Our men’s health service offers effective treatments for male-specific conditions such as premature ejaculation, hair loss and erectile dysfunction. Our pharmacists are here to help with advice, support and explain what treatments are available. The second of our three articles looks at hair loss.
Male pattern baldness is incredibly common, but it can still have a considerable impact on a man’s self-esteem. Fortunately, there is something you can do to help slow your hair loss down.
- Propecia works quickly to slow down thinning
- It helps to encourages regrowth in some cases
- Safe branded hair loss product
This is referred to in medical terms as androgenic alopecia, male pattern baldness is something which affects over two thirds of all men at some point in their lives. It is characterised by the thinning and eventual loss of hair either at the front of the head, in the scalp area, or in some cases, both.
No two people are the same when it comes to male pattern baldness: some may lose their hair gradually over a period of 15 or more years as they approach middle age; whereas others can experience more accelerated hair loss over a shorter time in their twenties. Almost a third of all men will experience hair loss by the time they reach 30.
There are a number of reasons why men might experience hair loss. Among these are stress, diet, illness, and genetics.
In cases where someone has lost hair due to stress or illness, hair may regrow after a period of recovery. Ensuring you have the right number of vitamins and minerals in your diet, such as vitamin D, zinc and magnesium, and reducing your intake of processed animal fats, such as those in fast food, can help in some cases to slow down hair loss.
However, whether you lose your hair or not is more often determined by your genetics, so you’re more likely to experience male pattern baldness if it runs in your family.
Those who are genetically predisposed to baldness will often not regrow hair or be able to significantly slow the process down without the help. Treatments for the condition have proved to be successful at stopping or slowing down thinning, and are available as part of our men’s health service.
If you are experiencing hair loss, it’s worth keeping in mind that you aren’t alone in this. It’s very likely that someone in your family has gone through the same thing before you. Everyone is different, and reacts to hair loss in different ways. Some men choose to try and prevent hair loss, while others embrace it. If hair loss is bothering you, speak to your friends and family who have undergone the same thing. A different perspective may be able to help you determine whether you want to pursue treatment or not.
Hair loss treatment is a popular course of action for those who want to combat male pattern baldness and are undergoing the early stages. Treatments such as Propecia aim to slow the process of thinning down.
Types of Treatment
There are numerous treatments available for male pattern baldness, ranging from branded shampoos to serums. Of course, while all of these products claim to achieve great results, only a few are clinically proven to reduce the rate of hair loss.
Prescription medication Propecia is considered to be among the most effective treatments you can buy for hair loss. During clinical trials, as many as 90 per cent of those men tested using this treatment reported noticeable improvements.
How do they work?
There is no magic cure for baldness. Treatments for hair loss tend to aim at reducing or slowing the rate of hair loss, although a small number of people may experience re-growth when using these.
Hair loss is caused by the conversion of the hormone testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. It is the presence of this converted hormone which can lead to follicles closing up and ceasing to produce hair. The enzyme known as 5-Alpha-Reductase is the catalyst in the body for this conversion.
Propecia, which contains the ingredient finasteride, a 5-Alpha-Reductase inhibitor, works by interfering with the action of this enzyme, and stopping the production of dihydrotestosterone. This then allows for slowed thinning and, in some cases, increased growth.
What are the side effects?
Propecia may cause side effects in a small number of those who use it. Among these are decreased libido and erectile dysfunction, as well as anxiety. Take a look at the information on the Propecia product page for more information on side effects.
Can I take it with other medications?
It all depends on which other medication(s) you’re using. If you are currently taking other medicines and are looking to start using Propecia, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist, as it may interfere or interact with them and compromise their effectiveness.
What’s the difference between the medications?
What the best treatment for hair loss is really depends on what stage of male pattern baldness you’ve reached, and what type of hair loss you’re suffering from. Propecia, as well as treating more advanced hair loss and that present in the scalp, has shown to be effective at treating a receding hairline too.
Should I take Propecia?
Certain conditions you may be suffering from or medications which you might be taking may also influence your choice of treatment. In these cases, your doctor will be able to help you determine which course of treatment is most suitable for you.
Propecia is not suitable for women to use under any circumstances, and can even be harmful to those who are pregnant.
Are there side effects?
There is a risk of side effects with just about any form of medication. Propecia is no different. Although many men use it and experience no side effects of any consequence, a small number of men may be susceptible to more serious side effects and be unsuitable to use it. Known possible side effects include depression, decreased libido, erectile problems and hypersensitivity. For more information on these, consult the product page, or the leaflet provided with the medicine.
Is this medication right for me?
If you have decided that you want to pursue treatment for hair loss, then you should take the time to consider all the options available to you. Propecia is among the most effective for those undergoing the early stages of hair loss. You can find out whether the treatment is suitable for you by speaking to our pharmacists who can help you to identify if this is suitable.
Call in to your local Dears Pharmacy for support and advice in our locations in Edinburgh & Fife.