Back to Journals » International Journal of Women's Health » Volume 5

Female pattern alopecia: current perspectives

Authors Levy LL, Emer JJ

Received 1 June 2013

Accepted for publication 28 June 2013

Published 29 August 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 541—556

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S49337

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Lauren L Levy, Jason J Emer

Department of Dermatology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Abstract: Hair loss is a commonly encountered problem in clinical practice, with men presenting with a distinctive pattern involving hairline recession and vertex balding (Norwood-Hamilton classification) and women exhibiting diffuse hair thinning over the crown (increased part width) and sparing of the frontal hairline (Ludwig classification). Female pattern hair loss has a strikingly overwhelming psychological effect; thus, successful treatments are necessary. Difficulty lies in successful treatment interventions, as only two medications – minoxidil and finasteride – are approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, and these medications offer mediocre results, lack of a permanent cure, and potential complications. Hair transplantation is the only current successful permanent option, and it requires surgical procedures. Several other medical options, such as antiandrogens (eg, spironolactone, oral contraceptives, cyproterone, flutamide, dutasteride), prostaglandin analogs (eg, bimatoprost, latanoprost), and ketoconazole are reported to be beneficial. Laser and light therapies have also become popular despite the lack of a profound benefit. Management of expectations is crucial, and the aim of therapy, given the current therapeutic options, is to slow or stop disease progression with contentment despite patient expectations of permanent hair regrowth. This article reviews current perspectives on therapeutic options for female pattern hair loss.

Keywords: androgenetic alopecia, female pattern hair loss, minoxidil, finasteride, antiandrogens, spironolactone

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]