Hypnotherapeutic management of alopecia areata.
Journal American Acad Dermatology2006 Aug;55(2):233-7. Epub 2006 Mar 20
Willemsen R,Vanderlinden J, Deconinck A, Roseeuw D
Department of Dermatology, Academic Hospital, Free University (VUB), Brussels. email@example.com
BACKGROUND: Only limited data exist on the role of psychotherapy in alopecia areata (AA). OBJECTIVE: We sought to document the influence of hypnotherapy on psychologic well-being and clinical outcome in AA. METHODS: Hypnosis was used in 28 patients with extensive AA who were refractory to previous conventional treatments. It was added as a complementary treatment or used as the only treatment. RESULTS: In all, 21 patients, 9 with alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis and 12 with extensive AA, were analyzed during a 5-year period. After treatment, all patients had a significantly lower score for anxiety and depression. Scalp hair growth of 75% to 100% was seen in 12 patients after 3 to 8 sessions of hypnotherapy. Total growth occurred in 9 of these 12 patients, including 4 patients with alopecia universalis and 2 with ophiasis. In 5 patients, a significant relapse occurred. LIMITATIONS: This is a preliminary study with a limited number of patients. A larger randomized study is necessary. CONCLUSION: Hypnotherapy may enhance the mental well-being of patients with AA and it may improve clinical outcome.