Excimer laser: a module of the alopecia areata common protocol.J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2013 Dec; 16(1):S77-9.JI
Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune condition characterized by T cell-mediated attack of the hair follicle. The inciting antigenic stimulus is unknown. A dense perbulbar lymphocytic infiltrate and reproducible immunologic abnormalities are hallmark features of the condition. The cellular infiltrate primarily consists of activated T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting Langerhans cells. The xenon chloride excimer laser emits its total energy at the wavelength of 308 nm and therefore is regarded as a "super-narrowband" UVB light source. Excimer laser treatment is highly effective in psoriasis, another T cell-mediated disorder that shares many immunologic features with AA. The excimer laser is superior in inducing T cell apoptosis in vitro compared with narrowband UVB, with paralleled improved clinical efficacy. The excimer laser has been used successfully in patients with AA. In this context, evaluation of the potential benefit of 308-nm excimer laser therapy in the treatment of AA is clinically warranted. Herein, the use of a common treatment protocol with a specifically designed module to study the outcome of excimer laser treatment on moderate-to-severe scalp AA in adults is described.