Updates in Alopecia Treatments

Alopecia Areata is sudden hair loss that starts with one or more circular bald patches that may end up overlapping with each other. This disease can be triggered by autoimmune diseases like psoriasis, vitiligo and certain thyroid conditions. Currently, there is no cure for the disease but there are certain treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and help re-grow the hair.

National Alopecia Areata Month started on the 15th of this month, and we are happy to share some of the newest treatments and updates straight from the frontier of research regarding this disease.

  • The FDA has recently approved baricitinib, a prescription medication that can help treat cases of SEVERE alopecia areata. This Janus Kinase inhibitor (JAK)  is considered a huge breakthrough in treating this disease. However, this medication is not necessarily for everybody because similar types of treatments have been known to cause moderate to severe side effects for those over  the age of 50. These side effects include suppression of the immune system, heart attacks and blood clots.
  • There are two more types of JAK inhibitor treatments on the pipeline that have gone through phase 2 of clinical trials. This means that there are more types of medications potentially on the way for patients who are suffering from this disease.
  • Some studies have shown that people who are of African descent are a bit more prone to getting this disease. However, most medical data so far agrees that ANYONE can get this disease regardless of race and culture. The big thing that clinicians are trying to understand is how this disease can affect one culture’s views on hair. This also includes the psychosocial effects of alopecia areata and potentially trying to destigmatize hair loss.

If you or someone you know is suffering from Alopecia Areata and would like to see what treatment options are available, you can contact us at (727) 528-0321 to schedule an appointment.