Question: Hi there I’m a 36 year old man from Ireland. I started using regaine extra strength last month. I use a little less than one capful a day ‘so I’m not over doing it’. I almost immediately noticed that my facial skin feels tight and dry and that under my eyes have become darker. I checked out online to see if others have had the same experience and I discovered countless people are saying the same thing. That minoxidil ages the skin, causes bags under the eyes and dark rings under the eyes etc. I am now in a real dilemma as although Rogaine does not list any of these symptoms as side affects, it seems to be happening to me and many other people have had terrible experiences after prolonged use and say it’s aged them drastically. Can you give me some advice? Is it true that minoxidil reduces collagen production? Help please
Answer: Hi, Damien. As you are not a Belgravia client we can certainly help you with your hair loss dilemma, however, we can only provide you with general advice.
For personalised advice tailored to your specific situation, including your unique medical profile, you would need to have a consultation with one of our team of specialists. As you are based in Ireland, this can be done online – there is no need to visit our UK-based hair loss clinics.
Minoxidil, regardless of whether it is a foam, cream or liquid, should not contribute to skin ageing however, swelling, dry or sensitive skin on the scalp and areas near the scalp – ears, face, neck – may happen, either as side effects or due to an allergic reaction. As a result, some of these may contribute to dark circles under the eyes temporarily while the skin is recovering, but not because of skin ageing.
These symptoms may also be unrelated to minoxidil. If the reaction is due to Regaine, it should completely wear off once you stop using it.
As far as we are aware, studies into minoxidil and skin ageing used much higher concentrations of minoxidil than those contained within Regaine, and concluded that their relevance in relation to topical minoxidil when used as a hair loss treatment for androgenic alopecia remains unknown.
In the rare instance when our male pattern baldness patients report such a reaction, we always ask them about how they apply minoxidil. For example, we would ask questions such as, is the solution dripping onto your face? do you wait for the minoxidil to fully absorb before going to bed (as residue on the pillow may touch the face)? do you wash your hands after application?
It is also worth noting that allergies can develop over time, even where no problems presented within the first few days of minoxidil use.
In your specific case, you could stop using Regaine then try a gradual reintroduction approach. For instance, stopping treatment completely until the reaction wears off then, once the skin has recovered, try using the minoxidil again but in smaller than usual amounts for one week. Monitor how you get on during this period then, if everything appears to be okay, increase the dosage gradually up to the recommended amount, and never overuse.
If the reaction reoccurs, or another side effect becomes apparent, stop using the Regaine as you may be allergic to the product. Should any negative symptoms persist while the product is not being used, then the symptoms may be unrelated to minoxidil and we would advise that these are reported to your GP.
As you are a Regaine user we would recommend both contacting the company directly to discuss your concerns with them, and reporting any side effects not listed in the Patient Information Leaflet, which accompanies the product, to the MHRA via its Yellow Card Scheme.
Minoxidil is a dose-dependent drug with a generally low side effect profile, though some formulations may work better for some than others. As before, if you would like personalised hairloss advice regarding male hair loss treatment options, including combination courses and which solutions of high strength minoxidil may be best suited to you, please complete our online consultation form and one of Belgravia’s specialists will be in touch to discuss this with you.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.