Bald Patch on Scalp Due To Alopecia Areata

Patient

Q: Hi Dr. I have missing hair on the back of my head near the neck. It is patchy. I went to the family doctor and he said i have alopecia areata. The patch is growing slowly. I had it since November 2011 and at that time it was very small. Right now it is about 2 inches wide. The DR prescribed me 2% monoxidil and I've been using it since Feb.8.2012 until today. I see no change at all. What can I do? Another friend of mine had the same problem and he said he used a corticosteroid based cream.

Doctor

A:   It is unclear what causes alopecia areata. Theories range from genetic to autoimmmune factors. The hair follicles remain alive and are ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal. In all cases, hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and even after many years. You have a few treatment options like steroid topical injections or topical applications, minoxidil or anthralin ointment. You may need to consult a dermatologist to see which medication would suit you better. I hope this helps, take care.

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