Basic information on the baldness
Alopecia or the baldness is a big issue if it is not cured at the early stage. More than 20 percent of males start to face this problem from their 20’s. More than 50 percent of men start to face this problem after their 50’s. Even women also suffer from this balding problem. However, the age of balding in women is generally high in comparison with the men. It is a common notion that if you are balding then you start to look ugly and people might not treat you the way they treated you before. It is also a confidence booster for many. In this article, we will look at basic details of balding.
Different types of hair loss or baldness
Both men and women go through a balding phase in their life. Men are more prone to this issue. There are many types of male baldness. Some of them are as follows
- Alopecia Areata
If you find round patches on your scalp then it is considered as the Alopecia Areata. The major reason for this type of baldness is the autoimmune disorder. This type affects all kinds of people and age group. You can even see it in the childhood or young age.
- Alopecia Totalis
It is the total loss of your hair on your scalp. This kind of hair loss or balding can be hereditary. It can occur because of health issue or because of taking a medicine, which is affecting your hair root and its growth.
- Androgenic Alopecia
The third type is very general and common kind of baldness issue we see in people of different age groups. Generally, this kind of balding starts very early in the life. People suffer from a thing of hair, breakage, and loosening of hair roots. They are genetic in nature. You will notice an M shaped baldness in this. The balding process origins from the temple of the head. Then eventually they move to the back of the head. Generally, it the crown position. The hairs on your follicle become weak, thin, and short and lose its pigment.
- Telogen Effluvium
Our hair growth system is periodic. The origin of the hair is important. The hair goes through a life cycle. During the anagen cycle, you will see hairs on your roots or the follicles. This is the start of the process. Then air grows for few days and they start to rest. This cycle is called as telogen. However, with age, health and the habits, things start to change. The hair growth cycle starts to slow down. Once this process starts, your scalp does not produce enough hairs on your scalp. This will lead to the baldness.
- Cicatricial Alopecia
This is a different kind of hair loss on your scalp. Here you will see the baldness because of the radiation, pollutions, skin issues and habits. Because of skin problems like flaky skin, inflammation, rashes, itchy skin and other skin issues, you will start to lose hairs on your scalp and body.
- Tinea Capitis
This is common in children. This type of baldness contagious and there is a huge chance that it spreads to the other people in the house. It is like a virus or the fungus, which spread on your head quickly resulting in the baldness.
- Involutional Alopecia
This is the result of the telogen effluvium. Because of long hairs, resting on the scalp for too many days creates such problem. Here your hairs will lose their strength, length, they become brittle and shorter. This is also a different type of the baldness.
Treatment for the baldness
When it comes to the treatment of the baldness, you can opt for the two methods. One is the surgical process and another one is the medicinal treatment. Both of them take time.
This process involves consuming the capsules or tablets for months. It will take six to eight months to show the actual result. If you stop taking the capsule then you will lose the hair. This is a continuous process.
Second, one is semi-permanent hair transplant method. They also require capsule consumption. However, these are costly and you will get your hair in three to six months. They need high maintenance.
Propecia / Finasteride
There are many troubles out there in the world, but the worst of all are the health problems. While some serious diseases may be treated despite being fatal, some simple problems such as hair fall are often more tedious to cure. It affects the individual much more than we can imagine. There are different types of hair fall. However, the most common name heard is the male pattern baldness. It is technically referred as Androgenic Alopecia.
What is Androgenic Alopecia?
Androgenic Alopecia is a kind of hair fall often found among men. The hair on the scalp of the head starts thinning and ultimately turns in to a bald patch. It happens usually on the upper part of the head and the crown area. The hair line is also seen receding over a period of time. This pattern of baldness is observed mainly in men and hence the name male pattern baldness.
While there are various methods to treat a person from this situation, there are few methods which are more effective and give long term results. In this article, we are going to discuss about the use of Propecia/ Finasteride.
What is Propecia?
Propecia is an inhibitor used in the treatment of Androgenic alopecia. It is a 5alpha reductase. It is one of the best known remedy as it acts directly on DHT, which is the main culprit behind Hair fall.
What is Finasteride?
While Propecia is the name of the brand, Finasteride is the generic name of the actual medicine. Finasteride can be found under different brands such as Propecia, Proscar and few lesser known brands. Everything that we are reading about Propecia actually belongs to Finasteride as the latter is the actual medicine contained in the former.
Role of Propecia or finasteride:
The main role of Propecial or Finasteride is to control the formation of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is an androgen and sex steroid. It converts the testosterone in the human body in to more DHT. It is synthesized from testosterone from the parts such as hair follicles, Prostate, testis and adrenal glands. DHT is an auto mechanism of the body to regulate its own production. The role of DHT is to give the male characteristics to men. It connects to the androgen of the hair follicles and influences them to reduce the size of the hair follicle. Due to this impact, the hair become more and more narrow after every cycle and finally become non-existent as the hair follicle is closed.
