Androgenetic Alopecia in Women

The frontal and bitemporal hair recession generally seen in men with androgenetic alopecia is not typical in women, who instead tend to undergo a diffuse thinning of hair on the crown.

The frontal and bitemporal hair recession generally seen in men with androgenetic alopecia is not typical in women, who instead tend to undergo a diffuse thinning of hair on the crown.

Laboratory tests for assessing women with this condition include complete blood cell count, serum electrolyte levels, serum iron level, total iron-binding capacity, thyroid screening (serum thyroid-stimulating hormone and antimicrosomal antibody levels), and serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and testosterone levels (in selected cases).

A variety of treatments are helpful for patients with androgenetic alopecia. A 2% minoxidil solution applied twice daily to the scalp can be beneficial.1 Although improvement is mild in many cases, patients are often pleased with the results.

Anti-androgen therapy with spironolactone or cimetidine may be useful in some cases, although this treatment is controversial.2 Some studies report that use of a potent anti-androgen (eg, flutamide) has been helpful.3 Recent studies show that finasteride is helpful in men but not in women.

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