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.

A new study carried out by researchers in Taiwan has revealed the trauma patients living with androgenetic alopecia experience. The condition, which affects approximately 53% of men aged 40 to 49, is believed to cause a dramatic decrease in quality of life.

Now, experts are recommending patients seek help from a psychotherapist to help deal with the mental effects of the condition.

Here, we will look at the latest study and its findings, alongside the mental health effects of androgenetic alopecia.

What did the study reveal?

The latest study was carried out by researchers from the Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, Taiwan. They performed a systemic review alongside a meta-analysis of 41 different studies. A total of 7,995 patients were included in the research.

Results showed that patients experience significant levels of embarrassment, worry, frustration and shame. However, it did not report a link between the condition and depression.

The self-conscious emotions that come from androgenetic alopecia are reported to cause patients significant issues in their daily lives. The researchers now recommend patients are offered counselling to help deal with the associated trauma.

What is androgenetic alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia affects both men and women. It is a genetic form of hair loss which naturally occurs with age. The condition is particularly prevalent in men, with 90% experiencing it in their lifetime. In male patients it presents as a receding hairline, and balding on top of the head. It has been linked to several other conditions such as an enlarged prostate and coronary heart disease.

A study carried out on mice, showed that the condition is linked to the male androgen hormones. Over time, the hair follicles begin to shrink. This results in the growth of thinner, shorter strands of hair. Eventually, the hair will stop growing altogether, leading to baldness.

While it is mostly known to effect older men, the condition can also occur in younger patients. It isn’t yet preventable, though as it is linked to stress, reducing your stress hormones could help delay its onset.

There is no cure for androgenetic alopecia. However, there are several effective treatment options available.

Androgenetic alopecia reatment options available

There are several treatment options patients with androgenetic alopecia could benefit from. Male patients may find the FDA approved Finasteride drug effective. However, the drug can cause some unpleasant side effects. These will be discussed in full during your consultation so you can decide whether it’s the right treatment option for you.

A safer alternative is the topical Minoxidil treatment. This is applied directly on the scalp and has shown some effectiveness in male patients. These are typically the best two treatments for the physical effects of androgenetic alopecia.

In light of this new research, patients should also consider undergoing counselling. This will help you to deal with the emotional effects of the condition. Often, it is the emotional symptoms which cause the most distress.

A cross-sectional study has recently revealed a link between smoking and androgenetic alopecia. It isn’t the first study to identify an association between smoking and hair loss. An observational study back in 2003, also revealed smoking can lead to hair loss as well as issues with the skin.

Here, we will look at what the most recent study found, and the impact smoking has on the hair.

Understanding the latest study

The study, published in September 2020, aimed to assess the clinical and demographic features of early-onset AGA in smokers and non-smokers. The researchers recruited 1000 male patients aged from 20 to 35 years old. All participants were healthy, with no sign of mental illness or local scalp conditions.

The men were split into two groups of 500, with one group consisting of smokers, and the other non-smokers. The Hamilton baldness scale was used to identify androgenetic alopecia, while a trichoscopy was carried out to diagnose the condition. The participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire relating to their smoking and physical habits.

In the smoking group, it was discovered that 425 out of 500 men had some form of androgenetic alopecia. In the non-smoking group, only 200 of the men were identified as having the condition. It was also revealed that the men in the smoking group had more severe cases of androgenetic alopecia.

The results of the study show smoking does have a significant impact on hair loss. The question is, how does smoking contribute towards androgenetic alopecia?

How does smoking affect the hair?

There are several ways smoking affects the hair. Through various studies, it has been established that the chemicals in tobacco smoke can cause both premature greying and hair loss. The chemical components can start to build up in the hair, gradually affecting the follicles.

Smoking is also known to limit the amount of oxygen that is carried by the cells, preventing the hair from getting the oxygen and nutrients that it needs. To sum up, smoking can result in premature greying, baldness, and brittle hair.

The different ways smoking can impact hair loss

The latest study isn’t the only one to link smoking with hair loss. A Taiwan study discovered that those who smoked 20 or more cigarettes each day, had an increased risk of baldness. It is thought that the toxins contained within cigarettes damage the follicles, causing damage at the roots.

Another potential cause of hair loss is oxidative stress. Previous studies have shown that smoking can increase the production of free radicals. These are molecules within the body which can cause damage to the cells of your DNA. This includes damage to the hair cells, leading to hair loss and thinning.

While the negative health effects of smoking are well documented, hair loss is one of the lesser-known symptoms. Quitting smoking is the best way to protect your hair against further damage. If you suspect you are suffering with androgenetic alopecia, call 020 7580 8356 to book a consultation with a hair expert to discuss the temporary treatment options available which can slow down the progression of the condition.