Propecia vs DHT:
Propecia plays a key role in regulating the production of DHT. It is used as a remedy to treat hair fall in men, an enlarged prostate and even to get rid of excess of hair. DHT plays the key role in enlargement of Prostate and in the growth of hair on the body, but it acts adversely in the case of hair on the scalp of head. In fact, the hair on the scalp of the head grows without the any need of DHT in contrary to the hair in other parts of the body such as arm pits. The unwanted levels of DHT start interfering in the growth of the hair on the scalp of the head and start making the hair follicles narrow. Further, it results in hair fall in the long run.
By controlling DHT, Propecia proves helpful in reducing hair fall, treating an enlarged prostate or removal of excess of hair on body.
How effective is Propecia?
Propecia is proved to be effective than many other solutions to treat Hair fall. Several studies have proved that using Propecia has seen reduction in hair fall and promoted the growth of new hair. The results can be seen after using it regularly for a minimum of three months. Though one can notice reduction in hair fall in three months of using Propecia regularly, it may take six to twelve months for the hair to become thick and strong.
Dosage of Propecia:
Propecia has to be used only after taking the advice of health consultant or doctor. The health condition of the individual has to be ascertained in order to start the usage of Propecia. If there are any other health issues and medications, they may tend to react to the use of Propecia. One has to seek doctor’s advice before going with this cure. The dosage will also depend on the health condition of the individual as prescribed by the doctor.
Side effects of Propecia:
Propecia acts directly on DHT which is produced in prostate as well. So, long term use of Propecia affects the condition of Prostate. For instance it may lead to Prostate cancer in worst cases. Further it can also cause minor to moderate side effects such as decrease in sexual ability or decrease in the desire to take part in sex to erectile dysfunction in some cases. The side effects were noticed among some people even after discontinuing the use of Propecia.
The good news, however, is that the number of people suffering from side effects among the people using Propecia is very less. Further, in many cases among those who were affected, the side effects have been found minimum or mild. There have been very few cases where the persons using Propecia have suffered with serious side effects.
Further, If you are using propecia after taking your doctor’s advice or on the recommendation of the doctor, it has to be understood that the benefits of using Propecia is far more on your body than its side effects. So, go ahead and give it a try after taking medical advice.
Guidelines before using Propecia:
Before a person chooses to use Propecia, it is extremely important to consult the doctor to ascertain whether it is safe to use it or not. You need to make sure that you have no liver diseases or liver enzyme related problems. If you have any problems such as prostate cancer, bladder muscle disorder, problem in urinating or allergy towards such medicine, you need to inform about it to the doctor to determine if you can safely use it.
Precautions to take while using Propecia:
It is extremely important to follow certain guidelines in using Propecia even after the advice of the doctor. There are some precautions to be taken while using Propecia, which would result in great loss if ignored. Some of the precautions are as follows:
Propecia should never be used by Women or children. It is mainly used in men for treating Androgenic Alopecia or prostate enlargement. It has the potential to cause birth defects even if a pregnant woman is exposed to it.
How does Propecia affect an individual?
Propecia or Finasteride has the ability to diffuse through the skin. Though the tablets of Propecia are coated to avoid the active ingredient from getting in contact with the person, any accidental damage, breakage or crushing of tablet may expose the ingredient to the person handling it and cause trouble. Pregnant woman are advised never to handle Propecia tablets for the same reason.
Children are also very vulnerable to Propecia. It is best to keep them out of the reach of children and not to allow them to handle Propecia tablets in any manner.
Store the Propecia tablets tightly in a bottle and store it at room temperature. Make sure to keep it away from direct sun light or moisture.
Skipped a dose?
Never take Propecia in larger quantity than prescribed by the doctor. If you skipped a dose of Propecia, you may take it as soon as you remember about it. However, if there is very less gap for the next dose, it is always better to skip the current dose and take the next dose on time.
Despite many success stories, it has been noticed that there was no change in the condition of some people even after using Propecia for a long period of time. If Propecia has not worked for you even after using it regularly for a year, it is very rare that it would work in future. Another aspect is that, after discontinuing the use of propecia, it would reverse any change that happened due to the use of Propecia in this course of time.
Final piece of advice:
It is utmost important to discuss with your doctor before starting the use of Propecia and explain all your health conditions beforehand. Never hesitate to share with your doctor if you experience any kind of problem in your body after starting the use of Propecia. Further, it is required to take some blood tests from time to time while using Propecia to assure that it is working as intended.