What is androgenetic alopecia in men: from symptoms to treatment

Hair and hairstyles

Today, almost every third young man suffers from baldness, among representatives of middle and old age, the figures increase significantly. Various external and internal factors can contribute to such a pathological process, since alopecia is never an independent disease. The most common androgenetic alopecia in men, provoked by exposure to hormonal imbalances.

In general, alopecia is a pathological condition in which hair loss is not accompanied by their restoration. Statistics say that among all patients with baldness, 90% of cases are androgenetic alopecia, that is, a form of baldness associated with sex hormones and a hereditary factor. Only knowing the causes of alopecia, the doctor can choose an effective and competent treatment.

What is Androgenic Alopecia?

Scientists have repeatedly studied testosterone and baldness, namely the relationship between these terms, as a result of which they have established an excessive sensitivity of hair follicles to the level and concentration of sex hormones in a man’s body. Androgenetic alopecia is a pathological hair loss caused by an excess of sex hormones. Moreover, such failures can be observed in men at any age.

Dihydrotestosterone is an aggressive form of testosterone that causes spasms of blood vessels that supply the hair follicles with oxygen and valuable substances. Such a negative impact leads to the fact that the hair becomes thinner, falls out, and the follicles are completely killed. Androgenetic alopecia is concentrated in the forehead and crown of the head. In addition to hormonal disruptions, androgenetic alopecia may be the result of a genetic predisposition.

Causes in men

Any disease in the body requires a complete examination to find out the causes. Further, the specialist prescribes a course of treatment to neutralize the causes of the pathology, and only after that, the therapy will be aimed at correcting the state of health. In the case of androgenetic alopecia, everything happens similarly, the doctor diagnoses, finds out the causes of baldness, and then prescribes a course of treatment to eliminate them and restore normal hair growth.

The main causes of androgenic form of alopecia are as follows:

  • increased concentration of dihydrotestosterone in the blood;
  • excessive sensitivity of follicles to dihydrotestosterone;
  • hyperactivity of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, due to which testosterone breaks down into dihydrotestosterone.
  • Also, in addition to hormonal surges, doctors call other external and internal causes of alopecia:
  • genetic predisposition;
  • the presence of chronic diseases;
  • infection;
  • diseases of the digestive tract;
  • prolonged stress and depression;
  • diseases of the genitourinary system;
  • poor nutrition;
  • deficiency of vitamins and microelements, especially retinoids;
  • long-term use of potent drugs;
  • bad habits;
  • unfavorable environmental conditions of residence or work.

Symptomatology

Only by knowing which hormone causes hair loss in men, a trichologist can choose a course of treatment for androgenetic alopecia. In all patients, this form of baldness is a consequence of the influence of dihydrotestosterone, which is expressed in a characteristic clinical picture. You can determine the androgenetic form of alopecia by the following symptoms – thinning of hair and hair loss in the forehead and crown.

A more detailed clinical picture should be considered depending on the stages of development of androgenetic alopecia:

  • first stage – bald patches are visible along the edge of hair growth in the forehead and temples;
  • second stage – the bald patch on the temples and forehead takes on a triangular shape, approaching a couple of centimeters at the crown;
  • third stage – bald patches become pronounced and deep, hair loss is also observed at the crown;
  • fourth stage – the head of a man has three areas of baldness, two on the temples and forehead, one on the crown;
  • fifth stage – there are clear boundaries between the three areas of bald patches, and the alopecia area resembles the shape of a horseshoe;
  • sixth stage – bald patches expand as much as possible;
  • seventh stage – a whole bald head in the shape of a horseshoe is formed on the head.

Photo 2

As a result, a man can lose absolutely all his hair, doctors in this case talk about the transition of the androgenetic form of alopecia to a total form.

Diagnosis of the disease

After completing a full examination, the trichologist determines whether hereditary baldness and androgenic form of alopecia can be cured with conservative methods. Hair loss can be diagnosed using several examination options:

  • general blood analysis;
  • blood test for the level of thyroid hormones;
  • blood test for the level of sex hormones;
  • a blood test to count B and T-lymphocytes;
  • blood test for infections;
  • microscopy of peeling and hair shaft;
  • special analysis test with hair pulling;
  • biopsy of the scalp and its immunofluorescent study, microscopy.

Thanks to such an extensive set of measures, the doctor can identify any other disorders in the patient’s body that lead to hair loss and the development of alopecia. In the future, based on such data, a treatment plan will be drawn up.

Treatment

Having determined, against the background of which a man developed hormonal hair loss, that is, androgenetic alopecia, the trichologist evaluates the degree of neglect of the pathological process, and then chooses treatment methods. Today, complex measures are practiced, consisting of pharmaceutical preparations, physiotherapy, cosmetics, alternative and folk methods.

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Pharmaceutical preparations

The first thing you need to combat androgenetic alopecia is the suppression of the activity of androgens, which contribute to hair loss. Anti-androgenic drugs such as Minoxidil (analogues of Rogaine, Regaine) or Finasteride are recognized. The first version of the drug acts on the vessels, expanding them to increase the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the follicles.

