The Inflammatory Component of Androgenetic Alopecia

    Warren R. Heymann
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    TLDR Androgenetic alopecia, a genetic disorder affecting up to 50% of adults, is caused by an excessive response to androgens leading to hair follicle shrinkage. Treatments include FDA-approved drugs, other therapies like low-dose oral minoxidil, and hair transplantation.
    Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a genetic disorder that may affect up to 50% of adults, characterized by an excessive response to androgens. This leads to higher production of dihydrotestosterone and increased levels of 5 α-reductase and androgen receptors in the balding scalp. The excessive activation of these receptors results in follicular miniaturization through a progressively shorter anagen phase. Currently, only two FDA-approved drugs exist for AGA treatment: topical minoxidil and oral finasteride. Other therapies such as low-dose oral minoxidil, dutasteride, spironolactone, platelet-rich plasma, red light, and 660-nm laser have shown some efficacy. Hair transplantation can also be effective for suitable candidates.
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