Topical Finasteride: A New Treatment for Hair Loss
Hair loss is a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by various factors, such as genetics, hormones, stress, ageing, and medical conditions. One of the main culprits of hair loss is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that shrinks and weakens the hair follicles. DHT is derived from testosterone, a male sex hormone, by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5AR).
Finasteride is a medication that blocks 5AR and prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT. It was originally developed for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition where the prostate gland enlarges and causes urinary problems. Finasteride was later approved by the FDA for treating male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia (AGA). Finasteride is taken orally as a tablet, usually at a dose of 1 mg per day. It can reduce hair loss, increase hair growth, and improve hair quality in men with AGA.
However, oral finasteride has some drawbacks. It can cause systemic side effects, such as sexual dysfunction, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men). These side effects are rare, but they can be distressing and persistent for some patients. Oral finasteride can also interact with other drugs and affect the levels of hormones in the body. Moreover, oral finasteride is not approved for women, especially those who are pregnant or may become pregnant, as it can cause birth defects in the fetus.
Topical finasteride is a new alternative to oral finasteride. It is a solution or a gel that contains finasteride and is applied directly to the scalp. Topical finasteride works locally, meaning it only affects the hair follicles and does not enter the bloodstream. This reduces the risk of systemic side effects and drug interactions. Topical finasteride can also be combined with minoxidil, another medication that stimulates hair growth, for better results.
Several studies have shown that topical finasteride is effective and safe for treating hair loss in men and women. It can decrease the rate of hair loss, increase the number and thickness of hairs, and improve the appearance of the scalp. Topical finasteride can also lower the levels of DHT in the scalp, but not in the serum, which means it does not affect the hormonal balance in the body. Topical finasteride has fewer and milder side effects than oral finasteride, such as skin irritation, redness, and itching. These side effects usually go away after a few days of use.
Topical finasteride is not yet formally approved for hair loss treatment, but it can be obtained from compounding pharmacies such as our friends at Compounding Lab Ltd, who produce our own topical solutions. Some people may have allergies or sensitivities to finasteride or minoxidil, or may have other medical conditions that may affect their hair growth. A dermatologist can monitor the progress and the possible side effects of topical finasteride.
If you are looking for a new and effective way to treat your hair loss, topical finasteride may be the answer. It can help you restore your hair and your confidence, without compromising your health and well-being. Contact the team at Hair Repair Clinic, who have years of experience with hair loss treatments, to find out if topical finasteride is right for you. We can evaluate your hair loss condition, your medical history, and your goals, and create a personalized treatment plan that suits your needs.