Comparison between narrowband UVB phototherapy and khellin photochemotherapy in the treatment of alopecia areata

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Alopecia areata (AA) is a highly unpredictable, autoimmune skin disease affecting ∼1.7% of the population worldwide. Treatment for AA is generally unsatisfactory. A number of treatments can induce hair growth but none have been shown to alter the course of the disease.


The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of narrowband UVB (NB-UVB) phototherapy with that of topically applied khellin followed by UVA irradiation (KUVA) in the treatment of AA.

Patients and methods

This was a comparative study involving 38 patients. The patients were divided into two groups, group I and group II. Patients of group I (n=19) were treated with KUVA on the scalp and those of group II (n=19) were treated with NB-UVB irradiation on the scalp. In both groups, irradiation was administered three times weekly for 24 weeks or until complete terminal hair regrowth.


The patient response to KUVA therapy (57.89%) was statistically higher than that to NB-UVB therapy (10.52%, P<0.05) at the end of the treatment course (24 weeks).


KUVA therapy is better than NB-UVB therapy in the treatment of AA resistant to other treatment modalities.

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