Fringe - All About Hair

This blog explores topics in 'Trichology' (the orthodox sciences of human hair). We welcome you either as an interested visitor or a prospective student seeking to study trichology to share your comments and experience. As the archives continue to accumulate, probably at some point they will become a useful reference for all. This hair loss forum may help you to grow hair too!


Formic Acid and Hirsutism


Hirsutism (male patterned hair in females) is a common but distressing problem. Laser hair removal is the gold standard for treatment though results vary. A few studies have revealed that topical application of eflornithine hydrochloride can also decrease the rate of facial hair growth and is often used along with laser. A recent study investigated the effect of topical Formic acid on Hirsutism.(1) Preliminary results were not so encouraging though an apparent reduction in hair density was noticed. The dermatology dept. of Father Muller's hospital (Mangalore) has demonstrated the use of formic acid in the treatment of warts which is the only demonstrated therapeutic use of formic acid.

From my rudimentary knowledge of biochemistry, formic acid is an oxidation product of Glycolic acid, a commonly used alpha hydroxy agent in chemical peels. Incidentally cigarette smoke can catalyze this conversion. So if you smoke while having a glycololic peel, you may loose your facial hair :-)

(1)  http://www.dovepress.com/evaluation-of-the-effect-of-formic-acid-and-sodium-formate-on-hair-red-peer-reviewed-article-CCID

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About Me

As a Dermatologist and Informatician my research mainly involves application of bioinformatics techniques and tools in dermatological conditions. However my research interests are varied and I have publications in areas ranging from artificial intelligence, sequence analysis, systems biology, ontology development, microarray analysis, immunology, computational biology and clinical dermatology. I am also interested in eHealth, Health Informatics and Health Policy.

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Bell Raj Eapen
Hamilton, ON
Canada