Alopecia Severity During First Consult Predicts Outcome

Prognosis is worse in children, condition worsens over time

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The severity of alopecia areata upon initial presentation may be a prognostic indicator of the condition, according to the September issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Antonella Tosti, M.D., and colleagues from the University of Bologna, Italy, contacted 191 patients previously diagnosed with alopecia areata to better assess the long-term prognosis and treatment response of the condition.

Sixty-three patients presented with severe alopecia areata with the remainder having mild symptoms. During a mean follow-up 17.74 years, most of those initially presenting with the severest forms of alopecia areata still had the disease, while 68.3 percent of those with the mildest form were disease-free.

"Severity of AA at time of first consultation is an important prognostic factor," the authors wrote. "Response to therapy (topical immunotherapy) may be associated with better prognosis. In children, the prognosis is worse; our study found that AA worsens over time."

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