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Alopecia areata – Current understanding and management

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Last updated:17th Jan 2022
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Alopecia areata – Current understanding and management - Deutsche Dermatologische Akademie (German Society of Dermatology)

Alopecia areata (AA) is a chronic, immune-mediated disease characterized by acute or chronic non-scarring hair loss, with a heterogeneity in clinical manifestations ranging from patchy hair loss to complete scalp and body hair loss. An overview of the up-to-date pathophysiology and the underlying signaling pathways involved in AA together with diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations will be provided. Current treatments, including topical, systemic and injectable interventions show varying response and frequent relapses reflecting the unmet clinical need. Thus, the new emerging concepts and therapeutic approaches, including Janus kinase inhibitors are eagerly awaited. Traditional and emerging therapies of AA will be discussed, in order to provide physicians with guidance for AA management. Since the latter is so challenging and often tends to take a chronic course, it can have an enormous psychosocial burden on patients, compromising their quality of life and often causing depression and anxiety. Therefore, the psychosocial aspects of the disease need to be evaluated and addressed, in order to implement appropriate psychological support when needed.

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