Glossary of Terms
5 Alpha Reductase
5 Alpha Reductase is an enzyme which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is the hormone that triggers Androgenetic Alopecia in individuals who are genetically susceptible.
Acne is an inflammatory disease which affects the sebaceous glands of the skin Alopecia Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss or baldness in general.
Alopecia Areata is the medical term for hairloss which occurs in patches on the scalp.
Alopecia Totalis is a term for hairloss which occurs over the entire scalp.
Alopecia Universalis is her term for hairloss which occurs over the entire body.
This is the growing phase of the hair cycle which lasts about seven years in a healthy person.
This is the term for male or female pattern baldness which depends on the genetic predisposition of the hair follicles and the levels of DHT in the body.
Androgens are often referred to as male hormones.
An antiandrogen blocks the effects of androgens, normally by blocking the receptor sites.
Azelaic acid like Retin-A is more commonly used in the treatment of acne and other skin conditions. Recently the potential effect of using azelaic acid in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia has been looked at and discussed.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasma
Benign prostatic hyperplasma is an enlargement of the prostrate gland.
The catagen phase is the resting phase of the hair cycle.
The cortex is the main structure of the hairshaft. The cortex determines the colour and texture of the hair.
This drug is normally used to reduce sex drive in men who have an excessive sex drive. It is also prescribed to treat hirsuitism and androgenetic alopecia in women.
The dermal papilla is situated at the base of the hair follicle. The dermal papilla contains nerves and blood vessels which supply glucose for energy and amino acids to make keratin.
DHT is a male hormone that is suggested to be the main cause for the miniaturisation of the hair follicle and for hair loss. DHT is formed when the male hormone testosterone interacts with the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
Finasteride is the generic name of the brand name drug Proscar. Proscar is manufactured by Merck and is FDA approved for the treatment of benign prostate enlargement. More recently 1mg tablets of finasteride have been marketed under the brand name Propecia as a treatment for hairloss.
The hair follicle houses the root of the hair.
Gene therapy is a treatment method which involves the manipulation of and individuals genetic makeup. Keratin Keratin is a kind protein that is present in hair and nail.
Minoxidil is the generic name of the brand name drug Rogain. Rogain is manufactured by Upjohn and is FDA approved for the treatment hair loss. Minoxidil is available in the form of a topical lotion with varying strength from 2% to 5%. Minoxidil was the first drug to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.
The medulla is a central zone of cells present only in large thick hairs.
Retin-A or Tretinoin
Retin-A is a brand name for a topical gel or cream normally used in the treatment if acne.
Saw Palmetto is a Natural Herb That has been shown to be an effective antiandrogen.
A disease of the skin and connective tissue that can cause hair loss over the affected areas.
Sebhorrheic dermatitis is a condition marked by small discoloured patches or spots on the skin and frequently occurs on the face and scalp.
This is a drug normally used to treat high blood pressure, however is also acts as an antiandrogen and is used in the treatment of androgen related disorders such as female pattern baldness and hirsuitism. Telogen This refers to the shedding or falling phase of the hair cycle.
Large, heavy pigmented hairs with a central medulla.
A predominantly male hormone which promotes the development of male characteristics.
This refers to hair loss which occurs do to traction place on hair. Traction alopecia is commonly seen with braids, pony tails and other hairstyles which create traction on the scalp.
Vellous hair is very short, fine light coloured hairs.