Q: What is Azelaic Acid?
A: Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in whole grains that studies have shown to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase in human skin. 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotestostrone (DHT), accumulation of which in scalp is believed to be responsible for the male pattern hair loss. Inhibition of this enzyme by azelaic acid can reduce the concentration of DHT in scalp and therefore stimulate hair regrowth. Azelaic acid can be found in many prescription acne medications. Azelaic acid is added to minoxidil solutions because it has different mechanism of action in preventing hair loss. The combination of them results in a more efficient and effective method to decrease the levels of DHT and speed up the process of hair regrowth significantly.
Q. What is the possible side effects of Azelaic acid?
A. Side effect associated with topical use of azelaic acid is extremely rare. It includes: a) increased sensitivity or irritation on the scalp; 2) burning, stinging, or tingling of the skin; 3) erythema, dryness, rash, peeling happens in less than 1% of patients. The side effects usually subside after discontinuing use of azelaic acid.
Q. Why is azelaic acid added to Minoxidil Laboratory solutions?
A. Azelaic acid has been proven to be an inhibitor of Type 1 and type 2, 5-alpha reductase in the human skin. Azelaic acid has also been demonstrated to 'inhibit the synthesis of all of the hormones in the 17-hydroxy group', resulting in decreasing the levels of DHT in the scalp when used topically. In a study reported in the British Journal of Dermatology (Stamatiadis. 1988;119: 627-632), inhibition of 5-alpha reductase is virtually complete (98%) at 3 mmol/l. Our solutions contain eighty eight times the amount necessary for 98% inhibition of Type 1 and Type 2 5-alpha reductase in vitro. Both types of 5alpha-reductase are present in the human scalp with Type 1 being the predominant isoenzyme. Allowing for the usual 4 or 5% absorption into the dermis and epidermis upon topical application, the amount of azelaic acid at the level of the hair follicles is at least 3 times the amount required for virtually complete inhibition of DHT synthesis.
Q. What's the advantage of using Minoxidil Laboratory’s 5% minoxidil over other brands of 5%
A. Minoxidil Laboratory’s 5% minoxidil works far better than regular 5% minoxidil due to the additional ingredients such as azelaic acid and retinol. In addition, it dries much faster than other brands of minoxidil.
Q. Does minoxidil with azelaic acid leave a residue on the scalp or hair?
A. The azelaic acid coats the hair shafts and gives the hair the feeling of extra body comparable to a hair spray. Brushing or combing the hair after the Minoxidil Laboratory minoxidil solution has dried will compliment the extra texture azelaic acid imparts to the hair.
Q. Since Minoxidil Laboratory’s products have DHT blocker azelaic acid, should I continue to take finasteride to lower the DHT level in the whole body?
A. Oral finasteride works systemically and will lower the serum level of DHT throughout the body. Minoxidil Laboratory’s product works only where it is applied. If you are not having side effects from finasteride, it may be advantageous to continue taking finasteride to protect the hair on the scalp not yet affected by MPB, but is 'at risk.' For patients with large areas of thinning hair, it may be advantageous to take finasteride in addition to using Minoxidil Laboratory’s solutions.
Q. But will it be harmful to use Minoxidil Laboratory’s solutions and continue to take oral finasteride?
A. Not at all. There are no contraindications to using both and doing so may be beneficial.
Q. If I’ve already been using a regular 5% minoxidil, do I still have to wait at least three months to see improved results with your products?
A. Generally speaking, yes. Thicker hair results from replacing existing thin hair shafts. This entails shedding of the thin hair shaft, waiting through the resting (telogen) phase of the hair cycle, and growing enough thicker hair shafts to appreciate the difference. Since the telogen phase is approximately 100 days, new thicker hairs are most often seen 4 to 6 months after initiating therapy.