How are topical corticosteroids administered for the treatment of alopecia areata?

Updated: Jun 07, 2018
  • Author: Chantal Bolduc, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Topical corticosteroid therapy can be useful, especially in children who cannot tolerate injections. It is administered as follows:

  • Fluocinolone acetonide cream 0.2% (Synalar HP) twice daily or betamethasone dipropionate cream 0.05% (Diprosone) has been used

  • For refractory alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis, 2.5 g of clobetasol propionate under occlusion with a plastic film 6 days/wk for 6 months helped a minority of patients

  • Treatment must be continued for a minimum of 3 months before regrowth can be expected, and maintenance therapy often is necessary


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