Treatments with Rogaine (Minoxidil) and Finasteride (Propecia)
This product increases the anagen stage and it even might start on a new hair growth cycle by fastening the hair loss in the telogen stage: this is what we call “the shedding effect“. In general, the hair grows stronger and thicker. It works by stimulating the follicular units’ growth and it activates the dermal papilla’s germinative cells.
The lotion must be applied directly on the skin and not on the hair, once or twice per day. The Rogaine 5% lotion has been shown to be most effective in men.
In women Rogaine 2% lotion is suggested; the risks linked with allergies or with cutaneous irritation are more important in men.
You can appreciate the results of this treatment after 6 months of use.
So far 2 molecules may slow down the formation of DHT: the finasteride treatment (trade name of the propecia) blocks the 5a reductase type 2, and the dutasteride (or avodar) has been proven to regrow hair by blocking DHT.
Some studies have shown after 5 years of finasteride treatment:
- 48% of patients noticed a new hair growth (6% versus placebo),
- 42% of patients perceived the stabilization of their alopecia (19% versus placebo),
- 10 % of patients did not noticed a positive change, they kept losing their hair (75% versus placebo).
But this efficiency on the hair loss can come with undesirable effects on the sexual functions in males for 4,5%, and it is difficult to measure the real impact. Within the secondary effects, we noticed the decrease of the libido, erectile troubles, testicular pain, male breast enlargement and even gynecomastia.
The undesirable side effects disappeared in patients who have stopped using this treatment and even in 58% of patients who have kept using it. However, those secondary effects can stay after the treatment, we call it the Post Finasteride Syndrome (PFS).
In some countries, this molecule is available in lotion associated with Minoxidil in order to reduce the risk of undesirable side effects.
- Finasteride lowers PSA rate in the blood,
- Finasteride may prevent the risk of low-grade prostate cancer, but it could increase the risk of high-grade tumor (risks in patients between 40 and 50 years),
- In men, it may reduce the spermatozoids number. In women, it might also reduce the fertility. It is strictly prohibited for pregnant women or soon-to-be because of the risk of birth abnormality of the newborn (male) reproductive system.
Be aware that those treatments require a long period of use without interruption, otherwise all the benefits will be lost.