Topicla aromatase inhibitor - estrogen causes hair loss?


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Topical aromatase inhibitors (AIs) can contribute to hair loss as a side effect. Here's how it works:

Estrogen and Hair Growth:

  • Estrogen plays a role in hair growth by stimulating the hair follicles.
Aromatase Inhibitors:

  • AIs are medications used to reduce estrogen levels. They work by blocking the enzyme aromatase, which converts androgens (like testosterone) into estrogens.
  • This reduction in estrogen, particularly estrone, can lead to hair loss in some individuals.
Hair Loss with AIs:

  • Studies show that 22.4% of breast cancer survivors using AIs reported hair loss, and 31.8% reported hair thinning.
  • This hair loss is typically similar to male pattern baldness, with a receding hairline and thinning at the crown being most common.
Factors Affecting Hair Loss:

  • Individual Sensitivity: Not everyone using AIs experiences hair loss. It depends on individual sensitivity to estrogen levels and genetic predisposition to hair loss.
  • Duration of Use: Hair loss is more likely during the initial stages of AI treatment and may improve or stabilize over time.
Management of Hair Loss with AIs:

  • Talk to your doctor: If you're experiencing hair loss with AIs, discuss it with your doctor. They can assess the severity and offer solutions.
  • Alternative Treatments: There might be alternative medications or treatment plans for your condition that don't involve AIs.
  • Hair Loss Treatments: Your doctor might suggest using minoxidil (Rogaine) topically to promote hair growth.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, and getting enough sleep can all contribute to overall hair health.
Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Benefits vs. Side Effects: The benefits of AI therapy in treating certain medical conditions often outweigh the potential side effects like hair loss.
  • Weighing the Options: Your doctor will help you weigh the benefits of AI therapy against the potential side effects and discuss alternative options if necessary.
Remember: It's important to communicate openly with your doctor about any side effects you experience during treatment. They can help you manage them and ensure you receive the best possible care.