As the age increase, male pattern baldness occurs and is characterized by loss of hairs in a particular fashion. High levels of testosterone are not responsible for the male pattern baldness rather the baldness is a complex phenomenon comprising hormonal, genetic and environmental factors.
Do Bald Men Have More Testosterone?
Although, there is a link between the testosterone and baldness, but higher levels of testosterone are not a prerequisite for baldness. A study was conducted wherein some of the males were castrated, and some were left intact. The castrated males do not have any testosterone, thus does not show male pattern baldness while the intact males show some signs of baldness. This study helps to understand the possible link between testosterone and baldness. However, the higher levels of testosterone are not always associated with baldness. The phenomenon is much more complex and involves the genetic disposition.
It has been found that baldness is generally associated as a genetic feature as the individual whose father is bald tends to lose hairs at an early stage as compared to other individuals whose father is not bald. Testosterone is not per se responsible for the baldness rather there is another chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for baldness. Small quantity of testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone with the help of enzyme 5-α reductase. This chemical is responsible for baldness in those individuals which are sensitive to it. Almost 10% of the total testosterone is converted in to dihydrotestosterone and as the age increases, this conversion is more pronounced. This sensitivity largely depends upon the genetic makeup of an individual.
The follicles of the chins are not affected by dihydrotestosterone; thus, they continue to grow. The effect of dihydrotestosterone is also more pronounced because it binds to the same receptor to which testosterone binds and for a longer period of time. Due to the effect of dihydrotestosterone, the follicles become miniaturized and the anagen phase becomes constricted. Miniaturization means the hair follicle becomes shrinking and weakened. Anagen phase a hair growing phase and thus the hairs fail to grow at their full length.
With time, the anagen phase become so shortened that hairs fails to grow and falls. At the initial stage of male pattern baldness, the hairs become thinner and later on disappear.
Symptoms Of High Levels Of Testosterone
Although the prevalence of low testosterone levels is high as compared to high levels, the high levels also cause various symptoms in an individual. The testosterone is said to be at high level when the total testosterone is above 1000 ng/dL and the free testosterone is above 30 ng/dL. Following are the various symptoms which are experienced by the patient having high concentration of testosterone:
Acne And Oily Skin: The high concentration of testosterone stimulates the sebaceous gland which result in higher secretion of sebum. This causes skin to be oily and blocks the lords resulting in the development of acne.
Early Puberty: Testosterone is the hormone responsible for puberty and the concentration is highest at around 19 years of age. However, higher concentration may lead to early puberty and physical changes in the body.
Excessive Hairs: High concentration of testosterone leads to excessive hairs on the skin.
Aggression: The high amount of testosterone increases the aggression and anxiety in the individuals and causes insomnia and depression.
High Libido: The individual having high testosterone concentration have high libido and high sex drive.
Cardiac Did Effects: High testosterone may cause high blood pressure and increases the risk of thrombus formation as the concentration of red blood cells is also increased.
Although there is a link between the baldness and testosterone, but it is not true that high levels of testosterone cause baldness. Male pattern baldness is due to high sensitivity of some individuals for dihydrotestosterone, which may be the result of genetic makeup. Dihydrotestosterone is formed from testosterone and shrink he follicles and weakens them resulting in shorter anagen or growth phase. Thus, dihydrotestosterone and not high levels of testosterone are responsible for baldness.
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