Alopecia areata update: part II. Treatment

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Feb;62(2):191-202, quiz 203-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.10.031.


Various therapeutic agents have been described for the treatment of alopecia areata (AA), but none are curative or preventive. The aim of AA treatment is to suppress the activity of the disease. The high rate of spontaneous remission and the paucity of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies make the evidence-based assessment of these therapies difficult. The second part of this two-part series on AA discusses treatment options in detail and suggests treatment plans according to specific disease presentation. It also reviews recently reported experimental treatment options and potential directions for future disease management.

Learning objectives: After completing this learning activity, participants should be able to compare the efficacy and safety of various treatment options, formulate a treatment plan tailored to individual patients, and recognize recently described treatments and potential therapeutic approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Adult
  • Alopecia Areata / drug therapy*
  • Alopecia Areata / psychology
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Cyclopropanes / therapeutic use
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Haptens / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Laser Therapy
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Minoxidil / therapeutic use
  • Photochemotherapy / adverse effects
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rats
  • Recurrence
  • Research Design
  • Social Support
  • Sulfasalazine / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide / therapeutic use


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Cyclopropanes
  • Haptens
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Minoxidil
  • Cyclosporine
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide
  • diphenylcyclopropenone
  • Methotrexate