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Don’t Let Unwanted Facial Hair Ruin Your Summer

Posted Monday 30 July 2018 11:46 by in Women's Medication by Tim Deakin

For many women, unwanted facial hair lowers their self esteem every day. Here’s how to make sure you can enjoy your summer without worry

The last thing anyone wants to feel during the summer is low confidence. But for many women, unwanted facial hair stops them feeling as good as they should about themselves. In order to deal with this condition effectively, it’s important to gain a greater understanding of unwanted facial hair and the treatments available.

Why do women get unwanted facial hair?

There are a few possible causes for unwanted facial hair in women, but the main factor which leads to the condition is a hormonal imbalance, often brought on by age.

More specifically, many women find that unwanted facial hair starts to become a problem around the same time as they are going through the menopause. The menopause brings a significant shift in hormones which starts years before the menopause itself takes place, but accelerates when it does.

As women age, their oestrogen levels decrease, while testosterone levels stay largely the same. This can sometimes lead to bodily changes that are more commonly associated with men, such as the production of facial hair.

Dr Neil Schultz, founder of the skin specialist site, says:

“As female hormones normally decline with age, and women’s male hormone levels (yes, all normal women have a small amount of male hormone) remain constant, their hair follicles in male distribution response to the relatively greater amount of male hormone by growing hair in the beard area and losing it on their scalp.”

Unwanted facial hair in young women is often the result of conditions like PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which affects around 20% of women and can result in hormone imbalances.

What do women do to get rid of unwanted facial hair?

Unwanted facial hair most commonly occurs on the chin, cheeks and upper lip. Some women don’t find it to be an issue and are happy to leave it there, while others try a variety of methods to get rid of it effectively.

Tweezing is one of the most common methods, but it is also one of the most painful. It can also be time consuming and can irritate the skin where the hair follicle was growing. Shaving is a safe and fast way to deal with facial hair, but it is less efficient as it must be repeated frequently. It also carries a stigma of appearing “unfeminine”. However, shaving does not, despite popular belief, make the hair thicker when it grows back in.

Other methods include threading, waxing and laser hair removal. These produce longer lasting results, especially laser hair removal, but can become costly and time consuming as they require professional intervention. Laser hair removal involves zapping the hair follicle with heat, which destroys it.

Vaniqa: effective unwanted facial hair relief medication

For many women, effective unwanted facial hair medication is the best course of action for dealing with their symptoms as thoroughly as possible. Vaniqa is an effective medication, designed for application to the skin. It has been shown to lead to effective hair removal on the face and adjacent areas under the chin, and results can be seen after as little as 4 to 8 weeks when used twice a day, at least 8 hours apart.

Vaniqa works by slowing down the rate of growth of the facial hair. It alters the growth stage of the hair cycle by interfering with an enzyme in the follicle which is necessary for the hair to grow. Vaniqa is available from Express Pharmacy. In independent customer reviews, the unwanted facial hair medication is rated 10/10.

If you have any queries regarding your health concerns, contact our team today. You can call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online Live Chat service.

What Really Causes Unwanted Facial Hair?

Posted Thursday 12 July 2018 22:56 by in Women's Medication by Tim Deakin

For many women, unwanted facial hair is a constant battle. But understanding the condition is the first step to overcoming it.

It’s perfectly natural for women to grow body hair, even on the face. In fact, an estimated 40% of all women naturally grow facial hair. This facial hair is usually fine and light. For some women however, they experience thicker, coarser, darker hair growing on their face, particularly around the cheeks, chin and jawline. This is referred to as unwanted facial hair, or hirsutism.

For some women, this may not be something that particularly bothers them, but for others unwanted facial hair can have a real impact on self-esteem and overall happiness. A campaign was launched several years ago called We Can Face It, which aimed to help women deal with the emotional impact of hirsutism.

A survey by the campaign found that almost all respondents felt negative about their facial hair. Another study found that women spend an average of 104 minutes a week managing their facial hair, while 40% of those with hirsutism felt uncomfortable in social situations.

