Alopecia Areata Treatment
There is no known cure for alopecia areata, but there are treatments available that can help slow down the progression of hair loss and aid in regrowing lost hair quickly. Due to this condition’s unpredictable nature, treatments that work for some patients may not work for others — our dermatologists will work with you to find the most effective and beneficial treatment for your symptoms and goals. Treatments are typically chosen based on multiple factors, including the patient’s age, the extent of their hair loss, and the location of hair loss.
Available treatments for alopecia areata may include the following. Contact our dermatology associates to discuss the right treatment for you.
- Corticosteroids. These are anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed for autoimmune diseases. They may be given as an injection to the scalp, in pill form, or as an alopecia areata treatment cream or a foam that is regularly applied to the scalp.
- Minoxidil. Also known by the brand name Rogaine®, minoxidil is a topical medication used to treat pattern baldness. It typically takes approximately 12 weeks of treatment with this medication before hair begins to grow.
- Anthralin. Patients more than ten years of age apply this medication to bald spots once or twice each day (or as instructed by our dermatologists) and wash it off after that. This is commonly used in combination with minoxidil for the best results.
- Intralesional Corticosteroids. If alopecia causes the loss of eyebrow hairs, this medication may be injected to help facilitate hair regrowth. If successful, minoxidil may also be used as directed to help patients maintain the results.
- Contact Immunotherapy. Also called topical immunotherapy, this treatment aims to alter the immune system to prevent attacks on the hair follicles. Contact immunotherapy may be used for those with rapid or widespread hair loss.
- Methotrexate. This medication may be an option for patients with extensive hair loss and cases that have not responded to other forms of treatment. Methotrexate may be prescribed in conjunction with a corticosteroid for the best results.
- Medication (JAK Inhibitors). The discovery of treatment with JAK inhibitors, including tofacitinib, ruxolitinib, and baricitinib, marks a breakthrough in hair regrowth research. Patients’ hair, however, may fall out if they stop taking this medication.
Types Of Alopecia Areata
During a clinical examination, patients might be diagnosed with one of the following types of alopecia, including alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, and alopecia universalis. Find an effective treatment personalized for your needs — contact our dermatology clinic today to schedule a consultation.
“Alopecia” is a medical term for “bald,” while “areata” means “patchy.” If patchy baldness leads to total hair loss, it typically occurs within 6 months after symptoms first start. If the condition worsens, it may become alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis.
In some instances, alopecia areata can develop into the complete loss of hair on the scalp, at which point the condition is called alopecia totalis. Patients affected by alopecia totalis, an advanced form of the initial condition, are completely bald.
Alopecia universalis occurs when patients with alopecia areata experience complete hair loss, resulting in the entire body being hairless. Patients with this condition commonly experience hair loss from the eyebrows, eyelashes, face, chest, and back.