Alopecia areata is a chronic and often relapsing inflammatory disease of the hair follicles. Application of high-potency corticosteroids remains the first-line therapy for most patients presenting initially with alopecia areata of the scalp. Topical immunotherapy is recommended for those patients with a chronic disease of the scalp (>1 year duration), while intralesional injection of corticosteroids should be confined to cosmetically sensitive sites. Second-line treatments are topical dithranol, minoxidil, aroma oils and laser therapy. Systemic corticosteroids can only be considered for patients with an acute burst of alopecia areata. Since patients with alopecia areata frequently suffer from psychological distress and social impairment, supportive therapy is an important cornerstone in the therapeutic management of this disease.


Alopecia areata Topical immunotherapy Intralesional corticosteroids Aroma oils Supportive therapy 

Further Reading

  1. Alfani S, Antinone V, Mozzetta A, Di Pietro C, Mazzanti C, et al. Psychological status of patients with alopecia areata. Acta Derm Venereol. 2012;92:304–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  6. Ohlmeier MV, Traupe H, Luger TA, Böhm M. Topical immunotherapy immunotherapy with diphenylcyclopropenone of patients with alopecia areata–a large retrospective study on 142 patients with a self-controlled design. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012;26:503–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Olsen EA, Hordinsky MK, Price VH, et al. Alopecia areata investigational assessment guidelines–part II. National Alopecia Areata Foundation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51:440–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Paus R, Bertolini M. The role of hair follicle immune privilege collapse in alopecia areata: status and perspectives. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2013;16:S25–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany

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