Articles Tagged with: Follicular Unit Extraction
Scalp Inflammation

How Do Hair Restoration Techniques Differ?

How do different hair restoration techniques work?When implementing hair restoration surgery, physicians will opt for techniques that provide the most natural, optimal results. In the modern era of hair loss restoration, multiple methods exist to help patients achieve their aesthetic hair goals.

Mosaic Hair Restoration

Often, hair restoration surgeons opt for predetermined zones composed of one, two or three hair follicles to extract. But, follicular units contain varying numbers of hairs, and certainly aren’t limited to the scalp alone. Follicular units actually have a mixed configuration. No two patients have exactly similar hair follicle patterns, which is why Mosaic Hair Restoration allows for a more personalized approach. Mosaic Hair Restoration replicates the unique follicular unit arrangement pattern at the recipient area, rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach. In order to best carry out the process, surgeons at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami take hair from multiple donor sites and analyze the arrangements to determine the best implantation pattern for each patient.

Follicular Isolation Technique

Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT), also called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is another popular process. Because hairs grow in follicular units, consisting of one to four hair follicles each, FIT involves removing a group of follicles (in one unit) with a one millimeter punch device. The donor hairs are isolated with a head positioning device developed by Dr. Rose. With FIT, linear scars aren’t readily visible and the donor area tends to heal faster as compared to other surgical methods. This allows individuals to wear shorter hairstyles without worrying about unconcealed scars. FIT is best on young men who don’t require many grafts who also plan to wear short hairstyles in the future. It’s also a great practice for patients with limited donor areas that aren’t good candidates for further strip harvesting.

Follicular Unit Grafting

Follicular Unit Grafting (FUG) transfers entire follicular units from the permanent donor zone on the back of the scalp to the balding areas. This is referred to as single strip harvesting and requires donor tissue to be removed in one piece. FUG keeps follicular units intact and prevents damage to the individual hair follicles for increased growth. The LEDGE closure technique developed by Dr. Rose is a virtually non-scarring method to minimize donor strip site visibility. It can be used in Follicular Unit Grafting procedures with a single layer closure to minimizes tissue trauma.

Microscopic Dissection

Microscopic Dissection involves donor tissue via single-strip harvesting being separated into individual follicular units with a stereo-microscope. The bald skin surrounding each follicular unit is removed to allow for a tiny graft. Compared to non-microscopic techniques, this process increases the number of follicular units and hair as much as 25 percent. The biggest benefit with microscopic dissection is small recipient sites, as the bald tissue is removed and doesn’t need to be transplanted unnecessarily.

To discuss your personalized hair restoration plan and determine which surgical technique might work best for you, contact Dr. Nusbaum and Dr. Rose toll-free at (877) 443-9070.

 

Moving Toward Scarless Hair Transplant

Moving Toward Scarless Hair TransplantMost patients fear that a bad scar will ruin a good hair transplant. Although 100 percent scar-free hair transplants are not available with even the most advanced technologies, some advanced options provide minimal, practically indiscernible scarring.

For patients who wish to conceal scars from hair restoration surgery, consider the following hair loss treatment options.

Investigate FUE with ARTAS

Follicular unit extraction (FUE) removes follicular units from a donor area using a small circular needle called a “punch.” The tiny size of the needle creates “dot-like” scars instead of one, more obvious line across the donor area commonly seen in strip removal. FUE allows individuals to wear hair shorter without visible scars. At Miami Hair, we incorporate the ARTAS physician-guided robotic system for FUE, the most advanced method in today’s market. Dr. Rose was one of the initial physicians to implement FUE in his hair restoration surgeries and has been using the procedure since 2004.

Incorporate laser therapy

Dr. Nusbaum is an ISHRS Golden Follicle Award winning surgeon who recommends low-level laser therapy (LLLT) products, including the Capillus272™ Pro, to his patients. Hair transplant surgery harvests donor hair from the back or sides of the head, which is then moved to the areas of the scalp with dominant hair loss. However, the number of follicles available for donation are limited. Therefore, he recommends LLLT as an added, at-home therapy for optimal post-transplant results.

