Treatments for patchy hair loss ineffective: Study

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Washington, Apr 16 (UNI) If you are losing hair in patches, don't bother taking treatments, as there is no reliable, safe, effective, long-term treatment available for this ailment, according to a recent study.

The study based on the review of existing research found that of there was nolong-term 'beneficial hair growth' in patients who were afflicted by the condition known as alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss.

The study published in a recent issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration examined more than 500 patients and measured the effectiveness of several treatments, including topical and oral corticosteroids and topical cyclosporine.

These drugs dampen the immune system to try to stop it from becoming confused and attacking the body, as studies suggested that alopecia areata is caused when the immune system attacks the hair follicle.

Other treatments including photodynamic therapy, where the skin is exposed to light, and topical minoxidil or rogaine, were also reviewed.

''None of the treatments for alopecia areata that have been evaluated, addressed participant-focused measures of success or measurements of quality of life,'' Dr Mike Sladden, a review author said.

Dr Sladden said patients should balance their desire to resolve their hair loss with the risks of the available treatments.

''Although there is no proven treatment, some people might choose to try a 'safe' treatment such as a topical steroid, even in the absence of good evidence of the treatment's benefit,'' he said.

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