Dr. Gabel prescribes FDA approved medications such as finasteride (brand name Propecia) to help combat male pattern baldness with preventative treatments. Finasteride is taken orally once per day and is clinically tested to be an effective treatment for slowing down or arresting hair loss for most men.
Male pattern baldness is the cause of most hair loss experienced by the male population and is caused by the effects of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on genetically susceptible hair follicles located in the front, top, and crown of the scalp. Men with male pattern baldness are genetically predisposed to the DHT hormone that causes the miniaturization of their susceptible hair follicles, which shrink in size, both in diameter and length. As a result, the miniaturized follicle eventually produces a small, unpigmented vellus hair rather than the usual pigmented, normal terminal hair.
DHT also shortens the susceptible follicle’s growth (anagen) phase. These two effects cause the hair to become progressively shorter and finer until it eventually disappears to the naked eye and is no longer viable. Finasteride (Propecia) acts to lower the amount of DHT in the body and thus protects DHT susceptible hair follicles from being exposed to the minaturatization effects of the hormone to their hair. The crown portion of the scalp has been observed to benefit the most, but the entire scalp can see positive results from long-term use of the medication.
A physician’s prescription is required for access to finasteride, which can be prescribed in either the 1-mg tablet form available as the name brand drug Propecia or as a more economical 5-mg tablet under the name Proscar. Proscar tablets can be cut into pieces to create individual doses for several days. Generic prescriptions of finasteride can also be provided by a physician, and there are a number of trustworthy generic brands of finasteride on the market that can be safely consumed with medical supervision.
Finasteride is not appropriate for women to consume and is only prescribed for men.