While this question is not a common one among The Griffin Center’s patients, it is a funny joke among spouses who sometimes get frustrated with each other. Surprisingly, though, the answer was yes for one woman. In a vignette published in a recent issue of the Archives of Dermatology, researchers discussed a case study of a 52-year old, post-menopausal Hispanic woman who reported the signs and symptoms of hair loss similar to those of male patterned baldness.
The patient had been experiencing hair loss in the frontotemporal region and crown of the head related to androgenetic alopecia for one year. After undergoing testing for hypoandrogenism and other endocrine disorders, dermatologists discovered the patient had abnormally high levels of testosterone. An investigation into the woman’s personal history found that her husband was applying topical testosterone gel daily for 18 months.
Dermatologists specializing in hair loss discovered that the female patient’s seemingly male patterned baldness was caused by her contact with her husband’s testosterone treatments. Testosterone gel can be transferred through contact with skin, clothing worn over the application area, and sheets or towels that have touched the application area. When an individual is exposed to a medication used by a spouse or close relative (like a child), it is called connubial exposure.
The patient was prescribed minoxidil solution to help regrow the lost hair, while her husband was directed to apply the testosterone gel to an area of the body covered by clothing to minimize the patient’s exposure. Some women who can no longer get pregnant may consider the use of finesteride.
The authors of the vignette believe that cases of connubial androgenetic alopecia in women most likely go underreported. Along the same lines, the authors emphasize the importance of a thorough medical history of not only the patient, but of the patient’s spouse and family members as well when pursuing hair restoration treatment.
At The Griffin Center for Hair Research and Restoration, we understand that the causes of hair loss in both men and women vary based on medical history, medical conditions, and many other factors. We strive to provide all our patients with accurate hair loss diagnoses so that we can effectively treat or reverse hair loss. Treatments for hair loss can vary from non-surgical options like applying Rogaine® to hair transplantation by microscope-assisted follicular grafting.
For more information on what can cause hair loss or to schedule a hair restoration consultation, contact our office. You can also “like” us on Facebook to keep up with the latest hair loss and hair care news.