The treatment of androgenic alopecia is a complex procedure that includes the application of both conservative and operative methods.
Numerous products on the market are promising new hair growth. Unfortunately, in 90% of the cases, these advertisements abuse the lack of information among people suffering from hair loss. The fact is that the right kind of medication, applied in proper amounts and in the proper way, can lengthen the anagenic phase of the hairs affected by hair loss, as well as their width, but there is no way medicaments can produce new hair where the hair follicles have become non-functional. Increasing the diameter of hairs and prolonging the anagenic phase lead to an improved condition of the hair, which then seems visibly denser. The real goal of conservative treatment is to suppress the process of androgenic alopecia and to preserve the existing hair as long as possible. The only effective way to restore hair that is already lost is by transplantation of healthy hair follicles that have not been affected by hair loss.
Forthe time being, there are two groups of medicaments that effectively influence the process of androgenic alopecia:
I- Substances that expand the blood vessels in affected follicles and thereby increase blood flowthere:Minoxidil, Minoxidilsulfate (which is more active than pur Minoxidil), Aminexil (which is less effective than Minoxidil).
II- Substances that suppress the action of DHT (antiandrogenic substances): Finasteride, Dutasteride, Spironolactone, Cyproteroneacetate,Cimetidine,Ketoconazole, estrogenic and progesteroneanalogues. Depending on their mechanism of activity, antiandrogens can be divided into three subgroups:
1. Antiandrogens that suppress the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
2. Antiandrogens that block DHT receptors.
3. Antiandrogens that suppress the production of DHT precursors.
Thereareclearlydefineddifferencesinthemedicationtobeappliedtomenandtowomen, bothasregardsthechoiceofmedicaments, thedosageandthewayofapplication. TheonlymedicamentsapprovedbytheFDA(USFood and Drug Administration) fortreatment of androgenicalopeciaareMinoxidil 5% (formen), Minoxidil 2% (forwomen) andFinasteride (formen). Allothermedicaments are notofficiallyendorsedand are used for their side effects.
Precisediagnosis of the type of hair loss to be treated and the correct application of conservative and operative approaches are essential to achieving good results. Conservative treatment generally in cludes five approaches, which may be used in combination: