Optimal use of topical minoxidil in management of female pattern hair loss in India: an expert opinion
Keywords:Minoxidil, FPHL, Androgenetic alopecia, Treatment
Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is a common cause of hair loss and is associated with a reduction in quality of life and psychological morbidity. It is characterised by nonscarring progressive thinning of hair with gradual reduction in the number of hairs, with prevalence increasing with advancing age. A differential diagnosis of FPHL includes conditions like chronic telogen effluvium, diffuse alopecia areata, and some cases of scarring alopecia such as frontal fibrosing alopecia. A comprehensive history and thorough clinical examination are essential in establishing the diagnosis of FPHL. Additionally, dermoscopy is a valuable tool for appropriate diagnosis, specifically in early stages of the disease. Due to the chronic course and progressive nature of FPHL, long-term management is essential for sustained effects. Medical treatment with minoxidil remains the mainstay treatment for FPHL. Other therapeutic modalities include topical therapies like biomimetic peptides, systemic therapies like oral anti-androgen drugs such as finasteride and spironolactone as well as oral minoxidil in selected cases. Dermatosurgical procedures like platelet rich plasma, microneedling, low level laser and hair transplantation have been used. The role of diet has also been debated. The current article provides an overview on the optimal use of topical minoxidil for management of FPHL in Indian clinical practice.
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