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Level 2 / 45a Bay Street 2028 Double Bay, NSW
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Hair Transplant Blog - The Knudsen Clinic: Viewing Hair Loss Treatment Articles

Finasteride and Prostate Cancer

Posted on 09 Sep, 2013

A long-running study of men in the USA with enlarged non-cancerous prostates (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH) using finasteride previously reported a 25% reduction in overall numbers of patients developing prostate cancer. However, there was some debate about whether the prostate cancers detected in users of finasteride were of the more aggressive variety. A recent analysis of this study showed that finasteride users had lower levels of the prostate cancer screening test PSA (prostate specific antigen) which led to more accurate diagnosis of those patients actually suffering cancer rather than just an enlarged prostate. In addition, the smaller prostates made tumour detection easier by biopsy.

 

Overall, men taking finasteride were 30% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 43% less likely to get a diagnosis of low-grade cancer (slow growing). In addition, survival rates were not changed in patients taking finasteride compared to those not on finasteride.This is very reassuring news to patients taking finasteride for hair loss as these prostate effects are beneficial rather than harmful and will likely result in less unnecessary surgical treatment of prostate enlargement in future. We can reassure patients talking finasteride that there are no harmful long-term effects on the prostate from treating their hair loss.

Natural Ingredients for Hair Loss

Posted on 21 Jul, 2013

I frequently get asked the question: Are there any “natural” products I can use for my hair loss? The answer is – it depends upon the cause of the hair loss.

 

For example, if the hair loss is related to iron deficiency anaemia, then foods with high iron content or iron tablets could help. Biotin (Vitamin H) deficiency has been correlated with hair loss but it is a very unusual cause in the general population. Vitamin H, Vitamin B6 and zinc are all essential nutrients for healthy hair but are not necessarily involved in a particular persons hair loss, so supplementing them may not be effective.

 

That said, products like Provillus that contain them, and saw palmetto, are not going to harm anyone suffering from hair loss. The unfortunate assumption is that these “natural” remedies, essential for healthy hair, are helpful in the commonest forms of hair loss in men and women: male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss. There is NO evidence that these nutrients are involved in these conditions and therefore NO evidence they assist in balding or female pattern thinning.

Hair Loss myths

Posted on 05 Jul, 2013

Tight hats make your hair fall out.

 

Not true. Tight hats might restrict blood supply to the scalp but only by a minimal amount. Whatever the cause of hair loss, hats have no effect on the condition.

 

Too strong a shampoo causes hair loss.

 

Not true. Shampoo is merely a soap for cleaning the hair shaft and has no effect upon hair growth. The hair growth cells are 3-4 mm under the skin and cannot be affected by ordinary shampoos or conditioners.

Most common Hair loss consultation questions

Posted on 07 Jun, 2013

The six most common asked questions in a hair loss consultation

1. Do hair transplants work?
YES, YOU CANNOT REJECT YOUR OWN HAIR. THEY GROW NORMALLY AND REMAIN HEALTHY IF PROPERLY SELECTED.

2. What supplements do I need to take to stop my hair falling?
NONE. NONE ARE PROVEN TO WORK.

3. Are there any side-effects with the medication?
SIDE EFFFECTS ARE DOSE DEPENDENT SO, USUALLY, THERE ARE NOT ANY.

4. Will my hair completely regrow back from medication alone?
USUALLY NO BUT IT MAY IMPROVE.

5. How long do I have to take the medication for?
AS LONG AS YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR HAIR.

6. Have you had anything done yourself?
NO BUT I DO NOT SUFFER FROM HAIR LOSS BUT I AM TRYING LOW POWER LASER THERAPY TO IMPROVE DENSITY

If you have more questions you would like answered about hair loss and how we could help with a solution to your hair loss, please book a hair loss consultation.

New Medication to treat pattern hair loss

Posted on 26 Nov, 2012

The recent Annual meeting of the International Society of Hair restoration Surgery saw discussion of upcoming medications to treat male pattern hair loss. In particular we were intrigued to understand that different versions of prostaglandins (chemicals involved in inflammation) have opposite effects on hair growth! Some prostaglandins have recently been shown to inhibit hair growth, whereas others are well known to stimulate hair growth. Perhaps the most exciting part of the research is that some medications currently being developed to treat asthma via inhibiting specific prostaglandins could have an unexpected benefit in stimulating hair regrowth in balding males. These new compounds are still a couple of years away but may turn out to be the next generation of medicines that positively affect balding.

Hairloss Treatment Medication

Posted on 16 Mar, 2012

A large amount of internet and media interest has recently focused on claims of persistent sexual side-effects long after discontinuing the use of Propecia (finasteride) hairloss medication. A study published by Irwig in 2011 suggested the occurrence a high incidence of long-term sexual side effects in some Propecia users. It should however be noted that this study was not a study of Propecia users in the general population, but a sample of men already claiming to have long-term side effects.

