Male Pattern Baldness Treatment Options Still Being Researched
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Male pattern baldness may be a long known and well documented disorder, but new studies are surfacing from research facilities regularly. Some of the most recently documented improvements in treatment have come in the form of implantation techniques, although, medications are still the most common and successful treatments provided by the majority of physicians.
Male pattern baldness is a common problem across the United States, and the globe. It is known as a genetic issue, but is still shrouded in mystery, which is why the ongoing research efforts are a necessary part of treatment and a possible long term solution. Forbes.com expresses: “Unfortunately the genetics of androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness) is not really well understood. The more complex the biology behind a phenomenon is, the more difficult is going to be to find all the genetic factors.”
Most male pattern baldness occurs in men aged 30 and up, with the majority of baldness occurring by age 60. Some men will see the baldness begin as early as aged 20, and every individual is different.
Causes of Baldness
As mentioned above, the overall cause is still unclear, although genetics, and hormones are at the root. Some studies point to dihydrotestosterone sensitivity as the issue, and suggest that testosterone is converted into the hormone by the enzyme 5 alpha reductase. MedlinePlus reports: “Male pattern baldness is related to your genes and male sex hormones. It usually follows a pattern of receding hairline and hair thinning on the crown, and is caused by hormones and genetic predisposition. Each strand of hair you have sits in a tiny hole (cavity) in the skin called a follicle. Generally, baldness occurs when the hair follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair.”
Overtime, the thinning of these fine hairs causes them to top growth altogether. This results in the baldness that is often seen at the crown, forefront of the head, and eventually around the back. The circle, or half-circle of hair which is left, is less effected by the hormonal sensitivity or increase, but will thin as well in some men.
Treatment By Propecia
Treatments for male pattern baldness vary, with some surgical, and many medicinal treatments available. One of the most common and well known forms of medicinal treatment includes Propecia. This is an extremely sensitive drug, which must be handled with care. An overdose of the medication can be toxic, and it is important that women and children never handle the tablets.
One of the factors that must be taken account of before starting propecia for hair loss, is that once you start, you can’t stop, unless you want MPB symptoms to return. Drugs.com explains: “It is important to use Propecia regularly to get the most benefit. You may need to take Propecia daily for three months or more before you see a benefit. Propecia can only work over the long term if you continue taking it. If the drug has not worked for you in twelve months, further treatment is unlikely to be of benefit. If you stop taking Propecia, you will likely lose the hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping treatment.”
The tablet must be taken at the same times every day, and pills should never be skipped. Missing one pill won’t cause you to revert completely, but it could create resistance, and a lack of growth for that day. Once the treatment stops altogether, you will see the results slowly take effect. For this reason, doctors often suggest that patients do some research before beginning. Making a solid commitment to taking the medication regularly will increase the chances of successful hair growth.
While Propecia has shown dramatic results and great success for men across the country, and around the globe, it works best in combination with other treatments as well. Before combining medications and topical creams, always speak to your physician about possible side effects, and whether or not it is the right course of action for you. There can be dire consequences for improperly treatment MPB.
A common topical treatment, called Rogaine, or Minoxidil, has shown some success in certain men who show symptoms of male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, it does not offer the same success rate as Propecia. When combined, however, the two treatments work together to create immense results. Bernard Arocha, M.D., is quoted by MensFitness.com: “Only 35% of men are able to slow or stop hair loss with minoxidil alone, and only 10% see regrowth, usually in the crown area, and like the finasteride, the benefits stop if you stop using the product, but using both together over time yields the best nonsurgical results possible.”
Similar to Propecia, when patients stop using Rogaine, some results will falter, reverse, and halt altogether. This means that a commitment to the treatment should be made before attempting it.
Side Effects To Be Wary Of
All medical treatments come with possible side effects, but knowing what they are and how to deal with them goes a long way. With male pattern baldness it is important to watch for itching, pain, or abnormal shedding and hair loss following treatment. If this occurs, consult a medical professional immediately. Many men use products like Propecia with no side effects to report, but allergies and other possible reactions can occur in certain individuals. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not the medications will work for you, and what risks are associated with them before, during, and after use.
For more information on Propecia, Rogaine, or male pattern baldness, individuals should contact a family physician. If you are experiencing symptoms of MPB, or are considering taking any of the medications associated with it, side effects and long term goals should be taken into effect.
The ongoing research for male pattern baldness indicates that there will be new treatments or updated treatments available in the near future. For now, the topical, medicinal, and surgical options offered are going a long way to prevent and reverse the symptoms of the disorder.
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