Background : Alopecia areata is replete with data from studies using variuos therapeutic approaches, none of which is clearly superior to another. Objective : This study was designed to evaluate the therapeutic effect of cryotherapy in alopecia areata. Methods : Thirty three patents with AA(M:13, F:20) well conduted in this study, precluding 3 patients with the moderate and extensive lesions. Cryotherapy using a cotton swab dipped with liquid nitrogen was applied to the involved areas, repeated with 2 times of freeze thaw cycle of two seconds. In 13 cases of AA multiplex, the lesions were divided into two groups, each of which was undertaken cryotherapy and intralesional injection of triamcinolone(3mg/ml) for evaluation of their respeetive effects. The treatment was done weekly method of 1 to 11 times, Th therapeutic response was determined as the regrowth of terminal hairs on the treated area(s) at 12 Weeks. Results : Of the 33 patients with AA, the overall responders were 22(66.7%). There seemed good response rates of 70.0 % in females, 71.4 % in AA multiplex and 72.2 % in third decade as well as 72.4 % in those with lower than 1 year of duration. The remarkable resionse had 3-4 times in treatment numbers. There were no untoward side effects in patients except mild erythema. In the 13 patients treated with both modalities, cryotherapy had a slightly higher esaonse than triamcinolone therapy (69.2% vs 61.5%, p>0.05 by x-test). Conclusion : The effect of cryotherapy therapy in AA patients
is not less than the intralesional therapy of triamcinolone. In addition, cryotherapy may be recommendec as the new, safe therapeutic modality. (Kor J Dermatol 1994; 32(3): 421-426)
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