Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is one of the most common causes of alopecia in males and is a major problem in the Indian population. Dr. Rachita Dhurat presented her study on the effect of microneedling in AGA. According to her, India’s male population is approximately 655.8 million and if, by conservative estimates, we assume a 30% prevalence of AGA then the number of males with AGA comes to a staggering 196 million.
The problem with AGA is that is it has not only a physical impact but also a significant psychological impact on the patient leading to stress, depression, OCD etc. Number of treatment modalities are available but Dr. Rachita states that they are only 40-60% effective. A lot of new and experimental therapies are being tried as well as being promoted; however, the scientific data is missing in most of the cases.
Dr. Rachita and her team conducted a randomized evaluator blinded study to evaluate the effect of microneedling in androgenetic alopecia. In the study, the patients were divided into two groups, with 1 group receiving both derma roller (microneedling) once weekly and minoxidil daily while the other group received only minoxidil. The results were evaluated by 3 parameters: a) hair count; b) a 7 point evaluation scale (-3 to +3) and c) a patient satisfaction scale (0-4).
At the end of 12 weeks they observed that the results were consistently better in the combination therapy as compared to minoxidil only therapy. On the 7 point evaluation sale, most of the patients in the microneedling group showed an improvement of +2 to +3, where as in the minoxidil group 60% of the patients showed no change. Moreover, in the patient satisfaction scale the microneedling scored +3 to +4 and minoxidil group scored only +1. Therefore, in conclusion, combining microneedling with minoxidil may be a better option than conventional therapies alone..