Is Ketoconazole an Effective Treatment for Hair Growth in Women?
Ketoconazole is the name of an antifungal medication whose main role is to treat yeast infections, including dandruff. Do not be surprised that commercial shampoos that are advertised as being anti-dandruff have this ingredient in their composition. It appears that there is another benefit one can draw from this specific antifungal fighter. Some clinical studies show that Ketoconazole can stimulate hair growth.
As antifungal medication, what does Ketoconazole do?
Men suffer from pattern baldness more than women, and one reason why this happens is because their scalp tends to produce more sebum. This does not mean, however, that women cannot be affected by this particular problem. Pattern baldness in women has the same causes as androgenetic alopecia, as the condition is also called, in men. Therefore, they can also suffer from an excessive production of sebum that clogs the hair follicles and does not allow them to breathe and function properly.
This is where Ketoconazole intervenes. By clearing your scalp and reducing the production of sebum, your hair follicles become more capable of producing new healthy hair. Women can benefit, just as men, from regular treatment with products containing Ketoconazole.
The interaction between Ketoconazole and DHT
The human body is a complex mechanism. Each symptom we notice is the result of how different compounds, enzymes, proteins and hormones, interact in the body. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by a type of binding that occurs between certain androgens and receptors. In plain English, when DHT, a derivative of testosterone, the male sexual hormone, binds to hair follicles, it makes them weaker and causes them to fall.
Women have traces of testosterone in the body, although not the same amounts as men. As women age, they can experience pattern baldness, due to the same causes, as female hormones begin to decline, allowing other hormones, such as DHT, to gain in importance.
The number one reason why Ketoconazole can reduce hair loss and even stimulate hair growth is easy to explain once we understand the interaction between the antifungal medication and DHT. Clinical studies show that Ketoconazole can prevent the binding between DHT and hair follicles. If the binding does not take place, the hair follicles are not affected, and therefore, you do not have to worry as much about hair loss.
How is Ketoconazole available?
You can find various hair care products containing Ketoconazole, but shampoos are actually the most common. Washing your hair regularly with such shampoos will allow this active ingredient to prevent DHT from weakening your hair follicles, so do not be surprised to notice an improvement. However, it is important to keep in mind that some minor side effects might occur, such as itching or soreness.
In case there are more important side effects experienced by the user, such as hives or rashes, you should seek medical help as fast as possible, as you may suffer an allergic reaction. A good idea would be to consult a dermatologist before undergoing a treatment with Ketoconazole.