If you have male pattern baldness, undoubtedly you have heard of Propecia and Rogaine, two hair restoration products. What you might not have considered or even been aware of are their differences. As part of a sensible medical routine in dermatology in San Diego, it is important to know what each does and can do before making any decisions.

Key Methods of Operation

Rogaine is a topical medication that is applied directly to affected areas of the scalp. How it works, exactly, is not fully understood. One theory is that it causes blood vessels in the scalp to dilate, which spurs hair follicle function that stimulates hair growth. Because Rogaine is topical, there are a lot of warnings as to when to use it and how. It is recommended that Rogaine not be applied, for example, if the patient is suffering from sunburn or if the skin is damaged or irritated. Rogaine would not be recommended, for example, if a patient had recently had laser dermatology in San Diego, CA.

Propecia is an oral medication that works at the hormonal level. Specifically, it reduces levels of DHT, which leads to baldness. DHT targets hair follicles and shrinks them in a process that eventually leads to baldness. Propecia inhibits 5-alpha reductase which is an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. The process of that inhibitor greatly reduces the levels of DHT in an individual.

Professional Recommendations

In a head-to-head comparison of both, the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA) recommended Propecia because of its ability to sharply lower DHT, which we know contributes to, if not causes, baldness. Rogaine, the association recommended, should be used to fight against receding hairlines as a compliment to Propecia. It could also be used, under medical guidance as part of a larger strategy for cosmetic laser dermatology in San Diego, CA.


Both Propecia and Rogaine only work if they are being actively administered. Stopping either medication means whatever results were gained begin to reverse and eventually will reverse to the point when the medication was started.

Both Propecia and Rogaine play a role in fighting hair loss. Tests seem to indicate both can be effective, but Propecia is more effective than Rogaine. If you are looking at hair loss remedies for baldness or dermatology in San Diego, CA, either should be administered at the direction of a physician.