Ketoconazole for hair loss can be effective for some people but less effective for others. It works by reducing the effects of the hormone dihydrotestosterone which causes pattern baldness in men and women. Ketoconazole is applied in a shampoo form and can be purchased in different strengths. It is also prescribed as an antifungal drug.
This drug is used to treat androgenetic alopecia, also known as pattern baldness. This condition is most commonly found in men and may cause a circular bald spot on the top or back of the head of men and overall thinning of the hair in women. This condition is created by high levels of dihydrotestosterone, which causes hair follicles to shrink so hair can no longer grow on the head.
It has been shown that using ketoconazole for hair loss may be effective because it can reverse the effects that dihydrotestosterone has on hair follicles. How it acts on dihydrotestosterone is uncertain, but it is thought that it may work by either reducing the inflammation of the hair follicles or by inhibiting the hormone from effecting the follicles. Ketoconazole is also used as an antifungal drug, most commonly to treat dandruff, but can also be used to treat fungus of the skin and mouth.
Ketoconazole for hair loss is typically applied as a shampoo. It can be taken orally in order to treat a fungal infection, but is rarely prescribed in this way to treat hair loss as a much higher amount is required. Consuming too much ketoconazole orally can cause damage to the liver while using the drug topically avoids this danger. A shampoo containing a one or two percent solution of the drug is recommended, though a two percent solution is more effective for hair loss. In the United States, a one percent solution is available over the counter, while a two percent solution can only be acquired with a doctor's prescription.
Ketoconazole for hair loss is applied to the scalp and on the head for at least 5 minuets before it is washed out. A tingling sensation has been noted by some individuals, and others experience skin irritation from the drug. In this case, a weaker solution should be used, for example a one percent solution should be used instead of a two percent solution. Ketoconazole for hair loss is typically prescribed to be applied once every three days.