Eczema Drug Spurs 'Significant' Hair Regrowth In Teenager With Alopecia

A teenager with long-standing alopecia found that a drug she was using to treat her eczema caused her hair to unexpectedly regrow.

The unique case, published in JAMA Dermatology, has provided others suffering from hair loss a new lease of hope for an effective treatment.

Doctors told how their 13-year-old patient, who has suffered alopecia totalis (total lack of hair on her head) since age two, experienced 'significant regrowth' while being treated with dupilumab for her itchy skin condition.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Dupilumab, a drug marketed under the brand name Dupixent, is approved for the treatment of moderate to severe eczema.

The study's senior author, Dr Maryanne Makredes Senna of Massachusetts General Hospital, said: "We were quite surprised since this patient hadn't grown scalp hair since the age of two, and other treatments that can help with hair loss did not in her case.

"As far as we know, this is the first report of hair regrowth with dupilumab in a patient with any degree of alopecia areata."

The teen has also experienced extensive, treatment-resistant eczema since she was just seven-months-old.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Other previously used treatments, which can suppress an overactive immune system, improved the girl's eczema slightly, but her hair did not regrow so medications were stopped.

But last summer, she began to be treated with weekly injections of dupilumab, which recently received official approval.

And after six weeks, the teen's eczema significantly improved, with fine light hairs appearing on her scalp.

Seven months on and the girl had grown a "significant" amount of hair on her head.

When the patient stopped using the treatment for a two-month period, she noticed that some of her new hair fell out, but regrowth resumed when she began the treatment again in April.

Dr Senna said: "Right now, it's hard to know whether dupilumab could induce hair growth in other alopecia patients, but I suspect it may be helpful in patients with extensive active eczema and active alopecia areata.

"We've submitted a proposal for a clinical trial using dupilumab in this patient population and hope to be able to investigate it further in the near future."

Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews is an NCTJ trained Journalist at PRETTY52. She specialises in Fashion Journalism, and has experience at a range of online and print publications. She is a Journalism and English language graduate of Kingston University, London, and joined the team in 2017. Contact her - rachel.andrews@pretty52.com

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