Letters to the Editor

Psychosocial Counseling May Be Best Treatment for Hair Loss


Am Fam Physician. 2004 Mar 15;69(6):1362.

to the editor: I enjoyed the article on hair loss disorders in the July 1, 2003 issue of American Family Physician.1 However, I was surprised that the authors’ discussion of androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness) excluded an important alternative to surgery and pharmacologic therapy: no medical treatment.2 Certainly, the safest and least invasive way to address the psychosocial impact of hair loss is through psychosocial counseling. An earnest conversation about body image and reassurance that hair loss is a normal part of life might help some patients avoid the costs and risks of pharmacologic therapy or surgical intervention, and those associated with the quack remedies hawked for this medically benign condition.


1. Springer K, Brown M, Stulberg DL. Common hair loss disorders. Am Fam Physician. 2003;68:93–102.

2. Drake LA, Dinehart SM, Farmer ER, Goltz RW, Graham GF, Hordinsky MK, et al. Guidelines of care for androgenetic alopecia. American Academy of Dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1996;35:465–9.

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Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Possible conflicts of interest must be disclosed at time of submission. Submission of a letter will be construed as granting the AAFP permission to publish the letter in any of its publications in any form. The editors may edit letters to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, Associate Deputy Editor for AFP Online.



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