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Minoxidil

DHI Medical Group
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This was the first FDA approved medication for male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia.

WHAT IS MINOXIDIL?

Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine (trade name), is a key component in the fight to help reduce hair loss. It is applied directly to the scalp in the form of a topical solution, either based on liquid or foam, and can be purchased without a prescription. It can also be found as tablets.

There is a misconception that minoxidil only works on the crown, because all original studies were performed in this particular area. On the contrary, Minoxidil also has very good results in other parts of the head.  Although it does not work when the area is very bald. The best results from this medication will be seen anywhere from 5 months to 2 years. In a long-term use, the hair will continue to fall, but at a much slower rate.

How Minoxidil works?

Minoxidil works by increasing the duration of the growth phase of the hair, known as Anagen phase. It also helps the blood flow to the hair follicles, which can increase the diameter and length of miniaturized hairs. By result, Minoxidil prolongs the growth of the hair and increases the diameter of the follicles, thus giving the patient more coverage in his or her balding areas.

HOW TO USE MINOXIDIL?

Minoxidil only works by applying it directly onto the scalp, and should be used, twice a day, one in the morning, and once at night before bedtime. The 5% formulation for Minoxidil can be more effective than the 2% solution. You would see authentic results after 6 or 16 months.

What are the most common side effects with Minoxidil Topical Solution?

The most common side effects are itching and other skin irritations of the treated area of the scalp. Products with Minoxidil topical solution contains alcohol, which would cause burning or irritation of the eyes or sensitive skin areas. If minoxidil topical solution accidentally gets into these areas, rinse with large amounts of cool tap water.

Contact your specialist if irritation persists.

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Is Minoxidil as effective as Finasteride?

Minoxidil and Finasteride are two FAD approved products for hair loss treatment. They work by different mechanisms. The success rate is similar between 5% minoxidil (twice daily) and 1 mg finasteride pill (once a day).

Can women use Minoxidil?

Yes. Women 5% and 2% can use both formulations. However, it is important to consider that women are usually more sensitive to the side effects of the solution, such as decreasing blood pressure and developing allergic skin reactions. Another side effect for women can be the development facial hair.

Who should not use Minoxidil?

People with any heart problems should not use it.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should not it.

How soon can I expect results from using Minoxidil?

Since normal hair usually grows only 1/2 to 1 inch per month, hair regrowth with Minoxidil also takes time. Generally new hair growth is slow for a Minoxidil user. Continued use 2 times a day for at least 4 months is usually needed, before you notice hair regrowth.

Would using a topical Minoxidil solution in combination with Finasteride be more effective than Minoxidil alone?

YES, both medications have been shown to give better results when used in combination. Finasteride and Minoxidil work on different mechanisms of action, making them a very effective way to treat hair loss problems.

If Minoxidil is place on a wet scalp, what will happen?

Topical drugs actually penetrate the skin much more effectively when the skin is damp not wet. Therefore, theoretically, the minoxidil potency should increase. Please make sure that your skin is just damp, and not wet with drops of water, otherwise the water will change the composition of the minoxidil product and make it more difficult to be absorbed.

Can I apply Minoxidil Topical Solution and wash my hair an hour later?

No. For Minoxidil to work best, you should allow it to remain on the scalp for about 3 hours before washing. The recommended use is for the minoxidil to stay on the scalp for the entire day, then once again for the entire night while sleeping. By doing this, the scalp will receive a constant dose of what is needed from the medication to treat their hair loss problem.

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