Tuesday, April 03, 2007

For Men: Help Doc! I am getting BALD!

This is probably every man's nightmare.

I remember looking at my own scalp last year and wondering if my hair was a little thin on top. Of course, with my medical knowledge, I told myself that it is unlikely since I don't have any predecessors who are bald and that the area I felt my hair was thin was not typical of male pattern baldness.

But it was a whole different story emotionally. When it comes to issues of the heart, we tend to behave irrationally. I was gripped by the fear that one day I might end up with a "Chrome Dome" and being able to use my head to reflect the sunlight into a dark room. Worse than that, I remembered that my Maths Lecturer in RJC used to grow his hair really long on one side and use it to cover the bald area. The students used to giggle in class when those strands of hair lift off the bald part and swing 180 degrees to end up dangling over the shoulder.

What is the Cause? And what do Eunuch's have to do with it?

Male pattern baldness tends to run in families. So there is not much you can do to prevent it. However, it is prudent to let your doctor have a look at your scalp to determine if there may be other causes for your hairloss. For example, you might be suffering from a fungal infection which may be causing the hair to drop off. This is a condition that can be easily treated with medications.

Male pattern balding is caused by too much testosterone circulating in the body. There are androgen receptors on the scalp which react to the high level of testosterone resulting in hair dropping off. These are found in high density in the forehead and crown area of the scalp which explains why men start to bald in those areas. Male pattern baldness is unheard off amongst Eunuchs (Men who have been castrated), since they have very low levels of testosterone. However, castrating oneself in order to protect one's hair is a bit extreme. And besides, when you castrate yourself, you lose your sexual drive, so what's the point of looking attractive?

So what are my options?

Male pattern baldness is an incurable condition. Most men come to accept it as a natural part of their lives and some like Yul Brynner and Vin Diesel even embrace it. In fact, they actually look more sexy bald than when they have hair.

Other men like William Shatner (Capt Kirk) and Ted Danson (Becker) prefer to wear toupees to hide their bald spot. Incidentally, if you are interested in moviestars who are secretly wearing wigs, please click here.

Are there any medical treatments?

There are only two medical treatments that have been found to be effective in reducing hairloss.

The first is a medication known as minoxidil. It is a lotion that is directly applied to the scalp. The other is a tablet known as finasteride. Both have to be taken for life. Once you stop medications, the hair loss resumes. These are prescription medications which are available from your Family Doctor who will be the best person to advise you on whether they are suitable for your condition.

Conclusion

If you have inherited the gene from your forefathers then your hairloss is inevitable. Those that really want to keep their hair can do so by taking regular medications. The best time to start taking medications is before you lose too much hair as it is easier to retain the hair you have rather than to replace the ones you have lost. If you have a problem with male pattern baldness and want to do something about it, you should visit your Family Doctor to discuss different treatment options.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about meds such as Propecia? Is it the same as finasteride which u have mentioned?

ieat & itreat said...

Finesteride is the generic name for Propecia

Anonymous said...

Can you give us a rough gauge of how much does Propecia cost per month?

ieat & itreat said...

Around $100-$110

Anonymous said...

you should recommend them to get proscar; cut it into 5 pieces and you won't feel the hole in your pocket as compared to propecia.

KY said...

Hi Doctor,

Does you clinic provide hair loss consultation? I would like to check if I am having excessive hair loss.

Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

Can i use mediguard for this treatment?