Female androgenic alopecia is called “androgenic”, because it is connected in one way or another with higher levels of male hormones (androgens) or the greater sensitivity of hair follicle receptors to androgens. It can also be the result of changes in the enzyme activity of hormones participating in metabolism of androgens, such as 5-alpha-reductase (higher activity) and aromatase (lower activity).
From the clinical standpoint and for better treatment, it is necessary to distinguish between
In the first case, the disease develops in a chronic fashion, progressing gradually. In 99% of cases, one can detect higher levels of male hormones, including:
In the second case, female androgenic alopecia stems from the misbalance of male and female hormones as a result of lower levels of the latter.
Many medical publications describe post-40 female androgenic alopecia as a highly pronounced form of female androgenization that is accompanied by seborrhea oleosa, acne, pilosity, and menstrual disorders. In actual fact, it is an extreme form of androgenization in women.
In our practice, female androgenic alopecia is rarely accompanied by the above symptoms and is mostly limited to thinning hair in the frontoparietal region. The most important thing for women to understand is that thinning hair is caused by androgenization processes and that all medical treatment that only targets the scalp has a temporary impact at best and does not stop general androgenization.
Androgenization brings about
1. Increased muscle size
2. Psychological changes
3. Changes in social behavior
4. Changes in ovaries (polycystic ovary syndrome, which leads to infertility)
5. Insulin resistance: body cells become less sensitive to insulin, leading to an increase of insulin and glucose levels in the blood, i.e., to the metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes
Naturally, these conditions do not appear in the first year of androgenization. They emerge 5 to 15 years after the beginning of the disease.
The disease leads to:
1. Lower fertility (ability to conceive)
2. Social disadaptation (a high percentage of divorce cases among women in this age group)
3. As an extreme manifestation of androgenization, changes in sexual orientation
Thus, the patient herself as well as her doctor (trichologist, dermatologist, endocrinologist, or gynecologist) should be aware of the consequences of the development of general female androgenization and should not simply try to treat the external cosmetic consequences.
At our international trichology center, the treatment and diagnostics
of female androgenic alopecia is performed in several different ways:
1. Analysis of blood and urine for higher levels of androgens
2. Search for causes of the increased levels of androgens (ultrasound scan and computer tomography of adrenal glands and ovaries)
The excessive synthesis of androgens can take place in the ovaries, adrenal glands, or both.
Women with androgenic alopecia should understand that, if the altered metabolism of male hormones begins in their body, it will continue for the rest of their life. Only regular planned treatment can avoid all the unpleasant symptoms and consequences of the general androgenization of the female body. This condition may be compared to a thyroid gland disorder. If thyroid hormones are lacking, they must be taken for one’s entire life. If the thyroid gland secretes more hormones, then medications that slow down the activity of the thyroid gland must also be taken on a permanent basis.
Thus, androgenization patients must understand that they have no alternative and that going to beauty parlors and trichology clinics and rubbing in creams and ointments only have a temporary effect and do not stop the overall androgenization of the body (the transformation of the female body into a male body). In other words, when testosterone and its metabolites are present in excessive quantities, they act as a poison for women, changing not only the body but also the mind.
Our medical center is the only place in Russia and the world where all forms of women’s hair loss have been successfully treated for over twenty years. To begin treatment, just fill out the application form or give us a call.
Here is an example of the emotional state of a female patient with androgenic alopecia that was voiced at a women’s forum: “Winter is over, and a hat can’t save you anymore. Summer has arrived, and our heads and hair are shining again. We will have to use our imagination once again. Shawls and caps are so tiresome in the heat! It’s ok when you go shopping, yet how can you go to a good cafe with them? It’s particularly noticeable on the sea: you go swimming, a wave submerges you, your cap or shawl falls to the side, your hair is wet, and your bald head shines through…”
You can see here the results of treatment. There is clearly no need to label which photos were made "before" and which were made "after" treatment.
Click on an image to enlarge it.
Mary R., 31 years old
|1. Before the treatment||2. Three months later|
Janet O., 39 years old
Mrs. O. had two 10-day treatment courses.
|1. Before the treatment||2. The control picture was taken one year later after beginning of the treatment.|