Hair loss is extremely common in both men and women. Although it is commonly associated with older age, there are a lot of potential reasons you may start to lose your hair. While the majority of the time it isn’t anything to worry about, in some cases it could be a sign of something more serious.

Here, we will look at some of the signs to watch out for that could point to a more serious issue.

Thyroid disorders and hair loss

Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism are autoimmune hormonal imbalances. They occur most frequently in women and can result in hair loss. They are the medical terms for an over-active and under-active thyroid.

Muscle aches tend to accompany the hair loss with this condition. You may also experience weight gain or loss, fatigue, constipation, and a low heart rate.

Anaemia and hair loss

Occasionally, hair loss can relate to iron deficiency anaemia. The condition is caused when you aren’t taking in enough daily iron. The reason it occurs is thought to be because the hair cells are sensitive to a decreasing amount of iron in the body. This means they might not produce new cells as effectively as usual.

Alongside hair loss, other symptoms which could point to anaemia include shortness of breath, fatigue, brittle nails, fast heartbeat, and pale skin.

Autoimmune diseases and hair loss

Hair loss can sometimes point to an autoimmune disease. Alopecia Areata and Lupus are just a couple of autoimmune diseases that can contribute towards hair loss.

Alopecia Areata is the most severe type of hair loss, sometimes leading to complete permanent baldness. There are different types of the condition, including Alopecia totalis and Alopecia Universalis. The former results in a loss of hair all over the scalp, while Alopecia Universalis results in hair loss across the whole body. While this condition can be highly distressing, it isn’t dangerous to your health. You also won’t experience any other symptoms.

With Lupus, it also occurs due to the autoimmune system attacking its own cells. The inflammation caused can start to damage the body’s organs such as the joints, kidneys and lungs. Hair loss is a symptom of the condition, alongside swollen joints, fever, body aches, skin rashes, and headaches.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and hair loss

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder that affects women, resulting in increased androgen production. It mostly causes hair to grow in places it shouldn’t such as on the face, chest, and abdomen. It causes a number of symptoms including hair loss, irregular periods, weight gain, oily skin, and difficulty getting pregnant.

Skin conditions and hair loss

A number of skin conditions can also lead to hair loss on the scalp. Seborrheic dermatitis is just one skin condition that can trigger hair loss and thinning. It causes inflamed, scaly skin that is painful or itchy to the touch. It can worsen due to stress or chronic fatigue, and it leads to hair loss when it occurs on the scalp.

As you can see, there are a lot of potential causes of hair loss to be aware of. Sometimes it could be a sign of a more serious problem. For this reason, it is important to seek a diagnosis from a hair loss expert before you seek treatment.

A new study has revealed that bald men are more likely to suffer with severe COVID. The findings were revealed at the EADV 2021 Spring Symposium, linking a biomarker relating to hair loss, with severe COVID infections.

Below, we will look at what the study into COVID and male pattern baldness found and how it might help in the treatment of COVID-19.

The link between COVID and male pattern baldness explored

The study was carried out after researchers noticed a large number of men who were hospitalised for COVID, had androgenetic alopecia. That is, male pattern baldness. The goal of the study was to determine how the androgen receptor gene associated with COVID. It is known that an enzyme associated with the COVID-19 infection, is regulated by an androgen response.

The study included 65 male patients who had been hospitalised with COVID-19. Their AR CAG repeat length was measured. This revealed that patients who had a CAG repeat of under 22 nucleotides, were dramatically less likely to be admitted into the ICU than those with a higher score.

The CAG repeat region is located within the AR gene, and it is also associated with androgenetic alopecia.

What is male pattern baldness?

Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is a common type of hair loss said to affect around 50% of men aged over 50. It is thought to be caused by both genetic and hormonal factors.

The DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) hormone changes the scalp’s hair follicles. Those that are affected start to become smaller and shorter in length. Eventually, the hair follicles shrink completely and stop producing new hair.

This type of hair loss tends to follow the same pattern. The hairline recedes, while hair starts to fall out from the top of the head. Currently, there is no cure for male pattern baldness. However, new treatments are constantly being developed to help treat the condition.

How might the study help with future treatments?

This new study could help in the development of new treatments, particularly for COVID-19. The researchers are now exploring a new therapy for the coronavirus. It involves a novel androgen receptor antagonist, working to regulate the TMPRSS2 expression. This would possibly help to treat COVID patients.

The research could also help in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. By looking into how the AR gene contributes towards the condition, preventative measures can be explored.

