Background: Alopecia areata is a recurrent, nonscarring type of hair loss. Different modalities of treatment have been used to induce hair re-growth.
Aims: To determine the efficacy of topical garlic gel in the treatment of alopecia areata.
Methods: Patients were randomly divided into two groups of garlic gel and placebo. The two groups were advised to follow the treatment twice daily, for three months. Both groups received topical application of corticosteroid (betamethasone cream 0.1% in isopropyl alcohol) twice daily. Baseline demographic characteristics and the size of patches, total number of grown hair and number of terminal hair at the end of each month were recorded. Effectiveness was assessed by scoring the results. Statistical analysis was done by means of chi-square and t test.
Results: Forty patients met the inclusion criteria and enrolled for the study. The first group (garlic treated) consisted of 20 patients (12 males, 60% and eight females, 40%). The second group (control) consisted of 20 patients (10 males, 50% and 10 females, 50%). At the end of the treatment, good and moderate responses were observed in 19 (95%) and one (5%) patients of the case group respectively, which was significantly better than the control group (P = 0.001). No complication was observed in the patients under study.
Conclusion: The present study showed that the use of garlic gel significantly added to the therapeutic efficacy of topical betamethasone valerate in alopecia areata and that it can be an effective adjunctive topical therapy for alopecia areata.