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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for alopecia

Answered by
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Dr. Johny Chacko

Dermatologist

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 1919 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: What is the best way to treat Alopecia? I have patches of hair loss on my head that seem to be getting worse.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Johny Chacko 41 minutes later
Brief Answer:
? Alopecia areata

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I understand from your query that you are having patchy hair loss.

From your description, I would consider the possibility of a common condition called as " Alopecia areata".

This is an auto immune disorder in which our body produces antibodies against some of our own cells, in this case, the cells in the hair roots. The antibodies attack the roots which fall off in patches. If it is a single patch,the hair usually regrows on its own without any treatment in about 6 months in about 70% of the people.

You have mentioned that you are having multiple patches. In such a case my treatment of choice is steroid injections into the patch once in 3 weeks. The injection is given just under the skin on the patches and is an outpatient procedure, just takes under 10 minutes each time.

In addition, I would also use hair stimulants like 2% - 5% minoxidil and 10 % azelaic acid.

You can take my opinion to your dermatologist/ treating physician. The hair regrowth and the recurrence depends on a variety of factors like other auto immune conditions ( like thyroid disorders), positive family history, presence of other allergies in childhood ( like asthma) , rapidly progressing disease,etc.

Hope this helps you.

If you have any further queries, I will be glad to answer.

I would like to inform you that you have a feature to upload the images by yourself at the right side of the query page. You could utilize that if you want me to see the clinical picture and get a better assessment. You can also send the image as attachment to YYYY@YYYY , with the subject as 'Attn: Dr. Johny Chacko'

Take care.

Regards,
Dr. Johny Chacko
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Johny Chacko 36 minutes later
Many thanks for the quick response!

Two quick questions based on your reply:

1)     What are the side effects of the injections?
2) Will that help the prevention or just the current issue?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Johny Chacko 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Alopecia areata treatment

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

Welcome back.

To answer your queries -

1. The injection is not associated with systemic side effects if given correctly just under the skin ( intradermal). This has to be given only 3-4 times ( once in 3 weeks). Giving it too many times or too deep could lead to thinning of the skin ( skin atrophy). Hence it is important to get it done by a dermatologist.

2. Intradermal injections will help in treating the current episode. It will not help in preventing new patches. Appearance of new patches unfortunately cannot be predicted. I have mentioned the prognostic factors in my previous reply.

Hope this clears your doubts.

Take care.

Regards,
Dr. Johny Chacko
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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