Male pattern baldness is a condition posed by the hereditary influence of hormones and genetics, which result in hair loss from the forehead, temples and crown of the head. It is most commonly caused by a genetic predisposition, and is a normal part of the aging process for many men.
What Causes Male Pattern Baldness (MPB)?
The primary cause of MPB is deemed to be a combination of genetic predisposition and the presence of male hormones, known as androgens, within the body. Those who suffer from MPB have a genetic sensitivity to the hormones and they become increasingly sensitive over time, as androgen levels start to rise as men age.
This causes hair follicles to start to shrink, eventually leading to total hair loss across the affected areas. This sensitivity to androgens is thought to be due to a gene requirement, as not all men with a predisposition to MPB will experience advanced hair loss.
Areas Affected by Male Pattern Baldness
MPB usually affects the top of the head and forehead. This type of hair loss is sometimes referred to as a ‘receding hairline’. The receding can be a slow process, with the hairline gradually becoming more obvious over time.
The hair on the crown of the head can also be affected, and can manifest as a ‘bald spot’. Again, the progression can be slow and the balding area can extend as time goes on.
Health Consequences of Male Pattern Baldness
MPB can seem like a purely cosmetic concern, and many people don’t think to discuss it with their doctor. However, it’s important to be aware that baldness can raise the risk of certain health conditions.
Studies have found that those with more advanced hair loss are more likely to suffer from a range of health problems. Studies have linked MPB with certain types of heart disease and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
Treating Male Pattern Baldness
There are several treatments available for MPB, ranging from self-care to pharmaceutical options. These can help slow down the progression of hair loss, or even stimulate hair growth in affected areas.
Minoxidil is a medication that comes in various forms, such as foam or liquid, which can applied directly to the scalp. Another treatment option is finasteride, which is a pill that sometimes helps men keep hair they would otherwise lose.
It is important to talk to your doctor before taking any medication, or using any form of self-care. Professional advice can help ensure you receive the right treatment to minimise the impact of MPB.
In conclusion, male pattern baldness is a condition caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and the presence of male hormones. It is linked to certain types of heart disease and benign prostate hyperplasia, so it is important to speak to your doctor about any concerns. There are medications and self-care options available to help slow the progression of hair loss.