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Dr ILYAS discusses prescribing tendencies in August with SingleCare

Posted by Erum Ilyas on
Dr ILYAS discusses prescribing tendencies in August with SingleCare

I was recently asked by Single Care why there is a difference in what Dermatologists prescribe in the month of August.  I was intrigued by the question and searched our records to see if this was true.

It appears that during the month of August we tend to see a relatively higher volume of school age children and college age young adults. Many of these visits are targeting acne to clear prior to school starting. I suspect that the increases are likely related to acne topicals in particular.

Interestingly, SingleCare also noted that there are increases in finasteride prescriptions as well which is used for male pattern baldness. 

We searched our records again and found that the majority of the patients we have on propecia or finasteride are in their 30s-40s so I cannot say back to school is a factor. In considering when people notice hair loss or come in to review options, there are usually a few of triggers that lead people to seek care. 

The first is when swimming. Wet hair with swimming does tend to draw attention to thinning hair. The scalp is more noticeable and it draws patients in to seek options.
The second is sun exposure. The scalp burns easily in the sun and is a difficult place to apply sunscreen. Some will notice their hair loss more so at this time of year for practical reasons that their attention is draw to the scalp based on the sun exposure.
Most of my male patients start if they believe they are losing hair earlier than their peers. They take it almost waiting for their peers to ‘catch up’ and then some may stop taking it in their late 40s-50s. 
These factors may explain the ‘new starts‘ on this drug. However finasteride is a chronic medication that most everyone in our patient base seems to be obtaining in 90 days supplies. Once started on the medication this rate of fill should stay relatively constant through the year. 

In recent years I’m sure the prescription writing for it has gone up as we have started using this more in post menopausal women with some success as well. 

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