“When you have a hair transplant, it is equally important to put the brakes on hair loss,” said Dr. Nusbuam. “We recommend a complement to hair transplant surgery, and finasteride, minoxidil as well as laser therapy with Capillus products are an excellent option. These treatments can be used singly, or in combination.”

Learn about closure techniques

Another technique that lessens the look and visibility of scars is the closure technique, which is used to restore the donor site back to its original state. This process typically follows micrograft hair transplants. Dr. Rose developed the ledge trichophytic closure technique as a way of disguising the donor area scar by directing individual hairs to grow through the scar site, hiding the scar from plain view.

Choose an experienced surgeon

The Hair Institute of Miami is the only clinic in the world with two ISHRS Golden Follicle Award-winning surgeons on staff. Both Dr. Rose and Dr. Nusbaum are equipped with the experience, track record, research and overall know-how to create natural-looking results. Dr. Rose, M.D., J.D., has over 20 years of experience in hair restoration surgery and is recognized as an international leader in seamless hair transplants. Dr. Nusbaum, M.D., has performed over 10,000 hair transplants in the last two decades, and holds a position as a Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology.

To schedule an appointment at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, submit an inquiry online or call our office directly at (205) 925-0222.

The Best Treatment for a Receding Hairline

The Best Treatment for a Receding HairlineThe best treatment for a receding hairline may differ according to individual patient needs. The good news: Patients have a variety of options available to treat not just receding hairlines, but also widespread hair loss as well. Patients are urged to always consult a physician prior to starting a hair loss treatment protocol. Only under the guidance of a licensed hair loss professional can patients receive the most personalized and comprehensive plan for stopping the progression of hair loss, and restoring areas of thinning or receding hair.

Preventing Ongoing Hair Loss

Most patients are surprised to learn that active hair loss prevention is important during the treatment a receding hairline. Hair loss is progressive, so it’s important to curb the rate at which you are losing hair while also seeking restoration treatment (see section below, Restoring Receding Hairlines). Today, there are 3 primary methods of hair loss prevention that are backed by clinical studies. They include:

  • Topical hair foam (e.g. Minoxidil®)
  • Hair loss medications (e.g. Propecia®)
  • Laser hair restoration (e.g. using a laser cap like Capillus272™ Pro)

An important note for female patients: Hair loss medications like Propecia® are for males only. Topical hair foams are an effective alternative for most women. If the application of a topical foam seems messy and tedious, we recommend at-home laser therapy with the Capillus272™ Pro.

When Prevention is Not Enough. Some patients see the results they desire after just a few months of using a hair loss prevention product like those described above. In other cases, these methods of hair loss prevention do not recreate the look of a fuller hairline. Rather, they simply abate the progression of hair loss. When topical foams, pills, and laser caps are not enough, patients may look to surgical hair restoration with a professional surgeon.

Restoring Receding Hairlines

At Hair Transplant Institute Miami, we are pleased to offer 2 highly refined approaches to surgical hairline restoration. The first is traditional “Strip” procedure, and the second is the follicular unit extraction (FUE) technique. Both techniques are extremely effective when performed by Dr. Bernard Nusbaum and Dr. Paul Rose, two ISHRS Golden Follicle Award winning surgeons who lead the surgical team at Hair Transplant Institute Miami. Visitors are invited to read more about hair transplant techniques here.

Related: 5 Characteristics of a Natural Hairline.

Schedule an Appointment for Hairline Evaluation Today

Choose a surgeon you can trust. Drs. Nusbaum and Rose are internationally acclaimed hair restoration surgeons with more than 40 years combined experience. Both Drs. Nusbaum and Rose are actively engaged in hair loss research and lecture widely. To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact Hair Transplant Institute Miami online or call or office directly at 305-925-0222.

Do Hair Transplants Leave Scars?

Do Hair Transplants Leave Scars? Do hair transplants leave scars? This is a question commonly asked by most patients considering surgical hair restoration. After all, the ultimate goal of a hair transplant procedure is to recreate a natural head of hair without any sign of surgical alteration— an accomplishment that is fundamentally undermined by unsightly scars in the donor area.

