Pattern Hair Loss
Pattern hair loss (also called androgenic alopecia) is the most common permanent form of hair loss, causing baldnes in both men and women. Treatment with topical and hormonal therapy is based on the extent and duration of the hair loss.
Male-pattern hair loss is characterised by a receding hairline and/or hair loss on the top and front of the head. It occurs in men who are genetically predisposed to be more sensitive to the effects of hormones. If this pattern occurs in women, they might have a hormonal imbalance that requires work-up and treatment.
Female-pattern hair loss is thinning hair on the mid-frontal area, causing widening of the centre and leaving the frontal hairline unaffected. Patients may have a family history, but the cause is unclear.
What causes male-pattern hair loss
It is caused by the effect of male hormones on genetically susceptible hair follicles.
Hair follicles are sensitive to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in some areas of the scalp. DHT shortens the growth phase of the hair cycle. The hair follicle become smaller and produce fewer and finer hairs. An enzyme regulates production of DHT and can be regulated by medication.
The susceptibility genes are inherited from both mother and father and determine age of onset, progression, pattern and severity of hair loss in family members.
What long term treatments do the dermatologist prescribe?
- Topical treatment
- Hormonal treatment