Steroid injections can prevent the immune system from attacking hair follicles in alopecia sufferers . This, in turn, can lead to hair regrowth. The treatment involves a steroid solution being injected directly into the scalp a number of times, and this may need to be repeated every few months. Whilst this treatment option is best suited to those with smaller patches of hair loss, it is still worth considering the long-term side effects of steroid injections which, ironically, can include premature balding. Steroid injections can also be extremely uncomfortable and painful.
Our aim is to have a specific treatment that can block the immunologic event(s) that are responsible for alopecia areata. Newer immunomodulators are being developed that may inactivate or block receptors in this "immunologic soup" that is causing alopecia areata. Phototherapy with novel light sources, such as the laser, in combination with photosensitizing agents may be able to "tickle" the hair follicle to start growing hair again. Combination treatments will be used more commonly. Alopecia areata is a heterogeneous disease in the same patient and may require multiple modalities to regrow hair on differing portions of the scalp.