Feb 20, 2010
2
0
0
Status
How can finasteride be used to treat both androgenic alopecia as well as hirsutism? I can see how it can treat hirsutism since DHT is causes hair growth. But if DHT causes hair growth, how does blocking its production treat alopecia?
 

coldweatherblue

10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2007
1,085
8
251
Status
Medical Student
funny I was just studying pharm and had this exact same question..

the answer lies in the pathophys of male pattern baldness. remember it's not a deficiency of DHT that causes baldness.. people with androgenic alopecia have normal (or increased) levels of DHT. Rather it's sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT that causes the disease. so an anti-androgen like finasteride would prevent 5-alpha reductase from doing it's job and lower DHT levels leading to reduced hair loss.

hirsutism otoh is because of too much androgens (as you would expect) so reducing DHT treats this condition as well.

oh yeah WIKIPEDIA rocks. :D
 

werd

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2004
838
38
361
Visit site
Status
Attending Physician
How can finasteride be used to treat both androgenic alopecia as well as hirsutism? I can see how it can treat hirsutism since DHT is causes hair growth. But if DHT causes hair growth, how does blocking its production treat alopecia?
DHT causes hair loss. finasteride blocks type II 5-a-reductase which turns testosterone into DHT. think of it like this... less DHT means less manly, and less manly means less bald.
 

tncekm

MS-1
10+ Year Member
Jul 18, 2006
3,616
4
0
Status
Medical Student
Different hair follicles respond to DHT differently. Some respond by accelerated hair growth, some with shrinking hair follicles, and others are non responsive (the ones that get transplanted from the back of your head in hair transplants). The hair on top of your head will have a follicle that declines in size in response to DHT exposure. This means people with androgenic alopecia, whom are hypersensitive, will lose their hair quicker. Using finasteride will inhibit DHT production, meaning that hair will stop falling out as quickly because there is less DHT available to stimulate the hair follicles atop your head.

At least, that's the gist of what I looked up.
 

RySerr21

i aint kinda hot Im sauna
10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2007
5,931
24
251
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
DHT causes hair loss. finasteride blocks type II 5-a-reductase which turns testosterone into DHT. think of it like this... less DHT means less manly, and less manly means less bald.
what if you believe that less manly is goes along with more baldness. then you are screwed.
 

turkeyjerky

10+ Year Member
Sep 27, 2008
1,777
162
281
Status
Resident [Any Field]
haven't you ever noticed how a lot of bald men are really hairy, like bears? think of it like you're reversing that process