The Truth About Female Pattern Hair Loss

There are some medical conditions that just want to make us pull our hair out - quite literally. Unfortunately, for me and a lot of my Nashville patients, alopecia (female pattern hair loss) is definitely one of them. For years, I have seen patient after patient walk into my Nashville dermatology practice begging for a solution to their hair loss, and each time, I have to explain that their options are limited.

As I’ve written in previous blogs, treating alopecia in women is difficult, since there is no great treatment. In fact, a recent study in JAMA Dermatology that looked at several promising options showed mixed results:

- Topical minoxidil (2% and 5%): low to moderate quality evidence that it was associated with improvements to female pattern hair loss.

- Finasteride: low-quality evidence showed that it was no more effective than placebo. Note: this is a hormone pill, and while men can take it and see hair loss reduced, I do not prescribe it for women.

- Laser devices: inconsistent results prevent me from endorsing their effectiveness, however, total hair count increased compared with the baseline.

This lack of treatment frustrates you and me. Recently, I had a patient come into Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville with female pattern hair loss. I have seen her multiple times for this, and she understands that there is really nothing I can give her that will lead to the return of a full, thick head of hair. However, she wanted to just check in with me to see if anything has changed, and to let me know that she is suffering with depression, mainly due to her thinning hair. She is not alone - I have quite a few Nashville patients that fit this scenario. Despite the fact that they know they will not go completely bald, an underlying fear remains.

The bottom line is this: Unfortunately there are very limited options available to treat female pattern hair loss, that I can offer you as a dermatologist. Studies like this one show that . The only vitamin that is proven to strengthen both hair and nails is biotin, which is easily accessible at any pharmacy or from our online store.

If you’re concerned about female pattern hair loss, please visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: JAMA Dermatology

Related Buzz: Know These 3 Treatments for Female Hair Loss, Dealing With Hair Loss in African-American Women

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD

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