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Alopecia Universalis - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Hair Loss
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2581 Questions
User :   My wife is suffering from Alopecia Universalis since 5 years with total hair loss all over the body. she tried homeopathy, betnesol (steriod based ) treatment and minoxidyl. Last year there was hair growth on the scalp but she discontinued the betnesol treatment on doctor's advise and the hair strated falling again. Is there any treatment/ hope for hair regrowth? Please advise.
Doctor :   Hi
User :   Hi Doctor
Doctor :   i am doctor oberoi here
User :   sir, where are you located?
User :   I stay at ... and my wife is suffering from alopecia univeralis since 5 years.
Doctor :   i am From Bangalore
User :   we have consulted a lot many dermatologists and she has been on steroid based medication
Doctor :   ok
User :   on discontinutaion the hair has fallen again. Is there any treatment/ hope for regrowth of hair? she has brittle nails/ hypothyroidism
User :   ??
Doctor :   i see
Doctor :   well since this being a very rare condition the treatment options are limited
Doctor :   may i know your wife age please ?
User :   she is 34 now but having this disease since 2005. Prior to that she had long and thick hair. It got triggered as a consequence of medication she took in 2003-2004 for irregular periods.
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :   now let me tell you what are the treatment options available
User :   ok
Doctor :   1) One treatment for alopecia areata universalis is the oral prescription drug cortisone
User :   what are the treatment options possible?
Doctor :   2) Another treatment for alopecia areata universalis is topical immunotherapy. With this treatment, one of several chemicals is applied to the scalp that will stimulate an allergic reaction. This reaction produces a rash that looks like poison ivy or poison oak; the allergic reaction then stimulates the regrowth of hair. Therapy is ongoing for approximately six months, when the hair begins to grow back
Doctor :   3) Steroid injections can also stimulate hair growth. Patients receive the shots in the hairless areas of the scalp, beard and brow areas. After approximately one month, hair starts to regrow in the areas that were injected. Only a small amount of steroid is injected, so the side effects common to taking oral steroids effects can be avoided. Once new hair growth is visible, the injections are repeated on a monthly basis
User :   Ok. She had been on betnesol treatment (5 tablets each on Sat and Sunday) for 10 months along with topical application of minoxidyl gel 10%. She started getting hair on the scalp. Then on doctor's advise we tapered the use of betnesol to 4 tablets weekly due to which the bald condition was reversed. I have heard and experienced that hair retention lasts only till the treatment continues. Is there a permanent treatment for alopecia universalis? Steroid based tablets can cause devastating effects on body in the long run.
Doctor :   4) With ultra violet light therapy, patients undergo treatment with a Kromayer's ultra violet lamp. Treatment is administered once a week or every other week. Depending on the severity of the hair loss, patients may see nearly full regrowth during treatment.
Doctor :   i am afraid the treatment will carry on life long
User :   would that have drastic side effects?
Doctor :   the dose is tapered
Doctor :   with time
Doctor :   majority of patients handle it ok
User :   Ok. would she take medication for hypothyroidism that is usually associated with alopecia?
Doctor :   its a mild effect
Doctor :   it wont bother
Doctor :   i have told you all the possible treatment
Doctor :   you should discuss all with your physician
User :   Thanks doctor.
Doctor :   your most welcome
Doctor :   take care
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