Hair Loss Treatment Side Effects
Side effects of hair loss tablets
Propecia and finasteride are generally safe to take for hair loss, but they can still cause some side effects.
Uncommon side effects can include:
- low sex drive
- erectile dysfunction (ED)
- unusual weight gains or loss
- feelings of depression
- problems with ejaculation
Other side effects can include:
- allergic reactions such as hives and itching
- heart palpitations
- tender or swollen breasts and nipples
- discharge from the nipples
- lumps in the breast or underarm
- testicular pain
- blood in semen
- difficulties with erections or ejaculation, even after stopping medication
It is not known how often these other side effects occur. You must talk to a doctor right away if you notice a lump in your chest or breast. For a full list of side effects, see the leaflet that comes with your medication.
Some of these side effects may be temporary. They may be a result of the body adjusting to the treatment and will fade. Others may carry on even after you stop taking finasteride. If you are suffering side effects and want them to stop, your best option may be to stop taking finasteride. Note that this will cause your DHT levels to rise and you can start losing your hair again.
Side effects of hair loss shampoo
Alpecin is a caffeine shampoo that is safe to use for hair loss treatment. It can cause side effects like hair thinning and shedding, or hair discolouration. Hair falling out is often an allergic reaction to caffeine that irritates the scalp. People with such a reaction should avoid using this shampoo.
Other treatments for hair loss
These treatments have varying success and will not be right for everyone.
Laser therapy:. For this treatment, infrared laser light is used to penetrate the scalp and stimulate blood flow and hair follicles. This is meant to cause the growth of new hair and discourage the build up of DHT.
Steroid injections: Injections and creams with steroids in them are also used to treat people with hair loss. This is often used where an autoimmune disease is causing hair loss. Autoimmune diseases cause the immune system to attack healthy tissues like hair follicles. Corticosteroids can be used to counteract this effect and allow hair to regrow. These steroids can be applied topically or injected into the scalp, or taken by mouth.
Wigs: This is another option that can simply cover up hair loss. In some cases, the cost may be covered by the NHS. Human hair wigs have a more natural feel and look, but are more expensive and last longer. Man-made wigs have a shorter life but are more affordable.
Cosmetic surgery: Hair transplants can treat hair loss in some cases. It involves moving hair from where it is full, to where there is balding or thinning. The procedure is normally done under local anaesthesia.
There are two variations to this procedure:
The Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): A narrow band of hair is taken from the rear of the head. The size of the strip depends on the number of follicles needed to be transplanted to balding areas. The strip is cut into smaller parts, with each one having about 1-4 hair follicles. They are then re-inserted to the balding area on the scalp. FUT is also known as the strip method.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): Hair follicles are taken from the back of the head and reinserted in balding areas. This leaves many tiny scars at the back of the head, but is less painful and heals faster. The hair can also be taken from other parts of the body.
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