Betamethasone Dipropionate to Treat Hair Loss?

I found the website of a certain Dr. Sandra Brown MD, a dermatologist practicing in Southfield (MI), who claims she has developed a “proprietary and patented gel that has successfully reversed many types of hair loss in hundreds of [her] patients”.

According to Dr. Brown, this gel “thickens and lengthens hair and reverses many types of alopecia (hair loss) such as genetic thinning (e.g., male pattern baldness), chemical and stress related hair loss and other types of hair loss”. The treatment “is applied daily to the scalp” and “stimulates hair follicles causing hair to grow thicker and faster. Additionally, after the gel is discontinued the hair that you have re-grown does not catastrophically fall out (in contrast to the only commercially available product currently approved by the FDA which must be used forever to prevent hair loss).

This gel contains bethametasone dipropionate 0.05% and tretinoin (all-trans-retinoic acid) 0.0125%.

The patent can be viewed at PatentStorm. Some quotes from the patent: “An application of betamethasone dipropionate and all-trans-retinoic acid is made to the patient. The betamethasone dipropionate and all-trans-retinoic acid are administered together in a compound applied topically to the scalp. The compound and method have been found to effectively restore hair growth even after discontinuance of use of the compound.” “Betamethasone dipropionate is a steroid and has a tendency to thin the dermis. All-trans-retinoic acid is also administered in combination with betamethasone dipropionate. However, one of the well-known side effects of all-trans-retinoic acid is that it acts to thicken the skin. Thus, when used in combination with each other, the negative side effects of betamethasone dipropionate and all-trans-retinoic acid act to cancel each other out while synergistically producing a large amount of hair.” “Outstanding results, including hair growth within one week of applying the compound, were observed.

I also found a newspaper article about Dr. Brown. During the interview with the journalist, Dr Brown said: “85-percent of the patients that we treat can see the hair growing back thicker within 21 days.

Now, what do you think about all this?

Bethametasone and tretinoin are very common and cheap drugs and can be easily obtained in any drugstore. So, it wouldn’t be difficult to try this treatment. However, I’m skeptical, because:

  1. There are no scientific studies to support Dr. Brown’s claims, only her clinical experience.
  2. It all seems too good to be true. As I said, the treatment is based on well-known and common drugs. If it really worked, it would have become the standard hair-loss treatment all over the world.
  3. Although dr. Brown says that tretinoin counteracts the side effects of bethametasone (and this claim seems to be backed up by some research, I’m still concerned about the negative effects of long-term use of a corticosteroid.

I’d like to hear some opinions before trying this treatment.

Block Quote

Betamethasone dipropionate is a steroid which I believe does require a prescription. I personally use it occasionally to treat my psoriasis and for that it works well. The application of steroids for various forms of hair loss has been proposed and it works in mild autoimmune diseases that may be responsible for hair loss, but it is usually not strong enough for these diseases. The use of retinoic acid could burn the scalp and cause blistering for repeated heavy use, partly controlled by the steroid effects of betamethasone dipropionate.

There is nothing new here, just some possible misrepresentation on the use of these two drugs in combination. And the 2nd point you made at the bottom of your email is spot on — common sense would tell most people that if some common medication turned out to be the greatest hair loss treatment ever, it’d be a standard treatment.

Tags: betamethasone, dipropionate, steroid, hairloss, hair loss, tetinoin, retinoic, acid, diprosone, diprolene

11 thoughts on “Betamethasone Dipropionate to Treat Hair Loss?

  1. Photos on this doctor’s website seem to be deceptive.Lighting conditions and hair style are not identical in most of the pictures. And filing a patent doesn’t mean that treatment works. Am I right monsieur Rassman?

  2. My dermatologist said I have alopecia areta and put me on Betamethasone Dipropionate lotion .05. I have been using it for 4 months, twice a day and I dont see anything happening. Reading about the side effects and the short time you should use it I am stopping taking it, even though I was told my hair will grow back. One thing you need to have checked is your thyroid. That can stop hair growth if it isnt working right. My doctor gave me a blood test and my thyroid is not in range. She is changing my thyroid medicine and i hope this is the answer. Een if it isnt, your thyroid has to be in range. It controls a lot of body functions includong hair growth. Good Luck

  3. my doctor prescribed betamethasone dipropionate for me and it grew my hair back in 5 days i still cant beliewve it but its true .This lotion really grew my hair back

    1. Are you serious you saw results that fast? I just stared today and I really didn’t want to get my hopes up can you tell me more about your results

  4. can we use this cream to make a hair oil along with herbal ingredients i’ll be very thankful if u plz ans me

    Reply

  5. Hi! I just received my prescription for Betamethasone Dipropionate Lotion .05 today. I will be checking back in for updates. I did want to share my background if it helps anyone else on this thread as I myself am facing this hair issue for the first time in my life.

