This question comes from a member of our hair loss social community and discussion forums:
I recently started to notice my hair loss and decided I wanted to reverse the progressive thinning as early as possible. Because of this, I conducted some research and decided to start using 5% liquid Rogaine (minoxidil). However, after using the product for some time, I’m now noticing definite scalp irritation. Is this from the liquid minoxidil? What can be done to stop this?
As I’m sure you’re aware, minoxidil (Rogaine) is one of two medications (the other being Propecia/finasteride) approved for treatment of genetic hair loss by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Minoxidil is available in both 2% and 5% liquid and foam solutions, and when applied topically to the scalp, helps stabilize progressive thinning and regenerate miniaturized hair follicles.
Although the product is trusted, safe, and effective, it is associated with certain side effects. After years of recommending minoxidil to hair loss sufferers, hair restoration physicians began to notice one side effect frequently associated with the 5% liquid minoxidil solution: scalp irritation. What’s more, this same irritation was not noticed (in the same frequency) in patients using the 5% foam minoxidil solution.
Because of this, these hair loss experts began to research the difference between the foam and the liquid formula and noticed something interesting: the liquid product contained propylene glycol – an agent frequently associated with skin dryness and irritation. Because of this, many physicians advised patients to switch from the liquid minoxidil solution to the foam solution and noted a decrease in the scalp irritation.
Knowing this, it likely that patients experiencing scalp irritation from the 5% liquid minoxidil solution should try switching to the 5% foam minoxidil solution. However, this change should first be evaluated and discussed with a trusted physician. Additionally, patients should remember that a long lapse from minoxidil could re-start the balding process and cause a new shedding phase before regrowth in seen on the new minoxidil regimen.
Blake Bloxham – formerly “Future_HT_Doc”
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