Comparison of the Efficacy and Safety of Topical 5% Minoxidil Solution Alone and in Combination with 0.05% Betamethasone Dipropionate Cream in the Treatment of Alopecia Areata
Background: Alopecia Areata (AA) is a fairly common skin problem, accounting for approximately 2% of new derma-tological outpatients worldwide. There is a dire need for an innovative approach in the treatment of this disorder.
Objective: Our objective was to assess the efficacy and safety of topical 5% minoxidil solution alone and in combination with 0.05% betamethasone dipropionate cream in the treatment of alopecia areata.
Method: Fifty patients with alopecia areata, ages ranging from 18 to 55 years, were enrolled in the study. They were ran-domly divided into two groups, each having 25 patients. The patients in group A, were advised to apply 5% minoxidil solu-tion, twice daily for a period of three months. Whereas the patients of group B, were advised to apply 5% minoxidil solution followed by, 30-60 minutes later, the application of 0.05% betamethasone dipropionate cream. Patients of both groups applied the medicines for a period of three months after which they were followed up for the next three months. The efficacy of the drugs was assessed on the basis of percentage re-growth of hair as: Excellent (> 90%), Good (70 - 90%), Satisfactory (50-69%) and Poor (< 50%). The safety of treatment administered was assessed on the basis of local or systemic side effects of the drugs.
Results: Out of 50 evaluable patients, there were 39 males and 11 females. Minoxidil 5% alone showed an excellent result in 3 (12%) patients, a good response in 10 (40%) and poor in 12 (48%) patients. Minoxidil 5% plus Betamethasone diapro-pionate cream revealed an excellent response in 11 (44%) patients, good in 9 (36%) and poor in 5 (20%) cases. Comparison of hair re-growth count in the bald patches over a 24 weeks period, showed both treatments to be effective. The combination therapy, however, seemed to be more effective in the re-growth of hair at week 12 and 24. Both treatments were well tole-rated.
Conclusions: Both treatments are effective and safe over a 12 weeks period. However, the combination therapy is more effective than minoxidil solution alone in the treatment of alopecia areata.
Key Words: Alopecia areata, minoxidil solution, betamethasone dipropionate.
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