Androgenic Alopecia - What Is It All About?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Dermatology & Venereology
Dermatologist, Navi Mumbai  •  22 years experience
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I am Dr. Lakshman Phonde, Dermatologist. Today I will talk about androgenetic alopecia. This is the most common form of progressive hair loss. It affects both male and female. It has genetic and hormonal components in its pathogenetic. It has no permanent cure but has many treatment modalities to control it. What are the causes? Androgenetic alopecia has 2 components in its pathogenesis, one is genetic and 2nd is hormonal. Dihydroxy testosterone acts on the genetically sensitive hair follicle. The effected hair follicle which in turn produces a hair which is smaller in diameter and lighter in colour.

The changes are progressive in nature and occur in the hair follicles. And eventually, it does not produce new hair in the future. Clinically, as I said it affects both, male and a female. But in case of a male, it starts any time in puberty. It affects the top of the scalp. In the case of a female, it starts after the age of 40 or 50. It usually does not affect the hairline but it affects crown first and the hair loss in the female is defuse in nature. For the diagnosis, no investigation is needed.

There are numerous treatment modalities. Such as medical, surgical. In the case of medical treatment, there are 2 FDA approved drugs which are used. These drugs are meant to use for a very long time for the treatment of the androgenetic alopecia. There are other drugs which are not FDA approved but given as an off label. Surgical treatment: hair transplant is the most common form of a surgical treatment used in androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is clinically a simple condition but a tough task to treat.

Thank You.

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