However, it is important for patients to have reasonable expectations with all forms of hair transplant. Depending on the procedure, light scarring will take either linear or dot-like shape, resulting from strip donor and follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedures, respectively.

Do Hair Transplants Leave Scars?

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we are committed to advancing the practice of strip donor hair transplant to ensure each patient receives a natural result with minimal scarring that is discreet and difficult to detect.

Pictured left is a post-procedure image of a real patient after receiving a strip donor procedure. Using a unique Ledge Closure technique developed by Dr. Paul Rose, linear scars are effectively camouflaged by directing hair at the wound edge to grow through the scar line. This method, along with sound surgical technique, creates very fine scars that are difficult even for a hairstylist to find.

Hair Transplants & Discreet Scars: Before and After

Schedule with South Florida’s Top Hair Surgeons

The only hair transplant clinic in the world to have two ISHRS Golden Follicle Award winning surgeons, Miami Hair is redefining hair loss surgery with highly refined procedures and the industry’s most advanced technologies. At Miami Hair, we hold your pursuit of a fuller head of natural hair in the highest regard.

Visitors are invited to learn more about hair loss diagnosis and treatment by contacting us online or calling directly 305-925-0222.

Dr. Nusbaum Answers Hair Transplant FAQs

Dr. Nusbaum Answers Hair Transplant FAQsDr. Bernard Nusbaum is lead surgeon here at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. With over 20 years practicing and more than 10,000 hair transplants in the books, Dr. Nusbaum has seen hair restoration surgery evolve into the incredibly precise and painless procedure it is today. Among the most popular options for men and women looking for surgical hair restoration is traditional “strip” donor procedure, as well as follicular unit extraction (FUE) transplantation.

In the video below, Dr. Nusbaum explains the differences between various popular hair transplant techniques. The video begins with the strip donor approach, a procedure that has undeservedly received a “bad name” due to misleading advertising campaigns of recent years.

Watch: Miami Hair Surgeon Answers Hair Transplant FAQs

Notes on Strip Donor Hair Transplant

Strip donor transplant entails surgically removing a ribbon, narrow but long, from the scalp of the donor area. Afterward, the donor area is stitched closed, forming a linear scar that might be visible when hair is cut very short. Following extraction, the donor strip is then carefully dissected into individual follicular units before finally being transplanted, by hand.

Unfortunately, scars from these “strip” procedures have received a bad name. Some adults see patients who have an unsightly post-operative scar when wearing their hair very short. Others see advertisements that shed a negative light on the strip procedure in general.

“It is unfortunate that occurs, because that is not our result from linear [strip donor] procedures,” explains Dr. Nusbaum. “We utilize a closure technique, which is very special. It has been developed by Dr. Paul Rose, our surgeon, and works beautifully in his hands.”

Termed the Trichophytic Ledge Closure Technique, this expert touch creates a very fine scar with donor hairs growing through it, rendering it nearly invisible to the naked eye.

“Sometimes, not even a hairstylist who combs up the hair can detect where the scar is.”

Learn More About Strip Donor Hair Transplant

To learn more about strip donor hair transplant procedures, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami online of call our clinic directly at 305-925-0222.

How Thyroid Disease May Cause Hair Loss

How Thyroid Disease May Cause Hair LossHair health, fullness, and sheen are often indicators of the body’s internal wellness. Many diseases, conditions, and subsequent treatments trigger hair loss or dull, breaking strands. Two of those conditions are hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. While they are complete opposite in terms of their issues – one is an overproduction while the other is an underproduction of hormones – they share a common symptom: hair loss.

If you suffer from a thyroid disorder and are currently experiencing hair loss or balding, knowing why and the steps you can take to combat this unfortunate side effect is important.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a gland that releases a steady amount of hormones in the body. It’s pertinent to proper metabolic functions, growth, and development. The thyroid is located just below your voice box on the front of your neck. It is shaped somewhat like a butterfly with two lobes on each side connected in the center by a thin tissue. The thyroid stores hormones in small droplets within it’s vesicles, or follicles.

What does it do?

