Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own hair follicles. This leads to bald spots and sometimes total baldness. Alopecia affects about 6.7 million people in the U.S. (160 million worldwide.) Although alopecia can occur at any age, 65% of those affected experience symptoms before the age of 16.
For children and adolescents, this can be a traumatic condition to experience. Alopecia, especially in pediatrics, is known to cause emotional and psychological distress, usually showing up as anxiety or depression. This alone is reason enough to ensure continued research.
Our very own Dr. John Browning, board certified in pediatrics, dermatology, and pediatric dermatology, has made it his mission to help find a solution. Dr. Browning is helping to conduct an investigational study of a medication designed to help pediatric patients with alopecia areata. This medication is called Olumiant.
Although Olumiant has been approved for adults with severe alopecia, it is still being evaluated in clinical studies for pediatric patients. Olumiant is a JAK inhibitor which means that it can block or distort immune signaling pathways. The hope is that this once-daily pill will provide the same results in pediatric patients as it does in adults 18 years and older. According to Olumiant, some of these adult patients achieved 80% scalp hair coverage at 36 weeks.
Do you or someone you know have a child living with alopecia areata? If so, our pediatric alopecia areata study could be a great option for them. Our goal here at Texas Dermatology is to provide families with top-notch care and do all we can to help enhance research for alopecia in children and adolescents. You can also contact us today at (210) 829-5180 to schedule an appointment or submit a request online.