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Is it safe? All topical finasteride myths debunked!

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Most people researching to get their hair back come across topical finasteride. The topical version of finasteride would present less health risk than the oral one, even if they have similar ingredients.

Many myths surround topical finasteride as it is a relatively new product. People tend to misunderstand how those substances work and fuel this new medicine’s myths. Here are two myths surrounding topical finasteride to help understand how it works.

topical finasteride

No side effect with topical finasteride

Many doctors claim this new version of finasteride is side effects free. However, knowing how this medicine works, it is impossible not to have side effects. Some doctors claim topical finasteride is safer because applied locally, but skin application never meant the product stays on the skin only. If it would, it would be inefficient and useless.

The skin is permeable, which lets the topical finasteride be absorbed into the bloodstream and block DHT production. 

DHT is a male hormone involved in the balding process. Lowering its production reduces hair loss but causes adverse effects:

  • Weight gain
  • Sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction (no morning erection), a decrease of the volume of ejaculate, gynecomastia
  • Mood swings, in worse cases depression and suicide

Better seek another opinion if a physician claims topical finasteride is adverse-effects free. In general, all active substances come with side effects, and doctors should warn patients about them.

The brand does not matter

Finasteride is the name of a molecule, not a medicine. Many pharmaceutical companies made their topical finasteride and sold them under various names.

Finasteride may be the only active ingredient combined with others, such as Minoxidil or latanoprost.

Minoxidil is another DHT inhibitor. It has similar side effects as finasteride. In topical finasteride medication, the part of Minoxidil maybe 2.5% to 15%, depending on brands. Those changes in dosage impact adverse effects.

Latanoprost is a molecule helping eyelashes grow better. 

Topical finasteride medication may also contain:

  • caffein
  • Azelaic Acid
  • retinol A

Patients better ask their physician about the known side effects of those molecules to be aware of potentially severe adverse effects such as depression or suicidal thoughts and discontinue the treatment in case of bad reaction. 

All topical finasteride do not contain the same ingredients and dosage, so they do not cause the same adverse effects. Trying several brands under medical supervision may help find a topical finasteride medication with few side effects.