Background: Alopecia areata is loss of hair from localized or diffuse areas of hair-bearing area of the skin. Recently there are reports of efficacy of the 308-nm excimer radiation for this condition.
Objective: To study the effect of the 308-nm excimer laser in the treatment of alopecia areata.
Materials and methods: Eighteen patients with 42 recalcitrant patches (including 1 adult with alopecia totalis) were enrolled in this study. The lesions were treated with the 308-nm excimer laser twice a week for a period of 12 weeks; one lesion on each patient was left as a control for comparison.
Results: There were 7 males and 11 females in this study. Regrowth of hair was observed in 17 (41.5%) patches. Thirteen of the 18 lesions in scalp showed a complete regrowth of hair. The extremity regions failed to show a response. Atopic diatheses had an unfavorable effect on the outcome in our patients.
Conclusion: The 308-nm excimer laser is an effective therapeutic option for patchy alopecia areata of the scalp and for some cases with patchy alopecia areata of the beard area. It does not work for patchy alopecia areata of the extremities.