Androgenetic alopecia accounts for 95% of all hair loss. It can affect both men and women although men experience a much greater degree of loss. In women androgenetic alopecia appears as diffuse hair loss occurring over most of the scalp. In men however the patern of loss usually starts with a receding hairline which then advances to thin the top of the head.
In the 1940s Dr James Hamilton concluded that genetic predisposition in the present of the male hormone androgen where the factors that caused the development of androgenetic alopecia. However it is know known that it is more specifically the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is converted from the enzyme testosterone by the enzymes 5 alpha reductase which contributes to androgenetic alopecia in those who are genetically predisposed.
It is interesting to note that individuals with a deficiency in 5 alpha reductase do not develop androgenetic alopecia. This is because the body is unable to convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. When androgenetic alopecia occurs large active hair follicles in specific areas begin to change to smaller less active ones that shrink slightly with each new growth cycle. The enzyme 5 alpha reductase is thought to be the major cause of this. Under the action of the enzyme the male hormone testosterone become dihydrotestosterone. This causes the hair shafts to narrow producing progressively finer hairs with each new growth cycle until eventually the hairs become transparent and stop emerging. If an individual has androgenetic alopecia the overall levels of testosterone may be normal however the activity of 5 alpha reductase is greater than normal which results in increased amounts of dihydrotestosterone in the in the hair follicle.
Treatments for Androgenetic alopecia
4 Corners Pharmacy are able to supply the following products which are commonly used in the treatment of Androgenetic alopecia; Topical Minoxidil which is supplied as:
Rogaine XS or
Minoxidil is the most widely recommended treatment for androgenetic alopecia.
In the United States topical minoxidil is marketed under the brand name Rogaine, while in New Zealand, the UK and Europe it is marketed as Regaine, and recently a generic version of topical Minoxidil has become available under the brand name Headway. Now a high quality Minoxidil formulation is available called Spectral DNC.
Propecia is a relatively new drug produce by Merck. It is a tablet which is taken once a day and at this present time it is only approved for use in men. Propecia is not to be used by woman and children. Propecia is a 4 aza steroid compound that is a specific inhibitor of type 2 5 alpha reductase which is the enzyme that metabolises the androgen testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Proscar (finasteride 5mg)
The 5mg dose of finasteride is marketed under the brand name Proscar and is used for the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia otherwise known as Enlarged Prostate.
4 Corners Pharmacy also supplies packets of 15 Proscar tablets in non-english packaging at a discount price.
4 Corners Pharmacy also supplies genric finasteride FinCar and Finpecia
4 Corners Pharmacy can now supply Avodart (dutasteride)
Avodart is the US brand name for Dutasteride, the oral medicine made by GlaxoSmithKline for treating symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men.
The medicine has also shown excellent results in treating and helping reverse genetic male pattern hair loss on the vertex (top of the head) and the mid-scalp area
Retin-A / Tretinoin
Retin was originally used in the treatment of acne and other skin disorders. However studies have shown that Retin-A alone or in combination with minoxidil can result in moderate to good hair growth in individuals with androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.
Retino-A / Tretinoin
Retino-A is manufactured by Janssen-Cilag (India), a division of Johnson & Johnson Ltd., and contains the same active ingredients as Retin-A but is supplied at reduced prices. Retino-A provides the same treatment of acne and other skin disorders, while also promoting the same hair regrowth properties as Retin-A.
Acnederm / Azelaic Acid
Acnederm is an antibacterial cream for acne, pimples and blackheads and works by fighting bacterial and unblocking oil ducts that are cause of pimples and acne.
Skinoren / Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid like Skinoren is more commonly used in the treatment of acne and other skin conditions. More recently the potential effect of using azelaic acid in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia is being investigated.
Saw Palmetto – Prosta Balance
Saw Palmetto – Prostaguard
Studies have shown that saw palmetto es is an effective anti-androgen. It acts in a similar way that propecia does.
Firstly it lowers levels of DHT in the body by blocking 5 alpha-reductase. Secondly Saw Palmetto block receptor sites on cell membranes required for cells to absorb DHT.
Although no studies have been carried out on saw palmetto and its relation to hair growth. Studies have been performed on the use of Saw palmetto in the treatment of benign prostatic disease which similar to Androgenetic alopecia also depends on the production of dihydrotestosterone. All of the studies that have been performed to date show that Saw palmetto is an effective antiandrogen and has shown conclusively to be effective in the treatment of benign prostratic disease. One may assume from this that since Saw palmetto is an effective antiandrogen and is used in the treatment of prostatic disease then it may also be effective in the treatment of Androgenetic alopecia