Topical Melatonin For Hair Loss
From January 2003 to October 2006 the melatonin solution was subjected to five rounds of testing, each with a different study design. The first study tested the safety of the solution in a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study on four fertile and four postmenopausal healthy women. This test found a slightly elevated, but not significantly different, serum melatonin level after 14 days of treatment compared to placebo. There were no safety or health impacts of the treatments.
The second phase of the study found a significant reduction in severity of hair loss in 30 patients with early hair loss after 30 days of treatment, with a further significant drop after 90 days. The importance of the study is limited, however, due to the fact that there was no placebo employed to act as a study control. Also, the results were, in part, obtained through subjective questionnaires completed by the patients.
Phase three was a more reliable and objective open-label, clinically controlled study involving 35 men with androgenetic alopecia. In this study, researchers used TrichoScan, a sensitive software and hardware package that uses epiluminescence to measure hair loss. Hair density was found to increase in over half of the subjects. The average increase in density was 29% after three months and 41% at six months.
In study four, hair stylists at four salons performed a standardized before-and-after comparison on 40 male and 20 female patients with early stage hair loss who applied the treatment for 90 days. Female patients experienced significant reductions after 40 days and further significant reduction after another 40 days. Hair loss in the male patients was stable throughout the treatment.
Study five was a large-scale, open-label, multi-center study involving 1891 female and male patients with early stage androgenetic alopecia. After 90 days of treatment, the proportion of patients with a positive hair pull test (which indicates ongoing hair loss) fell from 61.6% to 7.8%. Negative hair pull tests, which indicate no hair loss, rose from 12.2% to 61.5% in the same period. Using standardized examination forms, investigators found significantly reduced hair loss in two-thirds of patients. New hair growth was measured in 22.5% of patients. Further, the proportion of patients with moderate to severe presentation of the skin condition seborrhea dropped by over 30%.
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