Ketoconazole

    aka
    • Nizoral
    • keto

    TLDR antifungal with some anti-androgenic benefits, often used as a shampoo

    Ketoconazole is a synthetic antifungal medication extensively used to treat various fungal infections. It functions by inhibiting the synthesis of ergosterol, a critical component of fungal cell membranes, thereby exerting its antifungal effects. Apart from its direct antifungal properties, ketoconazole also possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic activities, making it a versatile agent in dermatology, especially in conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Over the years it has expanded its role into the treatment of hair loss, notably androgenetic alopecia.

    By reducing the action of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on hair follicles, which is a key factor in AGA, ketoconazole shampoo has been found to improve hair density and size, as well as the proportion of anagen follicles. Research has highlighted its efficacy in increasing hair shaft diameter and improving the hair growth cycle, showcasing results comparable to those of 2% minoxidil in some studies. Innovations like ketoconazole-loaded solid lipid nanoparticles are being researched for better skin penetration and prolonged effectiveness, enhancing its potential in hair loss therapies.

    Within the hair loss community, ketoconazole is often discussed in conjunction with other treatments like finasteride and minoxidil. Users report improvements in hair density and scalp health, although opinions on its efficacy as a standalone treatment for hair regrowth are mixed. The community often highlights its benefits in treating scalp conditions linked to hair thinning. Despite varying experiences, ketoconazole is generally regarded as a valuable addition to hair loss treatment regimens, particularly due to its multi-faceted approach in targeting both hair loss and scalp health.

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