Pattern hair loss in men: diagnosis and medical treatment

Dermatol Clin. 2013 Jan;31(1):129-40. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Sep 21.


Androgenetic alopecia is a common cause of hair loss in both men and women. The exact pathogenesis of androgenetic alopecia is not well understood. As the name implies, the role of androgens and genetic susceptibility predisposes to pattern hair loss due to gradual conversion of terminal hair into vellus hair. Male and female pattern hair loss are clinically distinct entities but histologically indistinguishable. The role of sex hormones in females is less understood. This article discusses current understanding of the etiopathogenesis of hair loss in men, diagnostic tests available, and its medical management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Alopecia / diagnosis*
  • Alopecia / etiology
  • Alopecia / therapy*
  • Androgens / therapeutic use*
  • Azasteroids / therapeutic use
  • Dutasteride
  • Female
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Hair Follicle / drug effects
  • Hair Follicle / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Androgens
  • Azasteroids
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Finasteride
  • Minoxidil
  • Dutasteride