Corticosteroids only Help Minority of Alopecia Patients

When will our dermatologists wake up and start telling us the truth?  None of these treatments work…… Do we need to have years and years of research to put a paper like this together????  Every alopecia sufferer knows this already, it has been evident for decades!  What a waste of time and money in research which could have been spent in a much more productive way.

I posted an article on the AARUK facebook page regarding treatments made available by dermatologists in 1992…… these same treatments are the treatments which are available 20 years on!  Why have we been prescribing treatments which have little or no effect for years and years and years?  I have seen people have the same results with chinese acupuncture…. So why is this not recommended by Dermatologists?  Infact what a great study that would be….. take a group of AA sufferers and treat half with steroid injections into the scalp and treat the other half with just needles into the scalp as a placebo.  I would put money on it that you would find that both had minimal success and when the treatments stopped most would lose whatever hair had regrown……. but if I were to try either I would rather the chinese acupuncture than put steriods in my body for any length of time and suffer the side effects!

This recent publication only puts in to medical words what our community already knows.  Steroid injections in the scalp do not work for everyone….. INFACT the brutal reality is that they only work for a very few and even then the results are short term.  This is not a treatment for Alopecia sufferers…. this is treating the symptom and not the cause of the Alopecia.  It is high time we had our own research so that we can begin looking into this disease properly ….. If we don’t we could be looking at the SAME TREATMENTS IN ANOTHER 20 YEARS!


By Helen Albert, Senior medwireNews reporter
14 September 2012

medwireNews: Results from a long-term study show that pulsed corticosteroid treatment is only effective in about a third of alopecia patients.

“The management of extensive alopecia areata (AA) is a difficult challenge due to a lack of evidence-based data on the available therapies,” say Delphine Staumont-Sallé (University of Lille, France) and colleagues.

High-dose pulsed corticosteroids can induce hair regrowth in the short term in people with alopecia, but little is known about the long-term effects of this therapy.

To investigate further, Staumont-Sallé and colleagues followed up 30 patients treated with high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone 500 mg to 1 g/kg (10-20 mg/kg for children) for 3 days a month for a maximum of 3 months between 1995 and 2000.

Of the 30 patients who completed both short- and long-term follow up, 16 had a form of AA, seven had alopecia totalis (AT), and six had alopecia universalis (AU). Six months after their initial treatment, 10 patients had significant hair regrowth: seven AA patients, two AT patients, and one AU patient.

As reported in Dermatology, long-term outcomes were assessed after a mean follow-up period of 12.3 years. At this time, eight of the 10 patients who initially responded to treatment continued to have mild or no disease and 14 of the 20 who initially had no response continued to have severe alopecia symptoms. Notably, additional treatment after 6 months did not seem to greatly influence outcomes at 12.3 years.

As might be expected, patients who responded to treatment had a significantly better score on the Dermatology Life Quality Index than those who did not, at a mean of 3.1 versus 7.5 out of 30.

“Although our study is not prospective and suffers from recall bias, it has the advantage of providing data on the long-term outcomes of patients treated with corticosteroid pulse therapy, taking into account the patients’ self-assessments of hair regrowth and quality of life,” write Staumont-Sallé et al.

“A prospective study is ongoing to confirm our results,” they conclude.

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

Please….. next time, tell us something we don’t already know.


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