Hair Loss/Hairfall!

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QUESTION: Hi there!
I am a 19 year old male. Baldness is hereditary in my family (both mom and dad side).
I experienced thinning of hair near the crown since an year and excessive hairfall since 1 month. So I consulted a dermatologist today. He prescribed me 5% minoxidil for 2 years, Ketoconazole & Zinc Pyrithione Shampoo and Biotin Tablets for 3 months. He told that I have signs of male pattern baldness, mild dandruff and vitamin deficiency.

Are these medicines fine? He is not a hair specialist just a dermatologist. People say Minoxidil should be used with finesteride.

Please comment.
Thank You!

ANSWER: The medications he prescribed are fine but I would add finasteride.

As described in the Cause of Hair Loss, DHT binds with genetically weak hair follicles in the typical pattern baldness areas of the crown and hairline to gradually break down the ability of these follicles to grow healthy, thick hair. The resulting baldness is commonly known as "Male Pattern Baldness".

If a person is blessed with hair follicles that are genetically resistant to the negative effects of the hormone DHT they will not suffer hair loss. Or if an individual does not have DHT in their body they will not go bald.

For instance, there is a native tribe in the pacific who naturally have no DHT in their body. These tribe members suffer no male pattern baldness at all. They also have dramatically decreased rates of prostate cancer.

Propecia for hair loss

So what if there were a hair loss drug that could remove or reduce the DHT in our bodies?

This is essentially what the FDA approved hair loss pill - Propecia® does.

The hair loss medication Propecia inhibits the ability of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme to convert testosterone into DHT or dihydrotestosterone. This results in lower levels of DHT in the scalp. Propecia is only safe for use by men. Women who are or may potentially be pregnant must not use Propecia and should not handle crushed or broken Propecia tablets because the active ingredient may cause birth defect abnormalities of a male baby’s sex organs.

Propecia Side Effects

In clinical studies for Propecia, a small number of men experienced certain sexual side effects, such as less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen. Each of these side effects occurred in less than 2% of men and went away in men who stopped taking Propecia because of them.

Generic Propecia

Finasteride (generic Propecia) was originally a drug marketed under the name Proscar, which was used to treat and reduce men's prostate conditions such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

In clinical trials, Merck & Co., the manufacturers of Propecia, soon realized that the drug had a unique side effect - it grew hair!

Propecia is the first and only FDA-approved hair loss pill demonstrated to treat male pattern baldness on the vertex (top of head) and anterior mid-scalp area (middle front of head) in men only.

Does Propecia Work?

The effectiveness of Propecia was demonstrated in a study of men, aged 18 to 41, with mild to moderate hair loss at the top and middle front of the head. There is not sufficient evidence shown in any study that Propecia works for receding hairlines at the temples.

The only effective solution for restoration of hairlines is hair transplant surgery. Hair restoration physicians often prescribe Propecia as a adjunct treatment for hair loss along with transplants.

You may need to take Propecia daily for 3 months or more before you see a benefit from taking this hair loss drug. If Propecia has not worked for you within 12 months, further treatment is unlikely to be of benefit.

Propecia can only work over the long term if you continue taking it. If you stop taking Propecia, you will likely lose any hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping treatment.

While many websites offer cheap Propecia and you can buy or order Propecia online, you must remember that it is a hair loss medication that is available by prescription only.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Isn't 19 years old a very young age to start taking Propecia? I mean I still have more than 75% of hair on the crown of head. And finesteride has known side effects too and that worries me.

Answer
You are not too young to take Propecia and if you have side effects you stop the medication and the side effects resolve. It really depends on how important your hair is to you. Of all the patients I put on Propecia very few have to stop because of side effects.

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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