How Can a Dermatologist Help You Save Your Hair?

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Although hair loss is not a threat to your health, it can have a devastating effect on your personality and well-being. Your hair has lots of significance than just the physiological purpose of controlling the temperature as well as providing protection for the scalp.
Most people in our modern society spend a lot of money on hair care, with a great portion going to the hair loss concerns. However, your dermatologist is a skilled medical professional who devotes most of her/his training on a wide variety of conditions that may affect your scalp leading to hair loss.

Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss can be the result of underlying health problems such as thyroid abnormalities or Anemia. You should have a blood test done for these diagnoses. However, changes to your scalp and hair could be an indication of health issues such as lupus, diabetes or any other condition. It’s vital to take abrupt changes if your hair loss is serious.

What to do if you Start Losing Hair?
The first step in treating your hair loss is to determine its cause. Have a dermatologist examine your scalp and hair as well as diagnose your disorder. Many forms of hair loss are temporary, so with proper medication and therapies, you can reverse the condition. Other types can cause scarring which could lead to permanent baldness. This can be slowed through frequent treatment sessions especially if you start the process early.
To diagnose hair loss, your dermatologist will enquire about your medical condition, illnesses you might have had or any other medications you might be taking such as over the counter drugs. Are you having hair loss on your scalp or body?
Hair care routine is also an essential information you should share with your dermatologist. Things such as hair treatments, whether you use a hair dryer/ color your hair or how frequent you shampoo your hair are some of the information that may assist with your diagnoses. It’s important to bring these products on board when you go to your doctor for consultation.
The dermatologist will also enquire about any of your relative who have had hair growth problem to determine the genetic predisposition to your baldness. Hair loss diagnoses are made through evaluation of the hair, scalp and medical history, but further medical testings are vital. These tests might include blood work to find the underlying medical conditions as well as an examination of your hair sample to evaluate the scalp tissues of the affected region.

Available Hair Loss Treatments
Different dermatological treatments can help in hair regrowth. They range from preventing the causes especially if your hair loss is due to hair care regime, prescription topical terms, hair transplants, corticosteroid injections or hair regrowth. However, the essential thing will be you knowing and understanding your condition as well as working with your doctor to help save your hair before it’s too late
Generally, hair grows about one inch every two months. But if you hair loss condition lasts longer than 2 to 3 months, then its recommended to go ahead and visit your dermatologist for evaluation rather than waiting to see whether the hair will regrow

3 effective ways for Hair Loss Treatments

 

A good percentage of men around the world experience hair loss as they grow older. In most cases, the condition is genetic. Other cases are rooted in different medical conditions. Whatever the case, hair loss does not have to be a permanent condition. There are several treatment options for the condition.

With that said, it is important to note that the hair loss industry works much like the weight loss industry- most of the hair treatments advertised do not work at all. On the bright side, some have been tested and even approved by the FDA, meaning that they do work, at least for most people.

What are the  Hair Loss Treatments Available?

1. Finasterideimages-41

Finasteride has been used to treat hair loss since the late 1990’s. It was approved by the FDA, specifically for hair loss treatment, at around that time. It is worth noting that Finasteride was originally used as a treatment for swollen testicles, and its effectiveness as a hair loss treatment was discovered rather accidentally.

To understand how the medication works, it is necessary to go into the science behind hair loss. The loss of hair occurs when the hair follicles start to shrink, hence producing thinner and weaker hairs which can be easily shed off. Shrinking of hair follicles is caused by the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is produced from testosterone.

So to prevent the hair follicles from shrinking, this drug will prevent testosterone from being converted to DHT. This is done by inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT.

Practically, the medication has been proven to work in about 85 percent of the cases where it was used. It is also recommended by many reputable organizations, including the American Hair Loss Association.

2. Minoxidil

Minoxidil is another drug that has been used for many years to treat hair loss. It was actually the first drug that was approved by the FDA for this specific purpose. Taken in the form of pills, this drug has been known to help slow down the loss of hair, and also help in hair regrowth. As such, the drug can be used for regular hair care even before actual hair loss sets in.

It is important to note that the drug does not have long lasting effects. It actually solves the surface of the issue, much like a wig would do. So you might have to take it for as long as you would like to keep your hair. Once you stop, you will resume hair loss at your normal rate.

3. Surgery

Although much more expensive, surgery can also solve your hair loss problems. The process simply involves getting hair follicles from one part of your body and transplanting them at a part where you are balding.

Surgery will only work in cases where hair is lost only in a part of the head, and there is enough region covered by the hair for the surgeon to make use of. For the surgery to work effectively, your dermatologist might advise you to take hair treatment medications as well.

