Alopecia- Male pattern baldness
Alopecia is a general medical term used for hair loss. There are many types of hair loss with different symptoms and causes. Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss affecting almost half of all men in the age of 40 years. It usually start in the late twenties or early thirties and most men have some degree of hair loss in their late thirties.
It generally follows a pattern of a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples, leaving a horseshoe shape around the back and sides of the head.
Male-pattern baldness is hereditary,it runs in families. It’s thought to be caused by oversensitive hair follicles, linked to having too much of a certain male hormone.
Causes: Male pattern baldness is related to 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.
Each strand of hair you have sits in a tiny hole (cavity) in the skin called a follicle. Generally, baldness occurs when the hair follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. Eventually, the follicle does not grow new hair. The follicles remain alive, which suggests that it is still possible to grow new hair.
Symptoms. 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. Hair loss may be due to other conditions. This may be true if hair loss occurs in patches, you shed a lot of hair, your hair breaks, or you have hair loss along with redness, scalling, pus, or pain.
Investigation. Male pattern baldness is usually diagnosed clinically based on the appearance and pattern of the hair loss. A skin biopsy, blood tests, or other procedures may be needed to diagnose other disorders that cause hair loss.
Treatment. Male-pattern baldness, don’t need treatment because they’re a natural part of ageing and don’t pose a risk to your health. Treatment is not necessary if you are comfortable with your appearance. Hair weaving, hairpieces, or change of hairstyle may disguise the hair loss. This is usually the least expensive and safest approach for male baldness.
Medicines that treat male pattern baldness include:
- Minoxidil, 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.
- Finasteride, 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.
- Dutasteride is similar to finasteride, but may be more effective.
Hair transplants consist 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 usually requires multiple sessions and may be expensive.
Suturing hair pieces to the scalp is not recommended. It can result in scars, infections, and abscess of the scalp. The use of hair implants made of artificial fibers was banned by the FDA because of the high rate of infection.
Note. Don’t use finasterides and dutasteride without doctor prescription as it can cause decrease or loss in libido.