Abstract • A 1% minoxidil topical solution was used to treat 48 patients with alopecia areata, ie, 24 patients with patchy disease and 24 patients with alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis. Twenty-five patients had terminal hair regrowth; in 11 of the 25 patients, it was cosmetically acceptable. No clinical features of the disease seemed to indicate the likelihood of hair regrowth. Hair regrowth began approximately two months after the initiation of treatment and was not uniformly well maintained after the treatment was terminated. One patient had an allergic contact dermatitis reaction to the minoxidil solution; no systemic side effects were seen. No notable systemic absorption was found in 18 adult patients. Effects on cutaneous blood flow or the immune system or some direct effect on hair follicles are possible mechanisms by which minoxidil therapy might stimulate hair growth. (Arch Dermatol 1984;120:457-463) References 1. Dargie HJ, Dollery CT, Daniel J: Minoxidil in resistant hypertension . Lancet 1977;2:515-518.Crossref 2. Devine BL, Fife R, Trust PM: Minoxidil for severe hypertension after failure of other hypotensive drugs . Br Med J 1977;2:667-669.Crossref 3. Zappacosta AR: Reversal of baldness in patient receiving minoxidil for hypertension . N Engl J Med 1980;303:1480-1481. 4. Weiss VC, West DP, Mueller CE: Topical minoxidil in alopecia areata . J Am Acad Dermatol 1981;5:224-226.Crossref 5. Burton JL, Schutt WH, Caldwell IW: Hypertrichosis due to diazoxide . Br J Dermatol 1975;93:707-711.Crossref 6. Ressmann AC, Butterworth T: Localized acquired hypertrichosis . Arch Dermatol 1952;65:458-463.Crossref 7. Rook A: Hair , in Ebling FJG, Rook A (eds): Textbook of Dermatology , ed 3. Oxford, England, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1979, vol 2, pp 1733-1824. 8. Humphrey SJ, Wilson E, Zins GR: Whole body tissue blood flow in conscious dogs treated with minoxidil, abstracted . Fed Proc 1974;33:583. 9. Earhart RN, Ball J, Nuss DD, et al: Minoxidil-induced hypertrichosis: Treatment with calcium thioglycolate depilatory . South Med J 1977;70:442-443.Crossref 10. Cohen RL, Weiss VC, Stinson A, et al: Direct effects of minoxidil on murine splenocytes and epidermal cells, abstracted . Clin Res 1982;30:800A. 11. Cohen RL, Weiss VC, Stinson A, et al: Direct effects of minoxidil on splenocytes derived from athymic (nude) and normal BALB/C mice, abstracted . Exp Cell Biol 1982;50:320. 12. Cohen RL, Alves MEAF, Weiss VC, et al: Direct effects of minoxidil on epidermal cells in culture . J Invest Dermatol , in press.
Archives of Dermatology – American Medical Association
Published: Apr 1, 1984
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