Androgenetic alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia

Chris Schach

Author Bio -

Key Points
*Hereditary form of alopecia
*Caused by hair follicles which shrink and eventually stop functioning
*Cannot be brought on situationally
*Consists of recession of the hairline and hair thinning and loss on the top of the head

Male pattern balding is a hereditary form of alopecia, caused by hair follicles which shrink, causing hair to become fine and wispy, and eventually stop functioning altogether. Hair thinning and loss occurs from the hairline, which recedes, to the top of the head. Total Hair loss is extremely rare, but any Hair loss experienced is permanent.

Male pattern balding is closely related to Female pattern Hair loss. It is hereditary, and generally appears in persons from 20-30 or 40-50 years of age. Certain ethnic groups are more likely to develop Male pattern balding, with white males being the most commonly affected.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Alopecia areata
Anagen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium

 

Diagnosis
Key Points
*Diagnosis based on appearance of Hair loss in conjunction with family history
*Other tests may be performed to rule out other similar-appearing conditions

Diagnosis is based on the appearance of Hair loss during clinical examination in conjunction with a study of the affected person's family history. If health care professionals suspect another condition to be causing the Hair loss, other tests may be performed to rule out these conditions.

Treatment
*Most common treatment is topical minoxodil
*Goal of treatment is to control Hair loss
*Other treatment options include hair restoration procedures
OTC Options: Topical minoxodil

As Male pattern balding presents no danger to the affected person's health, treatment is not required unless one is uncomfortable with their appearance. While Hair loss is permanent, use of topical Minoxidil can prevent further Hair loss in the majority of affected persons, and approximately ½ actually regrow hair. Additionally, hair restoration procedures such as hair transplants and scalp reduction may be appropriate for certain patients when Hair loss is severe.

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