hair loss can slow thinning of hair and increase
coverage of the scalp by growing new hair and enlarging existing hairs. But
they need to be taken regularly. If you stop the medicine, hair loss returns. Do not expect to regrow a full head of hair. Hair coverage
is improved on the top of the head, but not on the forehead area.
- Hair Loss: Should I Take Medicine to Regrow Hair?
Medicines often used to treat inherited hair loss include:
- Minoxidil. Minoxidil (Rogaine) is
available without a prescription and is sprayed on and/or rubbed into the scalp
twice a day.
- Finasteride. Finasteride (Propecia) is available by
prescription and is taken once daily in pill form.
Medicines used to treat
alopecia areata, which is caused when the immune
hair follicles , include:3
- Corticosteroids injected into the scalp. The corticosteroid is
injected many times about
1 cm (0.4 in.) apart every 4 to
6 weeks. This is the most common treatment in adults and is best used for
treating patchy hair loss.
- Corticosteroid ointments or creams you put on the
scalp. Corticosteroids may be used along with
injected steroids or with other medicines such as minoxidil
- Corticosteroids you take by mouth (oral). Although this
does result in hair growth, it is rarely used because of the side effects of
- Contact immunotherapy, which triggers an allergic reaction on the scalp that may help hair to grow.
- Psoralen with ultraviolet A light (PUVA) therapy. For
PUVA, a medicine called a psoralen is used to make the skin more sensitive to
ultraviolet A (UVA) light. Then the skin is exposed to UVA light.
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
May 29, 2012
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