Bilateral Half-Head Comparison of 1% Anthralin Ointment in Children with Alopecia Areata

Özdemir M., BALEVİ A.

Pediatric Dermatology, vol.34, no.2, pp.128-132, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/pde.13049
  • Journal Name: Pediatric Dermatology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.128-132
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background/Objectives: Alopecia areata (AA) is one of the most difficult skin diseases to manage well. In children, anthralin is commonly used for the treatment of AA. Available research consists of a limited number of uncontrolled trials that assessed the effectiveness of anthralin in promoting hair growth in patients with AA. The objective of this study was to validate the clinical effectiveness of short-contact anthralin 1% ointment in children with AA. Methods: Thirty children with chronic, severe, treatment-refractory, extensive AA were treated with 1% anthralin ointment. One side of the scalp was treated with anthralin for 12 months and the other side was left untreated. Outcomes were evaluated according to the Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) score. Results: The mean time to first response in terms of new hair growth was 3 months and the mean time to maximal response was 9 months. In the first 12-month period, 10 patients (33.4%) achieved complete response to treatment and 11 patients (36.6%) had a partial response. Of the 11 patients with partial response at the end of the first year, 6 achieved a complete response before the end of the study. Total SALT scores for the entire scalp decreased from the end of the first year to the end of the 2-year period. No serious adverse events were observed. Conclusion: Anthralin 1% is an effective therapy for AA and should be continued at least 9 months. At 9 months of topical anthralin therapy, the patients with at least a 50% reduction in their pretreatment SALT scores should continue the same treatment for at least 1 year. Anthralin is safe in children with chronic, severe, treatment-refractory, extensive AA.