Q:

What treatment is available for lichen planopilaris hair loss?

A:

Quick Answer

There is no cure for lichen planopilaris, but treatments to slow hair loss include corticosteroids, oral steroids and anti-androgen 5-alpha reductase inhibitor medications, explains About.com. Treatment rarely restarts hair growth, but it can reduce symptoms and slow hair loss.

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Full Answer

Corticosteroids are the most common treatment for lichen planopilaris, which appears on the scalp and other parts of the body. They can be administered topically or through injections, according to About.com. If this doesn't work, a doctor usually prescribes oral steroids or an anti-inflammatory medication called hydroxychloroquine, brand name Plaquenil. For those who have lichen planopilaris on the front of the scalp, anti-androgen 5-alpha reductase inhibitor medications such as dutasteride and finasteride are often used.

Treatment for lichen planopilaris can be variable, advises About.com. The treatments used may reduce the itching and burning, which is often associated with this condition. Since the cause of lichen planopilaris is not fully known, treatment can be difficult to pinpoint. Doctors understand that the immune system attacks hair follicles when a person has lichen planopilaris, but researchers do not know the target of the immune system, known as the auto-antigen. Once understood, this may help researchers focus on an effective treatment for lichen planopilaris capable of stopping hair loss.

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