Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Topical minoxidil in the treatment of alopecia areata.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 08 October 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1015
  1. D A Fenton,
  2. J D Wilkinson


    A modified double blind crossover study was performed to assess the effect of 1% topical minoxidil as compared with placebo in 30 patients with alopecia areata and alopecia totalis. The active preparation produced a highly significant incidence of hair regrowth. A cosmetically acceptable response was noted in 16 patients. No side effects were seen. The study confirmed that topical minoxidil will induce new hair growth in alopecia areata but that it is less likely to do so in more severe and extensive disease. Furthermore, patients with alopecia universalis and totalis may not respond at all. Nevertheless, as compared with other drugs minoxidil applied topically is relatively non-toxic, is easy to use, and has no systemic or local side effects.