K.M. Darch, L.J. Spelman
Alopecia areata (AA) is a common autoimmune condition with an estimated lifetime incidence of 2% with equal rates in both genders1. AA presents with patterns of hair loss from patchy loss on the scalp, to complete loss of scalp hair (alopecia totalis), to complete loss of all body hair (alopecia universalis). Understandably, AA has a signiﬁ- cant impact on the quality of life of those who suffer from it, with studies showing signiﬁcant anxiety and depression in those with AA compared to age and gender matched controls, and associated “profound emotional stress and reduced self-esteem”2.
AA remains a signiﬁcant challenge to manage clinically. Current treatments include the application of topical ster- oids, topical minoxidil and intralesional corticosteroid injections to affected areas, or systemic immunosuppres- sion depending on the area affected. A number of new treatments for AA are currently under investigation, with a range of JAK inhibitors currently in late-phase clinical tri- als and some available for use off label, and with case reports describing the use of a range of other off label therapies including statins. These treatments show great promise and may provide signiﬁcant hope for those who suffer from AA.
In this presentation, we will review the diagnosis of, and current management options for AA, and review the litera- ture supporting the therapeutics currently in trial.