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Dr. Tara Scott: What Are the Treatments for Hair Loss? (Video)

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Dr. Tara Scott: What Are the Treatments for Hair Loss? (Video)

(Video Transcript)

Hi, it’s Dr. Scott, and we’re talking about hair loss and options. We’ve gone through hormones that cause it, nutrients to talk about. So. what are the treatments for hair loss?

Well, let’s talk first about what traditionally you would get if you went to a dermatologist for traditional treatments.

So, normally what I find is that doctors are treating the symptom, not necessarily looking for the cause, but treating the symptoms.

So, the two things that are most commonly offered are topical Rogaine, which is minoxidil, or spironolactone.

So, let’s talk about the mechanism of action. Topical minoxidil comes in women’s strengths and men’s strengths, it’s over the counter, you can get a prescription for it. But, basically what it does is it acts on the hair follicle to lengthen [sic] the phase of hair growth, so it stimulates hair growth. So, it doesn’t have anything to do with hormones. And so it’s going to actually stimulate actual growth at the hair follicle.

The second thing that is most commonly given is spironolactone. It is traditionally used as a blood pressure medication, but what it does as a side effect is it blocks the conversion from testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is that stronger testosterone that is active at the hair follicle, at the skin.

So, for people with acne or hair loss from high testosterone, it generally works. It can work a little bit because overall it’s going to decrease your dihydrotestosterone. But, if you don’t have high testosterone, it’s really not going to work.

And, especially if you are a peri-menopausal or post-menopausal woman, some of the side effects I have seen is that people have decreased libido.

So, those are the 2 traditional treatments that are most commonly given for hair loss.

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