Effective Options for Alopecia Areata Treatment

Effective Options for Alopecia Areata Treatment

Alopecia areata (AA), an autoimmune disorder, affects one in every 500 to 1,000 people in the US. That makes it a common hair loss condition, so much so that it’s second only to androgenetic alopecia (AGA).

Fortunately, its prevalence led to the discovery of various alopecia areata treatment options. Read on, as we’ll give you an overview of hair loss treatment methods used for AA.

Proper Diagnosis

Please keep in mind that AA differs from AGA in that the former is an immune system disorder. By contrast, AGA appears to result from having excessive hormones called androgens. As such, many AGA treatments use anti-androgens, such as Finasteride, Dutasteride, and RU58841.

With that said, it’s imperative to see a doctor, such as a dermatologist, before you treat your hair loss. This way, the specialist can diagnose your condition and make sure it’s AA and not AGA.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids, often shortened as steroids, are anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive drugs. They work by reducing inflammation and restricting immune system activity. In people with AA, these drugs may treat hair loss by helping ease the swelling around the hair follicle.

If you only have mild alopecia areata, your doctor may prescribe topical treatments. If they don’t help, then you may have to get oral or injectable corticosteroids.

According to studies, corticosteroids can help regrow 25% to 80% of hair in AA patients. Moreover, only a small portion of people who use them experience adverse side effects.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is one of the alopecia treatment options used for both AA and AGA. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only approved it for AGA in men and women. Still, studies found that it may also help regrow hair lost to alopecia areata.

Minoxidil works by making the hair’s resting phase (telogen) shorter. From there, it causes the hair to move on to the active phase (anagen). In doing so, it promotes the growth of new hair.

In one study involving 48 patients with severe AA, 1% minoxidil showed a hair growth response rate of 38%. On the other hand, 5% minoxidil elicited an impressive response rate of 81%. These findings suggest that minoxidil can help treat AA.

Topical Anthralin

Anthralin, a drug most often used to treat psoriasis, may also help treat alopecia areata. You can get it in cream, ointment, or paste form. However, unlike minoxidil, anthralin is a prescription medication.

To use anthralin, you need to apply it on the hairless patches once a day. Your doctor would give you instructions on how long to let it sit on your scalp. This can be anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, after which you need to rinse it off thoroughly.

If anthralin works, the regrowth is usually noticeable after eight to 12 weeks.

Grow Your Hair Back With These Alopecia Areata Treatment Options

As you can see, you have multiple alopecia areata treatment options to choose from. Best of all, scientific studies back up the effectiveness of these products. Just be sure to check in with a hair loss specialist first before you start using alopecia products.

Ready for more health, fitness, and lifestyle hacks like this? Then feel free to check out our other recent blog posts!

 

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