The treatments for alopecia depend on the cause of the hair loss and the gender of the affected person.
Treatment of alopecia in men
The two main treatments for male androgenetic alopecia are: minoxidil and finasteride. However, their beneficial but also undesirable effects differ, as well as their mode of administration.
In external treatment, minoxidil is in the form of lotion or foam to be applied morning and evening. This treatment, supported by the Health Insurance, allows most often a stop of the fall and sometimes a capillary densification moderated.
Minoxidil is effective after at least 4 months of application. However, be aware that the first few weeks of treatment can result in hair loss. But no worries! It's just the devitalized hair that leaves the nest to make way for new hair stronger and healthier.
Admittedly, this treatment option is restrictive, but you have to want it and show motivation to keep or regain a beautiful hair. Especially knowing that at the end of treatment, the benefits of treatment stop!
Oral, finasteride (Propecia®, generic finasteride), helps maintain a certain capillary volume and can even lead to regrowth of hair.
In the form of tablets (between 20 and 50 € for a month), not reimbursed by social security, this drug has an effective effect from the 4th month of treatment. However, for maximum efficiency, it takes a year of daily treatment. In addition, as for minoxidil, the treatment ceases to act as soon as it stops, so its continuation is essential throughout the duration of baldness.
The unwanted side effects of finasteride are mainly characterized by decreased libido. 1-2% of users experience erectile weakness. Fortunately, these side effects are usually reversible when the treatment is stopped.
In case of sexual problem, the situation improves in the weeks following the end of the taking of finasteride, the time that the body eliminates the product. In these very exceptional cases (1 case out of 10 000 patients around), the sexual disorders can continue after the stop of the treatment.Note: It is forbidden for women of childbearing age to take finasteride on pain of causing fetal malformations. It is also forbidden for treated men to donate their blood, in case this gift is transfused to a pregnant woman.
Beyond the medical treatments ...
Beyond drugs, cosmetics (powders, mascaras) and hair supplements can be used: complete or partial wigs, made to measure and placed on bald or sparse parts, make a natural look and are effective on baldness advanced.
For those who see themselves taking the plunge, surgery can be a real outcome to a possible complex related to baldness.
Surgery involves cutting a band of the scalp behind the skull or taking the follicles one by one (FUE). The strip is then divided into small grafts consisting of a few hair (1 to 3). Small slits are generally made on the top of the skull, on the areas to be grafted, in which the surgeon inserts the grafts. Thus, by taking hair from the patient, they preserve their genetic memory: the results will be better and longer lasting.
Treatment of alopecia in women
If the hair loss is due to a hormonal disorder, an antiandrogenic treatment is prescribed. It can be in the form of natural estrogens combined with cyproterone acetate, or in the form of contraceptive pills.
In the case of androgenetic alopecia, the woman will be prescribed minoxidil, but with a dosage different from that of the man (2% for the woman, against 5% for the man).
For alopecia due to iron deficiency, iron supplementation (Tardyferon®, Ferrograd®) will be necessary.
Volumizing shampoos, hair powders and mascaras are useful complements. Hair supplements are necessary in case of advanced baldness.
Finally, hair transplants are interesting for filling areas where capillary reduction is important - follicular grafts can then be proposed.
Alopecia can affect both men and women and can have more or less serious consequences on daily life, morale ... Treatments are proposed, but they are binding and not reimbursed by social security.
In all cases of hair loss, it is important to turn to the dermatologist who will make an accurate diagnosis and help you find the right solution for you.You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? See you in our FORUMS Hair Loss, Hair Care or A doctor answers you!
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