- Minoxidil / Azelaic Acid 5/12.5% 60 mL Dropper Bottle
The primary type of hair loss in men and women is androgenetic alopecia, also called female (or male) pattern hair loss. After age 30, approximately two-thirds of men will show a noticeable degree of hair loss. By the time men reach 50 years of age; roughly 85% of them will have noticeably thinning hair.1 The hair loss typically begins above the temples, and the hair will eventually recede to form the well-known “M” shaped hairline. The hair on the top of the scalp will also thin, frequently progressing to complete baldness.
Regarding female pattern baldness; in a population of postmenopausal women, as many as 66% will experience noticeable hair thinning, sometimes accompanied by bald spots.2 In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning from the part line, followed by increasing hair loss that radiates from the top of the scalp outward. The female hairline will rarely recede, and women only rarely suffer complete baldness.3
However, in both sexes; hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia will happen because of the genetically influenced shortening of the anagen (hair growing) phase, and the lengthening of time between when hair is shed and the beginning of the next anagen phase.4
What this means is that it takes much longer for the hair to begin growing back after being shed during the normal growth cycle. Additionally, the hair follicles will also change, diminishing and growing a shorter and thinner hair shaft. This process is called follicular miniaturization. The end result is that stronger, darker, and longer-lived hairs (terminal hairs) are replaced by shorter, weaker, paler hairs called vellus.5
Andro-Block 2 is a topical cream that contains two ingredients (minoxidil and azelaic acid) that have been demonstrated in numerous scientific studies to be an effective treatment for male and female pattern baldness.6789 Minoxidil: Minoxidil was initially introduced as an effective treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure), but patients who used it for an extended period observed renewed hair growth in places where they had lost it. Subsequent research confirmed that just a 2% solution of minoxidil could stimulate hair growth when it was applied directly to the scalp.10
Minoxidil for Women
In 2 double-blind studies of women aged 18 – 45 years, minoxidil demonstrated its effectiveness for regrowing hair. In one study, 13% of female test subjects experienced moderate hair growth, and 50% of them had minimal growth.6
In a second study, 60% of the female test subjects in the minoxidil group observed new hair growth, compared with only 40% of subjects in a placebo group Because of these studies and others, a 2% minoxidil solution was FDA-approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in women.6
Oral minoxidil (Loniten): An antihypertensive agent; topical minoxidil (Rogaine) is used for alopecia. Topical minoxidil is likely effective in producing moderate hair growth in approximately 30% of men and 60% of women with common hereditary hair loss.11 Lesser growth or a halt in the worsening of alopecia are also frequent outcomes.12 Due to its potency and adverse reactions, oral minoxidil is used mainly for patients with severe, drug-resistant forms of hypertension. Tolerance to prolonged therapy with oral minoxidil does not appear to be a problem. Although the oral dosage form was originally approved in October 1979 for use in hypertension, minoxidil was first discovered in 1965. In August 1988 the topical formulation was approved for of alopecia. After declining Upjohn permission to market topical minoxidil as a non-prescription drug in July 1994, the 2% topical solution was subsequently approved for over-the-counter use in men with alopecia in February 1996. In September 1996, Pharmacia and Upjohn petitioned the FDA to increase the topical solution formulation from 2% to 5%; the higher-strength solution has been shown to elicit a more rapid hair growth response (8 weeks vs. 16 weeks) and to regrow an average of 45% more hair than Rogaine Regular.Strength.12
Azelaic Acid inhibits 5-alpha reductase: This chemical was used originally to treat acne and brighten skin tone, but research has shown that azelaic acid also has specific properties that can make it an effective hair loss treatment.13
Azelaic acid may do this by functioning as a competitive inhibitor of the chemical called type II 5-alpha reductase that the body uses to convert testosterone into its follicle damaging form; DHT. To successfully convert testosterone into DHT, 5-alpha reductase has to bind to testosterone first – azelaic acid prevents that from happening.8 Without available 5-alpha-reductase the metabolic process that converts testosterone to DHT cannot be completed.9
The role of DHT in male and female pattern baldness: Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a by-product of testosterone metabolism. Testosterone is converted to DHT in the body with the enzyme Type II 5-alpha-reductace. This enzyme is stored in the oil gland of a hair follicle. Although the complete genetically predetermined process that results in male pattern baldness is not totally understood, researchers know that DHT will shrink hair follicles, and that by suppressing DHT – hair follicles can continue to thrive.14
While women have lower levels of testosterone than men, they can also suffer from DHT sensitivity – even at lower overall levels than will affect men.15
Fortunately, DHT sensitive hair follicles must be exposed to this hormone for a long period of time for the affected hair to complete the miniaturization process.16 With timely intervention the follicle miniaturization process can be retarded and sometimes even stopped when it’s caught early enough.16
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