My question is about the use and effectiveness of topical finasteride. Are there any recent studies as to the effectiveness or safety of such a treatment? I have read both previous posts about “Xandrox Sales Stopped by the FDA”. From what I understand about the use of topical finasteride, it appears to me that the jury is still out and it is not so easy to dismiss altogether. Granted Dr. Lee may have had no “proven” scientific basis for claims about the effectiveness of his topical finasteride treatment, Xandrox, however that does not preclude its viability as a hairgrowth alternative to the popular propecia pill just because its effectiveness is simply not known.
Topical finasteride has already been studied. For example: 1997 JOURNAL Of DERMATOLOGICAL TREATMENT 8(3):189-192
mazzarella f; Loconsole f; Cammisa A; Mastrolonardo M; Vena GA.
The use of topical finasteride is also discussed at length in the original patent application for propecia by Merck:
 For the treatment of androgenic alopecia including male pattern baldness, acne vulgaris, seborrhea, and female hirsutism, the 5.alpha.-reductase 2 inhibitor compounds may be administered in a pharmaceutical composition comprising the active compound in combination with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier adapted for topical administration. Topical pharmaceutical compositions may be, e.g., in the form of a solution, cream, ointment, gel, lotion, shampoo or aerosol formulation adapted for application to the skin. Topical pharmaceutical compositions useful in the method of treatment of the present invention may include about 0.001% to 0.1% of the active compound in admixture with a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier.
So the topical concept does not seem like some radical idea to me but rather more of a potentially common sense alternative. Is there some known fundamental chemical problem that prevents the drug effectiveness when it is administered topically? If not, I can see no reason to discount it. Am I wrong?
I understand the medication has not been FDA approved this way, but I don’t understand what could happen from topical use that could not already happen from taking a finasteride pill orally?
Drug delivery through the skin is not as simple as making a drug topical. I’m not a pharmacologist, and to be honest, I do not know more than you summarized for the readers.