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December 1972

Treatment of Alopecia Areata With Steroid Solution

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(6):924. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620150098034

To the Editor.—  Alopecia areata is an inflammatory process of the hair roots; a dense lymphocytic infiltrate envelops the bulbar portion Thus, it is not surprising that orally administered corticosteroids restore hair growth. The inflammation is sufficiently deep, however, that topical application of steroids is often ineffective. High strength steroids under occlusion and local injection with steroid solutions are standard tactics for increasing the tissue level of steroids.1,2 Injection usually brings forth a dense tuft of hairs at the site. Regrowth has also been secured, though less certainly, by occlusive application. Systemically administered steroids will induce hair regrowth, but too often a prompt relapse follows withdrawal and steroid toxicity is usually prohibitive. We made another attempt to raise the efficacy of topical application of steroids by using penetration-enhancing vehicles and concentrations that have to be deemed exceptionally high by any standards. The formulation we tested consisted of 2.5% dexamethasone

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