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Medicinal Options for Hair Loss Prevention and Restoration

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    ”I had some really good questions this week that came up and some of them go back to really basic principles and even some exciting research and development that's being done with hair loss and hair restoration.

    The simple question that one of my patients brought up was about Latisse and Latisse as many people know as bimatoprost, is a product that's available for the enhancement of eye lashes. It’s typically applied daily at the base of the lashes with a brush that's supplied. I often ask people to use a cue tip so it’s really just applied at the base of the lashes and not getting on the skin where it can be an irritant. It’s totally safe in the eyes.

    Latisse as many people are aware is used to increase the thickness of hair by 30%, the darkness of those hair eyelashes by 30% and their length and some people they can get quite long and they have to reduce the use or the frequency of use of the Latisse. The molecule itself Latisse is interesting and a patient did asked me "Well gosh if this works so well on lashes can I use it on my scalp and get my hair to grow?

    And the answer is in the doses that are being used and this has already been looked at pretty closely and the doses that are being used for eye lashes, scalp hair does not seem to respond. Now in much higher doses which this molecule, there's a possibility that we could stimulate hair growth and it gets into this area of are there topical agents that we can use to stimulate hair growth or even reduce the rate of hair loss?

    Men and women loss hair as we age so no one's immune from hair loss, men are obviously and genetically susceptible males, much more predisposed to do it, that’s why see male pattern balding and we have good medications. Finasteride being one of them, the trade name sold over the market Propecia used at 1miligram a day. Now Finasteride is available in generic and I’ve actually reduced the dose that I recommend for my male patients to 1.5 milligrams, 3 times a day and in California we can dispense those medications after a good faith examination and careful evaluation of the patient.

    There's some other drugs too that I think are very interesting exciting certainly Minoxidil or Rogaine has been around long time. Rogaine is now the trade name and it’s an over the counter topical that’s applied as what was originally sort of a greasy cream and is now foam. It’s best results was when it is applied in crown balding and it’s probably best overall used in conjunction with Finasteride or Propecia and probably higher doses are better in people who can tolerate it. So what's commercially available is a 4% solution for men, 2% for women I don’t recommend anybody use men or women use the 2% it doesn’t make any sense and getting into a little bit higher doses maybe in the 6% range may have a little better effect.

    So, to kind of enumerate the topical or non-invasive medications we have for hair growth or the reduction and hair loss, there's Minoxidil or Rogaine, that's been around a long time. There's a little bit new but certainly well-established Finasteride or Propecia and again I’m recommending smaller weekly doses by giving 1.5 milligrams, 3 times a week and I have that done for as a compounding pharmacy. There is the bimatoprost molecule, Latisee and there's some analogs to it that probably work as well or not a lot of research on this one, so those two molecules in probably much higher doses than what are used for eye lashes maybe effective in stimulating new hair growth and reducing hair loss, and I think those are important.

    The other one that we haven't really talked about and there's certainly has been enough research on is potentially topically applying Finasteride or the Propecia drug and its analog Dutasteride which may work just as well as Finasteride, again was originally discovered in males that were taking this medicine to reduce prostate enlargement, they were found to have hair growth.

    So there's a list of drugs that we know help to stimulate hair growth on the scalp and I think we're just at the beginning stages of really understanding how these different medications and maybe a combination of them would be the best opportunity for us to have non-invasive pharmaceutical topically applied products that can improve hair growth, increase the number of terminal hairs or thick hairs that we have on our head and increase the link to the growth face of hair which we all have phases of hair growth and that's really the key is increasing the growth phase and the number of terminal hairs on our head.

    There are couple other drugs that are interesting for example there's a diuretic known as spironolactone which in many women I’ll use that if they have hair loss. It’s been shown in quite a number to increase both hair density and prolong the growth phase of hair and those terminal or thicker hairs and so there's really a lot of exciting information on hair loss and its prevention on the topical applications of certain types of medications in preventing hair loss or increasing the hair growth, and I really think we're just at the beginning of it.

    I’m really very happy to talk about this. There's a lot of exciting research that's being done in particular with inflammation and women's hair loss and so I think as you stay tuned, I will try to keep you fill you in on all I that I learn about preventing hair loss.

    I do a lot of hair grafting and hair restoration for men and women, it’s an area I really enjoy but if we could find areas where we could treat people medically and prevent that hair loss it would be a great thing. So stay tuned, I’ll keep you filled in as we learn more information on this newer medications that can prevent hair loss.

    As always it’s my pleasure to talk to you, its Dr. Mass on Looking Your Best. Write us at, send photographs or videos if you want and I’ll be happy to either do a video tele consultation or I can just respond to you privately. This is Dr. Corey Maas, thank you.”