Thirty patients (20 males, 10 females) with widespread alopecia areata (25 extensive alopecia areata, 5 alopecia areata) for a mean period of 4.2 years were included in the study. All patients above 12 years were administered 5 mg dexamethasone oral pulse on two consecutive days every week. Three children (< 12 years) received 2.5 mg to 3.5 mg dexamethasone oral biweekly pulse. Patients who had received treatment for a minimum period of 12 weeks were evaluated for terminal hair growth. Complete to excellent (75-95%) hair growth was observed in 16 (63.3%) patients. Growth was good (50-74%) in 2 cases and poor (< 50%) in 3 (10%) cases. Six (20%) patients has no growth of terminal hair. Complete to excellent growth of hair was obtained after a mean period of 5.35 months (range 3-10 months). Relapse occurred in one case each after three and six months but hair regrew with re-treatment. Side effects of corticosteriods were frequent, seen in 8 (26.6%) patients, but were mild. In only one case, treatment had to be discontinued. We propose that twice weekly 5 mg dexamethasone oral pulse for six months may be considered as one of the modalities in the treatment of extensive long standing alopecia areata.