Topical Finasteride vs Finasteride Tablets: What’s the Difference

What is Finasteride?

For years, Finasteride has been clinically proven to be one of the most effective hair loss treatments available. It helps to prevent hair loss and promote hair re-growth for up to 90% of guys. 

We’ll go into more detail about the multiple studies which have proven this below.

Finasteride works by reducing the amount of DHT — the hormone primarily responsible for causing Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). 

MPB is the most commonly experienced form of hair loss, affecting about two-thirds of men by the age of 35. 

Some Men Are Anxious About Taking Finasteride Tablets

Traditionally, Finasteride comes in a tablet form, which is taken once daily in order to combat the effects of hair loss. 

Even though it is a highly effective treatment, some men do experience side effects when they use the tablet form of the treatment. 

These can include sexual side effects such as erectile dysfunction, and dermatological side effects such as swelling and rashes. 

Some guys who are worried about these side effects end up avoiding oral Finasteride altogether, despite the fact that over 96% of men do not experience adverse side effects from the treatment.

Guys who take Topical Finasteride, on the other hand, are far less likely to develop side effects, and this has been shown in multiple studies. 

This is really positive for those who are looking for an effective hair loss treatment, but are still anxious about potential side effects from taking oral Finasteride or don’t want to take a tablet every day. 

Every guy should be able to treat their hair loss without being worried about running into other problems along the way.

What Are Topical Medicines?

Topical medicines are applied directly to the treated area, in a liquid, gel or cream. Topical Finasteride is now available in this form, and in clinical studies has been shown to be very effective in preventing hair loss.

Topical Finasteride treatment is a liquid which is applied directly to the scalp. In this way, it is effective in treating hair loss directly, without affecting other areas of the body and causing unpleasant side effects.  

How Effective is Topical Finasteride for Combating Hair Loss?

Multiple studies have shown that Topical Finasteride can be very effective in treating hair loss, with results which are comparable with those seen when taking oral Finasteride. 

For example, one study comparing the effectiveness of Finasteride gel against tablet treatments, conducted in 2009, showed that “the therapeutic effects of both Finasteride gel and Finasteride tablet were relatively similar to each other”. Patients in both groups – those taking the tablet form, and those using topical Finasteride, showed significantly reduced hair loss.

As mentioned earlier, Topical Finasteride treatments work by reducing levels of DHT, the hormone primarily responsible for Male Pattern Baldness. 

One study, conducted in 2014, showed that “Plasma DHT was reduced by 68–75% with use of topical FNS and by 62–72% with systemic administration.”

The results of this study suggest that in fact, Topical Finasteride can in some cases be slightly more effective than oral Finasteride at reducing DHT, although there was not a significant difference, and more studies would be needed to show this clearly.

The main takeaway here is that Topical Finasteride has been shown to be at least as effective at preventing hair loss as the tablet form of the treatment. This is very encouraging for those guys looking towards Topical Finasteride as their choice of treatment.

Topical Finasteride vs Oral Finasteride

Although most studies show that there is not a large difference in effectiveness between topical Finasteride and oral Finasteride, there is one clear distinction between the two treatments, which involves their related side effects.

As we explained earlier, many guys are anxious about taking oral Finasteride tablets, because some men have experienced negative side effects, although these are rare. 

Luckily, studies of Topical Finasteride have shown that men who take this form of treatment tend to avoid those unpleasant side effects altogether.

Studies have shown that Topical Finasteride does not have the same reported side effects as the oral treatment. 

For example, one study showed that there were “no reported local or systemic effects” in a group of 52 subjects who used Topical Finasteride, meaning there were no side effects reported after taking the treatment.

In summary, studies have shown that Topical Finasteride can be as effective at treating hair loss as oral Finasteride, without the same risk of side effects. 

This is why many guys are now opting to use Topical Finasteride as a way to combat their hair loss without having to deal with other issues.

Topical or Oral Finasteride: Which One is Right For You?

Finasteride, whether in oral tablet form or in topical form, should only be used by men over 18 who are experiencing Male Pattern Baldness, and want to do something about it. 

While both treatment forms are effective, remember that most men who use Topical Finasteride are far less likely to experience the unpleasant side effects sometimes seen when using oral Finasteride tablets. So, if you are concerned about side effects, Topical Finasteride may be a better option.

On the other hand, oral Finasteride can still be a very good option for some guys. If you prefer taking a pill to applying a solution to your hair, or find that the skin on your scalp becomes easily irritated, you may still prefer to use the pill form. 

Hair Loss Treatments From Hims

Above all else, it’s really important that you get a treatment that’s right for you. When you apply for treatment with Hims, you’ll first be assessed by a UK-registered clinician, who will be able to put you on the right path to hair loss treatment. 

Interested in trying Hims? See why we are consistently rated the number 1 hair loss subscription service in the UK

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.

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