Effects of psoralen-UV-A-Turban in alopecia areata

Skinmed. Mar-Apr 2006;5(2):64-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-9740.2006.04240.x.


Background: Psoralen-UV-A (PUVA)-turban is a modification of PUVA-bath therapy used in alopecia areata.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of PUVA-turban in different forms of alopecia areata. Twenty patients completed the study: nine with alopecia areata vulgaris and 11 with alopecia areata totalis or universalis.

Methods: 8-methoxypsoralen in a dilution of 0.0001% (1 mg/L) was administered to the scalp for 20 minutes using a cotton towel as a turban. The application was followed by UV-A radiation. Treatments were performed two or three times weekly. The cumulative doses ranged from 48.2-253.4 J/cm2, and single fractions ranged from 0.3-6.5 J/cm2.

Results: Hair regrowth was observed in 15 patients (total regrowth in six patients and partial regrowth in nine patients). Five patients did not respond to the therapy.

Conclusions: PUVA-turban was significantly more effective in alopecia areata vulgaris than in alopecia areata totalis or universalis and proved to be a safe, well tolerated method without the systemic side effects of PUVA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alopecia Areata / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methoxsalen / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • PUVA Therapy / methods*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / administration & dosage
  • Scalp


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Methoxsalen