This New Medication Cocktail May Help Treat Female Hair Loss

FDA-approved treatment options are limited

Currently, the only FDA-approved treatment for female pattern hair loss is topical minoxidil.

It’s available as a 2 percent solution, a 5 percent solution, or a foam that can applied to the scalp.

Other non-FDA-approved treatments include oral 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, platelet-rich plasma injections, low-level laser therapy, and surgical hair transplantation.

Psychosocial counselling may also help some women cope with the potential social and emotional effects of hair loss.

In some cases, hair loss may be a sign of another underlying condition that requires treatment.

Make an appointment with your doctor

If you’re concerned about hair loss, McMichael recommends making an appointment with your primary care doctor or a board-certified dermatologist.

“A primary care doctor can check for any lab tests that may be related, such as iron profile or thyroid hormone levels. If these labs are normal, recent health effects should be examined,” McMichael said.

“Many women have a common form of hair loss called telogen effluvium,” she continued, “which causes shedding approximately three months after a physiologic stress.”

For example, stress related to childbirth, surgery, severe infection, or other medical issues can contribute to hair loss.

Changes in medications, including oral contraceptives, can also cause hair to thin.

“If it is one of these things, the hair loss will improve on its own in four to six months as long as the cause is stopped or stabilizes,” McMichael said.

If your hair loss has been triggered by something else, a dermatologist may use magnified photography, a hair pull test, or a scalp biopsy to help diagnose the cause.

“It is important to know that many forms of hair loss are treatable,” McMichael said, “and that new treatments are being studied by many investigators.”

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