News Wednesday January 12, 2011

Can eyelash serum help baldness?

A medication that increases eyelash length is being tested on hair loss sufferers.

"Latisse" will be tested on 28 patients with Alopecia, as well as a group of men with moderate male pattern baldness. If tests prove effective, approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would be sought, and the lash lengthening medication could be released in the form of a cream.

Several baldness solutions already exist including the FDA and European Medicines Agency-approved drug Propecia, which can delay the onset of baldness and stimulate new hair growth, when taken for long periods of time. Baldness lotions and creams are also available. For men who find hair loss embarrassing or anxiety-inducing, these treatments –particularly Propecia which has been given out by the NHS – can be a source of hope.

Baldness cure?

Researchers have recently gained important insight into the process behind male pattern baldness. Tests indicate that when baldness occurs hairs do not disappear, but shrink to a microscopic size, while the hair follicles remain. Experts say this finding shows that it is possible for a baldness cure to be developed; if the hair follicles remain then there may be a way to stimulate them.

Alopecia is a form of baldness that causes bald patches which may come and go. It affects around 100 people, most of whom are teenagers or young adults. It is thought to be cause by problems with the immune system. One of the most famous alopecia sufferers was TV presenter Gail Porter, although her hair began to grow back and last year she appeared on talk-shows with a full head of hair.

Male pattern baldness affects around half of men, and usually starts to take effect in their 20s or 30s, in the form of thinning hair or a receding hair line.

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