Alopecia areata (AA) is a common disease of hair follicles. Cryotherapy has been employed to stimulate hair regrowth. We decided to evaluate the efficacy of this method in patchy AA. Forty patients of age >5 years and with 120 recalcitrant patches were enrolled in this study. AA had covered less than 25% of patients’ scalps. In each individual, one lesion was treated with nitrogen cryotherapy once weekly for a period of 6 weeks; meanwhile another lesion was treated with topical 0.1% betamethasone lotion. All patients were followed up from weeks 2 to 14. Thirty-nine out of forty patients completed therapy. The overall response rate was 88% for patches treated with cryotherapy and 90% for patches treated with betamethasone lotion. Complete recovery (>90% terminal hair growth) was not obtained in any patient. Chi-square test showed no significant difference between improvements of alopecia in the two groups (reliability 95%). Pearson measurement showed a significant reverse relationship between diameter and duration of patches and the improvement rate in both groups. Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy can be a helpful modality in the treatment of AA.
Key words: Alopecia areata, treatment, liquid nitrogen cryotherapy, betamethasone lotion.
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