Monilethrix Treatment & Management

Updated: Jun 06, 2022
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medical Care

The systemic administration of vitamins, retinoids, griseofulvin, oral contraceptives, steroids, radiation therapy and external desquamative ointments, steroid preparations, and minoxidil does not show impressive results. A 7-year-old girl treated with oral acitretin had good clinical and cosmetic results, but clinical symptoms recurred after discontinuation of acitretin therapy. [33]

The avoidance of trauma is the most effective method of managing this anomaly. Congenitally abnormal hair tends to have an increased susceptibility to weathering and cosmetic damage (eg, sunlight exposure, dyeing, bleaching, perming, curling), which can prevent hair from growing to its maximum length.

No definitive therapy is recognized, but topical minoxidil 2% (1 mL night and day for 1 y) led to an increase of normal hair shaft without any adverse effects in 1 report. Topical minoxidil 2% may be a good therapeutic option to treat monilethrix, [34] although its use in children may require enhanced monitoring. [35]  Oral minoxidil treatment is another option. [36]