This is a potentially huge medical breakthrough for people who have alopecia
Scientists accidentally discovered that arthritis medication can treat alopecia and hair loss.
Researchers at Columbia University are testing JAK inhibitors (janus kinase inhibitors) in pill and gel form as hair loss combatants. JAK inhibitors typically treat autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
If the research passes FDA approval and becomes available over-the-counter, it’ll be life changing for people with alopecia.
More than 6 million people suffer from alopecia in the United States. Lead researcher Dr. Angela Christiano, who suffers from the condition herself, says it damages stem cells in hair follicles, making it difficult to regrow hair.
It’s an issue that largely affects women. “Scarring alopecia is a catch-all that includes 3 or 4 diseases, but two of them are almost exclusively found in women,” said Christiano. “We don’t know why.”
JAK inhibitors show promising results regrowing hair on mice when applied as a gel, Christiano said. In pill form, the drugs "quiet down the immune cells and activate the hair cycle in patients," according to Elle.
Cross your fingers that the treatment can hit store shelves soon!