For alopecia areata, what treatments should I consider to boost growth?

Question:

I have alopecia areata and am currently getting steroid injections from my dermatologist. What treatments can I also be using or discussing with my doctor that could help me get back my hair faster?

 

Answer:

There are many treatments that are possible for alopecia areata. In fact, at last count there were 26. The so called first-line "top 3" starting points for anyone with alopecia areata are steroid injections, topical steroids and minoxidil. These should not be abandoned before they have at least been given consideration. Combining them can often help get the hair back more readily if use of one alone seems to not be giving robust regrowth. There treatments are not appropriate for everyone, but are appropriate for those with 1-8 distinct patches of alopecia that cover less than one-half the scalp. Of course, these treatments should only be considered after someone has had blood tests to check their iron (ferritin), vitamin D and thyroid levels. If these are abnormal, treatments of any kind might not work as well.

Topical steroids, steroid injections and minoxidil are helpful for many people with 'patchy' alopecia areata (which is a form of alopecia where the hair loss occurs in circles). These treatments become less helpful the more hair loss a person has. Individuals with widespread alopecia areata, alopecia totalis or alopecia universals typically require other treatments that steroid injections, topical steroids and minoxidil. Such treatments included DPCP, anthralin, methotrexate, prednisone or tofacitinib. 

You may wish to review these helpful articles (below) I've written in the past. Thanks again for the question. 

 

Treating alopecia areata: More than shots?

Cortisone injections: What are they and how are they used?

General articles on alopecia areata

 




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