Androgenetic alopecia is a type of hair loss that can affect both men and women. This type of alopecia has both genetic and hormonal components. The hair follicles become more susceptible to androgens (male hormones). These androgens cause the follicles to shrink or miniaturize, which results in the hair looking weak and thin.
In male pattern baldness, hair loss typically occurs on the top and front of the scalp, or a thinning spot at the crown, while hairs at the back 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 top of the head.
Besides the physical components, hair loss can have a psychological impact on both men and women, and can negatively affect self-esteem.
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 (dihydrotestosterone). DHT binds to receptors in the follicle and can result in a shortening of the hair cycle, specifically the anagen or growth phase. This makes healthy hairs become weak.
Some females may have a condition called PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), in which high levels of androgens from cysts on the ovaries cause hair loss on the scalp, hirsutism (excess hair) on the face or body, irregular menstrual cycles, or acne.
Androgenetic alopecia can be treated with minoxidil to help the follicle stay in the anagen growth phase. This allows 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 a shampoo to help strengthen hair.
Sometimes the drug spironolactone may be used to help females block some of the excess androgen production and testosterone. This can help some patients stop the signs of hair loss. Women with PCOS respond very well to this type of therapy.
Men and women may respond well to the drug finasteride. This helps to inhibit 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT.
PRP (platelet rich plasma) hair loss treatment is another option for patients. PRP hair loss treatment is an innovative, non-invasive hair regrowth therapy. This procedure utilizes a very concentrated source of your own blood plasma enriched with vital growth factors and proteins to heal damaged hair follicles, regenerate scalp tissue and stimulate the hair follicles in order to produce healthier, thicker and fuller hair.
Your provider will develop an individualized plan right for you.
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