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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
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Treatment

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How might alopecia universalis be treated?

While there is neither a cure nor drugs approved for its treatment, some people find that medications approved for other purposes can help hair grow back, at least temporarily. Since alopecia universalis is one of the more extensive types of alopecia areata, the types of treatment are somewhat limited. The most common treatments include cortisone pills and total immunotherapy.[1] 

There are possible side effects of cortisone pills which should be discussed with a physician. Also, regrown hair is likely to fall out when the cortisone pills 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, at least until the condition turns itself off.[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 important option.[2]

Other treatments which may be used to promote hair growth include:[1]

Last updated: 10/30/2014

References
  1. Alopecia Areata: Questions and Answers About Alopecia Areata. National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disorders (NIAMS). January 2012; http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Alopecia_Areata/. Accessed 10/30/2014.
  2. Treatment for Alopecia Areata. National Alopecia Areata Foundation. 2011; http://www.naaf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_alopecia_treatment. Accessed 5/8/2012.


Clinical Trials & Research for this Disease

  • ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Alopecia universalis. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.
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.