A new alopecia areata study has revealed that antihistamines could be an effective treatment option. Published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, it provides hope for those suffering with the condition which currently has no cure.
Here, we’ll look at this new study and why it is important for those living with alopecia areata.
Understanding the study
The recent study aimed to look at the effectiveness of alternative treatments for alopecia areata. It followed 148 patients who were provided with a combination of antihistamines, superficial cryotherapy, and topical corticosteroids. They also provided 24 of the patients with adjuvant antihistamine treatments.
The patients were provided these treatments for seven months. It was revealed that 100% of those treated with antihistamines saw significant hair regrowth. On the other hand, a slightly lower 79.3% of those who weren’t treated with antihistamines experienced regrowth.
While this does show antihistamines could be effective at treating alopecia areata, the researchers state more research is required. Although antihistamines appear to work, it isn’t understood how or why. In particular, the researchers need to look at the ability of antihistamines to act as an intrinsic histamine H1- receptor antagonists.
No adverse reactions were reported in the study, giving hope for patients who suffer with this incurable condition.
What is alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss which can occur suddenly, causing small patches of hair to fall out from the scalp. In severe cases, patients lose all of their hair permanently, including the hairs on their body and their eyebrows. However, for many patients, it does only impact small sections of hair and it will eventually grow back.
It is triggered by an autoimmune response. The immune system essentially starts to attack the cells of the body, including those in the hair follicles. It is not known why this happens and currently there is no cure.
Although there is no cure, there are some treatments available which can minimise and slow down the rate of hair loss.
The current alopecia areata treatments available
As alopecia areata can be difficult to predict, finding the right treatment option can require a little trial and error. Treatment doesn’t guarantee the hair will grow back, but some have proven to be very effective.
Topical agents are one treatment option available. These need to be applied directly onto the scalp, such as Minoxidil. You can purchase low-strength topical agents over the counter. However, for more severe cases, you may need a prescription for the higher dose topical agents.
Steroid injections, oral treatments and light therapy have also been used to slow down the rate of hair loss and encourage new hair growth. To find out which treatment option is right for you, book a consultation with a hair loss specialist today.
This recent study provides hope for a future cure for alopecia areata. While it may take a while to see an actual cure for the condition, advancements in research are being made constantly. For now, patients have a number of treatment options available to help minimise the condition.