Why is topical finasteride considered safer for hair loss treatment?

About Heena Hair Expert
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) and Gold Medalist from Baroda Medical College. She has a decade long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.
Read the blog and find out all about the benefits of topical Finasteride for hair loss treatment. Learn how it works and get to know about it's side effects.
Why is topical finasteride considered safer for hair loss treatment?

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride is one of the most popular drugs to treat male pattern baldness in men. It was initially developed as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia but it led to the discovery that it could also stop hair loss and contribute to hair growth. It is available in both generic forms and as a brand name.  It stops the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Topical finasteride can help stop hair loss in men who are suffering from androgenetic alopecia. It can also be used as a combination with other medication like minoxidil or hair serums.  When it comes to a comparison between finasteride vs minoxidil, most have stated their preference for finasteride, with almost two-thirds of people with male pattern baldness reporting hair regrowth.

Type of Finasteride Medication

Finasteride can be taken topically and also as a pill.

1. Oral Finasteride: This is the more common form of finasteride medication and is used extensively in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, success which affects a large number of men around the world. It needs to be ingested every day in a pill form. The regime needs to follow regularly for best results. It needs to be emphasized that one cannot stop this therapy without consulting a doctor.

2. Topical Finasteride: While most people take Finasteride in the pill form, topical finasteride is becoming extremely popular of late. Topical finasteride is administered locally over the affected area. It needs to be applied every day without fail. Therefore, the process of application is more detailed as the effects need to be  felt locally right where the hormone is creating challenges, rather than the entire body. Topical Finasteride is found in different forms including gels, liquid  or foam solutions. You need to consult with your doctor before deciding to pursue this therapy for hair fall.  It can also be used in combination with a number of other treatments for hair loss. 

How Does Topical Finasteride Work?

High DHT levels result in the shrinkage of the hair on the scalp which leads to baldness. DHT is formed by the  5alpha-reductase enzyme which converts testosterone to DHT. This leads to a shortening of the growth cycle of your strands and leads to follicular miniaturisation  and progressively thinner and shorter hair. New hair takes time to replace the damaged hairs in the hair follicles. Finasteride curbs the action of 5alpha-reductase preventing the conversion to DHT and thereby  prevents hair loss. Topical Finasteride Topical Finasteride is advantageous for those people who are vulnerable to the side effects of oral finasteride. However, despite conflicting claims about the relative efficacy of both systems, most are in agreement about the more potent benefits of using a combination of the two.

Are There Any Side Effects of Finasteride Topical Solution ?

Topical Finasteride does help in lowering the DHT levels of the body but it too does have some side effects like oral finasteride, albeit with lesser damage. It is extremely rare to see severe side effects from the application of topical finasteride. The negative effects, if at all, last for a couple of days. If they extend beyond a couple of weeks you would need to get in touch with your healthcare provider. A significant case for topical finasteride is its negligible connection with adverse sexual results. The use of finasteride is not approved for women and is not allowed for pregnant women in particular as it is believed it could result in genital defects in babies.

Why is Finasteride Considered a Safer Option for Hair Loss Treatment?

Since topical finasteride has a significantly lower effect on serum DHT of the body it is less likely to cause side effects. Certain men are also extra sensitive to a drop in DHT levels and for them the topical medicine would be a preferred option because it could help prevent systemic side effects in the body associated with the conversion process of testosterone. However, this has the same efficacy when it comes to curbing hair loss. Also, when it comes to men the side-effects of oral consumption like infertility, testicular pain and decreased ejaculate discourage them from trying out the finasteride tablets. A study concluded that topical finasteride reduced both plasma and scalp DHT but not in serum testosterone. The other advantage is that patients who do not want to continue with oral finasteride for a longer period of time can switch to the topical version at any point of time to complete their course. 

FAQ's

  • Who should use topical finasteride ?

This is ideally made for 18-year-old men and older who are suffering from male pattern baldness. 

  • How do we apply topical finasteride ?

You should use a dropper to apply 1 ml of the solution to the affected areas. Apply this twice daily with at least an 8-hour gap between both applications. Apply in small droplets so that it does not flow out into unwanted areas. You are not required to rub the solution into the scalp. 

  • How long does it take topical finasteride to have an effect ?

The results may vary for different people. While some may see hair grow in 2 months, others may have to wait for 4 months. Initially one will sprout baby hairs which will develop into darker and thicker strands of hair in course of time. However, if you do not see the desired effects in the scheduled time, do not increase the dosage. This will not result in faster growth but may have some adverse side effects instead.

Finasteride Topical  Solution is one of the most popular remedies for male pattern baldness and has helped a number of people regrow their hair. It also has the added advantage of not having those debilitating side effects that make you feel that the cure is worse than the disease itself. Do visit us at Traya for solutions as our experts minutely examine your tresses to offer you those cures that are as effective as they are long lasting.

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