AAD: Minoxidil Finds Novel Indication In Hair Loss Prevention Following Rhytidectomy

NEW ORLEANS, LA — February 24, 2002 — Topical minoxidil appears to prevent temporary alopecia that can occur following facelift procedures, according to a Florida-based dermatologist.

Results from a retrospective review were presented during a poster session here yesterday at the 60th annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.

"Temporal hair loss that results from traumatized hair follicles following rhytidectomy is an unsightly complication that can distress patients and surgeons," observed lead author Dr. Cindy Li, who is in private practice in Boca Raton, Florida.

Noting that topical minoxidil has already been approved for the treatment of both androgenic alopecia and female senile alopecia, Dr. Li initiated prophylactic minoxidil 2% to 5% in 60 consecutive patients, one week prior to the rhytidectomy procedure, and then, following a five-day interval during which minoxidil was discontinued after the facelift, continuing its use for another four weeks.

Comparing their findings in these 60 patients to results from larger facelift series, in which minoxidil was not used prophylactically, the researchers concluded that "minoxidil plays a role in effectively preventing temporal hair loss that occurs following primary rhytidectomy," Dr. Li stated. Importantly, minoxidil does not appear to affect the risk of hematoma, skin necrosis or oedema, she added.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the role of minoxidil in preventing post-rhytidectomy alopecia," Dr. Li indicated, "and we feel that minoxidil should be considered in all surgical procedures that may precipitate alopecia."

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