Nearly all women will, at some point in their lives, experience female pattern hair loss to varying degrees. It can begin at any point after the beginning of puberty, but most women notice it around the time of menopause, which is also when the rate of hair loss normally accelerates. The risk increases with age, and it is even greater for women who have a family history of baldness on either their mother’s or father’s side. Androgenetic alopecia is a form of hair loss that is caused by the action of hormones known as androgens. Androgens are necessary for the healthy development of male sexual characteristics and serve a variety of other important roles in both sexes, including the regulation of hair growth and sex drive. There is a possibility that the disorder is hereditary and that multiple genes are involved. It is also possible for it to be the consequence of an underlying endocrine disorder, such as an excess of androgen production or a tumour that secretes testosterone and is located on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either scenario, the alopecia is most likely caused by an increase in the activity of androgens. However, in contrast to androgenetic alopecia in men, it is more difficult to define the precise role that androgens play in women. In this post we would be looking at some of the types of Androgenic alopecia and treatment options for Androgenic Alopecia in Young Women
What is female pattern baldness?
Androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern baldness, is the medical term for hair loss that occurs only in females. Similar to male pattern baldness, however hair loss in women can occur in a variety of patterns. Female pattern baldness is extremely common, so you’re not alone if you’re dealing with it. An estimated 33 percent of high-risk females experience this illness, says the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD). The majority of women have hair loss after menopause, however, most women experience it at an early age. The female pattern of hair loss runs through families making it one of the main cause of hair loss in younger women.
Types of alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia, also known simply as female pattern baldness, is a kind of hair loss that is inherited. It often starts anywhere between the ages of 12 and 40 years old, making it the most common cause of hair loss in women. Whereas male pattern baldness manifests itself as a receding hairline and discrete bald spots, female pattern baldness typically presents as an overall thinning of the hair. Here are of the examples of Alopecia
- Alopecia areata: is characterised by the abrupt appearance of bald patches anywhere on the body or head. In most cases, it starts out as one or more bald patches that are circular in shape and may or may not overlap.
- Cicatricial alopecia: refers to a collection of diseases that lead to permanent hair loss. The hair follicle is replaced with scar tissue, and this results in the loss of one’s hair.
- Traumatic alopecia: Damage to the hair follicles is the underlying cause of traumatic alopecia. Heat from styling tools like hair dryers and straighteners, as well as some chemicals used for dying and straightening hair, can damage the hair shaft and cause breakage.
Treatment Options for Androgenic Alopecia in Young Women
There are many treatments available for female pattern baldness, including minoxidil, which can help restore hair. Platelet-rich plasma, hormone therapy, and hair transplantation are among other treatment possibilities.
First used as a drug to treat high blood pressure, minoxidil was initially administered to patients in tablet form (an antihypertensive). It was discovered that patients who were being treated with minoxidil acquired excessive hair growth (also known as hypertrichosis) as a side effect of the medication. The application of a solution of minoxidil directly to the scalp has also been shown by additional study to be effective in promoting hair growth. Because it is absorbed into the bloodstream, minoxidil that is taken orally in the form of a pill ranging from 2.5 mg to 5 mg and administered once daily is significantly more effective than minoxidil that is applied topically. When used in a topical application, the amount of minoxidil that is absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin and into the body is often too low to cause any internal negative effects. Minoxidil, which may be applied topically and is sold under the brand name Rogaine as well as in its generic form, seems to be more helpful for treating diffuse androgenetic alopecia in women than it is for treating the condition in men. Because the FDA has not given its approval for women to use the higher concentration of minoxidil (5%), the product labelling recommends that women only take the 2% concentration of the drug instead of the 5% concentration.
Injections of platelet-rich plasma have shown promising early results in halting and even reversing hair loss in some patients. A plasma-rich injection requires the patient to have their blood drawn, the doctor to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood, and then the plasma to be re-injected into the damaged areas of the patient’s scalp. This helps to speed up the restoration of damaged tissue. In a recent article that was published on the website of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the author observed that the majority of research point to the conclusion that this treatment slows or stops hair loss, enhances hair density, and increases the width of each individual hair.
Light and laser therapy
Androgenic alopecia and pattern baldness could potentially be reversed with the help of laser hair growth equipment. Laser therapy goes by a number of other names, including photobiomodulation and biostimulation, as well as the more common red light therapy. Two or three times a week of laser light treatment is recommended. For best results, give it a few weeks to a few months. Not all laser treatments are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As of now, laser therapy has no known negative side effects. Companies like HairMax offer portable devices that do not require a prescription. Hair loss and thinning can be stopped in their tracks with the use of their laser caps, bands, and combs.
Ketoconazole has shown promise as a potential treatment for hair loss in patients (young women) with androgenetic alopecia, a condition in which inflammation of the hair follicles plays a significant role in hair thinning and eventual baldness. According to a review published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, topical ketoconazole has the potential to lessen inflammation and enhance hair’s strength and appearance. You can get ketoconazole in shampoo form. Nizoral is the most popular option, and it can be bought without a prescription at most drugstores or online. Nizoral has a small amount of ketoconazole in it, but higher doses are available only with a doctor’s prescription.
Androgenetic alopecia in women can be treated with birth control pills due to the tablets’ ability to reduce ovarian androgen production. The same precautions should be exercised whether a woman is taking the pill to prevent pregnancy or to treat female pattern baldness. For instance, women who smoke and are at least 25-35 years old and who use the Pill are at increased risk for blood clots and other dangerous illnesses. Be sure to provide your doctor a full account of your health and lifestyle habits. Depending on your individual needs and preferences, your doctor can prescribe a specific hormonal formulation of contraceptive pills or recommend a switch in tablets until you feel physically and psychologically at ease with your choice.
It’s important to keep in mind that you’re not alone if you’re dealing with hair loss. Around 25% of women have hair loss between the ages of 12 and 35, according to one research. While there is no doubt that dealing with this issue is challenging, many people now have access to appropriate treatment choices. Some causes of temporary hair loss can be remedied with no more than a change in diet or an exercise routine. For others, commencing therapies to promote regrowth sooner rather than later may yield the best results. Get the opinion of a dermatologist before beginning any treatment to determine the best course of action.