The thyroid is responsible for the production of three key hormones: T3 (also known as triiodothyronine), T4 (also known as Tetreaiodothyronine), and Calcitonin. T3 and T4 are both made up mainly of iodine.

Being the main component of two thyroid hormones, the thyroid requires iodine to function properly. Usually, the body absorbs iodine through the intestine and enters the blood stream. Then, it’s transferred to the thyroid gland to build T3 and T4. The body cannot produce iodine on it’s own since it’s a trace element.

One reason for an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is a lack of iodine. Other potential causes are genetics, age, Hasimoto’s thyroiditis, and various medications. Under-activity usually develops over time, rendering it hard to notice. The symptoms are weight gain, slowed metabolism, loss of energy, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, slow pulse, constipation, and hair loss. Many patients with an underactive thyroid assume their symptoms are part of the aging process, rather than a serious hormonal condition.

Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, occurs from an overproduction of hormones in the thyroid gland. Energy metabolism speeds up and overactive thyroids lead to hot flashes, trembling, insomnia, racing heart, fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss, and hair loss.

Autoimmune diseases, issues with the thyroid axis, or autonomy from the pituitary gland are the three main causes of an overactive thyroid. The pituitary gland is responsible for regulating the amount of thyroid hormone produced, and a lack of communication between the two can cause overproduction.

Why does a dysfunctional thyroid lead to hair loss?

Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause hair loss. First, overactive thyroids sometimes lead to an increased development of DHT. DHT influences the development of sexual organs and secondary sexual characteristics, including physical appearance. But too much DHT can cause hair follicle shrinkage or elimination, resulting in shedding or thinning hair. Therefore, when an overactive thyroid impairs the production of DHT from testosterone, balding occurs.

For patients currently prescribed medication for an underactive thyroid, it’s important to note the side effects. One of the most common treatments is levothyroxine sodium, which also goes by the brand names Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid. Sythroid specifically has been shown to cause long-term hair loss in patients.

How to treat thyroid-related hair loss

Whether you’re suffering from hair loss due to a hormonal imbalance from hypothyroidism or your thyroid medication is causing your hair loss, you have options for treatment.

First, many individuals take additional medication to offset the hair loss from their current thyroid medication. Results vary since medication affects every individual differently, but make sure to consult your physician prior to adding or subtracting from your current regimen.

Hair transplant surgery is another treatment option known to deliver consistent results. Given the advances in hair transplants, such as the Follicular Isolation Technique (FIT) developed by Dr. Paul Rose, transplants are more naturally looking than ever. Using FIT, Dr. Rose extracts individual follicles from donor areas and moves them to balding areas with little scarring. Follicular Unit Transplantations (FUT) is a more traditional approach offered by many restoration experts, including the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami.

Many individuals aren’t candidates for additional medication or hair transplant surgery after suffering from thyroid-related hair loss. Low-level laser therapy, or LLLT, uses safe lasers to stimulate hair follicles. At-home laser caps can be worn underneath virtually any hat or covering.

Learn More About Hair Loss Treatment in Miami

If you’re suffering from hair loss related to an underactive or overactive thyroid, the Hair Transplant Institute can help. We offer a variety of treatment options, customized to individual conditions, to revert this unfortunate side effect of thyroid dysfunction. Visit Miami Hair online, or contact our institute at 305-925-0222 to learn more about our personalized approach to hair loss diagnosis and treatment.

Miami Hair Surgeons Perform Hair Transplant for Alan Tacher

miami-hair-surgeons-perform-hair-transplant-alan-tacherDespierta América star, Alan Tacher, visits Drs. Nusbaum and Rose

There’s never a dull moment at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Just a couple weeks ago, our Coral Gables clinic received a visit from Univision celebrity and Despierta América star, Alan Tacher!

Like millions of men, Mr. Tacher has been experiencing hair loss along his frontal hairline and the top portion of his scalp. In such a case, surgeons can extract donor hair follicles from the sides or rear of the scalp—where hair growth is still thick and full—and transplant them to the hairline and/or front of the scalp where things are getting thin.

Watch the Segment. Watch the televised segment below, courtesy of Despierta América.

