Hair loss is a process accompanied by hair thinning and hair loss, the causes of which can be scalp diseases (for example, seborrhea), nervous shocks, disruptions in the endocrine system, and others. In this article, we will consider the balding caused by Accutane for acne. Let's have a closer look at the principle of action of the drug trying to find out why it influences the hair condition.
What is Accutane Balding?
Accutane is a prescription drug used to treat acne and other severe skin diseases. Issued under a large number of names, Accutane is used for ineffective acne therapy by other means. Side effects include dry skin, eye irritation, nosebleeds, and hair loss. Some patients experience mild hair loss, while others suffer from severe hair loss.
In order to understand what happens to your hair, learn the the cycle of hair growth, which consists of three main phases:
• Anagen is a growth phase that lasts 3-5 years. 90% of the hair on the human head is in the anagen phase. At this time, the hair bulb receives nutrients from the blood.
• Catagen - regression phase, lasting several weeks, during which the inflow of blood into the hair follicle gradually ceases. At this stage, 2-3% of the hair is.
• Telogen - rest phase, lasting about 3 months, after which the hair falls out. At this stage, there are 8-10% of hair.
Many drugs, including Accutane, have a negative effect on hair in the anagen phase. The medicine with blood flow penetrates into the hair follicle and, in one way or another, affects it. Hair in other phases do not come into contact with blood, therefore, they are practically not exposed to the effects of medicines. In addition, keratinocyte cells surrounding the hair follicles have the ability to process various substances that enter the body from the outside. This is their protective function, but the "interest" of keratinocytes in such exogenous substances adversely affects the hair follicles, which suffer from the products of their processing.
The phenomenon of hair loss as a result of taking medications is called medical alopecia. Most often, these drugs accelerate the transition of the hair from the anagen phase to telogen. Medicated alopecia develops gradually over several months.
And before this occurs a violation of protein synthesis, a decrease in the hair follicle and a slowing of the growth rate of the hair. This period was called latent. In the telogen phase, up to 30% of the hair passes. Hair can fall out not only on the head, but also on other parts of the body. Some anti-acne medications affect the protein keratin from which the hair consists, so their density, appearance and even color may also change. Upon completion of the treatment, all these phenomena gradually come to norm.
Effects of Accutane on Hair
Vitamin A, when taken for more than 3 weeks in a high dosage can cause loss. That's why it's better not to take the synthesized vitamin A. The same side effects can be caused by Accutane. Italian scientists in 1994 found that drugs can act on the hair in two ways, more precisely, in two phases of hair growth. Hair will fall as early as a week - two after the start of taking medication. In the telogen phase, the fallout becomes evident after 2 to 4 months. Therefore, if you feel that your hair has started to leave your head, immediately think about changing the medicine.
Take it according to the instructions not to increase the side effects. Use it inside, preferably with food, 1-2 times a day. The therapeutic efficacy of the drug Accutane and its side effects depend on the dose and vary in different patients. This makes it necessary to select the individual dose in the course of treatment. The intake of vitamin A and preparations on its basis for the treatment of acne is the reason for hair loss when the degree of loss depends on the dose: the higher it is - the more hair falls out.
The initial dose of the drug Accutane - 0.4 mg / kg / day, in some cases - up to 0.8 mg / kg / day. In severe forms of the disease or patients with acne, a dose of up to 2 mg / kg / day may be required. The optimal course cumulative dose is 100-120 mg / kg. Complete remission is usually achieved in 16-24 weeks. If the recommended dose is poorly tolerated, treatment can be continued with a lower dose, but longer. In most patients, acne completely disappears after a single course of treatment.
In case of relapse, it is possible to repeat the course of treatment in the same daily and cumulative dose. Repeated course is prescribed not earlier than 8 weeks after the first, tk. the improvement may be deferred. In severe chronic renal failure, the initial dose should be reduced to 8 mg / day.
Can Accutane Cause Permanent Hair Loss?
It can't cause the permanent hairloss as this is a side effect, which is manifested only for the period of the drug intake. In order to prevent the hair loss, you should do the following: do not use chemical agents for hair before, during or after using Accutane. Chemicals, such as hair dye, bleaching or straightening agents, make hair dry and brittle. The use of such drugs will exacerbate the problem of hair loss, especially when Accutane is used.
Use additives with zinc to prevent hair loss. The lack of zinc contributes to hair loss. Accutane reduces the content of zinc in some people. Take zinc supplements or foods rich in zinc, to strengthen hair. Products rich in zinc include oysters, dark chocolate, sesame seeds, peanuts, roast beef and bran. Consult your dietician for more information. Reduce stress. Stress contributes to hair loss, and in combination with the use of Accutane can increase the chance of the pronounced hair loss.
Avoid stressful situations and circumstances. Avoid uncomfortable situations, avoid people who are adversely affecting you. Physical exercises can help to do this effectively. Active lifestyle helps to fight stress. Physical exercise promotes the release of endorphins, which help the body to deal with stress. Include in your schedule physical exercises to relieve stress and allow the body to relax.
What Can Be Done About Hair Loss from Accutane?
To determine how much hair you lose per day, do a simple test on the 2nd day after washing. To do this, bring your hands to the roots of your hair, grabbing the curls between your fingers, and pull it down with a little effort. Put all fallen hairs aside. Do the same thing 2-3 more times in different areas of the head. If the hair is healthy - in general you should count no more than 15-17 hairs.
In another case, it is necessary to engage in treatment:
• Food should include more natural products: fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, dairy products, nuts and beans. To find out what vitamin or mineral the body lacks, it is best to do a blood test with a doctor. For replenishment it is possible to take vitamin complexes and dietary supplements.
• Daily scalp massage. Thus, you increase blood circulation in the scalp, oxygenate, and the bulbs get the necessary nutrition faster. You can do the massage with a comb or fingers for about 5 minutes.
• Hair care should be correct. Always choose the means to wash your skin type. With intensive loss, choose in favor of nutritional products. For restoration, you can wash your hair with natural "shampoos." To such it is possible to carry an egg yolk - it well rinses out hair, humidifies, and feeds with set of various vitamins and minerals.
• Once a week, make masks: with vegetable and essential oils, kefir or yogurt, egg yolk, honey; and after washing rinse hair with herbal decoctions or infusions. The doctor may prescribe you vitamin and mineral supplements in capsule form; medicines for oral administration (for example, in iron deficiency anemia iron is prescribed in tablets); means for restoring local blood circulation (sprays, whey, ointments, shampoos); home or salon cosmetology procedures; homeopathic preparations; scalp massage; natural homemade remedies.
If the complex of these actions does not help, the hair continues to pour, so the cause lies inside. You should ask the doctor whether it is possible to prescribe another drug for acne. In the vast majority of cases, after the course of treatment, hair takes its previous form. The recovery period can take for about several months. In no case should you stop taking the drug, no matter how it affects the hair. Health is above all! If you think that the medications you are taking are not the safely, you should talk with your doctor!