The second drug, Finasteride, acts on alopecia by suppressing the activity of 5-alpha reductase, because of this enzyme, testosterone breaks down into dihydrotestosterone. It is necessary to use the drug only according to the doctor’s prescription in a course, without exceeding the dosages, since hormonal tablets suggest a number of side effects. If there are contraindications, doctors prescribe local remedies with phytoestrogens that affect only the focus of alopecia.

Not pharmaceutical products

In parallel with the main course of treatment, doctors often prescribe vitamin complexes to patients to further saturate the hair roots with vitamins and microelements. These can be multivitamins for hair growth, injections of vitamins and amino acids into the scalp, as well as the use of homeopathic remedies and dietary supplements for general health promotion.

For reference! Numerous drug manufacturers offer vitamins for men separately, which normalize hormonal levels, strengthen hair, and maintain the balance of important substances in the body. Only a trichologist can prescribe a certain complex.

Hardware therapy

When asked whether alopecia can be cured only with medications, the answers of trichologists will be very ambiguous. To increase the effectiveness of drugs, physiotherapy sessions are carried out in parallel, namely:

  • manual or vacuum head massage to enhance protective functions;
  • electrophoresis for accelerated absorption of drugs;
  • darsonvalization for electrical stimulation of hair follicles;
  • acupuncture for point activation of the necessary functions;
  • laser therapy to awaken dormant follicles;
  • mesotherapy for the introduction of vitamin cocktails into the focus of alopecia.

Photo 4

Mesotherapy and laser treatment are recognized as the most effective and common methods. The laser not only stimulates hair growth, its irradiation activates the processes of cellular metabolism, accelerates blood microcirculation, and therefore increases the supply of hair roots with vitamins and oxygen. All this makes the hair strong, elastic, shiny and thick.

Ethnoscience

It is almost impossible to completely get rid of androgenetic alopecia with folk remedies, but it is quite possible to stop the process of hair loss, improve the health of the roots and hair structure, and speed up the healing process. Most often, home treatment of androgenetic alopecia is carried out using the following means:

  • red pepper and mustard to speed up blood flow;
  • vegetable oils – olive, burdock and castor, sea buck thorn, linseed oil, as well as essential oils;
  • decoction of herbs – chamomile, sage, nettle, St. John’s wort, clover, burdock for the preparation of decoction and rinses;
  • food products – eggs, honey, onions, cognac for additional nutrition of hair roots.
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Masks with pepper and mustard are combined with vegetable oils, applied in a warm state to the scalp, and then wrapped with a film and a towel for 30-60 minutes. Herbal decoction and infusions are used as hair rinses after washing them. Food products are combined into masks and mixtures, then used as masks for the scalp and hair. Only regular and long-term use of such products allows you to improve the condition of the hair, stop their loss and brittleness.

Photo 5

Hair transplantation

If genetic baldness is not amenable to conservative and sparing treatment, even with an integrated approach, doctors resort to drastic measures. There are several options for the surgical treatment of androgenetic alopecia, namely:

  • STRIP method – transplantation of hair from other areas on the body or the back of the head in ​​bald patches from 2000 to 6000 hair follicles;
  • FUE method – transplantation of tissues with follicles using special miniature instruments from the back of the head, back, abdomen and thighs of the patient without incisions, but by injection.

Photo 6

Only specialized clinics practice hair transplantation, before which the patient must undergo a comprehensive examination to identify indications and contraindications. They are not performed for insulin-dependent diabetes, acute skin diseases, hemophilia, or intolerance to anesthetics.

Prevention

Any remedy for the treatment of alopecia should be applied in a timely manner, and even better and easier to prevent the androgenic form of alopecia. Prevention consists of the following measures:

  • balanced diet;
  • taking multivitamins during the off-season;
  • active and mobile lifestyle;
  • avoidance of adverse environmental conditions;
  • the use of cosmetics according to the type of hair and the characteristics of the scalp;
  • timely treatment of any diseases.

If a man is at risk of developing an androgenic form of alopecia, it is important for him to periodically check the level of sex hormones to prevent jumps in dihydrotestosterone. For any problems with hair, it is better to consult a trichologist, without waiting for the first signs of baldness.

Which doctor to contact

Any problems with hair are examined and treated by a trichologist, but not every city has such a narrow medical specialist. If you cannot find a trichologist, a dermatologist can help in the fight against baldness. Also, the patient can be sent for an additional consultation with an endocrinologist, physiotherapist, cosmetologist, urologist or oncologist, it all depends on the concomitant causes of alopecia.

Photo 7

Conclusion

Androgenetic alopecia is a form of male pattern baldness caused by an increase in the levels of sex hormones, specifically dihydrotestosterone. The hormone causes vasospasm, which disrupts the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Treatment of such alopecia is possible only in a complex way under the supervision of a trichologist.

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