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July 1993

Alopecia Areata, Topical Minoxidil, and Balanced Reviews

Author Affiliations

100 S Ellsworth Ave Suite 707 San Mateo, CA 94401

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(7):908-909. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680280098024

To the Editor.—  Dr Fiedler1 in her review of alopecia areata in the November 1992 issue of the Archives states that "topical minoxidil may be effective in alopecia areata especially when used in the 5% concentrations that are currently available only on a study protocol basis." In Table 1, she states that topical minoxidil has been subjected to controlled studies and gives four references, three of them publications of which she was a coauthor plus an article by Dr Price (her references 39 through 42). One of Dr Fiedler's articles2 had no controls. In her second study,3 minoxidil was applied to one side of the scalp and a placebo solution to the other; but the results of this left-to-right comparison were not given! In the third paper cited by Dr Fiedler,4 5% minoxidil was used for 48 to 60 weeks, but a placebo control was only

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