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More treatment options for alopecia areata

Topical (‘rub-on’) steroid

Steroid cream, gel, etc, may help hair re-growth, but does not work as well as steroid injections. It may be worth a try if you have bald patches that are not suitable for steroid injections, or if you are waiting to see a specialist to have steroid injections. If re-growth occurs it takes 3-6 months. There is no point continuing with this treatment if no re-growth occurs after six months.

Minoxidil solution

This is rubbed into the bald patches and has been shown to promote hair re-growth in some cases. This is the same treatment that is used for the common ‘male pattern’ baldness. It is not known how it works. The success rate is not high but may be worth a try. In particular, if you have more extensive bald patches that are not suitable for steroid injections, or if you are waiting to see a specialist for steroid injections.

Minoxidil is not available on the NHS. You need a private prescription and have to pay the full cost of the product, which makes it expensive. If it works, it usually takes 2-3 months of treatment for an initial response, and one year for a maximum response. There is no point continuing with this treatment if there is no improvement after one year.

Some people feel that combining a topical steroid with minoxidil gives a higher chance of hair re-growth than either treatment alone. However, there is little research evidence to prove this.

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 30th, 2008 at 12:02 pm and is filed under ALOPECIA AREATA. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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