Can Accutane Help with Seborrheic Alopecia?

I have adult acne and will be starting accutane next week. I also have excessively oily hair and have noticed my hair thinning since the acne has started up. After researching on the internet, I think I may have seborrheic alopecia as well. Will accutane help with this at all? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 1

Hair loss, acne and oily skin may point to hormonal abnormalities in women

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Hair loss, acne, excessive oiliness and sometimes excessive hair growth in places like chin area, chest, abdomen and thighs, may all point to a hormonal imbalance with excess amounts of androgens (male-like hormones) or an excessive sensitivity to their action.

Seborrheic alopecia is most likely just androgenetic hair loss in the context of an oily scalp.

Accutane does help acne and oily skin, although it is less effective in those with hormonal abnormalities.  Accutane does not help alopecia at all.

Hormonal imbalances can be seen in perimenopausal women and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

I suggest having a blood test to determine the levels of hormones:  FSH, LH, DHEA-S, androstinedione, total testosterone, free testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin, 17-OH progesterone, estradiol, prolactin.  Also would want to check TSH - thyroid functions as some women with PCOS are also hypothyroid.

I also suggest discontinuing consumption of all dairy products as those contain many androgen-like hormones and growth hormones even if the milk is organic and says "hormone-free."

Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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