What’s more, 30% of women with unwanted facial hair suffer with depression. 25% believe it has held them back from a promotion and over 40% say it has affected their ability to form relationships.

So it’s clear that, for many women, unwanted facial hair is an issue that they want to resolve. If you would include yourself in this number, we would recommend understanding a bit more about what’s causing the condition in order to make an informed decision about the best treatment available. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to getting to grips with the causes of unwanted facial hair, and how to treat it.

What causes unwanted facial hair in women?

There are several possible factors that may be causing your hirsutism. One of the most common causes is an increased level of male hormones in the body.

Male hormones are known as androgens, of which testosterone is the best known. Testosterone is responsible for the production of sperm and the deepening of the voice as men get older. All women produce a small amount of testosterone, but if this level becomes higher than normal, the consequences can include an increased sex drive, changes to your menstrual cycle and excess body and facial hair.

In premenopausal women, a common cause of increased male hormones is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition which affects up to 20% of women, occurring when cysts grow around the edge of the ovaries. For other women, excess hair can be the result of a sensitivity to male hormones rather than higher levels of them. This means the hormones have a greater effect on your body.

For women who have already been through the menopause, unwanted hair growth is usually the result of a hormone imbalance caused by the menopause itself. As your body adjusts to its hormones, you may be left with a higher level of testosterone.

Unwanted facial hair may also be the result of medication, such as minoxidil which is taken for blood pressure. It can also come about due to rarer hormonal conditions like Cushing’s Syndrome or Acromegaly, or in even rarer cases an ovarian tumour. Being overweight or obese can also be a contributing factor.

Treating unwanted facial hair

Some women resort to shaving as a way to deal with facial hair, as it is quick and easy. However, it also results in an unpleasant stubble and requires daily repetition. Other women use waxing instead, which lasts longer but can be painful and cause redness.

Effective treatment for unwanted facial hair is available from Express Pharmacy. Vaniqa is a prescription medication which can help women see results in as little as 4-8 weeks if used twice a day at least 8 hours apart.

Contact Express Pharmacy today to find out more by calling 0208 123 07 03.

Cystitis: Is It Time to Stop Reaching for the Cranberry Juice?

Posted Monday 25 June 2018 09:40 by in Women's Medication by Tim Deakin

Let’s take a look at what it really takes to beat urinary tract infections

Every year, an average of 4 million women in the UK suffer from cystitis. This common urinary tract infection (UTI) leads to symptoms such as bladder pain and a burning sensation when passing urine. Although it may not sound like the most debilitating of issues, cystitis can actually be incredibly uncomfortable. Worldwide it is estimated that more than 150 million people are affected every year.

Yet despite how common the condition is, information on how to accurately diagnose and treat a UTI has been limited. Misdiagnosis is common, and many women turn to household remedies like cranberry juice for results. But is this really the most effective way to beat a UTI and, if not, what should you be doing to treat cystitis for good?

Does cystitis only affect women?

Speaking about the male to female ratio of UTI patients, Professor James Malone-Lee, who runs a specialist clinic for chronic UTIs in London, says: “They are more common in women. There’s a peak when women become sexually active, and then a further increase in later life.”

In fact, statistics reveal that one third of women develop a UTI before the age of 24, and 10% do so before they turn 16. However, this doesn’t mean UTIs only affect women. Men can develop UTIs as a result of prostate problems.

Prof Malone-Lee says: “I’m a bit suspicious that UTIs get overlooked in men, across all age ranges.”

How do urinary tract infections develop?

The most common belief is that UTIs are caused by a single bug invading the bladder, although there is some challenge against this as even a healthy bladder isn’t sterile. Studies have discovered more than 450 different bacteria in a healthy bladder, compared to 600 bacteria in UTI sufferers.

There is also some evidence that an element of genetic susceptibility plays a part in UTIs, as they often run in families.

How serious is cystitis?

Typically, a short course of medication can treat cystitis effectively. However, for 20-30% of patients the effects can be more long term. Infections which are left unchecked can progress into a condition known as pyelonephritis, which requires hospital admission. Pyelonephritis is a severe urine infection involving the kidneys which can lead to sickness, high temperatures, vomiting and pain. If pyelonephritis isn’t brought under control, it can develop into septicaemia, which is life-threatening.

