Look, we’re all going to have things in life that we feel insecure about – whether that’s slightly crooked teeth, a nose that’s a bit bigger than we’d like or a weird mole here and there. But for most of those things we just tend to get over it and move on, because the only solution involves extensive and expensive procedures like plastic surgery.
However, what if we told you there might be one very simple cure for one of the most common insecurities out there? That’s right, hair loss.
A teenage eczema sufferer with long-standing alopecia has found that some of her hair has regrown thanks to an ‘unexpected’ side effect from her skin medication.
The 13-year-old patient, who has alopecia totalis (a total lack of scalp hair), experienced ‘significant’ regrowth while being treated with a drug called dupilumab.
The amazing findings were then published by JAMA Dermatology.
Study senior author Dr Maryanne Makredes Senna, of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the US, 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 girl was being treated with prednisone and methotrexate – medications that can suppress the overactive immune system – but while this led to some improvement in her eczema, there was no hair regrowth, and therefore was discontinued.
Then, in July 2017, doctors began to give her weekly injections of dupilumab, which had recently received official approval. Within six weeks, the girl saw significant improvement in her eczema symptoms – but she also spotted that fine light hairs (known as vellus hairs) were appearing on her scalp.
After seven months of the treatment, she had grown a ‘significant’ amount of pigmented hair that usually grows on the scalp.
Senna added: “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.”
Nice to be given a small ray of hope, isn’t it?