    Late January 2017, I noticed my fine thick hair has been thinning out and breaking a lot. My hair parts looked bigger than before. I would feel sore on random spots of my scalp from time to time. A little itchy here and there as well. During this time, I was only washing my hair about 1-2 times a week. I also felt and noticed little bubble spots on random areas on my scalp. I accidentally scratched them too when it was itchy and it caused them to bleed. I also saw some raised areas too that looked pink. Yikes!

    I thought it was due to hair products and how often I washed so I changed my hair routine. Hair products changed over to no sulfate, no parabens and all that good stuff one should follow. I officially started to wash my hair 2-3 times a week. I even incorporated a weekly hair oil treatment (carrier oils like coconut oil and jojoba oil with essential oils like lavender and rosemary) before I washed my hair (sometimes overnight or a few hours before washing). A lot of these oils were anti-fungal too so I really enjoyed using natural products to help sooth my hair/scalp problem. I felt my hair thicken when I followed this new hair care routine and even my stylist told me I had hair growth on the top of my head near my parts. While I was happy to hear this, I still had those sore feelings and those little bubbles on my scalp one week or the next. I had a good couple of weeks trying this out from February to late March.

    This month of April, I decided to go to my primary doctor to get a check up and make sure I’m okay. She had me do a blood and urine test. Everything was fine especially with my thyroid after I told her about my hair issue. I should also add that my anemia which I had the year before actually improved a lot and the iron deficiency is almost over. My doctor ended up suggesting I may have some kind of fungus on my head or something and would prescribe me the Betamethasone Dipropionate Lotion lotion to put on my head once a week on a clean scalp.

    When I went to pick this up today, I had couple questions which my pharmacist couldn’t answer and wanted me to call back in the morning when a certain person was in. I’ll update the info I get once I have it.

    Here are my questions if ya’ll have any suggestions:

    I wanted to know if I don’t really a specific area to apply it to can I just massage it all over my scalp? What have you been doing?

  6. Just ran into this blog.
    Kay I could have written it myself!
    I have the same exact experience and symptoms.
    Have you gotten any results from anything you’ve tried?

  7. I was prescribed Betamethazone Dipropionate Lotion .05% on Thursday, Sept. 7th, 2017 and started using it that day. I had gone to a dermatologist because my scalp, especially the crown area, had been itching off and on every day for about 2.5 months and because of scratching, I was beginning to break my hair off at the roots in one circular area. The reason I was suddenly dealing with itching on my scalp was because I had a face and brow lift in late April, and the itching on top of my head began after about 2 months. My plastic surgeon said it was just because of the hair growing back through my scars and because of the nerves reconnecting. In other words, he wasn’t concerned about it and said that it was all a normal part of the healing. However, the itching continued to be pretty intense, and I felt compelled to scratch my head, at least a little bit every day. A few days ago, I started noticing that the hair in the crown of my head area was beginning to break off. It felt like stubble to my fingertips. I’m using a few drops of the Betamethazone Lotion every morning and every night now. I have been told to shampoo with Ketoconazole 2% at my normal frequency of twice per week, and to take one Hydroxizine, 20mg tablet every night in order to sleep. The Betamethazone is a potent steroid and it makes me anxious for several hours when I use it. My husband says that it looks as if my hair in that section is about 1/4″ long and it’s thick and even, as if it was just mowed in that little section with a little lawn mower. The hairs that have grown back through the scars where the surgeon did the face, brow, and neck lift are about three inches long now. It’s as if the ends of the nerves in my scalp must ‘terminate” at the crown. I have no idea why that particular area of my scalp started itching other than to guess that the nerves in my scalp must terminate in that area. And why do the hairs in that area look like a freshly mowed lawn of dense hair? I have no idea, but I will keep up with this blog and report back again in the next week or so. Oh, and I have recently read many other reports from woman who have the same kind of itchy scalp after brow lifts. Of course no one told us about that side effect before our surgeons persuaded us to have brow lifts.

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