Alopecia Areata (cont.)
Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Alopecia areata facts
- What is alopecia areata?
- What causes alopecia areata?
- What are the different patterns of alopecia areata?
- Who is affected by alopecia areata?
- How is alopecia areata diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for alopecia areata?
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What is the treatment for alopecia areata?
The course of typical alopecia areata is not predictable with a high likelihood of spontaneous remission. The longer the period of time of hair loss and the larger the area involved, the less likely the hair will regrow. Therefore, there are a variety of treatments, but none of these can confidently be predicted to impact the course of this disease. Steroid injections, creams, and shampoos (such as clobetasol [Clobex] or fluocinonide [Lidex]) for the scalp have been used for many years.
As with many chronic disorders for which there is no single treatment, a variety of remedies are promoted which in fact have no benefit. There is no known effective method of prevention, although the elimination of emotional stress is felt to be helpful. No drugs or hair-care products have been associated with the onset of alopecia areata. Much research remains to be completed on this complex condition.
Although not precisely a treatment, the cosmetic camouflage of alopecia areata is certainly an important consideration in patient management. The damaging emotional effect of significant hair loss for both women and men can be considerable.
Previous contributing author: Zoe Diana Draelos, MD, PA
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
Last Editorial Review: 10/17/2011
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