Preface

INTRODUCTION

Did you know that the oldest dermatological prescription is an Egyptian hair loss remedy that is 5,500 years old? People have searched for answers to their hair loss concerns ever since that time.

In the early years of my dermatology medical practice, I prepared written information on hair loss for my patients, including copies of articles and books by various authors. More than ten years ago, I became one of the first to provide accurate information about hair loss on the Internet with my web site, www.hairdoc.com. Although the Internet is a wonderful resource for patient education, it has some disadvantages. I have visited dozens of hair loss web sites that feature inaccurate or incomplete information and sell dubious treatment products.

Based on my contact with my own patients, communications with other physicians, and the hundreds of emails I receive from all over the world from people who are losing their hair, it is clear to me that there is an extraordinary amount of confusion about hair loss. The general public needs a source for answers to hair loss questions, and expert advice as to which solutions really work.

This book was written to address that need.

I especially want to thank Dr. Jerry Litt for his generous help in proofreading this manuscript, and many thanks for his Drug Eruption Reference Manual, which I refer to regularly in my office when confronted with a patient with hair loss due to medications. I would also like to thank Dr. Alice Do, who was one of my brightest medical students, for her illustrations. I thank Gary Grossman for editing the first edition of this book, and most of all I thank all of my patients over the years, whose appreciation for my work has made my medical practice both rewarding and enjoyable.

Peter J. Panagotacos, M.D.
San Francisco, California

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

Historically, hair transplants have been the single most common form of elective cosmetic surgery. Only with the advent of liposuction did reconstructive surgery for hair loss fall to the number two most popular spot. The need for accurate, unbiased information about available options for those concerned about receding hairlines, male and female pattern baldness (referred to medically as androgenetic alopecia) and thinning hair, will be addressed in this new, updated edition.

Since the last edition of this book, a number of promising advances have been made in follicular unit grafting, cloning, stem cell transplant, and gene therapy. More is also known about the medical treatment of hair loss. Several of the chapters in the book have been expanded or changed to reflect the latest developments in this rapidly expanding field. New drugs are added to the list of drugs that cause hair loss along with a new feature that lists the brand name.

This book is meant primarily for the individual who is concerned about losing hair now and in the future, wants to learn about the various causes, and explore the options for treatment. The informed consumer can make wise decisions and take proactive steps to handle what is a very common, but very private concern. Response to the first edition from physicians and patients alike cited the book a valuable resource for those who want help understanding their condition.

I sincerely hope this book satisfies the need many of you have for a source of up to date information on hair loss that is as unbiased as possible.