Healthlinks Upstate March/April 2022

www.Ups tatePhys i c i ansSC . com | www.Hea l thL i nksUps tate. com | 35 “It’s important to get to the root of what’s causing the problem,” Moss said. She added that when a patient comes for an initial consultation about hair loss, she doesn’t automatically jump to treatment options. First, she looks at metabolic reasons, scalp disorders, the patient’s diet and any medications the patient is taking as the possible culprit. “We look at fixing those issues before we move on to hair restoration,” she said. “We look at it like we have to fertilize the soil, then we’ve got to treat the soil and then we can plant the garden.” Once the cause of hair loss is determined, there are a variety of treatments available, Dr. Hochman said. One is a combination of the medications finasteride, minoxidil and tretinoin. Tretinoin exfoliates the scalp and allows the other two drugs to penetrate. Minoxidil is also known by the trade name Rogaine. Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone or DHT. “That’s a good, easy, early and continuous treatment that most anybody who is losing hair can use,” Dr. Hochman said. Oral finasteride also is effective and commonly used for men and women, he said. Platelet rich plasma injections can effectively treat excessive hair shedding and female pattern hair loss. In that procedure, blood drawn from the patient is placed in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from red and white blood cells; what’s left is PRP. The platelets contain high levels of growth factors. “Depending on which cells are exposed to the PRP, it does different things. Orthopedic surgeons will inject PRP into tendons and joints to help them recover and heal. Surgeons may mix PRP with bone grafts to get a more solid fusion. If you inject PRP into the skin, you get changes in collagen,” Dr. Hochman said. “And if you inject PRP next to a hair follicle that’s getting kind of puny, it turbo boosts that hair follicle.” Moss said she generally recommends three PRP treatments 30 to 60 days apart. Many patients also receive a peptide protocol that includes copper and zinc, which complements the PRP. Hair transplantation, where hair is taken from one place on the head and transplanted in another area, is the gold standard in treatment for hair loss, Dr. Hochman said. Using the NeoGraft Automated Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Transplant device, Dr. Hochman and his team harvest individual follicular units from the back of the scalp, which, along with the temples, is an ideal donor area because of its high density of hair follicles that are not affected by the balding or thinning process. “We’re borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, so to speak, with the caveat that Peter can afford it. We don’t want to borrow hair from one place and create a bald spot or thin spot there to cover up another one,” he said. The number of grafts needed varies from person to person. Typically, 3,000 to 4,000 grafts can be transplanted in one session. It can take those transplanted follicle units six to nine months to grow and a full year to reach their potential. HAIR LOSS By the Numbers About 50% of women will experience hair loss in their lifetime. 30 MILLION women in the United States suffer from hereditary hair loss. 53% OF WOMEN affected will consult a medical professional about their hair loss, compared to 26% OF MEN. People have between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs on their head. Normally, people lose approximately 50 TO 100 scalp hairs each day. Source: The American Academy of Dermatology and the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.