Alopecia Areata – an autoimmune disease that causes the appearance of several bald patches across the scalp – is the most common form of Alopecia – which is in turn the most common form of hair loss. For every set of 10,000 people, 15 of them have Alopecia Areata in the UK alone – that’s around 96,150 people. Most of its sufferers start getting patches under the age of 21 – some sufferers get it before their even in their teens. Alopecia Areata is a common enemy of so many people, and is one of ours.
Here at HIS Hair, we offer help to those suffering from it who may have lost their confidence somewhere along the line. We’re the world’s leading practitioners in Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) treatment – a non-surgical alternative that involves the application of special pigments via a variety of needles to the area of the scalp requiring attention – and with 17 clinics in 9 countries spread across four continents, we’re looking to help as many of you as we can.
However, we’re not the only ones looking for a way to save the day. A team of scientists from the University of Columbia have been conducting a series of experiments testing various drugs to treat Alopecia Areata with after they successfully reversed baldness in mice.
The scientists discovered that drugs that blocked the Janus Kinase (JAK) family of enzymes promoted rapid and robust hair growth when applied to the skin. They tested two known-inhibitors of JAK enzymes that have already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration: Ruxolitinib – usually known for treating high-risk myelofibrosis and is being tested to treat Lymphoma, Pancreatic Cancer, and plague psoriasis – and Tofacitinib – which is currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and is being tested to treat psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Ruxolitinib and Tofacitinib both caused the mice to regrow significant amounts of their hair within three weeks of treatment. Furthermore, they rapidly awakened resting follicles out of dormancy. The team of researchers and scientists also tested the drugs on human hair follicles that were developed in a lab and then skin-grafted onto mice. The drugs were shown to have similar effects as the human hair follicles grew the same way the mice hair had.
Lead researcher Dr Angela M. Christiano believes that what they’ve found is promising, however it isn’t quite showing the signs of a cure for Alopecia Areata. She believes that more work needs to be done to test if JAK inhibitors can induce hair growth in humans using formulations specially made for the scalp.
Whilst the research is still in its early days – the team plans to test whether or not the treatments will work on hair follicles that have been frozen in a resting state – it looks like this is one of the closest developments we’ve had for a cure to Alopecia Areata for some time.
If you’re looking for a way back to the confidence you once had, contact us now and book a consultation today.