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Don’t Brush the Issue of Female Hair Loss Under the Carpet

Posted Friday 15 August 2014 12:20 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

Hair loss treatmentAugust marks Hair Loss Awareness Month in the US. The initiative aims to educate women on the prevalence of female hair loss, debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions surrounding the issue and encourage sufferers to share experiences and seek treatment.

Few people realise 40% of all hair loss patients are women – a statistic that flies in the face of the commonly held belief that men are the only victims of hair loss.

In an interview with Beauty World News, Dr Yael Halaas said: “Most women begin to lose their hair in their twenties or thirties and don't even notice that they're thinning until they've lost 50% or more of it.”

Rather than a condition that affects only some women in old age, hair loss appears to be more common than was ever imagined. A significant chunk of women will be going bald to some extent by middle age, largely due to changes in the body caused by the menopause and common signs of ageing such as drying skin and wrinkles which impact on the hair follicles.

But it is the fact that women are largely scared to talk about hair loss which makes it difficult for women to come to terms with the problem. Many believe that they must have a rare condition or are suffering from an abnormality rather than understanding that their peers are most likely experiencing similar changes.

In the words of John Van Houten, of B'IOTA Botanicals Laboratories, "The problem withthinning hairis not always what's visible. It's how it rocks a woman's self-esteem.For women, who put so much emotional value on their hair, it can be absolutely devastating for their self-image and emotional well-being."

Women who struggle to come to terms with their hair loss and are afraid to discuss it are also less likely to consult medical professionals for reassurrance, advice or to discuss hair loss treatments.

Here are some facts and figures about female hair loss:hair loss medication

1) In a recent study, 24% of women considered losing their hair as traumatic as losing a limb

2) A stress response known as Telogen Effuvium can cause a woman to lose up to 70% of her hair. The stress is often triggered by eating disorders, childbirth or anaemia, among other factors.

3) Some of the most common stress-related reasons for female hair loss are: childbirth, flu, crash-diets, divorce and anti-depressants.

4) Hair loss is thought to be 90% genetically determined.

5) Though hair loss from stress is often temporary, in 25% of cases, the hair will not grow back naturally.

6) Themenopause is a major cause of female hair loss, with as many as 40% of middle aged women reportedly losing their hair?

7) Senescent alopecia, a type of hair loss that occurs naturally through ageing, affects most women after they hit fifty. It can be treated in some cases.

8) In the case of senescent alopecia, unlike female pattern baldness, hair, eyebrows and eyelashes are significantly thinned. The amount of time the hair grows and the width of the hair follicle decreases substantially.

If you are concerned about hair loss, you should hesitate to seek out the help and advice of a qualified medical professional. Your doctor or pharmacist can often help diagnose issues of temporary hair loss as well as identify gradual thinning caused by ageing.

At Express Pharmacy we offer a variety of treatments for men and women experiencing hair loss. For more information and advice, follow this link: https://www.expresspharmacy.co.uk/treatments/hair-loss/propecia

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Vaping: The smoking addict’s solution or just another slippery slope?

Posted Friday 15 August 2014 09:13 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

smoking cessation

According to national charity Ash, smoking is well and truly on the way out. New research has shown diminishing numbers among young people, with 3% of 11-15 year olds in England classing themselves as ‘regular smokers’ compared to 9% a decade ago.

This change has been helped greatly by the changes to the law, which have seen smoking outlawed in cafes, pubs, shops and other public places. But there have been other factors at play, too. And in some quarters the rise of E-cigarettes and "vaping" is credited with having as big an effect on smoking rates as anything else.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered gizmos that simulate smoking by releasing nicotine via a heated liquid. They have grown hugely in popularity over the past 12 months, with an estimated 2.1million in regular use.

The string of celebrities using e-cigarettes - including Lily Allen, Johnny Depp, Snoop dog and even Kevin Spacey’s character on TV show House of Cards- has helped to not only build awareness of e-cigarettes, but even managed to give them an air of "cool" among smokers.

Vaping has not escaped controversy, however. Contrary to claims that it can play an important role in smoking cessation, critics have described vaping as a ‘gateway’ to cigarette use, as well as highlighting the risk of smoking beingnormalised around children.

In response, the British Medical Association has requested research be carried out on the effects of e-cigarettes on young people and whether they encourage switching to traditional cigarettes. In a recent web post, they said: "It's really important that we find out if the hand-to-mouth use of e-cigarettes either breaks or reinforces smoking behaviours."

