AAD summer conference offers new advances in hair regrowth research
Earlier this month, the American Academy of Dermatology held its 2014 Summer Academy Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Among the topics discussed was the subject of hair loss and how it affects patients suffering from conditions like alopecia areata and lichen planopilaris. Dr. Melissa Piliang, MD, dermatologist and dermatopathologist at the Cleveland Clinic, spoke about the state of hair research during her presentation, “Hair Raising Ideas: What’s New in Hair Disorders.” A longtime researcher in hair regrowth therapy, Dr. Piliang discussed a variety of promising treatment options based on ongoing research as well as her own work in the field.
Here are five treatment options highlighted during her presentation for patients considering hair regrowth therapy, all of which are still undergoing further research:
- Vitamin D – The role of vitamin D in hair growth and hair cycling is essential. Although no direct link between vitamin D and hair regrowth has been established, vitamin D deficiency is a common trait for many patients suffering from hair loss. “Many people are deficient in vitamin D, so it is an important nutrient to include in the workup of patients with alopecia,” said Dr. Piliang.
- Tofacitinib – Tofacitinib is a JAK inhibitor that’s been showing promising effects in hair regrowth. Although more studies need to be done in order to determine its full effects, recent reports have brought this new therapy to the forefront.
- Pioglitazone – Pioglitazone is a PPAR gamma receptor blocker that’s being further studied thanks to a patient with lichen planopilaris who showed an improvement in scalp inflammation after a course of pioglitazone.
- Light devices – Light devices are growing in popularity thanks to their ease of use at home. Most devices are hand-held and available without a prescription, and offer treatment by providing low-intensity light to the scalp.
- Growing new hair follicles – Although previous research hasn’t led to anything significantly successful, a new method of hair regrowth by inducing hair follicle development from epidermis is showing benefits in patients who have androgenetic alopecia. Researchers from Columbia University and Durham University in the UK are still conducting research on the method.
To read the full article from the AAD summer conference, click here.
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