The PUVA-turban as a new option of applying a dilute psoralen solution selectively to the scalp of patients with alopecia areata.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Feb; 44(2):248-52.JA
Alopecia areata is a burden for many patients and often resistant, even to extensive therapy. Orally administered PUVA therapy has been shown among numerous systemic and topical treatment modalities to be a therapeutic alternative. However, the clinical use of oral PUVA is often limited by systemic side effects. Bath-PUVA therapy offers an alternative solution because of the negligible systemic absorption of psoralen with this technique. Through use of a "PUVA-turban" it is now possible to administer a dilute bathwater solution containing 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) to the scalp.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether PUVA turban therapy is effective in treating alopecia areata in different clinical stages.
We treated 9 patients with severe, rapidly progressing, treatment-resistant alopecia areata with PUVA-turban treatment as a modification of bath-PUVA therapy. At each treatment session a cotton towel was soaked with a 0.0001% 8-MOP solution (1 mg/L) at 37 degrees C, wrung gently to remove excess water, and wrapped around the patient's head in a turban fashion for 20 minutes. This was directly followed by UVA radiation. Treatment sessions were initially performed 3 to 4 times per week.
The cumulative UVA doses given over treatment periods of up to 24 weeks were 60.9 to 178.2 J/cm(2), with single doses ranging from 0.3 to 8.0 J/cm(2). After up to 10 weeks of treatment, hair regrowth could be noticed in 6 of 9 patients. Two patients did not respond to the treatment, and one patient showed only vellus hair regrowth.
PUVA-turban therapy can be considered a useful method of administering a dilute psoralen solution selectively to the scalp of patients. It has been shown to be a well-tolerated and, in some patients, efficient therapeutic alternative in the treatment of alopecia areata.