Currently, the e-cigarette industry is unregulated, meaning there is no evidence to say definitively if vaping is safe or not. There are also no marketing or advertising restrictions on the products. This means the sale of e-cigarettes operates in a grey area of sorts.

A GP based in North Wales, Dr Nitin Shori said: "There are definitely quality concerns with some of them. The reason people are not being strongly warned off the use of e-cigs is that there is a presumption that they won’t carry as many safety risks as normal cigarettes.

"Regulation and rigid long term safety data are required for the medical profession to fully support e-cigs. Until that time, we are relying on a presumption and can therefore only offer tentative advice."

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5 Simple Steps to Quit Smoking

Posted Monday 04 August 2014 15:00 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

smoking cessation

If you are a smoker you have probably heard the gruesome facts about the impact it is having on your body a million times or more. And your friends, family and doctor have no doubt encouraged you to quit. But kicking the habit is tough, and it doesn't matter how much you want to give up your nicotine fix, you just can't seem to get a clean break.

So, how should you go about quitting this time? Here are 5 tried and tested methods to getting giving up smoking.

1. Establish your goals and set an actual quit date. It seems obvious but an officialquit date can be a great motivator, a way of drawing a line under the past and a benchmark for future success - so you know when to celebrate your anniversary every year afterwards. Set up a chart or program to record your progress. Visual representations can go a long way. Work on your goal one day at a time and focus on the present.

2. Set up a support group. It is very important to let your family, friends, and co-workers know about your goals and plan of action. Many people fear sharing their efforts because they feel that they will be letting others down if they fail to quit. But studies have shown that letting others know about your established plans gives you more of a reason to follow through and accomplish them. And other smokers will know not to tempt you by inviting you out on their next cigarette break.

3. Avoid smokers and associated situations. Temptation can be a cruel and deadly mistress. The seductive smell of fresh tobacco is enough to crumble anyone’s resolve to quit. The best solution for anyone who cannot resist tempting situations is to avoid themaltogether. This may require a bit of planning if you have a favourite pub, bar or restaurant with a designated smoking section.

4. Download a Quit-smoking App. With the age of technology upon us, a great cost effective solution would be to go to your phone’s app store and download a quit-smoking app from a wide selection of free ones available. You can personalize your quit smoking plan and they also offer the virtual support you would need to kick the habit for good. Cool featuresinclude showing you your cigarette smoking reduction percentage, your financial gain and the number of hours you’ve tacked on to your life since quitting.

5. Invest in stop-smoking medication.Research has established that combining your quitting methods with medication is an effective way of helping smokers give up for good. Sometimes willpower alone isn’t always enough, but used in tandem with the other strategies above, medications such as Champix are proven to help achieve long-term smoking cessation.

Find out more about Champix and the role of medication in smoking cessation?

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Debunked: Five Myths about Erectile Dysfunction

Posted Monday 28 July 2014 12:30 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

erectile dysfunction medicationUniversity College London recently carried out a study into the links between cycling and erectile dysfunction. For pedallers around the country – and indeed the world –this is good news and helps to dispel the long-held myth that saddle soreness can be a precursor to something much more problematic.

But this got us thinking about those other misconceptions about erectile dysfunction. Men are a surprisingly sensitive bunch, and any perceived threat to masculinity can cause serious embarrassment. But mistaking myth for truth can be dangerous, especially if it leads men to taking untested, dangerous treatments or changing their lifestyle unnecessarily.

Let us instead, discuss some of the hard facts.



As mentioned in the introduction to this article, it had previously been thought that cycling caused erectile dysfunction and infertility. This was presumably due to the discomfort experienced around the genitals when riding a bike. Some studies even claimed to have produced evidence proving a link between the activity and an inability to ‘get it up’.

In actual fact, there is little to show that this is the case and previous research suggesting otherwise has been shown to be faulty. That’s not to say that pain whilst riding is acceptable. It is always a good idea to wear appropriate padding and use a comfortable saddle where possible to reduce discomfort.


‘Natural’ Remedies

Countless endangered species have expired in the name of the male libido. Rhinoceros horn and tiger penis are just two of the most popular but misguided medications for erectile dysfunction. Indeed, every animal phallus under the sun has been considered as a miracle at one time or another.

