A Cure for Baldness? One Researcher Says He’s CloseThe cure for baldness may be found in a drug now used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Promising results from a single case study is giving hope to those losing their hair.
Types of baldness
Baldness is not a one-size-fits-all condition. Hair loss comes in multiple forms. The most common form is alopecia areata, in which hair falls out in patches across various parts of the body. The most rare form is alopecia universalis, in which hair is absent from nearly all parts of the body. Most people are familiar with alopecia totalis, which is total baldness of the scalp. Alopecia areata and totalis are treated using a variety of methods, including steroid injections to the scalp or steroids taken by mouth. There is no current treatment or cure for those with alopecia universalis.
The potential cure
Dr. Brett King, assistant professor of dermatology at Yale University, tells News Times about his most extraordinary patient for whom it appears the cure to baldness has been discovered. In the original treatment, Dr. King used tofacitinib citrate to help ease the psoriasis of his 25-year-old male patient. Surprisingly, he discovered that this arthritis medication worked wonders for his patient’s alopecia universalis. News Times reports, “After two months of treatment with the medication, not only did the patient’s psoriasis show improvement, but he’d grown scalp and facial hair. After three more months of treatment with a higher dose of the medication, the man completely regrew scalp hair and had clearly visible eyebrows, eyelashes, and facial hair. By eight months of treatment, there was a full regrowth of hair, and the patient reported no side effects.”
This one case has ignited hope among those struggling with alopecia. Dr. King says that the next step “is getting approval for a topical version of the medication and conducting a larger trial.” Though it may still take a while, the cure for baldness may be on the horizon. Until then, many doctors prescribe Propecia to help regrow hair.