the enzyme reestablishes hair growth. Of note, many prescription medications for illnesses and conditions can affect the growth of hair as side effects.

Which hair-removal method provides the longest lasting results?

Epilating methods are the only techniques likely to produce long-term permanent results. Those are electrolysis and laser hair treatment.


Fernandez, Alexandra A., Katlein França, Anna H. Chacon, and Keyvan Nouri. "From flint razors to lasers: a timeline of hair removal methods." Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 12 (2013): 153-162.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/13/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Skin Care & Conditions Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors