Complementary treatment

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The transplanted hair is not very susceptible to androgenic alopecia and remains in the new area for decades. However, hair density may decrease due to progressing loss of hair which was still present in the affected areas before the transplantation. In order to combat the loss of these native, non-transplanted hair, we offer our patients advanced complementary treatment. We offer pharmacological treatment enhanced with minimally invasive complementary procedures.

 

Pharmacological treatment

We currently offer two drugs approved for the treatment of androgenic alopecia. Their positive effects have been confirmed in numerous clinical trials, which were conducted in accordance with medical rules applicable to other drugs, e.g. for diabetes or hypertension. They are not cosmetics with empty promises, but fully-fledged medicines. Minoxidil, one of the drugs, comes in liquid form and is rubbed into the scalp.  It is effective in 60% of the patients who use it. The other drug, Finasteride, is taken orally and is effective in up to 80% of patients. Combining both drugs is the most effective regimen and you can enjoy the first results already after 3 months of regular use. Numerous studies confirmed hair regrowth in the areas affected by the disease at the beginning of the therapy, however, a long-term, several years’ follow-up only confirmed delayed hair loss. Pharmacological treatment is effective as long as it is used regularly. The rate of native hair loss goes back to the level from before the treatment about 3 months after the drug has been discontinued.

In conclusion, pharmacological treatment is important to maintain hair density by delaying the loss of native, not transplanted hair. However, it is only a supportive and complementary treatment to hair transplantation, because long-term follow-up failed to confirm regrowth of hair that already fell out.

Minoxidil

This drug was used in the past to treat hypertension and caused side effects in the form of excessive hair growth. This discovery led to the development of preparations for external use to support the treatment of baldness and hair growth. First, in 1986, a 2% formulation was introduced to the market, and then in 1993, a 5% formula was launched. Both forms of the drug are FDA approved (US Food & Drug Administration). Minoxidil acts to prolong the active phase of hair growth and increase the size of hair follicles. It stimulates skin cells, epithelial cells, fat stem cells and secondary proliferating hair cells. Use of this preparation is a very safe method of hair loss treatment. The most frequent side effects include irritation, allergy, itching, redness, which usually pass after a few weeks of use. The preparation should be used two times a day – in the morning and in the evening. 5% formulation is recommended for men and a 2% one – for women. During the first few weeks of application patients may also notice increased hair loss, which is nothing to be concerned about. After a few weeks of application, it will normalize and you will be able to enjoy increased hair density.

Finasteride

A synthetic compound commonly used to inhibit hair loss in men. Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which is harmful to some hair follicles. Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone responsible for the formation of male sexual traits, it has a stimulating effect on hair, for example on the chin, chest or limbs. Unfortunately, hair follicles in the scalp, especially in the receding hairline, frontal-central area and on the apex, react to this hormone differently. Dihydrotestosterone binds to these follicles causing their shrinkage and production of thinner, shorter hair in the process known as miniaturization. Finally, the hair follicles completely stop their hair production and the process of baldness becomes visible. Finasteride was approved by the FDA as a cure for male pattern androgenic alopecia already in 1997. The level of dihydrotestosterone in the scalp decreases by more than 60% after administration of Finasteride. The most commonly used dose for the treatment of male pattern baldness is 1 mg/day.

Side effects associated with the use of this drug include reduction of sex drive, depression, problems with obtaining or maintaining an erection and decreased sperm count. The use of Finasteride is sometimes considered controversial because of its possible side effects. However, it is worth taking a closer look at the frequency of these effects observed in clinical studies. In one of the studies covering about 2000 volunteers during the first year of application, a decrease in libido was observed in 1.8% of men taking Finasteride and 1.3% in the group not taking the drug, while erectile dysfunction occurred in 1.3% of men taking Finasteride and 0.7% in the group not taking the drug. In conclusion, in the first year of Finasteride use, it slightly increased the risk of sexual disorders. However, after 5 years of follow-up the frequency of sexual dysfunction in both groups was about 0.3%. Therefore, even though the incidence of adverse reactions was slightly more frequent than in a comparable untreated group in the first year of use, in the long-term follow-up the frequency of sexual disorders in men taking 1mg/day Finasteride was the same as in the normal untreated population (0.3%). Please notify your urologist that you are taking this medicine, if you’re running PSA tests and discontinue it at least one month before you plan your offspring. Should you have any concerns about the use of Finasteride, you can always talk your doctor, who will help you make the right decision after analysing your health and risk factors.

