Who is a candidate for Finasteride and Minoxidil?

Generally speaking, the candidacy for both treatments is the same. It works best on patients who are early on in the balding process and still have miniaturized hairs in the target areas. While older patients whose scalps have become smooth can also benefit from the treatment, they typically don’t respond as well as younger patients. Patients under 40 years of age are considered to be ideal. 

How do the treatments work?

Finasteride is a tablet that is taken once a day. It is usually recommended that patients take it in the morning, as it is more effective on an empty stomach. 

Minoxidil is a topical foam or solution that is applied directly to the target areas of the scalp. It is important that patients prevent minoxidil from contacting the areas of the eyes, nose, and mouth. 

What is Finasteride?

Originally used to address benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men, Finasteride was later found to be an effective treatment for pattern baldness. It is a DHT blocker. DHT is short for Dihydrotestosterone, an androgen (sex hormone) that results from the reduction of testosterone by 5-alpha-reductase. Individuals who are genetically predisposed to experience hair loss will have hair follicles that are more sensitive to this androgen, resulting in hair thinning. 

Finasteride works by lowering DHT levels. Studies have shown that it can lower serum DHT levels by more than 70%. Over 80% of men who take finasteride find that their hair loss stops progressing after 6 to 12 months. Approximately 65% of men experience regrowth of the hair they had already lost. Needless to say, finasteride is a highly effective formula. 

What is Minoxidil? 

Like finasteride, Minoxidil was originally created for medical purposes. While it is highly effective at lowering blood pressure, it was later found to be a potential remedy for hair loss. Approximately 40% of balding men see noticeable hair regrowth after just 3 to 6 months. 

In order to maintain results long-term, Minoxidil must be used. While much is still not known about how Minoxidil works, what’s clear is that it has vasodilatory properties (it dilates blood vessels). This widening of blood vessels allows more oxygen, blood, and nutrients to reach the hair follicles. 

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What are the benefits of Finasteride and Minoxidil?

The obvious benefits of both of these treatments are decreased hair shedding, cessation of hair loss, and, for some, regrowth of lost hair. As Finasteride also addresses BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) it comes with the added benefit of treating symptoms such as frequent urination and acute urinary retention. 

Minoxidil also comes with the advantage of improved blood circulation in blood vessels.

    How do the medications work together? 

    To put it simply, hair loss is the result of miniaturized hair follicles and an interrupted growth cycle. DHT contributes to a process called miniaturization, making the hair follicles shrink to the point that the hairs can no longer get through, disrupting the hair growth cycle. It is in this way that finasteride and minoxidil can work together to combat hair loss. Finasteride lowers DHT levels, which helps keep hair follicles from shrinking. Minoxidil keeps the blood vessels in the scalp dilated in order to keep vital nutrients flowing to the follicles. Hairs can survive for years with these medications. 

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    What happens after using the medications?

    While most people have a totally normal and pleasant experience with these medications, it is possible to develop unwanted side effects. With Finasteride, some of these can include chills, cold sweats, or swelling of the face and appendages. For male patients, erectile dysfunction is also a possibility. 

    As Minoxidil is a topical medication, the potential side effects are mostly surface-level. The most common development is a mild rash around the treatment area. Redness, scalp burning, and scalp acne may also develop. While some patients notice increased hair shedding, it should be known that this is totally normal and will stop on its own. 

    Patients start to see signs of improvement from Finasteride after 6 to 12 months. With Minoxidil, changes can be perceivable after only 3 to 6 months. 

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    Why Choose Shah Plastic Surgery for hair loss medications?

    Dr. Bharat Shah is a well-known expert in the realm of cosmetics. Board-certified in plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, and otolaryngology, he has provided his patients in the greater Springfield area with the most cutting-edge cosmetic treatments available. His extensive knowledge of hair loss and restoration methods has gained him a plethora of new patients. 

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