Part 1: Hair Loss Q&A

Part 2: The Procedure

Part 3: The Results

Before and After Photos

Reasons to Love Miami Hair

Celebrities are not the only ones who love our Institute. Patients travel from around the world to take advantage of the expertise and advanced hair restoration technologies offered by Dr. Bernard Nusbaum and Dr. Paul Rose. Below are just a few of the reasons patients consistently choose the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami over other hair loss clinics and treatment options.

ARTAS™ Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

In 2012, our Institute become one of the first 11 hair clinics to offer the revolutionary ARTAS™ system for robotic FUE. ARTAS is widely considered to be one of the most advanced and effective tools for hair restoration surgery, using high resolution digital imaging and advanced robotics technology to extract near perfect donor hairs at micron-level precision.

Visit this page to learn more about the ARTAS™ hair restoration robot.

Mosaic® Hair Restoration

With or without a hair transplant robot, donor hairs must be surgically transplanted to the recipient area (portion of the scalp that is thinning or balding). This is where the surgeon’s skill and expertise separate the mediocre from the exceptional. At our Institute, surgeons use the patented Mosaic® Hair Restoration approach to ensure natural results that are nearly undetectable.

To learn more about the Mosaic® Hair Restoration, visit this page on hair transplant techniques.

Unparalleled Patient Care

Of course, your procedure is just a small portion of your overall experience at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami. Our clinic specializes in patient-focused care before, during, and long after your procedure. Our staff, nurses, technicians, and surgeons offer follow up care that is second to none.

Visit Us for Your Consultation

If you suffer with hair loss, you are not alone. Millions of men and women wake up each day dissatisfied with their appearance. Happiness, self esteem, social ambition, and professional life can all suffer as a consequence. With today’s technologies and treatment options, there’s no reason to let hair loss compromise your quality of life.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold your pursuit of a newer, fuller head of hair in the highest regard. We welcome you to contact us online to schedule a hair loss evaluation, our call our clinic directly at 305-925-0222.

Hair Loss Advice from Our Miami Surgeons

Unfortunately, misleading information on hair loss and restoration is common. However, you can aptly inform yourself – whether you or a love one is suffering from patterned baldness or stress-related hair loss.

Here are some of the top hair loss related questions, and our experts’ advice on each.

Common Questions About Losing Hair

Do Baseball Caps Cause Hair Loss?

Contrary to popular belief, hair follicles don’t require direct access to fresh air in order to “breathe.” Actually, follicles receive oxygen from the blood stream. You’re safe to wear a baseball cap or any other hair covering, whether or not you’re already suffering from baldness.

If My Mother’s Side Suffers Hair Loss, Will I?

Not exactly. Inheritance from your maternal grandfather is slightly stronger, but not a direct indictor of your potential hair loss condition. Balding can actually stem from the father’s side as well.

What is Rogaine®?

When it first came on the market, Rogaine was used to regular blood pressure. Currently, it’s primarily intended for hair growth. About a third of men that use Rogaine see results, which makes it a great option for hair loss patients who prefer a cost-effective, topical product over a surgical, permanent procedure. Extra strength Rogaine starts working in about 8 weeks of treatment while the original Rogaine starts working after about 4 months of use. The product is applied on the scalp twice a day and requires continued use to maintain regrowth side effects. Once use has discontinued, hair loss will begin again.

How is it Different from Propecia®?

Propecia differs from Rogaine because of the way it interacts with your body’s hormones. Finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia, blocks the production of DHT, which is the hormone related to men’s hair loss. It’s twice the price of Rogaine at $60 per month. However, patients looking for a budget-friendly alternative with the same efficacy can speak to their dermatologist regarding generic finasteride. It’s five times a regular dose of Propecia (which comes in 1-milligram pills), but can be divided with a pill cutter. Since Rogaine is a topical treatment and Propecia is consumed orally, these two can be taken simultaneously for accelerated results.

