Aga And Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Link
Androgenetic alopecia is often considered to be a male-only condition, but thats simply not true. While AGA is often referred to as male-pattern baldness, the condition can affect women, too.
In fact, pattern baldness can occur in over 50 percent of women over the age of 80 and it can start as early as 20 with an incidence rate of 12 percent . Women affected by PCOS will also be affected by pattern balding. This is thought to be caused by low progesterone and insulin resistance.
The histological hallmark of pattern hair loss in both men and women is follicle miniaturization. And while the cause of this miniaturization in men is strongly linked to androgens, the link between androgens and female pattern hair loss isnt so clear .
There are some women who have elevated levels of androgen in their blood serum and hair follicles which is similar to how the condition presents in men. However, there are also those women who dont have elevated androgen levels which indicates that the problem is likely independent of androgens entirely .
Finasteride Side Effects & Interactions
Finasteride is a safe and effective medication thats used by millions of men around the world to treat and prevent male pattern baldness.
Most men who use finasteride dont experience any problems. However, a small number of men develop side effects while using finasteride, including some potential sexual side effects.
In clinical trials of finasteride, 1.3 percent of users experienced erectile dysfunction, 1.8 percent experienced a decrease in libido and 1.2 percent experienced an ejaculation disorder.
Other side effects associated with finasteride include changes in the breasts, such as increased size, lumps, discharge or pain, as well as testicular discomfort and depression.
Weve discussed these side effects, their risk and the steps you can take if you experience any issues while using finasteride in our guide to finasteride side effects.
Is A Finasteride Treatment For Hair Loss Effective
Finasteride has been proven to be one of the most efficient courses of treatment for those struggling with hair loss.
The American Hair Loss Association has released some statistics that are likely to convince anyone to at least consider trying it: they found that Fnasteride stopped the progression of hair loss in 86% of the men who participated in clinical trials, and 65% of them noticed an increase in hair growth.
You can see below how even in a severe case of hair loss, the results can be astounding. While the patients hair isnt entirely restored, these are the results after only 6 month of topical finasteride treatment.
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Why Isnt Propecia Working For Me
Everyones bodies are different, and while one treatment might work for 1 person it may not work for another. If after 3-6 months of taking Propecia youve not seen any improvement in your hair loss, its worth speaking to your clinician. They will be able to advise what the best next steps are.
Regaine is a popular hair loss treatment. The active ingredient in Regaine helps to slow hair loss and encourage regrowth. Its usually applied to the head in a foam.
How To Take Finasteride
As discussed above, the FDA has approved finasteride for two different indications: hair loss and benign prostate enlargement .
BLP is a non-life-threatening condition also linked to DHT. It also responds to finasteride. The approved dosage for BLP is 5mg daily.
The approved dosage for hair loss is far lower, 1mg daily.
You should take the 1mg pill at the same time of the day. If you miss a dose one day, do not try to compensate for it by taking more the following day. Just continue to take your daily pill as if you had never missed a dose.
Before you start treatment, make sure to read the patient information sheet and ask your doctor if you have any questions. Most importantly, only take finasteride as ordered by your doctor never take more or less.
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Who Can Take Finasteride For Hair Loss
Originally developed to treat an enlarged prostate, finasteride reduces or blocks the effects of DHT on hair follicles. This can slow the damage of male- and female-pattern baldness, treating hair loss in men and women. According to the US Food and Drug Administration , finasteride may damage the developing genitals of male fetuses. For this reason, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not take finasteride. In fact, it is rarely prescribed for pre-menopausal women.
Since finasteride works on DHT levels, it is not used to treat other causes of baldness such as cancer-related hair loss, hair loss because of an autoimmune disease, or other causes of a receding hairline.
Does Propecia Work For Everyone
Propecia is most effective for men experiencing male pattern baldness. Although female pattern baldness exists there is no clinical evidence to support the use of Propecia in women, in fact it can be dangerous for women. Certain types of hair loss – such as alopecia totalis – cannot be treated by Propecia. Ultimately hair loss is a natural result of ageing: the older you grow, the less effective Propecia will become.
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Usage In Conjunction With Minoxidil
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is a foam that when rubbed into the scalp twice a day at the same time as undergoing a Finasteride treatment can increase the speed at which results can be seen. Minoxidil increases the flow of blood and, implicitly, brings more nutrients to blood follicles.
Around 40% of men experience hair growth when using it, and scientists have discovered that when used in conjunction with Finasteride, the effects of both substances are boosted.
The only issue is that minoxidil, just like finasteride, needs to be used continuously, or results will reverse. Minoxidil also comes with a not negligible list of side effects, some are similar, some are worse than finasteride. Many are turning to more natural alternatives to it.
Does Finasteride Need To Be Taken Forever
Finasteride is required to be continually taken in order to sustain any benefits achieved. Disconnecting use of the medication will result in eventual loss of progression.
If the individual feels that they are ready to embrace hair loss and its less of a concern now that they are possibly older, are in a relationship or already have children then they can jump off Finasteride and let nature do its cause.
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Tinkering With The Standard Dosage
There is no benefit to taking more than 1mg daily for your hair loss. There is zero chance you will see better results, and will only be more likely to experience unpleasant side effects. You will understand why this is so as you read through this article.
The aim of this discussion is to see if it is possible to take a dosage that is lower than 1mg daily.
A lower dosage might interest balding men for many reasons:
Do Finasteride Side Effects Stop With Usage
Like most prescription medications, finasteride comes with a risk of side effects.
