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Male Pattern Baldness - Causes And Treatment

Dr. Rasya Dixit 92% (181 ratings)
MD - Dermatology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Bangalore  •  16 years experience
Male Pattern Baldness - Causes And Treatment

Male pattern baldness is hair loss due to underlying susceptibility of hair follicles to shrink owing to the influence of androgens. It is the most common cause of baldness in men. Typically, hair loss occurs at the vertex and the temples for men, whereas women usually lose hair all over their scalps.

Causes

  1. Male pattern baldness is related to your genes and male sex hormones. It usually follows a pattern of receding hairline and hair thinning on the crown, and is caused by hormones and genetic predisposition.
  2. Generally, baldness occurs when the hair follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. Eventually, the follicles do not grow new hair. The follicles remain alive, which suggests that it is still possible to grow new hair.
  3. The typical pattern of male baldness begins at the hairline. The hairline gradually moves backward (recedes) and forms an" m" shape. Eventually the hair becomes finer, shorter, and thinner, and creates a u-shaped (or horseshoe) pattern of hair around the sides of the head.

Treatments

The cheapest way is to hide it by wearing a wig. Medicines that treat male pattern baldness include:

  1. Minoxidil (rogaine) - It is a solution that is applied directly to the scalp to stimulate the hair follicles. It slows hair loss for many men, and some men grow new hair. Hair loss returns when you stop using this medicine.
  2. Finasteride (propecia, proscar) - It is a pill that interferes with the production of a highly active form of testosterone that is linked to baldness. It slows hair loss. It works slightly better than minoxidil. Hair loss returns when you stop using this medicine.
  3. Dutasteride is similar to finasteride, but may be more effective.
  4. Hair transplant - This process consists of removing tiny plugs of hair from areas where the hair is continuing to grow and placing them in areas that are balding. This can cause minor scarring and possibly, infection. The procedure requires multiple sessions. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.
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