Androgenic Alopecia Chicago
What is androgenic alopecia?
Androgenic Alopecia is a type of hair loss that can affect both men and women. This type of alopecia has both genetic and hormonal components as the hair follicles become susceptible to androgens (male hormones). These androgens cause the follicles to shrink or miniaturize, resulting in the hair looking weak and thin. In male pattern baldness, hair loss typically occurs in the top and front of the hair or a thinning spot in back while hairs at the base of the head remain unaffected. In female pattern baldness, there can be a widening of the part in the crown and diffuse thinning all over the head. Besides the physical components, hair loss can have a psychological impact on both men and women, and can negatively affect self- esteem.
What causes androgenic alopecia?
Most patients have a genetic predisposition of hair loss as it is a genetically determined disorder. The hair follicles can become sensitive to the effects of DHT (dihydrotesterone). DHT binds to receptors in the follicle and can result in a shortening of the hair cycle, specifically the anagen or growth phase, making healthy hairs become weak. Some females may have a condition called PCOS (polycystic ovarian disorder) in which high levels of androgens from cysts on the ovaries can cause hair loss on scalp, hirsutism (excess hair) on the face or body, irregular menstrual cycles, or acne.
How can I treat androgenic alopecia?
Androgenic Alopecia can be treated with prescription female or male Rogaine to help the follicle stay in the anagen growth phase, allowing the weakened hair to become thicker. Another option is a hair loss system like Glytone Ducray to help improve signs of chronic hair loss and restore hair to a healthier state. The system includes topical sprays and an oral supplement with Biotin to strengthen hair. Sometimes the drug Spironolactone may be used to help females block some of the excess androgen production and testosterone. This can help stop or reverse some of the signs of hair loss. PCOS women respond very well to this type of therapy. Men may respond well to the drug Propecia. This helps to inhibit 5-Alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT.