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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 February;142(1):35-9

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Topical melatonin in the treatment of early stages of male androgenetic alopecia

Baldari M., Montinari M., Guarrera M.

Section of Dermatology, Department of Endocrinologic and Metabolic Sciences University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy


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Aim. Melatonin (MT), a hormone secreted by the pineal gland, has positive effects on animal hair growth. In women with androgenetic alopecia (AGA), topical applied MT causes a significant increase of anagen hair rate.
Methods. We repeated the study on men with early AGA. A total of 31 consecutive males affected by early AGA applied melatonin 0.1 mg hydro-alcoholic lotion daily on the scalp for 6 months. Efficacy was assessed by counting the number of terminal and vellus hairs/cm2 on the parietal area in 16 patients, and on the frontal area in 15 patients, before and after treatment, using the TrichoScan software. Tolerance, the physician and patients evaluation of efficacy, and the cosmetic characteristics were also assessed.
Results. On the parietal area, the hair number increased, but not significantly, while on the frontal area the hair number slightly decreased, still not significantly. In the improved patients (51.7%), the hair density changed significantly from 119.4 ± 40.1 to 156.3 ± 29.0 hairs/cm2. Overall, 90% of the patients were satisfied for efficacy and global cosmetic assessment. Tolerance was excellent in 28 out of 29 patients who finished the trial.
Conclusion. After the treatment with topical MT the hair number did not diminish after 6 months as it occurs in the natural progression of AGA. This may suggests that MT arrests hair loss, mainly on the parietal area.

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