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New treatments for folliculitis decalvans


Folliculitis decalvans is a type of scarring hair loss condition and can be challenging to treat. Hair transplants are not an option unless the condition is completely stopped. This condition requires medical treatment before a hair transplant can be done. Treatment must be administered urgently as hair loss is generally permanent once it occurs and the goal of treatment is to stop the disease from getting worse. A variety of treatments including antibiotics are often used. 

In a study from Spain, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of a treatment called photodynamic therapy  in the treatment of folliculitis decalvans. The group studied 10 patients, all who had previously been unsuccessfully treated with the antibiotic doxycycline. 9 of 10 patients benefitted from the photodynamic therapy. However, in 3 patients this benefit did not last long and other treatments were needed to maintain an improvement.  Most patients tolerated the procedure with side effects being pain, and local inflammatory type reactions. 

Overall this is an interesting study and calls for further larger studies of the role of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of folliculits decalvans.



Treatment of folliculitis decalvans with photodynamic therapy: Results in 10 patients.

Miguel-Gomez L, Vano-Galvan S, Perez-Garcia B, Carrillo-Gijon R, Jaen-Olasolo P. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Jun;72(6):1085-7. 



Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299

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