In 2000, the day after Vaniqa was approved for use on women’s facial hair, Dr. Maria Hordinsky presented preliminary research on pseudofolliculitis barbae, a common disorder among African American men who develop inflammatory papules, pustules, hyperpigmentation, and scarring on the face and neck. These lesions have perifollicular mononuclear cell infiltrates around curved hair follicles and occasionally microabscesses that resemble acne.
Dr. Hordinsky described her pilot study results using topical eflornithine (Vaniqa), an ornithine decarboxylase inhibitor. Ornithine decarboxylase is present in hair follicles and their cortical cells, increased in anagen follicles, and decreased in telogen follicles. Eflornithine is a cytostatic, reversible, dose-dependent ornithine decarboxylase inhibitor and thereby inhibits hair follicle growth. It is FDA-approved as a safe, effective therapy for unwanted facial hair in women. Dr. Hordinsky was enthusiastic about the results of her pilot study but cautioned that more studies need to be done to prove that topical eflornithine is useful off-label therapy for pseudofolliculitis barbae.
Vaniqa has not been approved for this use, but I’ll keep you updated!
Hordinsky MK, Christiano AM, Elewski BE, Limmer BL, Sawaya ME. Hair. Presented at the American Academy of Dermatology, Academy 2000; August 4, 2000; Nashville, Tennessee
[ May 09, 2002, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: Andrea ]