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Tretinoin and Minoxidil Combination for Treatment of Hair Loss

Q:

How are you doing? All I have to say is TGIF.

I was doing a little bit research on hair loss, and I stumbled over retinoic acid. I read about it and have a basic understanding. Have you heard any claims that it could possible revive hair loss?

Have a great weekend!

A:

This is a good question. There are several claims on therapeutic effect of all-trans-retinoic acid (tretinoin) alone and in combination with 0.5% minoxidil for hair loss based on limited studies.

In one study the combination of tretinoin and minoxidil was used for 56 patients who had androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) and hair growth was followed. The growth of terminal hair was studied after one year of treating balding scalp with combination of topical tretinoin with 0.5% minoxidil. Increase in hair growth was reported in 58% of the patients who could complete the study.

Although tretinoin has been stated as a promoter of cell proliferation and vascular creation, which are both important in hair growth, there is still not enough scientific evidence from large studies to prove these effects. Also double blind studies on the efficiency and adverse effects of the product is lacking.