Complementary treatments

PRP – Platelet Reach Plasma

For many years successfully used in the treatment of hair loss, it stimulates the creation of new blood vessels and tissue regeneration processes. Platelet rich plasma is able to release growth factors by means of thickened platelets. Plasma is obtained from patient’s own blood, which is centrifuged to obtain a suspension with a large number of platelets. Plasma collected in this way is then directly injected into the patient’s hairy scalp. For best results it is recommended to undergo at least 4-5 series.

Mesotherapy with vitamins

Your scalp will be injected with special vitamin mixtures or nutrients, whose main aim is to stimulate hair growth and stop hair loss. The purpose of mesotherapy is to increase microcirculation in the scalp, as well as provide the necessary nutrients to hair follicles. The most popular substances used in mesotherapy mixtures include buflomedil, dexpanthenol, biotin, organic silica, vitamins, bio-peptides and biochanin A.

Adipose tissue-derived stem cells

Fat is an excellent source of multipotent stem cells. Their amount per gram of tissue is even greater than in the bone marrow or cord blood. These cells have the ability to differentiate into numerous tissues, have high self-regenerating capacities and are an excellent source of growth factors. The advantage of this method is the continuous production and supply of stimulating substances to hair follicles by living cells that were introduced into the skin, rather than intermittent supply of growth factors for several hours as in the case of platelet rich plasma. The use of adipose-tissue derived stem cells improves density and thickness of hair in the treated area. A single session is usually sufficient, because the transplanted cells settle in the scalp and produce stimulants in the long term. At Dr. Szczyt Clinic we have developed a proprietary method to increase the effectiveness of this treatment: our patients prepare for cell harvesting by going on a special, ready-to-eat box diet, which increases the density of stem cells in fat. After they have been isolated, the cells are suspended in a unique solution, which significantly improves their survival and stimulates multiplication.

Frequently asked questions

The most common side effects of Finasteride (for men) include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, depression, growth of mammary glands. Side effects of Minoxidil: increased hair loss, allergic reactions, increased itching of the scalp, redness of the scalp.

Complementary treatments (plasma, mesotherapy) should be used on a long-term basis. The therapy starts with treatments performed three times per month, and the frequency is then reduced to once every three months to maintain the results. If you opted for therapy with stem cells, the treatment is performed only once.

Contraindications: liver failure, kidney failure, cancer, diabetes mellitus, general ill health, infections, inflammation, skin lesions on the scalp, pregnancy, breastfeeding, purulent lesions on the scalp, allergy to components of the preparation.

The effectiveness of pharmacological and complementary treatment depends on the stage of the boldening process. The more advanced it is, the more difficult it will be to achieve satisfactory results with only complementary treatments and pharmacotherapy. The best therapeutic treatment involves a combination of surgical, pharmacological and complementary treatments.

Several studies have found no allergic reactions in patients. However, as with any drug, in some cases an allergic reaction to some of the drug ingredients may occur.

Yes, the treatment can be successfully applied in women. Finasteride has to be used in combination with hormonal contraception, because it may cause abnormal development of genital organs in male foetus. We can also offer other effective pharmacological treatments for women apart from Finasteride.

If you are using Finasteride, you don’t have to stop using it, continue taking it as usual. If you are using Minoxidil, you should stop using it at least two weeks before and two weeks after the procedure.

It is recommended that you continue your pharmacological treatment for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, by discontinuing it, you increase the possibility that alopecia will recur.