'Bald remedy' warning

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The Independent Online
THE DESPERATE and expensive quest by some bald men to have a head of hair again can go disastrously wrong, writes Celia Hall.

Three men had to be treated in a London hospital after they had paid out thousands of pounds at a private clinic for one of the latest remedies - implanting synthetic fibres into their scalps.

Dr Robert Kelly and Dr Robert Marsden, of the Department of Dermatology, St George's hospital, London, writing in tomorrow's edition of The Lancet, say that the hair treatment, which cost between pounds 4,000 and pounds 12,000, left the patients' scalps badly scarred.

'All three had problems with persistent inflammation in the implanted areas . . . In two the inflammation became very severe resulting in thick crusting, copius pus formation and extensive scalp erosion.'

They say the bad reactions are similar to those suffered by men in the US where implants using modacrylic fibres were banned 12 years ago. Polyester fibres are said to be better tolerated, but similar cases have been reported in Australia.