 

Keep in mind that women are not candidates for Propecia prescriptions. If you or a loved one is pregnant, be extra careful when handling Propecia as the crushed tablets can cause abnormalities in male fetus’ sex organs. Since unbroken tablets are coated, they are harmless for handling but should be stored safely away to avoid mishaps. If you are using the generic version of Propecia and have a pill cutter to split into 1-milligram doses, do not share the same pill cutter with any women who are or who may become pregnant.

Am I Too Young to Use Hair Loss Treatments?

As long as you are 18 and older, the FDA approves of your use of Propecia. In fact, the sooner the better, since it’s best used as a preventative measure versus a reversal treatment method. Keep in mind that Propecia has been shown to cause erectile dysfunction in some patients. For the small amount of patients using Propecia that do experience sexual problems, the problem is reversed after dosage is discontinued. Generic Propecia is actually used as a treatment for prostate cancer and can diminish odds of development by about 25 percent.

Can I Use a Shampoo or Conditioner to Reverse Hair Loss?

In short, shampoos and conditioners do not reverse hair loss or lead to restoration. While they help increase your hair’s overall volume, everyday washes and creams without the ingredients minoxidil or finasteride will not stimulate regrowth. However, there’s no harm in incorporating thickening washes and crème rinses into your everyday routine on top of your hair loss treatment method.

If you’re interested in learning how to use Rogaine or inquiring about the side effects of Propecia, or if you’d like to consult a physician about a more advanced level of treatment, contact Miami Hair surgeons Dr. Nusbaum and Dr. Rose at 305-448-9100.

PRP Miami Information

Syringe filled with platelet-rich plasma (PRP)Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has become a popular tool to enhance the outcome of a variety of medical procedures. PRP is particularly popular among hair transplant surgeons, dermatologists, and other professionals who provide cosmetic and/or aesthetic enhancement procedures. Nicknamed “vampire treatments,” this new approach to wound healing and recovery is helping men and women of all ages find a more youthful head of hair with less post-procedure discomfort.

Are you looking for more information on PRP treatments in Miami? Read the guide below to learn more about the role of platelets in healing and recovery. Then, speak with a member of our Institute to learn more about hair loss treatment with PRP.

What is PRP?

As the name implies, PRP is simply a mixture of blood plasma that has additional platelets, growth factors, and cytokines mixed in. PRP is always prepared from the patient’s own blood sample. The volume of natural platelets, growth factors, and cytokines makes platelet-rich-plasma an ideal addition to any procedure that might require an enhanced healing process.

What is PRP used for?

PRP is used for a number of different procedures. Increasingly, these “vampire treatments” are being used to aid in faster and fuller recovery from cosmetic and/or aesthetic procedures. The types of medical professionals known to offer PRP to patients include plastic surgeons, dental professionals, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and hair restoration surgeons.

Since patients are electing to have physical aesthetics enhanced, PRP is a safe and effective way to improve overall outcome. In many studies, it has been shown to speed the wound healing process while also reducing inflammation. Many studies show PRP effective in treating hair loss, including this study made available by NIH.gov.

When it comes to treating hair loss, PRP can be used in 1 of 2 very interesting ways:

Stand-alone PRP Treatment. In some studies (like the one cited above), PRP has demonstrated an ability to reverse androgenic alopecia. PRP appears to nurture hair follicles with critical growth factors that take them from a dormant state (in which hair is no longer growing) to an active state (in which a normal hair growth cycle occurs).

Using PRP in Conjunction with Hair Restoration. At our Institute, we have seen excellent results when using PRP with other hair restoration procedures. When performing hair transplant, patients exhibit signs of faster healing with minimal inflammation and post-operative scarring.

Though our Institute has not performed controlled studies on PRP, the new treatment has had numerous positive effects on patients. These include:

  1. Faster healing of donor area, post-transplant
  2. Transplanted follicles “take” and heal faster
  3. Patients report fewer incidences of redness, cursing, and irritation after procedure
  4. Enhanced hair follicle growth in recipient area (restored area of scalp)
  5. Reduction in inflammation experienced as a result of surgery

Finding PRP in Miami

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, our clinic stands committed to delivering only the newest, safest, and most effective methods of hair loss diagnosis and treatment. Platelet-rich plasma is just one of many advanced hair loss treatments we offer, and it has shown promise for men and women of many ages who wish to restore their natural hair.