Does cranberry juice actually help?

For many years, cranberry juice has been the first port of call for people suffering from cystitis. The idea behind this is that proanthocyanidin – a compound found in cranberries – is able to inhibit bacterial growth in the urinary tract.

However, research from Yale University suggests that this is an urban myth. The study looked at 185 women living in nursing homes over the course of the year, and found that cranberries had no significant effect on bacteria in urine.

There is also little evidence to suggest that drinking water helps beat UTIs, despite this being a common piece of advice shared by GPs. The bacteria responsible for cystitis are often found inside the cells of bacteria or are attached to cells via a glue-like substance. This means that they can’t be washed out. Water only dilutes the urine, which can create the illusion that the patient has been cured as diagnostic tests come back negative.

What treatments are available?

So if cranberry juice isn’t effective, what should you be using instead to treat cystitis? The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is cystitis medication.

MacroBID (Nitrofurantoin) is an antibiotic medication used to treat and prevent infections of the kidneys, bladder and other parts of the urinary tract. This prolonged release capsule should be taken as a 3-day course at meal times with food, in order to provide the best chances of beating a UTI. MacroBID (Nitrofurantoin) is available from Express Pharmacy.

For effective treatment against urinary tract infections, visit Express Pharmacy. You can also contact us for help and advice by calling 0208 123 07 03 or by using our discreet Live Chat service.

Your Complete Guide to Cystitis

Posted Monday 21 August 2017 16:18 by in Women's Medication by Tim Deakin

Put simply, cystitis occurs when you suffer bladder inflammation – usually the result of a bladder infection. Cystitis is one of the more common kinds of urinary tract infection, or UTI, and it occurs a lot more often in women than in men.

Although generally quite a mild condition, with most cases righting themselves within a few days, it can require long term treatment if someone suffers from the condition regularly. There’s also a chance the condition could lead to kidney infection in more serious cases.

What are the symptoms of cystitis?

As with most infections, there are symptoms to look out for. These include feeling the need to urinate more often than normal and producing urine which is darker, cloudier or stronger smelling than usual. You may also experience burning, pain and stinging when you urinate and pain in the lower part of your stomach. General nausea, achiness and lethargy are also common.

In young children, further symptoms sometimes present themselves. These include vomiting, lack of appetite, irritability and a temperature of over 38 degrees centigrade.

Although cases often get better on their own, it’s important to know when to seek medical guidance. If you’re not sure whether you have cystitis, you get it frequently, your symptoms are severe, your symptoms don’t improve after a few days or if you’re a man, child or pregnant woman with symptoms, you should turn to a professional for advice and treatment.

What causes cystitis?

The urethra is the tube which carries urine out of the body. Most cases of cystitis are caused when the bacteria that reside harmlessly in your bowel or on your skin manage to find their way into your bladder through the urethra. Although relatively benign in other parts of the body, these bacteria are more troublesome in the urinary tract.

This shift in bacteria can occur through several different means, and the true cause isn’t always completely clear. However, there are some common causes which have been identified in women. These include sexual intercourse, wiping your bottom from back to front after going to the toilet, using a diaphragm as a form of contraception and the insertion of a tampon or urinary catheter.

One of the reasons that women suffer from cystitis more often than men is because the urethra is much shorter, meaning bacteria can access the bladder more easily.

How can you prevent cystitis?

There are some precautionary actions you can take to make you less likely to suffer from the infection.

These include opting for showers over baths, as this means your lower regions aren’t exposed to chemicals and bacteria in the water for as long. You can also stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoid perfumed bath and shower products, wear underwear made from cotton rather than synthetic material and avoid using a diaphragm as your chosen contraception.

You should also go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge, especially after sexual intercourse.

How do you treat cystitis?

If you visit your GP due to a case of cystitis, you’ll most likely be given antibiotics to treat the infection. If you’re treating the condition at home, you’re advised to take paracetamol or ibuprofen, stay hydrated, use a hot water bottle and avoid sexual intercourse until your symptoms clear.

