What is the role of systemic corticosteroids in the treatment of alopecia areata?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Chantal Bolduc, MD, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Systemic corticosteroids (ie, prednisone) are not an agent of choice for alopecia areata because of the adverse effects associated with both short- and long-term treatment. Some patients may experience initial benefit, but most patients relapse during cortisone tapering or after discontinuation of therapy, and ongoing therapy is often needed to maintain cosmetic growth, with a higher risk of adverse effects.


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