Researchers at Assiut University in Egypt are moving forward with new trials involving the use of fractional laser therapy as a potential treatment for the hair loss-causing autoimmune disorder, Alopecia Areata.
Details revealed in the trial registration, posted on 1st July 2019 – a day before the study commenced – state the team will explore the use of fractional carbon dioxide lasers both alone and in addition to other therapies.
Fractional CO2 lasers are similar to Fraxel lasers – which have also been trialled in relation to hair loss treatment – but fractional CO2 lasers ablate the skin’s surface, meaning less sessions may be needed, which Fraxel lasers – often used for cosmetic skin resurfacing – do not.
Aiding drug delivery for Alopecia Areata treatments
The small scale, randomised trial comprises 40 participants split into 4 equal groups of 10. Each of these groups are being administered a different arm of treatment for a total duration of three months.
After this time their hair regrowth will be measured in terms of hair density and follicles per cm2, compared to baseline.
All groups will receive fractional carbon dioxide laser treatment but, whilst one group will receive only this, another will receive additional triamcinolone acetonide, a further group will also undergo platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) and another will be given additional vitamin D solutions.
The group receiving fractional carbon dioxide laser treatment only will be given six sessions in total.
The group receiving fractional carbon dioxide laser treatment plus triamcinolone acetonide will receive six sessions of the fractional CO2 laser therapy, with topical triamcinolone acetonide being applied to the scalp straight after.
The group receiving fractional carbon dioxide laser treatment plus platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) will also undergo six laser sessions, with topical autologous PRP being applied directly after each.
The group receiving fractional carbon dioxide laser treatment plus vitamin D solution will have this solution applied to their scalps straight after each of their six laser sessions.
Results expected by Summer 2022
The study, which goes under the official title of ‘Efficacy of Fractional CO2 Laser Alone and as Transepidermal Drug Delivery for Different Modalities of Treatment in Alopecia Areata‘, is due to complete its primary stage by 1st July 2021, with final completion currently marked for 1st July 2022.
This area of investigation is also being explored in relation to treating Male Pattern Baldness, with a team from the University of Minnesota in the USA testing whether CO2 fractional laser therapy may improve the efficacy of high strength minoxidil.
This is a topical hair loss solution used to promote hair growth in cases of androgenetic alopecia and which is both MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for this purpose. Although these authorisations do not extend to its use in treating Alopecia Areata of the scalp only, its successful applications for this purpose have been noted.
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