The 'We Can Face It' Campaign Launched

Jun 02, 2010, 19:00 ET from Almirall Ltd

LONDON, June 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --

- Dr Dawn Harper, Mica Paris and Jason Gardiner Lead Launch of New Survey Report Showing Impact of Unwanted Facial Hair in Women

- This Release is Intended for UK Consumer Media Only

The We Can Face It campaign for women with unwanted facial hair (UFH) has been launched today at a celebrity-backed event held at the Sunbeam Studios in West London. Television personalities Dr Dawn Harper (Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies), Mica Paris (soul singer) and Jason Gardiner (style guru from ITV's This Morning) announced the results from the We Can Face It: 1,000 Women's Survey. The survey is the first of its kind in the UK and has revealed that 98% of women with UFH regularly have negative or critical thoughts about their appearance due to facial hair1 and a third experience anxiety if they can not remove the hair immediately.(1)

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The We Can Face It campaign, sponsored by Almirall Ltd, is an awareness campaign that aims to communicate the full health impact of excess, unwanted facial hair; create a supportive community of like-minded women with the condition and to encourage women to feel confident when speaking with their doctor about management and treatment options for their condition.

Gloucestershire-based GP Dr Dawn Harper, well known for addressing taboo health topics on Embarrassing Bodies and one of the expert panel leading the campaign said, "Unwanted facial hair is a condition that is much more common in the UK than the general public might believe. It affects around 40% of women and can have a detrimental effect on women's physical and mental health, body image and self esteem. I am very pleased to be supporting this campaign, which will hopefully show women that they are not alone and that a range of treatment and support options are available to them through their GP."

The survey findings have highlighted that the impact of UFH on a woman goes far beyond the superficial or physical appearance of the hair and regularly impacts on women's social lives and relationships. 89% of women admitted that they would feel more confident if they didn't have facial hair(1) and one third said that their unwanted facial hair has regularly stopped them from going out socially.(1) Dating and relationships are also severely limited, with around 42% of women saying that facial hair had prevented them from going on dates (57% in the 18 to 35 age group)(1) and over 40% saying that their unwanted facial hair has stopped them from forming relationships (a figure that rose to over half (54%) in the 18 to 35 age group).(1)

Mica Paris commented, "The We Can Face It campaign is really helping to bring UFH out of the shadows and onto the public radar. It is shocking that so many women are not fully enjoying their social life or forming relationships because they are so concerned about their facial hair. I hope this campaign will help women to start talking about the condition with close family or friends so that they don't have to suffer in silence."

Much-needed improvements in support were uncovered by the survey, with over half of women saying that they felt uncomfortable talking to their family and over two thirds being uncomfortable discussing facial hair with friends.(1) More than two thirds use the internet as their primary source of information,(1) but the majority are not seeking professional help from their GP, stating reasons such as not wanting to waste the GP's time, feeling embarrassed or being concerned they won't be taken seriously. (1)

Anxiety is commonplace and women also list other strong negative emotions such as embarrassment, depression and even stress, as a result of their facial hair.(1) The negative psychological impact of UFH was found to be much higher in younger women aged between 18 and 35 years.(1) UFH can also cause women to significantly limit their prospects and development at work: almost a quarter of women surveyed said that their unwanted facial hair had stopped them from going for a promotion at work and more than a quarter said that they hold back from putting themselves forward for tasks at work because of their facial hair.(1)

Jason Gardiner, This Morning's style guru co-hosted the launch event as well as holding a style seminar for the attending women, he said "I'm delighted to support We Can Face It and hope that through highlighting the impact of UFH, more women will be inspired to take steps towards lifting their confidence and self image through style, beauty and health advice. I really enjoy talking to the women about feeling and looking good and would love to see the women who have negative feelings as a result of their facial hair taking my advice into their everyday lives to lift their outlook and overall confidence."

Additional information on coping with UFH and finding support can be found on the campaign website at http://www.wecanfaceit.com along with the full survey report and results.

Notes to Editors

About the We Can Face It campaign

The We Can Face It campaign, sponsored by Almirall Ltd, is an awareness campaign that aims to communicate the full health impact of excess, unwanted facial hair; create a supportive community of like-minded women with the condition and to encourage women to feel confident to talk to their doctor about how to manage and treat their condition.

The We Can Face It campaign launch is being supported by a team of experts. The campaign experts are:

    - Professor Steve Franks, Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology
      Imperial College London and Consultant Endocrinologist at St Mary's and
      Hammersmith Hospitals, London
    - Dr Dawn Harper, General Practitioner, Gloucestershire
    - Dr Alexandra Mizara, Counselling Psychologist and specialist in
      psychodermatology, The Royal Free Hospital, London
    - Charlotte Footman, Electrologist Adviser, St Mary's Hospital, London
    - Rachel Hawkes, Chair, Verity (UK charity for women living with
      Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

About the 1,000 Women's Survey

The online survey was carried out by Opinion Health among 1,000 women throughout the UK aged from eighteen to over 65 years who had been identified as having unwanted facial hair. The research was conducted in February and March 2010.

About Hirsutism and Unwanted Facial Hair (UFH)

Hirsutism is defined as the presence of excess terminal (coarse) hairs in females in a pattern typically seen in adult males (androgen-dependent areas) and is assessed as having a Ferriman-Gallwey score(2) of eight or more.

Unwanted facial hair (UFH) is usually the main concern for women and has no known cause in many cases but can affect women from all walks of life, with some Asian and Mediterranean ethnicities being particularly susceptible to inheriting the condition (hereditary or constitutional hirsutism). Known causes of UFH include Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), hormonal changes during the menopause and some drug therapies. UFH can be a profoundly distressing condition that can have severe negative effects on self-image, self-esteem and confidence, often leading women to become socially isolated and withdrawn.

About Almirall

Almirall, an international pharmaceutical company is based on innovation and committed to health. Headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, the company researches, develops, manufactures and commercialises its own R&D and licensed drugs with the aim of improving people's health and wellbeing. The therapeutic areas on which Almirall focuses its research resources are related to the treatment of asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and other dermatological conditions. Almirall's products are currently present in over 70 countries while it has direct presence in Europe and Latin America through 11 affiliates.

References

1) 1,000 Women Survey, Almirall slide set on file, March 2010

2) Blume-Peytavi U, Hahn S. Medical treatment of hirsutism. Dermatol Ther. Sept-Oct, 2008; 21 (5): 329-39 Review

SOURCE Almirall Ltd