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Treatments For Alopecia Areata. Do They Work?

Many women suffer from hair loss at some point in their life. Alopecia Areata (AA) is one of the most common hair loss conditions affecting women today. Although there is no cure for the disease, there have been several breakthroughs over the years. Treatments are available, which help to reverse the condition and regrow lost hair. This blog discusses some of the treatments on offer, how effective they are and what you should do if you think you have alopecia.

Read on to find out more about this hair loss condition and how different treatments are working to help women recover lost hair.

Do All Treatments Work?

Not all treatments for Alopecia Areata work for everyone, and the effectiveness of each treatment depends on the age of the affected person, the extent of the hair loss and any other medical conditions. There is no way of knowing which treatment will work in any given case. There is also the risk of the condition recurring and affecting any regrowth if you stop the treatment.

Specialists believe the cause of AA to be an autoimmune response. Most treatments work by blocking the effects of the immune system on hair follicles. Hair growth stimulation works by “distracting” the immune system away from hair follicles. Your dermatologist will advise on the best treatment for you after examining you.

Common Treatments For Alopecia

As there is no known cure for AA, there are treatments you can put to the test to see if they will work for you. Modern therapies may slow down hair loss or help hair grow back more rapidly. AA is unpredictable and may require a lot of trial and error until you find a treatment that works for you. Unfortunately, even with treatment, the condition may still get worse for some people and lead to a total loss of hair.

The most common treatments offering relief to thousands of AA sufferers are corticosteroids, which dampen the inflammation down. They come in several different forms:

  • Topical steroids are creams, lotions, ointment or forms for application directly to the scalp or skin surface.
  • Intralesional steroids are applied just underneath the skin’s surface on the affected areas using a fine needle.
  • Systemic corticosteroids are taken orally or as injections directly into the muscle tissue.

What are other treatment options are there?

In addition to the three popular treatments above below are some of the other treatment options which are typically used to treat AA.

  • Contact immunotherapy – they irritate the skin and distracts the immune system from attacking the hair follicles, allowing hair to regrow. Dithranol cream and Diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) are typical contact immunotherapy treatments.
  • Minoxidil is a known treatment for androgenetic alopecia and is often used in the treatment of Alopecia Areata in combination with corticosteroid treatment.
  • Immunosuppressants including Ciclosporin, Methotrexate, Mycophenolate Mofetil, Sulfasalazine and Azathioprine.

Do Alternative Medicine Treatments Work For AA?

Complementary and Alternative Medicine is effective in treating other diseases and conditions. Although there is a lack of clinical trial-based evidence in treating AA, some patients report positive results after using natural medicines and other therapies. Examples include:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Microneedling
  • Probiotics
  • Faecal Transplantation
  • Platelet-Rich-Plasma Therapy

Dealing With Alopecia Areata

If you are one of the people who find a cure that works to slow down hair loss and help to regrow new hair, then you’re one of the lucky ones. If you have tried different remedies and have so far found no joy, you are not alone. Finding a support network of people in a similar position to you will give you the confidence you need to deal with your condition.

Vinci Hair Clinic offers a range of treatment options for hair loss, depending on your circumstances and goals. If you are experiencing hair loss, there are medical treatments that will help you preserve your hair, slow down hair loss, thicken thinning areas and perhaps restore the appearance of a full head of hair. Every treatment starts with a consultation. Get in touch today to schedule your appointment with one of our specialists.