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A Pilot Study to Evaluate Effectiveness of Botulinum Toxin in Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia in Males.

INTRODUCTION: Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of alopecia with multifactorial etiology. Finasteride and minoxidil are approved by the FDA for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Balding scalp is believed to have relative microvascular insufficiency. Blood vessels in the scalp travel through the intramuscular plane. Intramuscular injection of botulinum toxin relaxes muscles and thereby increases blood flow in balding scalp. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the efficacy of botulinum toxin in androgenetic alopecia management.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was conducted in a tertiary care center. A total of 10 male patients with androgenetic alopecia meeting inclusion criteria of the study were included. In the scalp, 30 sites were injected with 5 U of botulinum toxin in each site. Preprocedure photograph taken and evaluation was done, which was repeated after 24 weeks. Efficacy was assessed by photography and self-assessment scoring was done by patients.

RESULTS: Of 10 patients, 8 had good to excellent response on photographic assessment. At the end of 24 weeks, 1 patient showed poor and 1 showed fair response to treatment. As per self-assessment, 7of 10 patients showed good to excellent response. Two patients had fair response and 1 patient showed poor response to treatment.

CONCLUSION: Botulinum toxin was found to be safe and effective therapy for the management of androgenetic alopecia in this pilot study. Studies with larger sample size and randomized controlled trials are required to establish the role of botulinum toxin in the management of androgenetic alopecia.

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