Learn more about PRP in Miami by contacting our Institute online or calling directly at toll free 877-443-9070.

FDA: Patients Must Be Aware of Finasteride’s Sexual Side Effects

For men who suffer with hair loss, Finasteride typically makes the short list of treatment options that is both widely studied and highly recommended. Finasteride is most commonly known by the brand name Propecia®, and it is a hair loss pill that is taken orally to combat the phenomenon known as androgenic alopecia, or pattern baldness.

If you are considering Finasteride as a hair loss treatment, it is important to realize two things. First, like most prescription medications, Finasteride may cause side effects. In recent years, the most widely publicized side effect has been erectile dysfunction, though more data is needed to clarify both the duration and prevalence.

Second, men who do not want to take a prescription medication to treat hair loss have 3 viable alternatives that are proven to be effective. Those include minoxidil (Rogaine®), hair transplant surgery, and low level laser therapy. Only a hair loss professional can help you determine the best course of treatment, all 3 of which are explored in greater detail below.

Understanding the Side Effects of Finasteride

Men might be surprised to learn that Finasteride was not always a hair loss medication. In 1992, the FDA first approved the drug to treat enlarged prostate. Later, it became understood that Finasteride blocks an enzyme that helps convert testosterone to DHT, an androgen that has historically been correlated with pattern baldness. By inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to DHT, Finasteride gives hair follicles a fighting chance at maintaining a healthy, natural hair growth cycle. In turn, thinning and shedding subsides, and some men even notice hair begin to grow anew.

However, DHT is also an important androgen for male sex organs. Researchers theorize that Finasteride’s impact on DHT is ultimately what may cause sexual side effects— though a causal link has not yet been determined.

FDA: Prescribers and Patients Need to Be Aware

Since 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required Merck, the manufacturer of Propecia®, to label the medication with language that warns of possible sexual side effects. Those include erectile dysfunction, decrease in sperm motility, and other disorders that impair sexual activity. Despite warning labels, the FDA encourages physicians who prescribe the medication to also make clear to patients all the possible risks associated with the hair loss pill.

A causal link has not yet been determined, however, leading many patients wondering whether Finasteride is a safe medication to use. Of the 34 clinical trials that have been conducted, none have provided “adequate” information on the severity and frequency of sexual side effects, according to Dr. Steven Belknap, researcher assistant professor at Northwestern University (i). However, lack of information does not necessarily imply an attempt to hide poor results. Instead, Dr. Belknap believes it’s more likely a function of inadequate information. In the end, more studies will only improve knowledge and awareness of side effects.

Alternatives to Finasteride

If the thought of sexual side effects makes you uneasy, there are 3 additional ways to pursue a natural head of hair. Some are surgical while others are minimally invasive. Browse the options below, and visit our main website for additional information on each procedure.

Minoxidil – Non-surgical Procedure

Minoxidil, better known by the brand name Rogaine®, is a topical foam that is applied to the scalp twice daily. Millions of men and women choose this option for its ease of use and proven ability to stop hair loss.

Hair Transplant – Surgical Procedure

Hair transplant involves carefully extracting donor hair from one area of the scalp and moving it to the thinning or balding area. Primary methods of hair transplant include strip donor transplant, follicular unit extraction, and new robotic FUE procedures. For more information, visit our page on hair transplant surgery procedures.

Low Level Laser Therapy – Non-invasive Procedure

Phototherapy has been shown to help jump-start hair follicles that have gone dormant— a common phenomenon that causes thinning, shedding, and balding. Low level lasers are designed to induce phototherapy within the scalp, rejuvenating hair follicles to produce thicker and fuller hair. Visit the following page to learn more about low level laser therapy for hair loss.

Learn More About Hair Restoration in Miami

To learn more about surgical and non-surgical hair restoration options, contact our Institute online or call our clinic directly at 305-925-0222.

Sources

(i) http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2015/04/erectile-dysfunction-and-low-sex-drive-inadequately-reported-in-hair-loss-drug-trials-for-men.html