Conclusion

These three treatments can help in your hair growth or regrowth. If they are beyond your budget or fail to work, you can still opt to use a wig or hairpiece. These can be paid for by your insurance.

Potential side effects of the drug Trump reportedly takes for hair loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

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President Trump’s personal physician recently revealed that the president takes finasteride, a drug used to combat male-pattern baldness. The medication has potential side effects

In fact, approximately 1,370 lawsuits have been filed against Merck, which markets finasteride. A class-action lawsuit against the company will examine the pharmaceutical giant’s culpability in the multitude of reported sexual side effects potentially associated with the drug. Merck did not respond to a request for comment.

Merck sells finasteride under the brand name Propecia, a 1-milligram formulation of the medication. It is available as a prescription for treatment of male-pattern hair loss. Its big brother, Proscar, is a 5 mg preparation commonly prescribed for the treatment of symptoms associated with enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, and has been prescribed to more than 1 million American men since its introduction to the market. Together, finasteride and a closely related compound dutasteride (sold under the brand name Avodart) are a class of drugs called 5-alpha-reductase-inhibitors (5-ARIs) which work by blocking the conversion of testosterone to its more potent form, dihydrotestosterone.

Between Propecia, Proscar, and Avodart, 5-ARIs comprise a substantial portion of medications prescribed to men every year. As a urologist, I prescribe or see men who have been prescribed these medications quite often. After all, the drugs have a variety of important uses in older men with enlarged prostates. But in speaking to my patients, I have come to realize how often men are not aware of the potentially life-changing and irreversible side effects that may be associated with these medications.

The constellation of potential symptoms sometimes referred to as the post-finasteride syndrome, may include sexual, physical and psychological changes. Of these, the sexual side effects are perhaps the most extensively reported. In fact, in 2012, the Food and Drug Administration announced a label change for Propecia and Proscar, requiring the manufacturer to warn that the medication may be associated with “libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm disorders that continued after discontinuation of the drug.”

The systematic study of the side effects of finasteride can be traced back to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1992 – the year Proscar was initially approved by the FDA for its use in benign prostatic hyperplasia. Studying both the 1 mg and 5 mg doses of finasteride, the researchers demonstrated a higher incidence of impotence, ejaculatory disorders and decreased libido in both treatment groups when compared with a placebo. Although these complications were consistently studied over subsequent years, the conversation remained far from the public sphere, in part because of the older age of patients taking Proscar for enlarged prostate.trump hair

Then, in 1997, the FDA’s approval of Propecia for use in hair loss created a sudden increase in finasteride prescriptions in a new group of patients – younger men. With it came a heightened concern of potential sexual side effects because this cohort was much less likely than older men with enlarged prostates to already have underlying sexual dysfunction.

In 1998, two-year-long trials were conducted with more than 1,500 men ages 18 to 41 receiving either Propecia or a placebo. The rate of sexual dysfunction in the finasteride group was about double that of the placebo group (4.2 percent compared with 2.2 percent). Because this trial was designed to study the hair-restoring qualities of finasteride, and the assessment of sexual side effects does not appear to have been rigorously conducted, the extent of the side effects may very well have been underreported.

An even larger concern surfaced when reports arose of men having persistent side effects even after the medication was discontinued. A 2012 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine attempted to determine whether the symptoms really could be long-lasting or irreversible. Fifty-four men under 40 who had continued sexual dysfunction despite a three-month cessation of finasteride therapy were reassessed at an average of 14 months. Ninety-six percent of these men continued to have persistent sexual dysfunction despite no further treatment with finasteride.

Earlier this year, a review of 17 randomized controlled trials (including more than 17,000 patients) demonstrated a nearly twofold increase in sexual, ejaculatory and orgasmic dysfunction in young men using Propecia for male pattern hair loss.

At the same time, a recent study demonstrated changes in the levels of certain steroids in cerebrospinal fluid of men taking finasteride for hair loss. These steroids have been shown to influence brain function, and their presence may help explain the profound psychological changes such as depression and suicidality that have been associated with finasteride use.

This research should cause us to think more carefully about this commonly encountered medication. It is perhaps most worrisome because Propecia tends to target younger men, who have a relatively low rate of sexual dysfunction. And the ease with which it is prescribed for purely cosmetic reasons makes the potential risk of side effects even harder to justify.

For those of us in urology, finasteride will inevitably remain an important treatment tool for certain medical conditions. But because recent data suggests that finasteride-associated side effects may persist even after the medication is stopped, the key intervention must consist of both adequately counseling patients on the potential harms of these drugs and of carefully selecting the patients who are best candidates for receiving this medication in the first place.

Whether this medication is safe for individuals holding political office remains to be seen.

Marchalik is a urologist at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. He directs the Literature and Medicine Track at the Georgetown Medical School.