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Frontal fibrosing alopecia: efficacy of treatment modalities

Authors Gamret AC, Potluri VS, Krishnamurthy K, Fertig RM

Received 17 January 2019

Accepted for publication 27 March 2019

Published 29 April 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 273—285

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S177308

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer


A Caresse Gamret,1 V Sumanth Potluri,1 Karthik Krishnamurthy,2 Raymond M Fertig3

1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA; 2Division of Dermatology, Orange Park Medical Center, Orange Park, FL, USA; 3Department of Graduate Medical Education, Orange Park Medical Center, Orange Park, FL, USA

Abstract: Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a primary cicatricial alopecia characterized by loss of follicular stem cells, fibrosis, and a receding frontotemporal hairline, with frequent loss of eyebrows, and less commonly, body hair involvement. Diagnosis is clinical and the disease most often affects postmenopausal women. Treatment is difficult with the goal of disease stabilization rather than hair regrowth due to the scarring nature of FFA. To date, there are no randomized controlled trials evaluating efficacy of treatments. Therefore, much of our knowledge is based on small retrospective studies. In this review, we highlight the various and most current treatment options for FFA, including 5-α-reductase inhibitors, intralesional steroids, hydroxychloroquine, topical steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, systemic retinoids, pioglitazone, oral antibiotics, minoxidil, excimer laser, and hair transplantation. Currently, 5-α-reductase inhibitors, intralesional steroids, and hydroxychloroquine have the highest level of evidence for treating FFA, while the remaining therapies have variable results and require further data to draw definitive conclusions.

Keywords: frontal fibrosing alopecia, frontal fibrosing alopecia treatment, FFA, FFA therapy

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