Medication such as trimethoprim is effective for clearing cystitis and other UTIs, as it helps kill off the bacteria causing the infection. This is available from Express Pharmacy as a short course medication of twice a day for three days.

If you’re in need of medical guidance, contact Express Pharmacy today. You can use our discreet Live Chat service or call us on 0208 123 0703.

Tags: Trimethoprim Cystitis General Health Sexual Health Women's Health

The Health Problems to Expect When You’re Expecting

Posted Tuesday 07 March 2017 14:42 by in Women's Medication by Tim Deakin

The process of growing another human being is a magical one. At the end of it, lucky parents get to take their bundle of joy home with them for a lifetime of love and shared affection. Yet, pregnancy itself is a challenge like no other. For many expectant mothers it is filled with a whole host of not-so-wonderful symptoms that go far beyond the healthy glow and whirlwind of hormones.

From conception to the day of the birth, the female body goes through a bevy of major changes. Knowing what to expect from week to week from a changing body can be a great source of relief, whether you are a first-time parent or not. Each pregnancy is different, of course, but there are a variety of common side effects that many women are likely to experience.

Here we reveal just some of the common health problems to expect when expecting, so you can understand what your body is going through and seek assistance from your maternity team where necessary.


Backache is particularly common during pregnancy as your ligaments soften and stretch to prepare you for the impending birth of your child.

Your lower back and pelvis will be most affected. As your pregnancy progresses and the weight of your baby increases, symptoms are likely to worsen. There are several steps that you can take to protect your back and limit pain. Avoid lifting heavy objects where possible and even when moving light items take extra care to bend your knees and keep your back straight to prevent injury. Wearing flat shoes is also recommended during pregnancy as high heels can exacerbate the discomfort caused by spinal curvature.

Keeping your back supported, especially when sitting or sleeping, is vital. Rest is the key to preventing back pain, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy.


The sudden onset of cramp can be extremely scary during pregnancy. Sudden, sharp pain can be experienced at any stage and in almost any part of your body. Cramp in the feet and calf muscles is particularly common during the night and can often require regular, gentle exercise to alleviate these most painful of symptoms. By ensuring that your muscles are stretched and circulation is good can keep cramp problems to a minimum. For this reason, many expectant mothers take up pregnancy Pilates in the months before their due date.


Common both during and after pregnancy, incontinence or the need to urinate more frequently are uncomfortable symptoms that can be prevented. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles should be an essential part of your daily routine. These simple exercises work to support your bladder and bowel, and prevent the weakened pelvic floor muscles that are common with age or after you have children. Weakened pelvic floor muscles put you at risk of incontinence, reduced sexual sensitivity and pelvic organ prolapse. But by completing pelvic floor or kegel exercises you can keep everything in working order and reduce the risk of incontinence after the birth of your baby.

If you are urinating frequently and experiencing pain or passing blood in your urine, then you may have a urinary tract infection. It is recommended that you see your GP within 24 hours of noticing these symptoms so appropriate treatment can be given. Medication will usually be offered. Please note that any medication taken during pregnancy should be approved by a GP, trusted pharmacist or midwife before use.


The hormonal changes in your body will be responsible for a number of side effects during pregnancy, including indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux. Around 80% of women experience these symptoms during pregnancy, particularly during the latter stages when the womb begins to put pressure on the stomach.

Easing the discomfort of heartburn and other symptoms of indigestion (these include feeling uncomfortably full, nausea, burping, gas and bloating) may require an expectant mother to change their eating habits to avoid any heartburn triggers. There are also a number of prescription heartburn medicines on the market – however, it is always important to check with your GP or pharmacist that medication is safe to take during pregnancy.


Vomiting is experienced by many women during pregnancy, and whilst morning sickness is common, symptoms usually ease by week 16 to 20. Morning sickness does not put your baby at risk but if you find that symptoms persist into the second or third trimester, it may be necessary to seek help and advice from your GP, pharmacist or midwife if symptoms persist or you experience a more severe form of nausea, known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).

Tags: Acid Reflux Women's Health