Androgenetic Alopecia: An Update

    December 2023 in “ JAAD International
    Sylvia Ntombifuthi. Ntshingila, Ogheneochuko. Oputu, Afolake Arowolo, Nonhlanhla P. Khumalo
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    TLDR Two drugs, finasteride and minoxidil, are approved for hair loss treatment, but new therapies are being developed.
    Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common form of hair loss influenced by genetics and sensitivity to androgens. Currently, only two FDA-approved drugs exist for its treatment: finasteride and minoxidil. Finasteride reduces dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels and slows hair loss, but prolonged use can lead to adverse effects. Minoxidil promotes hair growth by dilating scalp blood vessels, but managing AGA remains challenging due to poor medication adherence and side effects from extended use. Other treatments include low-level light/laser therapy (LLLT), hair follicle transplantation, off-label medications like Dutasteride, phytomedicine, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes, and microneedling. Camouflage techniques can also be used to disguise hair loss. The discovery of SRD5A2's structure has opened new possibilities for developing more effective AGA treatments, including clascoterone, Janus kinase inhibitors, and stem cell therapies.
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