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Dermatologist discusses male-pattern baldness

You look in the mirror and notice you're going bald. It's a reality that many men must face.

Dr. Dawn Davis, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, says there's a reason why many men lose their hair as they age. And in some cases, there are solutions.

"You can have androgenetic alopecia," says Dr. Davis.

It's a genetic condition also known as male- or female-pattern baldness. It's a common form of hair loss, especially for men. And as the name implies, hair loss occurs in a well-defined pattern.

"First, they'll notice thinning around the temples, and then that continues to recede backward toward the back of the scalp. Those areas then eventually meet with a balding spot near the hair whorl in the back of the crown of the scalp," says Dr. Davis.

Some men embrace their baldness, but those who want to treat their hair loss should talk with a hair specialist, such as a dermatologist.

"There are medicated shampoos, topical prescription medications, oral medications and immune system medications that we can use to help people with their alopecia based on the type of hair loss," she says.

There are also over-the-counter pills, liquids, foams and shampoos that can promote hair growth or slow the rate of that receding hairline.

"It's not a one-size-fits-all model. But for some common disorders, there are some over-the-counter things you can do," says Dr. Davis.

 

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