Male pattern hair loss is a very common condition affecting up to two-thirds of men. For some men, this condition can be distressing and cause a significant impact on their body image and self-confidence. Hair loss can also be somewhat of a taboo subject, with sufferers unsure of what options are available to them or where they can go for help. It is important for men suffering from this condition to be aware that there is help available and effective treatment options for male pattern baldness.
One way to determine the best treatment choice for you is through a convenient, online consultation. The confidential online consultation enables our Doctor to assess your condition and help you decide on your treatment options. If appropriate our online pharmacy can provide prescription only hair loss treatment medication without having to go to the Doctor.
This article will discuss the condition of male pattern baldness in detail. Providing information about the condition as well as treatment options. In particular, a medication called Finasteride will be discussed. Finasteride is a prescription only drug, effective in treating male pattern baldness.
Why does male pattern baldness develop?
The medical term for male pattern baldness is alopecia androgenetica. It is an inherited condition and so the chance a man will develop it is determined by the genes he inherits from his parents. It has been found that maternal genetics have the stronger influence. Male pattern baldness usually develops gradually. It often becomes noticeable around the age of 30 although it can start at any age. The hair starts thinning gradually at first. Hair loss can usually be noticed in the temporal areas of the head. The condition is progressive, with time hair loss becomes more extensive continuing from the side of the head to the crown. However, it is extremely variable how quickly the rate of hair loss will occur and the extent of how much hair will be lost.
Why is hair lost?
The hair loss is due to an oversensitivity to the androgen dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Hair follicles found in the scalp become overly sensitive to DHT causing follicular miniaturisation. Miniaturised hair follicles do not produce quality hair. Fine, short, non-pigmented, vellus hair is produced instead.
How is male pattern baldness diagnosed?
An appropriate health care professional can diagnose male pattern baldness. The diagnosis will consider the nature of the hair loss and the areas of the head from which hair is being lost. The diagnosis will rule out any other medical conditions which could need further investigation for example thyroid issues or iron deficiency anaemia. Other signs that point to conditions other than male pattern baldness include scalp irritation, redness, scaling of the scalp, an atypical hair loss pattern, or hair loss due to recent medication use. If there are any issues that need further attention the Doctor can advise on this and help you consider your next actions.
How can male pattern baldness be treated?
Fortunately, there are treatment options that are effective in helping treat male pattern hair loss. One treatment option is a medication called Finasteride. Finasteride is the generic name of the drug, it is also available as the brand Propecia. This effective medication is only available on prescription. It must be a private prescription as Finasteride is not available through the NHS for the treatment of male pattern hair loss.
Finasteride can effectively treat male pattern baldness by reducing the rate of hair loss and with time can cause regrowth of hair.
How can I find out if Finasteride is suitable for me?
To find out if Finasteride is a suitable medication for you it is necessary to have a medical consultation. From the medical consultation, the Doctor will be able to assess from your symptoms and medical history if Finasteride is a suitable medication for you to take.
Do I have to make an appointment with my Doctor for a consultation?
One option is to make an appointment with your own GP to discuss hair loss treatment.
However, if it is more convenient you can also have an online consultation with our Doctor. Through the confidential, online consultation process our Doctor can assess your condition and medical history and decide if it is appropriate for you to take Finasteride.
What is the online consultation process?
By completing the confidential online health questionnaire consultation our doctor will have the necessary information to decide if Finasteride is a suitable treatment for you. If suitable our Doctor will issue a private prescription which can be dispensed at our online pharmacy and posted out to you through our secure and reliable delivery service. The online service is a very convenient and accessible service.
How do I take Finasteride?
For the treatment of male pattern hair loss, Finasteride is taken as a 1mg tablet, once daily, either with or without food.
Try to take the tablet at the same time each day.
If you forget to take a tablet, take it when you remember. However, never take two tablets to make up for a missed day. Just take one tablet and continue as normal.
When starting a new medication read the product information leaflet. This is produced by the manufacturer of the medication and will tell you important information about the treatment.
How long does Finasteride take to work?
The treatment results from Finasteride can vary among individuals. Some men see positive results in 3-6 months, while in others it may take up to one year. Approximately 50% of men will have new hair growth within six months of starting to take Finasteride, this first growth is usually on the periphery of the hair thinning areas. After 12 months of taking Finasteride, there can be a considerable regrowth of hair over the whole area.
How does Finasteride work in the body?
Finasteride reduces the amount of dihydrotestosterone in the body by inhibiting the enzyme 5α-reductase. The inhibition of this enzyme prevents testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone, a more potent androgen which causes sensitisation of the hair follicles and so the loss of hair. The hair follicles are protected from androgen oversensitivity and so hair loss is prevented or reduced.
- Important information to be aware of when taking Finasteride
- Finasteride should only be taken by adult men.
- Finasteride should not be taken by under 18s.
- Finasteride should not be taken by women.
- Women of childbearing potential should not come into contact with Finasteride by handling crushed or broken tablets.
- Pregnant women should not handle the tablets.
If your sexual partner is pregnant, trying to become pregnant or likely to become pregnant it is important to use a condom. Finasteride can cause harm to an unborn baby and is found in tiny quantities in semen.
The positive effects of Finasteride will only continue while you are taking the medication. Once you stop taking the medication the balding process will continue again.
Does Finasteride have any side effects?
Finasteride does have some unwanted side effects associated with its use, as does all medication. Not everyone who takes Finasteride will experience side effects. The patient information leaflet that is provided with the medication will explain possible side effects along with the likelihood that these occur.
Any further questions about male pattern hair loss or Finasteride?
This article has covered issues associated with male pattern hair loss and information regarding Finasteride as a possible treatment option. If you have any further questions or concerns our Doctor and Pharmacist are available to answer these either via email or telephone.
Mens Pharmacy is not liable for the currency or accuracy of the information contained in this blog post. For specific information about your personal medical condition, please contact our doctors or pharmacists for advice on [email protected].