Topical Finasteride

Topical finasteride is a formulation of finasteride that is applied directly to the scalp in the form of a solution or foam. Unlike oral finasteride, which is taken as a pill, topical finasteride is applied locally to the scalp and is absorbed through the skin. It is commonly used for the treatment of male pattern baldness (MPB) and has gained popularity due to its potential to reduce systemic side effects associated with oral finasteride.

The active ingredient in topical finasteride is finasteride itself, which is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is a hormone that is believed to play a key role in the development of MPB. By inhibiting DHT production, finasteride helps to reduce the miniaturization of hair follicles and promotes hair growth.

It is important to note that while the active ingredient in topical finasteride is FDA-approved, the FDA does not regulate compounded medications, including topical finasteride. Compounded medications are custom-made by compounding pharmacies according to specific prescriptions, and their safety and efficacy may vary depending on the source and formulation. Therefore, it is important to obtain topical finasteride from a reputable compounding pharmacy and under the guidance of a licensed healthcare provider.

The development of topical finasteride was driven by the desire to minimize systemic side effects associated with oral finasteride, such as sexual side effects, by delivering the medication directly to the scalp. Some studies have suggested that topical finasteride may be as effective as oral finasteride in reducing DHT levels in the scalp while potentially reducing the risk of systemic side effects. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2019 found that topical finasteride was effective in reducing scalp DHT levels and promoting hair growth in men with MPB, with a favorable safety profile.

However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the safety and efficacy of topical finasteride, as well as the optimal dosages and formulations for different individuals. As with any medication, it’s essential to consult with a licensed healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on individual needs and medical history.

Used for: Male Pattern Baldness