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How effective is methotrexate in paediatric alopecia areata?

How effective is methotrexate for treating paediatric alopecia areata? A study in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment reviewed the efficacy and safety of methotrexate in 14 paediatric patients with alopecia areata.

Alopecia areata is a form of non-scarring hair loss that occurs in paediatric and adult patients, with presentation varying from round or ovoid patches of alopecia to alopecia totalis or universalis.

While frustrating for patients, it can also be frustrating for clinicians to treat, as there is no definitive treatment. Dermatologists are very familiar with the use of methotrexate for psoriasis and other inflammatory skin diseases, and this medication is generally well tolerated in children.

The study found that 57 per cent of children (eight out of 14) experienced good regrowth when taking methotrexate. Twenty-one per cent of participants (three out of 14) prematurely discontinued the medication, but there were no reported side effects.

The review suggests methotrexate is a generally safe and often effective medication in paediatric alopecia areata.

Read more recent research on alopecia.


Landis, E.T. (30 June 2017.) Methotrexate for the treatment of pediatric alopecia areata. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. Volume 29, 2018 – Issue 2. DOI: doi.org/10.1080/09546634.2017.1341608

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