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December 1977

Alopecia Areata and Regrowth of Hair

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(12):1732. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640120100036

To the Editor.—  Drs Winter, Kern, and Blizzard are to be congratulated for their observations on prednisone therapy for alopecia areata (Arch Dermatol 112:1549-1552,1976). Their findings concerning various subgroups of alopecia areata (AA) treated with systemic steroids fit well with my experience, ie, in most cases, systemic steroids do not alter the course of AA, although one may occasionally obtain gratifying results.I do, however, disagree with the pronouncement by these authors of a generally poor prognosis for patients with AA. Winter et al quote Muller and Winkelmann1 for this information, but I believe closer reading of the article will show that Muller and Winkelmann were referring to "extensive" patchy AA, alopecia totalis, and (presumably) alopecia universalis. In my experience, the majority of patients with AA have one patch or a few small patches on their scalp where the hair has been lost; the hair will almost invariably regrow