Contact Immunotherapy for Hair Loss - Topic Overview
Alopecia areata is
hair loss caused when the immune system attacks
hair follicles , where hair growth begins. Contact immunotherapy is an
experimental therapy that may be the most effective treatment for severe
alopecia areata.1 A common medicine used is
DPCP, a liquid, is "painted" on the scalp once a week. The
concentration of the solution is increased at each treatment session until a
allergic reaction occurs. Hair growth may appear
within 3 months of beginning treatment.
A review of research on contact immunotherapy notes that about half
of those with severe alopecia areata had a good response, but how much hair
grew back varied widely.2
Side effects of contact immunotherapy include a severe rash (contact dermatitis) and swollen
lymph nodes, especially in the neck.