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Treatment of Alopecia Areata With Topical Sensitizers

Sutherland, Lesley MD; Laschinger, Mary BA; Syed, Zain U. MD; Gaspari, Anthony MD

doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000094

For those with severe alopecia areata, with greater than 50% scalp involvement, topical immunotherapy with diphenylcyclopropenone or squaric acid dibutylester is considered the treatment of choice. This article not only reviews the safety and efficacy of topical sensitizers for the treatment of alopecia areata but also highlights strides that have been made in the literature concerning their use in pediatric populations, molecular mechanisms of efficacy, and improved safety through targeted delivery methods.

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Address reprint requests to Zain U. Syed, MD, Department of Dermatology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 419 W Redwood St, Suite 240, Baltimore, MD 21201. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

© 2015 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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