All for nothing. There is no reason to assume animal parts boost sperm count or give a person stronger erections. Bought from less reputable websites or market stalls, there is actually a significant chance of these remedies doing damage – adding harmful materials to boost product weight is not unheard of. And that’s before we consider the horrific impact of hunting rare species in danger of becoming extinct.

We all lose ‘it’ as we get older

erectile dysfunction medication

Kind of. Older men are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction, but the condition can occur at any age and many men maintain healthy erections throughout their life.

A healthy lifestyle can be crucial to keeping it up as you mature, and avoiding the obvious – smoking, alcohol, unhealthy foods – is a good start when it comes to staving off erectile problems.

Erectile dysfunction is also closely related to mental wellbeing as well as physical, with stress, anxiety and depression all influencing sexual performance. The best advice a medical expert can give you: ensure that the rest of your health and wellbeing is in good working order and the results in the bedroom will often look after themselves. And where medical intervention is needed, using tried and trusted erectile dysfunction medication is always preferable to something that sounds too good to be true.


Tight Underwear

While there is no reliable evidence to support the belief that tight pants affects a man’s ability to get an erection, it does raise an interesting point for discussion. As all men will know, there’s a time and a place for various different types of undergarment depending on the kind of activities undertaken during the day.

While wearing tighter briefs or boxers while playing sports is often necessary, it is perhaps not advisable to do so all day long for fertility reasons. Logically, tighter underwear can hold the testicles closer to the body and increase temperature. A significant increase in the temperature in the testes can lower sperm count.


You Don’t Find Your Partner Sexy

Naturally a lack of attraction might result in reduced sexual excitement. However, this is not a “dysfunction” and can simply be a product of mood or mental state. It is important to reassure your partner that they are not the problem. There are a number of explanations for erectile dysfunction, and a lack of attraction to your partner is rarely it.

Concerned about erectile dysfunction? Whatever you have been led to believe about this issue, you should never feel the need to suffer in silence. Consulting your pharmacist is fast, easy and discreet. Simply visit our Erectile Dysfunction page today to start your consultation.

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5 of the most common myths about hair loss

Posted Monday 21 July 2014 15:53 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

Hair loss treatmentBy the age of 50, two thirds of men around the globe are estimated to suffer from some form of hair loss. It's hardly surprising then that men spend an estimated $3.5 billion on various forms of hair loss treatments and prevention techniques.

But much of the theory surrounding hair loss is often based on misconceptions and a misguided understanding of what causes a gentleman to become follicly challenged.

Here are the 5 of the most common myths that need to be straightened out (no pun intended).


Balding only happens to older people

Myth. Signs of baldness can be visibly seen with older people so this must be true right? False. The truth is that hair loss can begin in a person’s teen years and actually occurs most commonly with people in their twenties and thirties.


Wearing a hat or cap will make it more likely for you to lose hair

Myth. Other than a severe case of hat hair, wearing caps won’t really do much to your hair because they don’t affect your hair follicles. Balding or bald men typically wear hats because they are self-conscious which is most likely the reason why people associate wearing hats with baldness.


Baldness is inherited from your mother’s side

Mostly myth. While it is true that baldness is inherited, it doesn’t have to be strictly from your maternal grandfather. People typically inherit a mix of hair genes from both sides of the family and even if your maternal side has no history of hair loss but your paternal side does, then there’s a chance your hair could thin with age.


Stress can be a cause of hair loss

Mostly myth. Many health conditions can be attributed to stress but hair loss isn’t typically one of them. While people can develop medical conditions attributed to stress that result in hair loss, such as Telogen Effluvium, stress alone is not thought to contribute to baldness.

For more information on causes of hair loss, NHS Choices is a helpful source of information.


You can prevent the onset of hair loss by changing lifestyle

hair loss medicationMyth. The truth is that hair loss for most men begins with miniaturization - a process that occurs when your hair progressively begins to produce thinner, shorter and more brittle hair. While scientific advancements and surgeries are now used to reverse the effects of hair loss, actually avoiding problems with your follicles altogether is not possible through diet, behaviour or lifestyle changes.

The good news is that there are a few solutions for men who have begun to experience balding. If you are concerned about hair loss, the best course of action is to consult your pharmacist and gain advice on proven treatments such as Propecia.

Start a consultation with Express Pharmacy today.

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