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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Alopecia universalis


Other Names for this Disease

  • Alopecia areata universalis
  • AU
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

Is there a cure for alopecia universalis?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

How might alopecia universalis be treated?

Although these is no therapy approved for the treatment of alopecia universalis, some people find that medications approved for other purposes may help hair grow back, at least temporarily. Since alopecia universalis is one of the more severe types of alopecia areata, treatment options are somewhat limited. The most common treatments include corticosteriods and topical (applied to to skin) immunotherapy.[1]

There are possible side effects of corticosteriods which should be discussed with a physician. Also, regrown hair is likely to fall out when the corticosteriods are stopped. About 40% of people treated with topical immunotherapy will regrow scalp hair after about six months of treatment. Those who do successfully regrow scalp hair need to continue the treatment to maintain the hair regrowth.[2]

While these treatments may promote hair growth, they do not prevent new loss or cure the underlying disease.[1] For those who do not respond to treatment, wigs are an option.[2]
Last updated: 11/23/2014

Are researchers working towards finding a cure for alopecia universalis?

Although a cure is not imminent, researchers are making headway toward a better understanding of the disease. This increased understanding will likely lead to better treatments for the different types of alopecia areata and eventually a way to prevent or even cure it.[1]

To learn more about current research efforts, click here.
Last updated: 11/23/2014

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • Alopecia areata universalis
  • AU
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.