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[Doctor supervision] Reasons why female alopecia (FAGA) treatment is not covered by insurance and how to reduce costs

The first thing to understand when starting FAGA treatment is that you cannot get insurance coverage. However, it is quite possible to keep costs down to the extent that they are not burdensome. To do so, a correct understanding and knowledge of FAGA treatment is essential. Below, we will explain why FAGA is not covered by insurance and how to keep costs down.


Insurance coverage for FAGA treatment

There are various types of insurance, such as national health insurance and corporate health insurance. However, FAGA treatment is not covered by any insurance in principle.

Why FAGA treatment is not covered by insurance

Japan's public health insurance system aims to provide treatment for illnesses and injuries to anyone, regardless of their financial situation. FAGA treatment is classified as "cosmetology" for such "insurance medical treatment" and is treated as "free medical treatment". In other words, the cost of FAGA treatment is not covered by insurance, and you will have to pay the full cost of treatment set by the clinic or clinic.

When insurance treatment is applied

Whether you are covered by insurance depends on the cause of the condition. In the case of FAGA, the cause of thinning hair is mainly due to the action of heredity and hormones, but thinning hair may progress due to the disease. For example, alopecia areata caused by stress and autoimmunity and thinning hair caused by thyroid dysfunction are considered as treatment for the disease and are therefore included in insurance medical treatment in principle. When you go to a dermatologist, keep in mind that improving scalp problems is the main treatment within the scope of insurance medical treatment.


The main treatment methods for FAGA

There are four main treatment methods for FAGA. I will explain below.

1. Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a method of injecting minoxidil or a hair growth-promoting factor directly into the scalp. The drug solution to be administered differs depending on each clinic or clinic, but it is said that it is easier to feel hair growth than oral medicine. In addition, it can be said that the burden on the body is not great because the injection uses an extra-fine needle and the procedure is completed in a few minutes.

2. Pharmacotherapy

Pharmacotherapy is a method of taking oral medication. The effect depends on the drug, but it generally requires long-term treatment. Typical examples include minoxidil, spironolactone and puntgirl.

3. Application of external medicine

It is a treatment method in which an external medicine containing minoxidil is applied directly to the scalp. Originally developed as an antihypertensive agent, minoxidil has been shown to have a hair growth effect during clinical trials and is now used worldwide for the treatment of thinning hair. Minoxidil has been shown to improve blood flow in the scalp and is said to have the effect of promoting hair growth, but like drug treatment, it should be used continuously for a certain period of time.

4. Hair transplantation

It is a method of transplanting a part of hair tissue from one's scalp. There are two types: the FUT method, in which the entire scalp is cut off and transplanted to the area where thinning hair is a concern, and the FUE method, in which hair tissue is transplanted for each pore. While it has the advantages of being less likely to cause rejection and having the expectation of a natural finish, it is undeniable that the cost tends to be high in general and that there are certain risks such as complications.


Cost market by FAGA treatment method


The cost per mesotherapy is said to be about 15,000 to 100,000 yen. This treatment method is said to be effective, but it often exceeds 500,000 yen in total because it requires multiple treatments. In addition to mesotherapy, internal medicines and external medicines are usually used in combination, so take the cost into consideration.

Drug therapy

The cost market will be 7,000 to 10,000 yen every month. However, if you stop taking it, FAGA may progress again, so you need to take it continuously. The annual cost of drug therapy is said to be 80,000 to 120,000 yen.

External medicine

The market price of external medicine will be around 10,000 to 15,000 yen every month. It's not expensive every month, but keep in mind that it will require long-term treatment as well as medication.

Hair transplantation

It depends on whether you choose the FUT method or the FUE method, but in the latter case, the cost is calculated for every 3-4 hairs growing in each pore (called "1 graft"). increase. The market price is said to be about 1,000 to 2,000 yen per graft, and about 400 to 600 grafts are required for partial correction, and about 2,000 to 3,000 grafts are required for total correction, so 600 grafts should be transplanted. Then it will be 600,000-1,200,000 yen. It is expected to be considerably more expensive than other FAGA treatments.


Running costs may be incurred

Treatments other than hair transplantation do not end at once. In particular, if you stop using external or internal medicines, there is a high risk that FAGA will progress again, so running costs will be incurred to maintain that condition even after you experience hair growth. Mesotherapy is said to last for a long time after one course of treatment, but running costs can still be high.


Frequently Asked Questions for FAGA Treatment

How to reduce the cost of FAGA treatment

FAGA treatment, which is a free practice, tends to be expensive, but conversely, the cost setting varies considerably depending on the clinic or clinic, so if you choose wisely, you can keep costs down.

One of the reasons why the cost varies depending on the clinic is due to advertising costs, labor costs, and the location of the clinic.

There are also clinics that sell generics, but currently only finasteride for men is applicable. Since this finasteride is a drug that cannot be prescribed to women, generic drugs cannot keep costs down for women.

About treatment cost and efficacy

If the cost of treatment is high, it seems that the treatment is highly effective, but that is not the case. Generic drugs are not inferior in terms of drug efficacy, and they vary greatly depending on the individual constitution. However, with regard to hair transplantation, treatment costs generally tend to be higher due to technical capabilities.
It is important to consult with your doctor in advance what is the best treatment for you, not just the cost of treatment.


About the treatment period of FAGA

Hair transplantation is basically completed with one treatment, but it takes months to years to use internal medicines and external medicines. In addition, mesotherapy is often used in combination with internal and external medicines, so it is advisable to anticipate a long treatment period.


Points to choose AGA clinic

The concern with FAGA treatment is that the treatment is lengthy and expensive. Therefore, it is important to be able to communicate with the clinic each time and consult with them. Find out if the clinic will not only offer treatment unilaterally, but will listen to your intentions and wishes.

As with any treatment, the doctor's expertise, technical skills, and treatment experience are extremely important. Many clinics offer free counseling, so it's a good idea to use it to actually meet with your doctor and confirm that.

It is important that the pricing of treatment costs is clear and easy to understand in order to prevent treatment proposals from the clinic's treatment policy and the treatment costs to be higher than expected. You can rest assured that you can predict in advance how much the treatment will cost, even if the treatment is long-term.