Minoxidil is a popular medication used by men to treat male pattern baldness. Despite its effectiveness, there are several concerns about the use of this drug.
Consistency is integral to the minoxidil treatment plan. You have to stay committed to its usage if you wish to witness good hair growth. So naturally, people are concerned about the side effects of using minoxidil and whether it’s safe to use for a long time.
In this blog, you’ll discover the disadvantages of using minoxidil and who should stay away from this medicine.
How does minoxidil work?
The main purpose of minoxidil is to dilate the blood vessels on your scalp and open up the channels for proper blood circulation. This will help the hair follicles get active and initiate hair regrowth. In addition, it allows more oxygen and nutrients to enter the follicles.
Who can use minoxidil?
Being one of the best, FDA-approved, and clinically proven medicine for hair growth, Minoxidil is a viable option to inhibit baldness. It’s primarily effective in growing hair on the entire scalp, rather than just the receding hairline. The drug is applied topically on the scalp.
Minoxidil is safe to use for men over 40 years of age. Women can also use this medicine to treat baldness but the formula will be different. Females are recommended to use the 2% Minoxidil drug whereas men can use 5%. It won’t cure the disease of its roots but can enable hair regrowth.
Side effects of minoxidil
Using minoxidil isn’t free of risks. Since you may need to use it indefinitely, it’s also important to know about the dangers involved with the long-term use of this drug.
Following are the main side effects of minoxidil:
- Adverse allergic reactions to the scalp include redness, itching, etc.
- Old hair loss to allow new hair growth
- Swelling in scalp, hands, tummy, and feet
- Erectile dysfunction
- Tingling or numbness in the applied region
- Sudden weight gain
- Dizziness and headaches
- Pain in chest, breast tenderness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Soreness and inflammation in the scalp
- Extra beard hair growth
- Scalp acne
- Difficulty in breathing
- Warm or flushed skin
- Heart failure because of salt and water build-up
Is minoxidil safe for long-term use?
The short answer is yes – you can use minoxidil safely for years. At a minimum, you need to apply it for at least 4 months before you see good results. By then, you might also notice any serious physical effects of this drug on your body. The side effects are usually temporary and will disappear once you stop using the medicine. However, to avoid any complications, it’s best to consult with a doctor and be on the safe side. Or, opt for alternatives that are natural and safe.
Does minoxidil age your face?
One of the most common concerns is the cons of using minoxidil on the skin. Although most studies show that the disadvantages are a bare minimum, minoxidil does cause mild irritation in the application region or scalp. In some cases, it can lead to wrinkles, acne, and redness as well. Studies also show that minoxidil can reduce collagen or break it down. According to FDA, this medicine isn’t safe to use on the face.
Does minoxidil make your face fat?
Swelling in the face, ankles, hands, and scalp are some of the major side effects of applying minoxidil. This drug retains salt and water in your body, leading to sudden weight gain. If you experience severe puffiness, see a doctor soon to get it checked.
Can minoxidil damage eyes?
This medicine is dangerous for your eyes. If it comes in contact, you might experience severe burning sensation and redness because of alcohol. Wash thoroughly with cold water and rinse off completely. It is also not safe to apply ointment on your eyebrows.
Does minoxidil affect hormones?
Most studies suggest there are no negative impacts of minoxidil on hormones. It has no side effects on male fertility, doesn’t reduce sperm count, or block DHT, unlike finasteride. However, it does have anti-androgen qualities. Androgen hormone is related to growth in males and females. Research reveals while it doesn’t directly affect androgen, minoxidil application certainly influences the receptors.
Has anyone died from minoxidil?
Although doctors highly recommend using minoxidil because of its exceptional hair growth benefits and staggering fantastic results, there have been reports of death as well. About 5 to 8 deaths have occurred so far in patients taking minoxidil. This is because originally minoxidil was used as an oral tablet to treat high blood pressure. In worst cases, the drug caused heart attacks, following irregular heartbeat.
What to avoid while using minoxidil?
There’s a protocol for using minoxidil and you should follow it to prevent complications. Avoid taking any new drugs for hydration, nutrients, and guanethidine. Since it retains salt, you should also be careful about your sodium intake. Do not apply it on an allergy-prone scalp. If you’ve had any hair treatments such as hair color, we suggest discussing with a doctor beforehand.