Androgenetic Alopecia in Women

Androgenetic Alopecia in Women

Going through hair loss as either a man or woman can be a stressful time; however, the latter gender can find things particularly difficult. While hair loss in men is by no means easy to deal with, it is much more accepted in society. In women, though, beauty is placed on such a pedestal that any sort of hair loss can have long-lasting effects, not only in appearance, but also in confidence and self-esteem, which can manifest into social anxiety.

If you are suffering from hair loss as a woman, you should know that you are not alone; in fact, approximately 40 per cent of women suffer from the very same problem at some point in their lives. While there are many different factors that can cause hair loss – giving birth, surgery, chemotherapy, extreme dieting – the most common reason is Androgenetic Alopecia.

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?

Androgenetic Alopecia is the technical term for what is more widely known as ‘pattern hair loss’ and is the female equivalent to ‘pattern balding’ in men.

As the name suggests, Androgenetic Alopecia is strongly related to genetics, but the exact way in which family history affects a person’s chance of developing pattern hair loss has yet to have been determined. Research has also shown other factors to be involved in a minority of cases in women, with abnormal levels of androgens in the blood shown to be the root cause.

Diagnosis

Androgenetic Alopecia is actually as prevalent in women as it is in men. Fortunately, the condition is much easier to camouflage in females and rarely do women ever lose all of their hair. Unlike males, where hair loss generally occurs around the crown and frontal areas of the scalp, women will suffer a thinning of hair all over the head and the hairline does not recede. Not all cases of hair loss in women are related to Androgenetic Alopecia, so doctors will generally carry out an examination of the scalp and blood tests to rule out other factors.

Treatments

The great news for women suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia is that there are now treatments available that can slow down and even reverse hair loss. This is generally done with growth stimulants.

Minoxidil(marketed as Rogaine) for women is a scalp treatment that promotes hair growth by lengthening the growth phase of hair follicles and is applied to the affected areas in a liquid or foam solution.
Minoxidil, commonly sold as Rogaine, is available over-the-counter, and has proven results when used on women where baldness has been present for fewer than five years.

Another commonly administered treatment in women is Finasteride , which is a pill that has been developed to slow down Androgenetic Alopecia-related hormone production.

While it is not safe for pregnant women, Finasteride  can increase hair growth across the scalp.

 

For some women, surgery may be the best form of treatment, with hair transplantation and scalp reduction both proven to have successful results.

Pattern hair loss can be difficult to live with, but with treatments progressively advancing, Androgenetic Alopecia is much less of a problem. And remember; beauty is only skin deep – it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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