While not wishing to cast doubt on these patient claims, I do find them somewhat surprising. In over 14 years of prescribing Propecia/Proscar, to well over 4000 of my patients, I have no reported case of permanent sexual side-effects. Those few patients who reported these side-effects recovered fully after stopping taking the medication. In most cases recovery occurred within 4 weeks, in a couple of cases it was about 2-3 months until full recovery. A couple of recently published medical studies from Japan and Italy support the previously published lower incidence of side-effects and the long term effectiveness of Propecia. The Japanese study by Sato followed 3177 men for 3 years and the Italian study by Rossi followed 113 men for 10 years. In both studies, over 80% of patients show long-term growth and stability on the medication without any significant side-effects.

Another factor,  largely unknown, is that the frequency of sexual side-effects depends upon the dose used. In my hands, I have consistently recommended a dosing of a 1 mg tablet three times a week for the last fourteen years. This is because Propecia lasts much longer than 1 day in your system. In fact, the enzyme is blocked for up to 1 month! This means that you can maintain the effectiveness of Propecia without having to use it every day. The other great benefit is that, the frequency of sexual, or other, side effects drops dramatically if you only take the tablet every 2-3 days.

I believe that my frequency of patient sexual side effects is approximately 1 per 200 patients on 3 tablets per week and even less frequent on 2 tablets per week. All my patients have fully recovered after stopping therapy. Some who could not tolerate 3 tablets per week were able to be re-introduced to 2 tablets per week without any side effects.

With regards to altered mood (depression) whilst on Propecia, I have seen this in a handful of patients. It occurred quickly after starting the medication and resolved quickly on stopping the Propecia tablets. In summary, Propecia remains a very effective and also very safe treatment for male pattern hairloss. It has demonstrated clear superiority compared to other treatments for hairloss and side effects can be significantly reduced with adjusted or lower doses.

Finasteride Side Effects

Posted on 19 Jan, 2012

Recently an international conference heard an in-depth panel discussion about Finasteride and sexual side-effects. It was again emphasized that Finasteride is a safe medication, side-effects were largely dose-related and disappeared upon stopping the medication. It was felt that recently media reports about the incidence and severity of side-effects was significantly overstated and that it remained the medication of choice for treating male pattern hair loss. In my hands, side effects are quite uncommon and only a small intermittent dose of Finasteride is required to achieve long-term stability of the hair loss in most balding men.

Wearing short hair after hair transplant surgery

Posted on 15 Aug, 2011

A recent trend for male patients is the desire to wear short hair after surgery. With this we have received many enquiries at our Sydney Hair Loss Treatment Clinic about whether this is possible. The good news is that this can be achieved because the modern donor technique overlaps the donor area skin edges while stitching allows hair to grow back through the scar. This is called the trichophytic technique and almost always creates an excellent result that is almost undetectable, even with a very short number 2 cut!

Some patients request the ability to shave their head after the hair transplant surgery. This is a bit unrealistic however no matter which technique is used for the hair transplant. All surgery creates scarring to a certain degree but the modern techniques that we use minimise the visibility in both the recipient hair area (the balding area) and the donor hair area. Our website has more information about Hair Loss Treatments and Hair Transplant Surgery. If you have any questions about this or would like to chat to us, please feel free to visit our Sydney Hair Loss Clinic or call us on 02 9363 9308.

Combating Hair Loss for Men and Women with Low Powered Laser Devices

Posted on 20 May, 2011

There has been a lot of interest in low powered laser devices and their effect on hair loss. Recent research suggests that it has a stimulatory effect on hair follicles. This could be an effective secondary (i.e. additional) treatment for hair loss in patients who are balding or thinning. It certainly also may be effective in seasonal increased hair shedding (a moult).

However, the delivery system and amount of laser exposure is critical to the chances of success. A new device called the Lasercap,  applies 224 laser lights continuously to the scalp in the comfort of your own home. It uses rechargeable batteries, can be worn under a cap or hat and can be used at your convenience. Suggested dosage schedules is 15-30 minutes every second day.

The major advantage of this device, compared to hand held devices, is that the correct energy level is continuously applied to the scalp. Hand held laser devices only apply energy for a very short period of time if used to the manufacturer’s instructions.  If you would like to know more about this additional treatment for hair loss, please call our Sydney Hair Loss Clinic on 1800 685 399.  The Lasercap can also be ordered directly from our Sydney Clinic.

Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) over Strip Harvesting

Posted on 10 Feb, 2011

Many patients are reading about the supposed superiority of Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) over Strip Harvesting during hair transplant surgery. Please be aware that it is very important to separate the marketing from the science. Both techniques involve cutting the of the skin. There is no such thing as a scarless technique.

Both techniques produce the same size graft. Both techniques leave scars which may, or may not, be visible to the naked eye. The difference is that FUE produces circular, small, dot scars that may also have a white appearance. Strips produce linear scars that may have hair growing through them and be very difficult to see. Short haircuts are usually possible with either technique but shaving the head will probably demonstrate scars with either technique.