Sup everyone, my situation in short: Recent college grad, male pattern baldness startet manifesting at 18. Now 23, startet treatment exactly 1 year ago. status: NW3 (yeah, it's going quick) regimen: 5% minoxidil twice daily, dropped three weeks ago Symptoms: Massive face wrinkles, massive dark circles around my eyes. When the minoxidil sides first kicked in, I was really not sure what was going on. My diet and lifestyle are very healthy (non-smoker, usually lots of sleep, moderate alcohol consumption, workout twice a week). Initally, I only started getting these dark eye rings approx 5 months into minoxidil treatment. Did not suspect minoxidil being the reason, as such circles can be caused by a lot of things. Approx two months later (i.e., 7 months into minoxidil), I first noticed huge wrinkles forming around my eyes. Note: I am not only talking about color here. The wrinkles I got below and around my eyes are extreme by now. Forehead wrinkles also showed up, and the skin right below my eyes got porous and quite saggy. Then I startet to wonder. Did my research online, and many people complain about these sides. My derm basically made fun of me for being "paranoid" and "imagining things", telling me I should get a good night's sleep. When explaining to her that I sleep 9 hours every night, she told me straight in the face that I'm lying. Foto lab guys documented my status, and even they told me they had never seen such bad dark circles around eyes before. Dropped minoxidil altogether three weeks go. Guess what? Dark circles around my eyes slowly going away, as are the wrinkles. Very slowly, but it's visible. I am 23. Three weeks ago, I was looking like a 30 year old drug addict. Right now it's still pretty bad, but at least people are no longer openly commenting on it. One month ago, I was told by my supervisor at work to call in sick and go get some sleep. I had slept 10 hours the night before. That should give you an idea about my facial looks right now. Why am I posting this? The primary reason is that most people on these forums and on Hair Loss Help (where I'll also post this) are not taken serious. These issues are played down and people with those sides are called paranoid or, to my surprise, even attacked. Often, "sceptical" (or downright aggressive, for whatever reason) posters say "you're imagining things, it's just natural aging, deal with it, don't spread lies". With this post I want to confirm that this is not natural aging. While many posters are in their late 20s, I am in my early 20s and started treatment even earlier. My whole family is wrinkle-free till a very high age. Wrinkle count around my eyes is 5 or 6 very deep ones around each eye, and the color of the circles is still pretty bad. As mentioned before, dropping minoxidil immeditaley but slowly improved the situation. So, minoxidil users out there: No, you're not just imagining things. One year of minoxidil 5% twice daily gave me massive black circles around my eyes that hadn't been there before, gave me wrinkles which hadn't been there before, made my skin look saggy, and made the single pores show real bad. Given my age and the improvement after dropping minoxidil, these side effects are not natural aging related. Anything else noteworthy? Obviously (or not?), not everybody is affected by these side effects. The most relevant part to be mentioned here is that even though I did not overdose, I had other side effects that are officially listed, i.e., brain fog/dizziness. This hints at larger amounts of minoxidil being absorbed systemically. On the other hand, the side effects only showed around my face, hinting at the minoxidil not being distributed system-wide. Either way, if the minoxidil did hit the blood stream (as indicated by the dizziness and inability to concentrate right after application), who knows what other ways it might travel? What can I do now? I don't want to take minoxidil nor finasteride. I started using Adenogen a couple of days ago. Right now I cannot say if it works. However, there are some indications: - Recent research turned up pretty good evidence that the way minoxidil works is likely through up-regulating adenosine in the scalp. Please recall that it is not understood why or how minoxidil works. However, adenosine supply to scalp seems to be the best bet. (cp. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11886528 ) - Overdosing on Adenogen gave me minoxidil-like side effects (i.e., in this case only dizziness/brain fog), though to a much lower extent. Adenogen works as a vasodilator, as does minoxidil. The side effects on skin did not show. - Placebo-controlled (!) studies have shown improvements in hair thickness, which is also pretty much the only thing minoxidil does The great thing about adenosine, adenogen's active ingredient, is its half life. In the human blood, it is metabolised (or collapses) within 10 seconds. This greatly reduces side effects, as minoxidil stays in your blood for more than 12 hours and does its negative workings. While there has been some criticism regarding adenosine's half life: This applies only to blood. In the scalp, its half time is much higher. Placebo-controlled studies have shown that it works, though there are no comparisons to minoxidil regarding effectiveness. If you really want to experiment, you can use prostaglandin D2 inhibitors, through you will probably need a chemistry or med student for that. Also, it might become dangerous. However, PGD2 seems to be the substance effectively harming the folicles, NOT DHT. (cp http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/4/126/126ra34 ) I will not do this, but it might be an option for others. That's it, folks. Long story short: minoxidil does ruin your skin. I am 23 and it did that to me; it is not natural aging. My lifestyle is very healthy and I do not take any other meds. Safest bet if you don't want minoxidil or finasteride is Adenogen. Recent research has shown that minoxidil in fact works through increasing adenosine levels in cells. I will report back with adenogen results. Meanwhile, I suggest people with minoxidil sides also use adenogen so we have a better understanding of how effective it is.