What current treatments are available for androgenetic alopecia?

While there isn’t a cure for androgenetic alopecia, there are some ways to treat it. Using oral and topical treatments can help to slow its progression. Hair transplant surgery may also be available depending upon the severity of the condition. A hair loss expert can advise on the most appropriate treatment option.

Hair loss is one of the most common conditions worldwide. So, why is it still surrounded by so much stigma?

A new study has revealed patients who suffer with alopecia areata are frequently stigmatised because of the condition. Interestingly, it also showed that the level of stigma depended upon the severity of the alopecia.

Here, we will look at what the study found and why there is still a stigma surrounding hair loss today.

What the latest study revealed

A cross-sectional study was carried out in America, with participants asked to fill out online surveys. They were required to react to images of individuals who were experiencing different degrees of hair loss. Alongside the images, participants were also asked to answer questions relating to stereotypes, disease, and social distance myths.

It was revealed that the more severe the level of hair loss, the more stigma occurred. Those who were completely bald due to alopecia were seen as not attractive or sick. Work related questions also posed concern, with 6.2% of respondents claiming they would be reluctant to hire somebody with alopecia. A total of 16.9% said they would also feel uncomfortable having physical contact with somebody who has alopecia.

The researchers discovered it was largely down to a lack of understanding about the condition. Those who did recognise alopecia as a medical condition didn’t have as much stigma towards it.

Why is there still stigma relating to hair loss today?

Due to how common hair loss is, you would think that there would be a lot less stigma surrounding the condition. Both men and women are widely known to suffer with age or genetic related hair loss. The trouble is society today places a lot of importance on aesthetics.

In an interview with the BBC on the stigma surrounding male pattern baldness and its effects on men, Dr David Fenton commented:

“Representations of physical perfection in the media lead many men to seek self-esteem in their appearance. People create confidence and self-esteem from it, and when they lose even a little bit, if their character and confidence is based on that, they’re going to have severe emotional and psychological impacts.”

Social media certainly plays a role in the stigma surrounding the condition. There is more pressure to look perfect now than there ever was before. Despite increasing awareness of hair loss, there are still a large number of people who are unfamiliar with alopecia areata and the fact it is a medical condition.

Understanding alopecia

Alopecia areata can vary greatly in severity. It is a medical condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells. Typically, small patches of hair fall out, but in some cases, it can affect the entire scalp. There is no cure for alopecia areata currently, although new treatments are continuously being researched.

The new research shows that there is still a lot of work to be done to eliminate the stigma surrounding the condition and hair loss as a whole.

Stress has long been known to link to hair loss. However, little is known as to how this actually causes the hair to shed.

Now, scientists from Harvard University have discovered how stress results in hair loss. In a study carried out on mice, it was revealed hair loss and balding occurred due to inhibited production of the GAS6 chemical.

Understanding the latest study

The study, published in the Nature journal, aimed to reveal how stress caused hair loss. Mice were fed corticosterone (the stress hormone), as well as introduced to a variety of stressors. These included putting the mice through isolation, changes in light, and damp bedding.

It was discovered that corticosterone can inhibit the GAS6 chemical production. The chemical is required to promote new hair growth. So, when it is inhibited, the hair falls into the dormant stage, before eventually shedding.

So far, this has only shown to occur in mice. However, researchers claim that the mechanism of the hair is similar in humans. This would lead us to believe that human trials would present the same effects.

Could this lead to new hair loss treatments?

The discovery of the link between corticosterone and GAS6 could potentially lead to the development of new hair loss treatments moving forward. However, human studies will need to be conducted to ensure the same results are recorded.

The researchers believe future treatments that increase the level of GAS6 could prove effective at treating alopecia. However, even if it does prove to be successful on humans, it won’t necessarily work for everyone.

There are many kinds of hair loss, and some forms of alopecia are more severe than others. Therefore, the cause of hair loss will depend upon whether this type of treatment would prove effective in the future.

What current treatment options are available?

Stress related hair loss is known as Telogen Effluvium. It is a temporary form of hair loss that is also known to occur after pregnancy.

With Telogen Effluvium, more hair is forced into the dormant phase. After a period of time, it will start to shed all at once. This leads to thinning. It will typically clear up by itself, particularly once the stress resides. However, in the meantime there are treatments patients can use to encourage a faster recovery.

Ensuring you eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is important. You should also avoid heat styling your hair, as well as reduce your stress levels. You can use over the counter topical treatments such as Minoxidil to help encourage regrowth.

Most of the time, Telogen Effluvium will clear up by itself. However, you should undergo a consultation to ensure stress is the cause of the problem, or whether it could be down to something else.