Topical Sensitizers in Alopecia Areata

Amy J. McMichael; Robert L. Henderson, Jr.


Dermatology Nursing. 2004;16(4) 

In This Article


Topical sensitization offers a unique therapeutic alternative to traditional treatments for AA. It also offers many advantages over other treatments in extensive AA such as alopecia totalis. Of the three currently used sensitizers in medical therapeutics, SADBE is favored in the United States and adequately meets the four requirements for efficacy. It predictably induces immunity in the majority of patients, is not present in the natural environment, lacks cross-reactivity with other substances, and has demonstrated no safety concerns. Patients using topical sensitizers must be motivated and able to follow complex treatment regimens. Though conclusive trials have not been performed assessing efficacy, anecdotal evidence and case series point to topical sensitization as an attractive and effective treatment for alopecia areata.


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