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March 1988

Topical Minoxidil Therapy for Androgenetic Alopecia

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(3):322. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670030010005

To the Editor.—  Patients consulting a dermatologist regarding treatment with topically applied minoxidil want to know if "it will improve my looks." One would expect that Koperski et al1 in their article "Topical Minoxidil Therapy for Androgenetic Alopecia: A 30-Month Study" that appeared in the November 1987 issue of the Archives would address this question. I looked in vain for their assessment. The authors counted hair and measured bald areas and concluded that, for some of these parameters, there was statistically significant improvement. The only reference to the critical issue of appearance was one paragraph discussing photographic analysis. The authors conclude "On the whole, we felt that cosmetic improvements were not sufficiently dramatic in most patients to be recorded by photograph." I interpret this to mean that there was no improvement in the appearance of these balding men. Is this correct?Patients with androgenetic alopecia—and their treating physicians—need to

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