Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors for the treatment of skin and hair disorders: a review of literature

J Dermatolog Treat. 2017 Sep;28(6):476-483. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2016.1277179. Epub 2017 Jan 22.


Janus kinase family (JAKs) has recently attracted the attention of many researchers, and several JAK inhibitor drugs have been developed targeting different members of the JAK family. Tofacitinib and ruxolitinib are US FDA approved drugs in this family for rheumatoid arthritis and myeloproliferative diseases, respectively. Dysregulation of JAK/STAT pathway is also involved in many skin diseases, specifically inflammatory disorders. The JAK/STAT signaling pathway and its involvement in skin diseases are overviewed in this study. We also review clinical studies of JAK inhibitors in field of dermatology, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata and vitiligo. Although the available evidence shows promising results, it is still too early to draw a firm conclusion about the place of these drugs in dermatological treatment.

Keywords: Janus kinase inhibitor; dermatology; hair; skin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alopecia Areata / drug therapy
  • Azetidines / therapeutic use
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Janus Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Janus Kinases / metabolism
  • Nitriles
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Purines
  • Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use
  • Skin Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use
  • Vitiligo / drug therapy


  • Azetidines
  • Janus Kinase Inhibitors
  • Nitriles
  • Piperidines
  • Purines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • Pyrroles
  • Sulfonamides
  • ruxolitinib
  • tofacitinib
  • Janus Kinases
  • baricitinib