Research is constantly being carried out to identify and develop potential treatments for hair loss. While JAK Inhibitors and topical medications tend to be the main focus, there’s been a few more radical treatments being researched too.
One of the more unusual treatments currently being looked into is faecal transplants. Scientists are looking into whether faecal transplants could treat a number of health conditions, including hair loss.
Here, we’ll delve into faecal transplants for hair loss and the clinical study set to take place to establish its effectiveness.
What is a faecal transplant?
A faecal transplant involves taking faecal matter from a healthy donor, before being infused into the patient. This is thought to be able to balance out the microbiota within the gut. This can then help to treat conditions such as hair loss, irritable bowel syndrome and coeliac disease.
The procedure involves inserting faecal matter from healthy donors, into the colon of patients. Once there, it works on balancing out the bacteria within the gut. Patients have already been treated using the method and it’s surprisingly found to have been effective.
What do we know about the study?
The new, year-long study is set to complete by the year 2024. At the moment, no information has been provided by the Chinese trial on which type of hair loss condition the trial will be looking into. It has simply listed Alopecia as the condition, which could relate to a wide number of types of hair loss.
What we do know, is the trial relates largely to autoimmune disorders. This would suggest that the type of hair loss it’s likely to cover is alopecia areata. This is one of the more severe types of hair loss, particular its alopecia universalis form. Currently, there isn’t a cure for the condition. However, previous studies have shown faecal transplants can be effective for treating hair loss.
The procedure has been used to treat patients who developed a C.Difficile infection. A 39-year old man who had alopecia areata when he was diagnosed with the infection, was treated via a faecal transplant. At his eight-week follow-up, there was patchy regrowth on the scalp, arms and face. The regrowth was still present after three years.
Similarly, a 20-year old man with alopecia areata was also treated with a faecal transplant after developing the infection. After being initially diagnosed with 95%-99% hair loss, thanks to the faecal transplant, his hair started to regrow until he was diagnosed with 25%-49% hair loss. These initial results are certainly promising so it will be interesting to see what the new study finds.
Would faecal transplants prove popular?
Even if faecal transplants did prove to be a viable treatment option for alopecia areata, would people really want the treatment? While the thought of it might not be pleasant, sufferers of alopecia areata go through a lot of emotional trauma. So, if it did prove possible to eliminate the condition, a faecal transplant could be a great option.
The results of this new study are going to take a few years to compile. Therefore, patients who are experiencing hair loss should seek a diagnosis from a specialist. There are numerous treatments available which could prove useful at slowing down or clearing up the condition depending upon its severity.