Is there a connection between low-t treatments and hair loss? Dr. Alan Bauman presented new findings at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’s Conference in Las Vegas this past week on this very topic.
Many aging men today are turning to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to address low testosterone levels which research estimates one fourth of men suffer from. It’s no wonder millions of men are seeking treatment as common symptoms of low-t are low libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, bone weakening, lethargy and other possible health issues.
While hormone replacement therapy using testosterone is effective in treating this condition, it can also accelerate hereditary hair loss (male or female pattern hair loss) for many undergoing treatment. This is because the testoterone converts DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the primary hormone that triggers hair loss and causes the miniaturization of hair follicles, often to the point of dormancy.
For men that are concerned about the increased risk, Dr. Bauman recommends three steps for preventing hair loss during low-t therapy.
1) Risk Assessment
It’s important to evaluate each patient’s family history, signs of hair loss, and possibly undergo genetic testing to determine one’s risk of hair loss. New diagnostic tools are available, such as HairCheck and scalp microscopic photos, that can be used as well.
2) Treatment Options
Finasteride (Propecia), dutasteride, and nutriceuticals can be used to block DHT and stablize hair loss. Other options include minoxidil (Rogaine), bimatoprost, low-level laser therapy. For patients with more advanced hair loss concerns, permanent treatment options include hair transplant surgery with FUT (strip-method) or NeoGraft, both providing natural-looking results.
3) Tracking & Follow-Up
As with any other medical treatment, follow up appointment should continue so progress can be monitored and treatments adjusted as needed. Hair growth can be tracked over time through cross-section bundle trichometry and hair density and caliber measurements.
It’s important patients experiencing symptoms of low-t, it’s important not to completely disregard treatment for fear of hair loss as the benefits can out-way the risks for many who suffer.
“Low-T therapy has a variety of very positive health benefits for male patients, so men shouldn’t let this potential side-effect discourage them from seeking or continuing treatment,” Dr. Bauman said. “Instead, I would encourage all patients and healthcare providers offering HRT to be aware of the potential side-effect and take the appropriate steps ahead of time to prevent it. There are a wide array of preventive treatments available that can ensure men will have the best chance at maintaining a healthy head of hair throughout the course of low-T treatment, even if they are more genetically predisposed to hair loss.”
For more information about hair loss treatments, visit UtahHairMD.com.