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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)


Other Names for this Disease
  • Nodose hair
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

My daughter has monilethrix. Are there any clinical trials underway for this disorder? Any stem cell research? Is there is anything out there that might help, now or in the future?    

Our Answer

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

Are there any clinical trials underway for monilethrix?

The National Institutes of Health, through the National Library of Medicine, developed to provide patients, family members, and members of the public with current information on clinical research studies. No studies involving monilethrix are listed at this time, but check this site often for updates. To search for a study, use "monilethrix" as your search term.

You can also contact the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison (PRPL) Office at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We recommend calling the toll-free number listed below to speak with a specialist, who can help you locate relevant clinical trials.

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL)
NIH Clinical Center
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2655
Toll-free: 800-411-1222
Fax: 301-480-9793
Web site:

Last updated: 3/12/2014

Is anyone researching the use of stem cells for the treatment of this condition?

There are no reports of stem cell research for monilethrix at this time. We suggest that you check back with the links posted on this site from time to time to see if new research has been added.
Last updated: 1/31/2012

Is there treatment available for monilethrix? Is there a cure for the condition?

Unfortunately, the is no cure for monilethrix. Some patients have reported spontaneous improvement, particularly during puberty and pregnancy, but the condition rarely disappears completely.[1][2]

While there is no recognized definitive treatment for monilethrix, oral acitretin and topical 2% minoxidil have shown good clinical and cosmetic results with continued use.[2][3][4] The systemic administration of vitamins, retinoids, griseofulvin, oral contraceptives, steroids, radiation therapy, external desquamative ointments, and steroid preparations have not show impressive results.[2]

Avoiding trauma is perhaps the most effective method of managing monilethrix. This is because from birth, the hair of individuals with monilethrix tends to have an increased susceptibility to weathering and cosmetic damage (e.g., sunlight exposure, dyeing, bleaching, perming, curling). This susceptibility to damage can prevent hair from growing to its maximum length.[2]

Last updated: 3/12/2014

Are there any researchers currently studying ways to treat or cure monilethrix?

Although we are not aware of any researchers currently studying ways to treat or cure monilethrix, we recommend that you periodically check PubMed, a searchable database of medical literature, to locate published articles regarding treatment and a possible cure. Using "monilethrix AND treatment" as your search term should locate articles. To narrow your search, click on the “Limits” tab under the search box and specify your criteria for locating more relevant articles.
Last updated: 3/12/2014

  • Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF. Chapter 661 - Disorders of Hair. Kliegman: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 18th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, An Imprint of Elsevier; 2007;
  • Schwartz RA, Alexiewicx-Slowinska M. Monilethrix. Medscape Reference. September 8, 2015; Accessed 10/5/2015.
  • Karincaoglu Y, Coskun BK, Seyhan ME, Bayram N. Monilethrix: improvement with acitretin. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005; Accessed 1/31/2012.
  • Rossi A, Iorio A, Scali E, Fortuna MC, Mari E, Palese E, Greco P, Carlesimo M. Monilethrix treated with minoxidil. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2011; Accessed 1/31/2012.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Nodose hair
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.