Diphencyprone, or “DPCP” for short, A bottle of 1.5 % diphencyprone (DPCP)is a topical medicine used in the treatment of a specific autoimmune hair loss condition called alopecia areata. It is typically used for those patients who have lost more than 50 % of their hair. DPCP can be used to treat both adults and children with alopecia areata.
Patients with alopecia areata have DPCP applied to the scalp with a cotton swab once per week. It typically causes a mild allergic reaction on the skin of the scalp with some itching during the 24 period after it is applied. It may cause the lymph glands of the neck to become slightly enlarged as well. Treatment is continued every week for at least 4-6 months to assess whether it is helpful or not.
DPCP can help regrow hair in 40 to 60 % patients with alopecia areata. The method by which it does this is extremely complex but at present, we think DPCP tricks the patient’s immune system. When DPCP is applied to the scalp the immune system is tricked into focusing its attention and resources on the DPCP chemical rather than attacking the hair follicle.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887