Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 has shown some interesting results in studies examining its use as a hair-loss treatment. IGF-1 works by regulating cellular proliferation and migration during the development of hair follicles. Hepatotoxicity and myelotoxicity were evaluated in hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) after topical application of the liquid gel vehicle (placebo), 1% IGF-1 or 3% IGF-1. No significant difference in the levels of aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase was found between the control and treated groups. ELISA did not shown any increase in the plasma level of IGF-1. A haematopoietic niche was found, but it was not associated with myelotoxicity. Efficacy was determined by dermatoscopy analysis of hair density and microscopy analysis of hair diameter, with hair found to be thicker and with more rapid growth in the 3% group than in either the 1% group or the control group. These results strongly suggest that liposomal IGF-1 in a liquid gel formulation is a safe and efficient treatment for hair loss.
© The Author(s). CED © 2012 British Association of Dermatologists.