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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2018 February;153(1):102-6

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-0488.17.05781-9

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The use of minoxidil in the treatment of male and female androgenetic alopecia: a story of more than 30 years

Mauro BARBARESCHI

Unit of Dermatology, Department of Medical and Transplantation Physiopathology, Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Foundation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy


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Even if minoxidil has been known for over 30 years as “hair growth stimulator” the precise mechanism of its action is not completely elucitated. Minoxidil shortens telogen, accelerates telogen-exogen phase and causes the premature entry of resting hair follicles into anagen phase. Moreover, minoxidil increases hair follicle size. A large part of hair treatment scientific literature confirms the efficacy of topically applied minoxidil in humans. In particular, patients treated with minoxidil showed a significant increase in “non vellus” hair count starting from baseline. Preparation of minoxidil requires molecule stability and solubility. Today are available on the market minoxidil-based formulations having low-concentration of propylene glycol to obtain preparations with a better cosmetical acceptance and dermatological safety. The body of evidences indicates that minoxidil still represent a milestone in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia and that its story is going on.


KEY WORDS: Alopecia - Minoxidil - Treatment outcome - Propylene glycol

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