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Medical Treatment for Hereditary Hair Loss in Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, NY

Double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim of the Natural Face™ Clinics, specialize in medical treatment for hereditary hair loss for patients residing in the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area including Ithaca, and Rochester.

Currently, two medications for treatment of androgenetic alopecia are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are finasteride oral pill and minoxidil topical medication. The most recognized brand names for these are Propecia® and Rogaine®. Approval by FDA means that the drug has undergone the FDA’s approval process through extensive research to be safe and effective specifically for the indicated medical condition. As a side note, the medications or medical devices with “Approval by FDA” must have demonstrated through rigorous study that they are both safe and effective treatment, while recognition “Cleared by FDA” can be achieved as long as it is safe alternative treatment – a subtle and confusing distinction which even some doctors do not recognize.

Like all medications, there are benefits and potential side-effects. Both of the medications are relatively safe medications for the patient, but it is important to discuss what these side-effects are and whether these medications are suitable for the patients before starting them.

We recommend medical treatment for patients who are affected by androgenetic alopecia. Even if the patient elects to proceed with hair transplant surgery, it is helpful to be on medical treatment concurrently.

Medical treatments work by preventing and reversing the miniaturization process. These are the areas where hair has become thin and loses its volume. However, if the process has advanced beyond miniaturization and the hair is lost permanently, then the medication will not help regain the lost hair. For these areas, the only treatment is to transplant a new set of hair. When the medications are discontinued, its effect tends to wear off and the patient will revert to an ongoing process of hereditary hair loss. This reversal effect, however, will not affect the transplanted hair, because they are resistant to the DHT-mediated effect.

Propecia® (1 mg finasteride tablet)

As reviewed from above, hereditary hair loss is caused by dihydrotestasterone (DHT). The hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT will begin its miniaturization process and eventually become lost permanently. Finasteride, which has been used for a long time in patients with prostate problems, works by blocking the DHT synthesis. Unlike the finasteride which is used for prostate problems (5mg tablet), Propecia which is indicated for hair loss comes in 1mg tablet form.

Numerous clinical studies have shown that Propecia® ¬is effective in increasing the density of the hair in male patients affected by androgenetic alopecia. Having been on Propecia® for 5 years, about 90% of patients reported either improvement in hair growth or arrest of further hair loss. Studies have demonstrated an actual increase in hair count after 5 years of Propecia®. While most studies have shown an increase in growth at the vertex area of the head, both Propecia® and Rogaine® will improve the loss of hair throughout the scalp.

Rogaine® (5% or 2% minoxidil topical solution or foam)

Minoxidil was originally a blood pressure medication taken as a pill. It was observed that these patients also experienced growth of body hair. Based on this observation, the medication was developed into topical solution form to be applied only to the areas of hair loss. This way there is no systemic effect such as blood pressure change during use.

Numerous studies on the efficacy of minoxidil have been reported. Generalizing from these studies, one should expect that 80-90 % of patients who strictly adhere to treatment with minoxidil topical will experience improved hair growth and hair density. While most studies have shown an increase in growth at the vertex area of the head, both Propecia® and Rogaine® will improve the loss of hair throughout the scalp. Patients should expect to use the medication daily for at least 6 months before any noticeable change is seen.

Double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim at Natural Face Clinics specialize in aesthetic enhancement of the face, head, and neck, exclusively. Patients come to see us from the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area including Ithaca, and Rochester. At Natural Face Clinics, we specialize in restoring the youthful neck contour, tired appearance of the brows and eyes, and skin laxity. We offer customized treatment, both surgical and non-surgical, including facelift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), nose surgery (rhinoplasty), brow lift, neck lift, and skin resurfacing. Find out more by scheduling your personal consultation today.


Plastic Surgeon in Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, NY


Dr. Sang W. Kim

Harvard Trained, Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sang W Kim, MD is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery, nasal/sinus surgery, and hair restoration surgery.

Natural Face Centers
I was working in Central New York and had an upcoming event and needed to get 2 areas of Dystport done. They were able to accommodate my schedule( as it was short notice) Dr. Kim’s entire staff was so friendly and welcoming!! During the procedure , even Nurse Dan held my hand and kept me smiling the whole time!! I was incredibly impressed with Dr Kim as he made sure he took the time to explain the process as well as not “ being rushed” something I have experienced with previous Doctors. I live in Florida but will be seeing Dr Kim from now on, and will be recommending their office to my fellow New Yorkers! It’s been almost 2 weeks since my appointment and the results are amazing!!! So happy! Thank you so much Dr Kim, Mary and the rest of the staff !

- michele goodwin

Dr. Kim is a world-class facial plastic surgeon. I’ve been to the top surgeons in the country from Beverly Hills to Miami and I found Dr. Kim to be superior. His face and neck lift were flawless and so natural that no one could tell I had anything done, but everyone said I looked ten years younger. As Syracuse is a discreet location, I would highly recommend anyone who wants a top notch face and neck lift to fly in. His bedside manner is as fantastic as his work. I can’t recommend Dr. Kim enough. I think he is the best Facial plastic surgeon in the country.

- Shelly Cohen

I am very happy with Dr. Kim and all of his staff. Not only did I have a surgical procedure done but I also go there every week for allergy shots and they couldn't be nicer. And Dr. Kim is awesome - - great bedside manner! I highly recommend them!!!

- Sheila Guenette

57 years old and wanted to start my new path in life retired...not looking tired! I did extensive research and sought out 5 surgeon recommendations. I was extremely impressed with Dr. Sang Kim for several reasons: 1 - He specialized in and only performs /neck surgeries, 2 - Dr. Kim is younger and probably more newly established, but there was no doubt that he is a perfectionist and a professional in his field, 3 - He is patient and really listens. I felt confident and trusted that he was giving me his best recommendation for my concerns, 4 - He didn't try to push unnecessary or extra procedures, 5 - I was impressed by how obvious it was that Dr. Kim's administrative and medical staff liked him and respected his work. But most of all, I am extremely satisfied with the results of my face lift!

- Shannon F

I can't say enough good things about Dr. Kim. He is the most patient, professional, and personable physician I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Instead of being rushed through the practice, every member of his staff made me feel welcome and important from the moment I walked through the door. He wouldn't perform a single procedure on me until he fully answered every minute question I had (all of which he eloquently and candidly answered); you can tell that his formal training was exceptional. His bedside manner and skilled technique easily make him one of the best kept secrets in Syracuse. I have referred numerous friends to him who have also, in turn, referred their friends. Make the consult and see for yourself... you won't be disappointed!

- Deanna Hillman

Dr. Kim and his staff were incredible. I had a face lift done this past summer and I was treated with dignity and respect by everyone. Dr. Kim is an exceptional surgeon and one of the nicest and kindest doctors I have ever met. I had a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend Dr. Kim and his entire staff. I recently went back to Dr. Kim for injections. Again my experience was wonderful. He explains everything he is going to do and what to expect. I didn't bruise and I love the fact that he doesn't overdo. He and his staff are just incredible. If I could give more than 5 stars I would.

- Debbie Ely

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