International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-20

Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy in recalcitrant alopecia areata: A study of 11 patients

Department of Dermatology, Skin Diseases Centre, Nashik, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Gayatri Mukund Karad
C/O, Dr. Vijay P Zawar, Skin Diseases Centre, Shreeram Sankul, Opposite Hotel Panchavati, Vakilwadi, Nasik, Masharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.179403

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Context: Recalcitrant alopecia areata (AA) is not uncommon in clinical practice. In certain patients, treatment failures are known with almost every conventional therapy either singly or in combination. Aims: To study the efficacy of liquid nitrogen (LN) cryotherapy in patients with recalcitrant AA. Subjects and Methods: We present series of eleven patients of recalcitrant AA, who consulted us after getting no response to various modalities of treatment for 6 months. We treated them with LN cryotherapy every 2 weeks till significant hair regrowth or maximum five sittings (at 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks) whichever was earlier. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. Each patient was counseled and a written consent was taken. Every session consisted of dual freeze and thaw cycles of 15 s each with a cryo unit spray. Two months of follow-up after last treatment was done to observe sustained re-growth of hair. Statistical Analysis Used: The clinical response was evaluated by using regrowth scale at 4th, 8th, and 16th week. Results: 11 patients were recruited, one patient dropped due to inability to attend follow-ups. Remaining ten patients completed the treatment and follow-up. Out of 10 patients, five patients (50%) showed an excellent response, three (30%) had a satisfactory response, one (10%) had a fair response, and one patient (10%) had a poor response. No serious adverse effects were seen. Sustained hair regrowth was seen in 80% of patients at the 16th week. Conclusions: LN cryotherapy may be worth trying treatment in the management of recalcitrant AA.

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