Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Evaluation of Topical Minoxidil in Extensive Alopecia Areata

    Vera H. Price
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    TLDR Minoxidil helps hair growth in 63.6% of alopecia patients, with 27.3% having excellent results.
    The study evaluated the safety and efficacy of 3% topical minoxidil in treating extensive patchy alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, and alopecia universalis. Thirty subjects applied minoxidil or placebo to half of the affected scalp area twice daily, with overnight petrolatum occlusion, for 1 year. Hair growth was seen in seven of eleven evaluable subjects (63.6%) in the minoxidil group and in five of fourteen evaluable subjects (35.7%) in the placebo group. Excellent, cosmetically acceptable hair growth was seen in three of eleven minoxidil-treated subjects (27.3%) and in one of fourteen placebo-treated subjects (7.1%). Minoxidil applications were generally well tolerated except for three instances of scalp itching and dermatitis, two of which necessitated discontinuing the medication.
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