Treatments for baldness and hair loss have limited success. There are two clinically proven treatments which are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The two treatments are finasteride and minoxidil.
Finasteride belong to a class of drug called aza-steroids. It is a DHT inhibitor and was initially approved for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It has the property of blocking the production of 5-alpha-reductase enzyme which converts free testosterone to DHT. A 5 year study has confirmed its usefulness. 90 percent of men taking 1 mg daily dosage have shown improvement. Hair loss was stopped for 42 percent men and 48 percent men experienced hair growth in addition to stoppage of hair loss.
Minoxidil is a vasodilator and was mainly used for high blood pressure. Its side effect of reversing baldness was observed and prescribed for hair loss. Minoxidil was found effective in the study conducted. A 48 week study has revealed that 51 percent men using Minoxidil have experienced hair growth in frontal scalp regions.
The treatment through medication could be effective more as a preventive measure from further hair loss. Surgery as an alternative needs to be considered for men in advanced stage of hair loss. An average person with male pattern baldness has about 100,000 hairs at peak density. Out of this 25 percent hair are located in permanent donor area which alone can be effectively harvested for transplanting and the surgeon has to exploit this for the greatest benefit of the patient.
There are plastic surgery options available for hair replacement. These are considered for patients who want a dramatic change. A new method of hair multiplication and hair cloning with follicle stem cells is found effective in laboratory mice and it is under development. This new hair replacement breakthrough treatment is expected to be available to the public between 2009 and 2015.
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