Can topical JAK inhibitors be used for the eyelashes?

Today we will continue with a look at the use of JAK inhibitors beginning with a 4 day look at the topical JAK inhibitors for treating alopecia areata. Both oral and JAK inhibitors are not FDA approved for treating alopecia areata but are increasingly used off label. Many reports have emerged of benefits of JAK inhibitors when formulated as creams or lotions rather than pills. Given that topical compounds are likely more safer than oral ones, these studies are extremely important.

Topical treatments for eyelash alopecia areata have largely been limited to bimatoprost (Latisse). In a new study, researchers described a patient with improvement of eyelash growth with application of 1 % ruxolitinib to the upper eyelid skin.


This is an interesting study and clearly more such studies are needed, especially to ensure eye safety. However, topical JAK inhibitors may provide a second option to Latisse in treating eyelash alopecia. 


Bayarat et al. Topical Janus kinase inhbitors for the treatment of pediatric alopecia areata. J Am Acad Dermatol 2017; 77(1):167-169

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

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