General Practice 2022

Minoxidil: what is it for and how to use it

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Minoxidil: what is it for and how to use it
Minoxidil: what is it for and how to use it

The minoxidil solution, which is available in concentrations of 2% and 5%, is indicated for the treatment and prevention of androgenic hair loss. Minoxidil is an active substance that stimulates hair growth, as it increases the caliber of blood vessels, improving local blood circulation, and prolongs the anagen phase, which is the hair growth and birth phase.

Furthermore, in some situations and if the doctor recommends it, the minoxidil solution can also be used to thicken and fill in gaps in the eyebrows and beard.

Minoxidil is available in several different brands for sale, such as Aloxidil, Rogaine, Pant or Kirkland, for example, or it can be prepared at the pharmacy. Before using it, you should talk to your doctor, due to the contraindications and side effects that may arise.

What is it for

The minoxidil solution is indicated for the treatment and prevention of androgenic hair loss.

To make the most of its effects, it is important that the solution is used as directed by the doctor, the treatment is not interrupted and that the product is applied to the region, followed by a massage, to stimulate the absorption of the product.

How does minoxidil work?

The mechanism of action of minoxidil is not yet known. Initially, this substance was used to lower blood pressure in hypertensive people, since minoxidil has a vasodilating action. Only later was it discovered that one of the side effects in these people was hair growth.

Thus, minoxidil started to be used in solution on the scalp, due to its vasodilating action, which improves blood circulation, promoting the absorption of nutrients in the hair bulb.It is also known that this substance prolongs the anagen phase, which is the phase of the hair cycle in which hair growth and birth occurs.

How to use

The use of minoxidil should only be used under medical supervision. Generally, depending on the region to be treated, minoxidil should be used as follows:

1. Hair

To treat hair loss, minoxidil solution can be applied directly to dry scalp skin, in areas where hair is weakest, with the help of a massage, twice a day.

Usually, the amount that is applied at a time is about 1 mL and the duration of treatment can be about 3 to 6 months or as directed by your general practitioner or dermatologist.

2. Beard

Although minoxidil solution manufacturers do not recommend applying the product to regions other than the scalp, in some cases, a dermatologist may recommend applying the product to the beard.

To fill in beard gaps, minoxidil can be applied in the same way as it is applied to the scalp, but in this case, the product should be applied first to the hands and then to the beard regions to be treated. Wash your hands after applying minoxidil to your beard.

After applying the product, the person should apply a moisturizing and nourishing product, such as coconut oil or sweet almonds, for example, to avoid drying and reduce the smell of the medicine, as it has a great amount of alcohol, which dries the skin.

3. Eyebrow

The manufacturers of minoxidil solution are not authorized to recommend the use of the product in regions other than the scalp, however, in some cases, the dermatologist may recommend the application of the product in the eyebrows, in a safe way.

Minoxidil can also be used to thicken eyebrows by applying the solution with the help of a cotton swab. After applying the product, you can also apply an oil to the eyebrows, so they don't dry out. Learn how to make your eyebrows grow and thicken.

In all situations, after applying minoxidil, you should use a product that avoids skin drying, it is advisable to wash your hands well after application, be careful with the eye area and avoid using more of 2 mL of solution per day.

Possible side effects

Minoxidil solution is generally well tolerated, however in some cases there may be side effects such as unwanted hair growth on the scalp, local allergic reaction, itching, dry skin or scalp flaking.

In some cases, increased hair loss may occur, which is usually temporary, and may occur about 2 to 6 weeks after starting treatment, improving after a few weeks. However, if hair loss continues for more than 2 weeks, stop using minoxidil and inform your doctor so that treatment can be reevaluated.

Who should not use

Minoxidil should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or who are allergic to minoxidil or any other component of the formula. The 5% minoxidil solution should not be used by women unless directed to do so by a doctor.

Furthermore, because it contains alcohol in its composition, the use of minoxidil is not recommended for people undergoing treatment for alcoholism who use the drug disulfiram.

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