Topical Minoxidil (Rogaine %5) and oral Finasteride (Propecia 1 mg.) are FDA-approved medical treatment methods of hair loss.
Medical Treatments of Hair Loss
For most men and women with pattern hair loss, the use of medications may improve their present condition and halt or least delay this ongoing process.
Men can use finasteride 1 mg orally or 5% topical minoxidil. The combined use of both is also possible.
Women can use topical minoxidil 2% or 5% twice daily.
Propecia is not approved for use in women. Women of childbearing age should not take this medication because of its association with birth defects in the developing male fetus.
The drugs are especially efficacious in patients with mild to moderate hair loss. Where the areas affected by thinning may experience an increase in hair counts, improvement in hair caliber, or at the very least, prevention of further shedding of existing hair.
For scalp areas devoid of hair, the main treatment option would be hairtransplantation, while the aforementioned medications would mostly improve the existing hair surrounding the transplanted hairs. The only solution for complete hair loss is hair transplantation.
Minoxidil is valuable adjunctive therapy for both men and women with hair loss. The treated patients experienced increases in both number and weight of their hair.
Minoxidil is applied topically the areas where hair thinning occured. Minoxidil has lotion (spray) and foam form with 5% or 2% concentration.
The brand name of minoxidil is Minoxil or Rogaine.
We recommend men or women start minoxidil therapy with 5% spray.
Minoxidil %5 is the primary treatment method in:
- women with extensive hair loss over the entire scalp.
- men with partial hair loss or thinning over the crown (vertex) area.
Strategies for optimizing minoxidil use:
Men should use the 5% solution once daily. Although the productinser recommends twice-daily application, simple daily application, in addition to using the foam, can dramatically enhance compliance.
Despite the product label indicating that minoxidil is for the vertex only, it may be applied to all thinning areas.
Apply the solution directly to the scalp with a dropper. The foam should be gently rubbed into the scalp using one’s fingertips. Be sure to wash hands afterward.
Some patients may devolep scalp irritation (itching and redness over the treatment area) after using the solution. If severe, you should discontinue or switch to the foam or 2% concentration, after the irritation symptoms subsided.
Finasteride 1 mg dose has been approved by FDA for treatment of male pattern hair loss.
It is basically used for prostate enlargement in men. It has been observed that it protects and increases hair on the top of the head during incipient hair loss.
It is used for men, not for woman.
It can be found by the name of Propecia or Proscar as 1mg or 5mg tablets.
It is taken daily as 1 or 1.25mg. (One quarter of the 5mg tablet should be taken daily.).
It may cause hormonal side effects (erection problems, decrease in libido, breast enlargement in men).
Dr. Maral do not suggest to take finasteride (proscar) orally because of the risk of systemic hormonal side effects. However, the patients, who cannot have local minoxidil, can take this medicine if they wish. It is also possible to use them together and have a more efficient answer.
Non FDA-approved medical treatments:
The internet inevitably offers some interesting perspectives on how to treat hair loss. There are literally dozens of other marketed products available which claim to effectively treat hair loss.
However, as no controlled studies have been published to provide sound evidence of their effectiveness, we would not wish to approve their use or offer them to our patients.