Of these side effects, sexual dysfunction is the most common reported by men taking finasteride. In clinical trials, 1.3 percent of men experienced some form of erectile dysfunction, 1.8 percent experienced a decrease in libido, and 1.2 percent experienced a decrease in overall ejaculate level.
A very small number of men also experience breast tenderness or enlargement, and rashes, too.
While the vast majority of men who experience side effects from finasteride also notice that these side effects stop when they stop using the medication, there have been reports that a small number of men continue to experience side effects after they stop taking the medication. Its also worth noting that this area of research regarding finasteride effects is ongoing.
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Propecia For Hair Loss Closing Thoughts
So do the benefits outweigh the risks? Thats entirely up to you. Propecia is a proven, highly effective treatment for male pattern hair loss, approved by the FDA and trusted, by and large, by the medical community. It stops hair loss in many men, and can promote some regrowth in up to 2/3 of its users.
Men are becoming more hesitant to use it for a variety of reasons but primarily due to the risk of long-term sexual side effects. Again, the side effects went away in all men who experienced them in the large, FDA trials, but newer studies and reviews appear have put Propecias safety profile into question, at least to some degree. Some men look to alternatives like minoxidl, laser therapy, pumpkin seed oil, PRP, and saw palmetto but none of those treatments are likely to yield better results than Propecia, either in the short-term or the long-term. Topical finasteride perhaps is the one exception to the rule.
If you have any questions or comments or a personal experience with Propecia/finasteride, feel free to leave a comment.
Does 5mg Finasteride Work For Hair Loss: Which Strengths Are Best
Finasteride comes in 5mg and 1mg doses, but which one is most commonly used for hair loss and why? Learn more about Finasteride strengths here.
Finasteride is one of the only 2 medications currently available which are FDA approved for male pattern hair loss treatment, also known as androgenic or androgenetic alopecia .
It is easy to come across Finasteride when you are on a hair loss treatment journey, but for some, it may be confusing to find that Finasteride tablets come in 2 strengths .
Below, we will cover the story behind Finasteride and the strengths used for male pattern hair loss, including why you should always listen to your doctor when it comes to dosing decisions.
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Male Fertility And Finasteride
Men could experience a decrease in their sperm count when taking Finasteride due to a change in the composition of sperm upon ejaculation. This is thought to be uncommon.
Thus far there have been no reports of increased rates of birth defects in men who have fathered children while taking this medication compared to the background rate of birth defects . This is because the amount of Finasteride entereing sperm is very low. Those wishing to be very cautious might wish to withdraw medication 2 or 3 months before conceiving.
Finasteride Warnings For Women
The reason finasteride has not been approved by the FDA for use in women who experience hair loss is because it may have a teratogenic effect. Half of pregnancies are unplanned. This means that women of childbearing age should not take any medication that can cause birth defects in the unborn child or feminization of male offspring. Research has only been done on rats. However, animal studies show that finasteride could cause issues with sexual development in males born to mothers treated with this medication.
Finasteride should only be used in post-menopausal women or women without the ability to have children due to risks of male fetus developmental issues that a pregnant women could experience when taking the medication, says Dr. Goldstein
Additionally, finasteride is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers because the transmission through the breast milk to the infant is unstudied. If you are considering taking finasteride, consult your doctor first.
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Does Propecia Work Permanently
It is important to remember that Propecia is a hair loss treatment, not a cure. Once you stop taking Propecia your testosterone will start converting into DHT as before. Gradually your hair loss will resume, and it is likely that you will lose any hair that you have gained within 12 months of stopping the treatment.
But Not All Finasteride Topicals Are The Same
One caveat is that it appears that not all finasteride topical products are created equal. The research is ongoing, but it appears that some formulations are better than others.
- Topical finasteride combined with minoxidil. The combination of finasteride and minoxidil, together, seems to be more effective with greater hair regrowth than either of these medications on their own. Finasteride + minoxidil solutions may therefore be the best topical hair treatment.
- Topical finasteride liposomal gel combined with minoxidil. It also appears that liposomal gels are the most effective finasteride formulation. These have been found to effectively penetrate the scalp to get finasteride past the skin and nearer to the hair follicles. At the same time, liposomal gel in particular minimizes systemic absorption, which reduces the chance of topical finasteride side effects. While it is the most effective, it is difficult to obtain this type of topical finasteride in Canada. Essential Clinic is one of the only hair loss treatment clinics in Canada that offer it combined with topical minoxidil.
- Topical finasteride with other formulations. Finasteride topicals made with other kinds of gel or solutions also appear to be effective, but the risk of side effects may be higher than topical finasteride made with liposomal gel. It also wonât be as effective as topical finasteride combined with minoxidil.
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Baldness: How Close Are We To A Cure
Baldness is an accepted part of the aging process for some, and a source of distress for others. Hair loss affects millions of men and women, yet despite decades of research, a cure is still not available. Just how close are we to finding a magic bullet for baldness? Medical News Today take a look at the evidence.
Androgenetic alopecia which is more commonly known as male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss, affecting around 30 million women and 50 million men across the United States.
In men, hair loss begins above both temples and recedes over time to form an M shape. Hair also tends to thin at the crown and may progress to partial or complete baldness. In women, the hairline does not recede and rarely results in total baldness, but the hair does usually become thinner all over the head.
Male pattern baldness is hereditary and may be linked to male sex hormones. Male hair loss can start as early as during adolescence. It affects two thirds of men by age 35, and around 85 percent of men by the age of 50.
The causes of female pattern baldness are unclear. However, hair loss happens most frequently in women after menopause, which indicates that the condition may be associated with decreasing female hormones.