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Wedding in Two Months and Still Balding!

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

wedding hair loss baldingA patient sent us an email regarding his hair loss condition. He has male patterned baldness and it is still progressing. He already met with a dermatologist and had several studies done prior to the email and was even using Chronostim for approximately 3 months. Now that he’s used up the bottles of Chronostim, he has noticed no change is his hair loss situation. He wants to have a full head of hair and does not want to take hair loss medication for the rest of his life. Before we forget, his wedding is in 2 months.

Chronostim has not been clinically proven to correct or prevent male patterned baldness or any other form of hair loss. It should not be considered a replacement option for medications that have been both proven effective and FDA approved safe for consumption like Propecia (finasteride) DHT blocker.

We highly suggest that all patients experiencing any form of hair loss to be seen by a good hair transplant surgeon and have a miniaturization study done. If the condition is in fact male patterned baldness or androgenetic alopecia, finasteride should be a part of your everyday hair loss treatment plan.

Hair restoration surgery can restore the areas damaged by hair loss by transplanting healthy permanent hair from the donor. In this situation, however, neither of the aforementioned will make enough of a visible difference for the day of your wedding. These procedures take time to show their fullest effect. There are cosmetic options available like Toppik that can cover the balding or thinning areas of your hair through the use of microfibers. If anything, you can use that product for the wedding day while you either consider a hair transplant surgery or at least try using Propecia (finasteride) so that you may see true results a few months after your wedding.

Biotin Hair Loss Supplement

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Hair loss supplement Biotin is vitamin H (B7) with the chemical formula C10H15N2O3S (you don’t have to memorize it!). It is a water-soluble B-vitamin complex. B-vitamins or Biotin is necessary for healthy cell growth, the metabolism of fats and amino acids, and the production of fatty acids. It plays a role in the acid cycle or the process by which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic respiration. It’s often recommended for use in strengthening hair and nails. It can be found in many cosmetic and health products for hair and nails as well.

Now that we understand Biotin a little bit better, now we can say whether we recommend it or not. Since Biotin is only a vitamin supplement, consumption of this product by healthy individuals will not result in a decrease of hair loss. In fact, intestinal bacteria are produced to consume any excess vitamins in your intestinal tract. Lack of vitamins and minerals may cause hair loss in people with mal-absorption but normal individuals need not worry.

How is Finasteride used if My Wife Is Pregnant

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

finasteride during pregnancyWe are getting another question on the Propecia use in men whom their wives are pregnant.  A hair loss patient just asked about possible side effects that finasteride (Propecia) may cause. He has read on the manufacturer’s instructions that broken tablets must not be handled by women who are or may become pregnant.

“Can finasteride cause damage to pregnant womens health or to the health of the developing fetus? Here I’d like to know also if finasteride can be found in body liquids such as men’s saliva, sweat or sperm. In such case is there any risk that a pregnant woman is exposed to finasteride? Are there any recommendations concerning taking or not Propecia before planned or during wife’s pregnancy?”

The answer to this patient’s question, which is a common question that many of young patients may ask is that finasteride (Propecia) blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydroxytestostrone (DHT). DHT does not have any known role in adult men development, but it is crucial in development of a male fetus and child external genitalia (their penis). We at our Los Angeles, California hair transplant clinics don’t recommend taking finasteride for hair loss prevention and treatment before adulthood while maturation of external genitalia is not completed. Pregnant women should not take finasteride because of its effect on the external genitalia of their male unborn baby.

As we all know, finasteride (Propecia) is designed to block the enzyme that converts testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT does not have any real known role in an adult male but it is crucial in the developmental stage of a male fetus as well as the development of a young male’s external genitalia (penis). After reviewing the facts at our Los Angeles, California hair transplant clinics we do not recommend taking finasteride for hair loss prevention and / or treatment before adulthood while maturation of external genitalia is not completed. For this same reason, pregnant women should not take or handle finasteride because of its effects on the male external genitalia of an unborn baby.

Although the pharmaceutical company suggested that pregnant women should not be exposed to finasteride. They should not even be cutting pills that might increase the chance of inhaling small particles of finasteride. You are right about finasteride being present in body secretion such as semen and saliva. However, the amount of the medication is so small that it is considered negligible or safe for pregnant women.  So the research shows that it is safe for pregnant women to be exposed to the secretions of a man whom takes finasteride. That is why we do not recommend men to stop taking finasteride if their wife becomes pregnant. There has been no evidence of any risk to a male baby from secretion of finasteride through the father’s saliva, sweat or sperm.

They even mention cutting, ingestion or inhalation of small particles of finasteride to be harmful during pregnancy. You are right to be concerned of finasteride being present in body secretion such as semen and saliva. You can find a very small trace of finasteride in body secretions but the amount of the medication is so small that it is considered negligible or safe for pregnant women. Studies show that pregnant women can be exposed to male secretion even if they are currently taking finasteride. Studies have not found any evidence of risk to a male baby from secretion with trace of finasteride through the father’s saliva, sweat or sperm. So in short we conclude that men do not need to stop using finasteride while having their wives pregnant.

Effects of UV Radiation on Hair

Monday, May 4th, 2009

hair loss and hair growth with UV lightIn a recent article published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (January 2009), the Department of Dermatology at the University of L’beck in L’beck, Germany and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China had shown that excessive exposure to UV radiation is among the most harmful environmental influences on human skin.  There have been findings that direct sunlight and ultraviolet radiation can negatively affect the growth of hair follicles.

There research was conducted on organ-cultured human anagen hair follicles in vitro and were irradiated with UVB, one of two common types of Ultra Violet light. What was observed was reduction of hair shaft elongation, premature catagen entry and reduced hair matrix keratinocyte proliferation.

When the hair follicles were exposed to UVB at lower powers, apoptotic cell death prevailed and at higher power necrotic cell death was predominant. Investigators at both universities corroborated and concluded the UVR does modify hair growth and cycle, can promote cell death and encourages regulatory events in human hair follicles in vitro. The human organ model, which is composed of living human tissue in situ conditions, was used in their findings and encourages its further use for general investigation of UV effects.

Because of these relevant findings, we recommend all of our patients, pre and post operative, to minimize sun exposure on unprotected parts of their body and especially their scalp area. We personally have a No Sun Exposure policy for 6 months after hair transplant surgery for all our patients.