Highly variable results of topical diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) in the treatment of alopecia areata have been reported so far.
The purposes of our study were to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of DPCP in the treatment of chronic, extensive alopecia areata and to assess the long-term overall benefit of treatment.
Fifty-six patients with chronic, extensive alopecia areata were enrolled in an open-label clinical trial. After sensitization with 2% DPCP, progressively higher concentrations beginning at 0.001% were applied weekly for 6 to 12 months to one side of the scalp.
Fifty-two of 56 patients completed therapy. Total regrowth of terminal hair was achieved in 25 of 52 patients (48%) at 6 months. The most frequent side effect was an eczematous reaction at the site of application. Notably, persistent response was observed in 60% of these patients after 6 to 18 months of follow-up (mean, 12 months).
Topical DPCP treatment for alopecia areata is effective and well tolerated and provides prolonged therapeutic benefits.