Anagen Effluvium Treatment & Management

Updated: May 11, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Treatment

Medical Care

Although topical minoxidil is not effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced alopecia, it shortens the period of baldness by about 50 days. [28]

Scalp cooling may be used, accomplished either with cooling agents applied via a cooling cap that is changed several times or by continuous cooling of the scalp with cold air or liquid. [2]

The application of a pressure cuff around the scalp and local hypothermia retard anagen arrest, if these measures are implemented during the infusion of medication. These measures do not prevent anagen arrest. The pressure cuff and local hypothermia presumably decrease blood flow in the scalp and hinder the delivery of medication to this site. However, because the scalp may act as a sanctuary for circulating malignant cells, patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other hematologic malignancies are generally not suitable candidates for these procedures.

A medical corrective preparation makeup can be applied to camouflage eyebrow alopecia induced by chemotherapy and to improve self-esteem. [29]

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Prevention

The application of a pressure cuff around the scalp and local hypothermia retard anagen arrest, if these measures are implemented during the infusion of the causative medication (see Medical Care).

The discontinuation or avoidance of the causative drug reverses anagen effluvium.

Bleiker et al did not achieve success in a trial of the possible prophylactic effects of pretreatment with calcipotriol before chemotherapy. [30]

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