[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 1984

Alopecia Areata Treated With Topical Minoxidil

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (College of Medicine) (Drs Weiss, Fu, Cohen, and Chambers and Messrs West and Cook), Pharmacy Practice (College of Pharmacy) (Mr West and Ms Robinson) and the Periodontal Research Center (College of Dentistry) (Drs Weiss, Cohen, and Chambers and Mr West), University of Illinois, Chicago.

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(4):457-463. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650400039010

• A 1% minoxidil topical solution was used to treat 48 patients with alopecia areata, ie, 24 patients with patchy disease and 24 patients with alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis. Twenty-five patients had terminal hair regrowth; in 11 of the 25 patients, it was cosmetically acceptable. No clinical features of the disease seemed to indicate the likelihood of hair regrowth. Hair regrowth began approximately two months after the initiation of treatment and was not uniformly well maintained after the treatment was terminated. One patient had an allergic contact dermatitis reaction to the minoxidil solution; no systemic side effects were seen. No notable systemic absorption was found in 18 adult patients. Effects on cutaneous blood flow or the immune system or some direct effect on hair follicles are possible mechanisms by which minoxidil therapy might stimulate hair growth.

(Arch Dermatol 1984;120:457-463)