Alopecia in women; Baldness - female; Hair loss in women; Androgenetic alopecia in women
The hair loss in female pattern baldness is permanent, if not treated. In most cases, hair loss is mild to moderate. You do not need treatment if you are comfortable with your appearance.
The only drug or medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness is minoxidil, used on the scalp.
In women who do not respond to minoxidil, oral spironolactone may be added.
Hair transplants remove tiny plugs of hair from areas where hair is thicker, and place them in areas that are balding. This can cause minor scarring where the hair is removed, and carries a slight risk for skin infection. Many transplantation sessions are usually needed, which can be expensive. However, the results are often excellent and permanent.
The use of hair implants made of artificial fibers was banned by the FDA because of the high rate of infection.
Stitching (suturing) hair pieces to the scalp is not recommended. It can result in scars, infections, and abscess of the scalp.
Hair weaving, hairpieces, or a change in hairstyle may disguise hair loss and improve your appearance. This is often the least expensive and safest way to deal with female pattern baldness.
Complications are psychological stress and a loss of self-esteem due to change in appearance.
Habif TP. Hair diseases. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 24.
Mousney AL, Reed SW. Diagnosis and treating hair loss. Am Fam Physician. 2009;80:356-362.
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