A new study, published within the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, has revealed Botox could be a potential hair loss treatment.
Currently, there are just two FDA approved treatments for androgenetic alopecia; Minoxidil and Finasteride. However, after being used in small clinical trials, injectable Botulinum Toxin has shown some success as an adjuvant treatment for patients.
So, could Botox really be the key to treating androgenetic alopecia? Below we will look at what the study found and how the drug might work.
What the systematic review revealed
The systematic review included 11 articles found via a number of large databases, including PubMed and the Web of Science. Each study was thoroughly assessed and information regarding the number of participants, outcome measurements, and side effects was recorded.
The articles used in the study were published between 2005 and 2019. A total of nine of the studies were on treatment effects, and the other two were focused on adverse side effects. It included 106 patients in total, and initial findings showed Botox could be a double-edged sword in the treatment of alopecia. The study showed low degrees of safety and desired results.
How could Botox help?
The reason some researchers believe Botox could prove useful in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, is due to its scalp relaxation benefits. When the scalp muscles are relaxed, they place less pressure onto the perforating vessels. This in turn could help increase oxygen and blood flow to the balding spots. While this wouldn’t stop the hair loss completely, it could slow it down.
While in theory, this could prove somewhat effective, larger studies are required to address initial concerns. The current study did show a lack of safety, which would obviously need to be dealt with if it were to become a viable treatment option.
Seeking treatment for androgenetic alopecia
Those who are suffering with androgenetic alopecia do have some effective treatment options. Minoxidil is a topical treatment that has shown some success in minimising hair loss. There are different strengths available, and it needs to be applied directly to the scalp.
Finasteride is another drug that can be prescribed, though it does have some potential side effects. It is important to talk through your treatment options with a specialist to determine which one is right for you. Both of these recognised treatments are only temporary. Any benefits they provide will wear off within six months to one year after you stop using them.
Although androgenetic alopecia cannot be cured, it does tend to progress slowly. This gives patients time to seek treatment which can help to further slow down its progression. Treatment is therefore used more to delay the effects of the condition, rather than to stop it completely.
The new study regarding Botox as a new treatment for androgenetic alopecia is certainly interesting. However, patients should note that it does need a lot more research and like other treatments available, it would only provide temporary results.