Alopecia totalis and universalis long-term outcomes: a review

B. Burroway, J. Griggs, A. Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Alopecia totalis (AT) and universalis (AU) represent the most severe subtypes of alopecia areata with more dramatic features and worse prognosis. The goal of this review is to identify all studies with long-term prognostic data on patients with AT and AU and provide a long-term outcome estimate. The PubMed database was queried to identify all articles discussing the long-term prognosis of AT and AU. A total of nine articles discussing long-term recovery rates of AT and AU were identified. The articles described 689 (162 = AT, 245 = AU, 282 = not specified) total patients. Six of the nine studies identified complete recovery as a potential end point in a total of 375 (39 = AT, 75 = AU, 261 = not specified) patients. According to these studies 8.5% (32/375) of AT and AU patients achieved complete recovery. A larger proportion of patients will obtain at least transient recovery periods of partial or total hair regrowth. The poor long-term outcomes of AT and AU may cause patients to lose hope with treatment. Response to treatment is often unpredictable, and physicians should be aware of the prognosis and its effects in order to properly counsel patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-715
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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