Interview transcription:

In an interview, Penelope Pratsou informs us about alternative treatments for alopecia like over-the-counter treatments, health food supplements and trichologists. 

Could you give me an idea in terms of how effective those things are and in what cases they might be or may not be?

Penelope Pratsou: With regards to health food stores or health food supplements and picking things up from the chemist, there are lots of hair and nail supplements that people can take over-the-counter. They might contain some useful things in there like zinc or some iron, and that’s never a bad thing to have.

The first step to feeling in charge of your skin is to book an initial consultation


Penelope Pratsou: Whether or not they’re going to tackle your type of hair loss is difficult to say. I do tend to find that in most cases, people who’ve come to see me have already tried those things.

There certainly is a place for promoting healthy hair growth with those things, but unfortunately, they don’t tend to go a very long way in tackling the majority of this unexpected hair loss that I would tend to see with patients.

By the time that someone comes to see me, they’ve already tried possibly seeing a trichologist as well, they’ve had a go with non-prescribed treatments. It then is time to be able to assess their hair loss from a medical point of view and tackle the problem at hand.

If you notice that you have any of the symptoms or conditions that we’ve just discussed, we invite you to book a consultation with Dr Penelope Pratsou. She’ll be able to assess your situation and give you a personalised treatment plan.

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About the author

Dr Penelope Pratsou | Consultant Dermatologist

MBChB, MRCP (UK) (Dermatology)

I’m Dr Penelope Pratsou, a skilled independent Consultant Dermatologist based in Berkshire. I have specialist expertise in the diagnosis and management of all skin cancers, and in performing mole checks. I’m a trained skin surgeon and remove skin cancers, moles, skin tags, cysts and warts.

I also have invaluable experience in dealing with all skin conditions, from the common skin complaints of acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, to the rarer and more complex skin problems, having seen it all through years of NHS work.

After I obtained my Membership to the Royal College of Physicians, I undertook rigorous specialist training in dermatology, before being appointed as a Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. There, I helped set up and lead a busy clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of suspected skin cancer. I was also actively involved in supervising and training both dermatology and GP trainees.

Alongside my increasingly busy private practice, I have maintained an NHS practice in Oxford in order to continue to engage with challenging cases and to develop my specialist interest in skin allergy.