The advancement of medical technology, knowledge and innovation has now led to a very interesting point in time where we can tap into our genetic composition and use the DNA profile of patients to ensure that patients are receiving the best possible treatment which is entirely unique to them as an individual. This is the future of medicine, and it is exciting to see that the future has arrived.
The treatment of Alopecia has always encompassed a variety of different options and treatment modalities ranging from topical and oral medications, to the use of injectable treatments such as platelet rich plasma, various energy-based devices, and even hair transplants.
The issue with these treatment modalities is that it has been impossible to determine which treatment, and especially which medication will work for a specific patient due to the vast number of factors affecting hair loss. This is no longer an issue due to the development of the TrichoTest from Fagron. The TrichoTest is the most complete genetic test for alopecia, analysing both genetic factors and other relevant patient characteristics.
The TrichoTest by Fagron, designed for the treatment of alopecia uses genetic testing to analyse a patient’s unique DNA profile and ascertain which treatments/medications will be best suited for each individual patient.
This is an extremely exciting development as it is now possible for a clinician to offer an entirely individualised treatment plan for a patient without any guess work or having to use a trial and error method to see which medications a patient will respond to.
This equates to a more targeted approach to the management of alopecia which means a quicker response to the treatment and invariably an economic saving as well. It provides a comprehensive diagnosis for the reason why a patient is experiencing alopecia.
What is Alopecia and What are the Causes?
Hair loss (alopecia) is a progressive condition that has different forms and causes, with the most common hair loss type, known as androgenetic alopecia, being hereditary in nature. If left untreated, hair loss usually progresses over time, affecting 80% of all men and 40% of all women. Factors which promote alopecia include the following:
- Increased testosterone levels
- Hormonal changes
- Blood circulation issues
- Low levels of vitamins and minerals
All the above-mentioned factors can cause alterations/mutations in the DNA structure causing hair loss.
Who is a Candidate for the TrichoTest?
The TrichoTest is indicated to be used by the following patients:
- Everyone who wants to understand how their genetics affect alopecia treatment.
- Patients with family history of alopecia.
- Men and women who have tried different treatments with few or no success.
What are the benefits of doing the TrichoTest?
The benefits from doing a comprehensive genetic assessment are endless and include the following:
- Fully personalised treatment, which means a personalised prescription is developed for the patient.
- Detailed explanation of genetic factors explanation including a full report with the explanation of your genetic characteristics and their relation with alopecia treatment.
- Your doctor/prescriber will have now a deep understanding of your genetic characteristics and how do they relate to alopecia thus providing a far more personalised treatment plan
- The TrichoTest is a once in a lifetime test as your genetic results will not change during your life.
How do you go about performing the TrichoTest?
It is really an extremely simple and painless procedure, which entails the following steps
- Visit your doctor to perform the TrichoTest.
- Collection of your DNA sample with a buccal swab – this process takes 1 minute.
- Fill in the questionnaire provided by your doctor.
- In 4-5 weeks visit you doctor and get to know your results
- Apply your personalised treatment as prescribed.
The TrichoTest is an extremely exciting innovation for the successful treatment of alopecia and brings the exciting world of genetics into clinical application. This is a fantastic means of helping to diagnose the reasons for alopecia and for creating a successful and targeted treatment plan.
For more information on Trichotest, visit www.fagron.co.za
Written by Dr Alistair McAlpine
Dr Alistair McAlpine – MBBCh (Wits), BDS (Wits) – is a dual-qualified medical doctor and dentist, and now head of medical aesthetics at Lightsculpt Aesthetic Clinic. He completed both his BDS and MBBCh at the University of the Witwatersrand – and his special interest includes the relationship between odonto-stomatological (dental) aesthetics and facial aesthetics, as well as the facial anatomical changes that occur with ageing. www.lightsculpt.co.za
A2 Disclaimer: This article is published for information purposes only, nor should it be regarded as a replacement for sound medical advice.
This article was written by Dr Alistair McAlpine and edited by the A2 team EXCLUSIVELY for the A2 Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Magazine September 2019 Edition (Issue 31).
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