Things you should know about androgenic alopecia

Alopecia is the abnormal loss of hair and can affect any area of the body with hair: head, beard, armpits, eyebrows, eyelashes, genitalia, etc.

Although there are many types of alopecia, the most common is androgenic alopecia, which is responsible for 95% of cases. It can affect both men and women.

What factors can cause alopecia?

There are many factors that can cause alopecia:

  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Medications
  • Viruses

However, the background of androgenic alopecia is mainly genetic and hormonal. In this sense, androgens (male hormones) would act on genetically predisposed hair follicles, causing their miniaturization and atrophy with the consequent definitive loss of hair.

In androgenic alopecia there are two patterns:

  • Male: hair loss in the area of the receding hairline and crown.
  • Female: more diffuse hair loss respecting the receding hairline.

How can it be diagnosed?

The diagnosis should be confirmed by a dermatologist, as each type of alopecia requires a different therapeutic approach.

  • Trichoscopy is a very useful tool to differentiate the multiple types of alopecia.
  • An analytical study including: blood count, biochemistry, iron, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, folic acid, thyroid and sex hormones, PSA, among others, is important to determine whether androgenic alopecia is associated with any alteration or deficiency.

How should it be treated and prevented?

The current treatment of androgenic alopecia is very effective if it is treated in time. It is important to be aware of the onset of hair thinning and loss of hair density when there is a family history of androgenic alopecia, since the family pattern is often repeated (in both men and women).

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In any case, the most commonly prescribed medications are minoxidil and dutasteride. Both can be administered topically and systemically. The greatest effectiveness is obtained by administering these drugs orally and in capillary mesotherapy. Both taken at the same time, the benefits are enhanced and their adverse effects are counteracted (e.g. slight increase in facial hair).

On the other hand, it is important to follow a healthy diet for the hair, which includes eating healthy and everything, without forgetting a good protein and vitamin intake. Fruits, vegetables, oily fish and nuts are essential.

Hair vitamin supplements are used as an adjuvant in periods of seasonal hair loss.

Finally, hair micrografts are a magnificent option when medical treatment is not able to recover an esthetically acceptable hair density for the patient.