Patients with frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) who were treated with either oral isotretinoin or acitretin experienced a significant slowing in the progression of the diseases compared to patients treated with finasteride. Researchers Adriana Rakowska, MD, PhD, et al, performed a retrospective analysis of 54 female patients with FFA who were treated with 20mg/day of oral isotretinoin (29 patients), 20mg/day of acitretin (11 patients) or 5mg/day of oral finasteride (14 patients) between 2007 and 2017.
The researchers compared measurements between the frontal hairline and the glabellar crease prior to the commencement of treatment and at 6, 12 and 24 months. (The mean duration of treatment with systemic retinoids was 13.5 months). The primary treatment goal—defined as no further progression of the disease after 12 months of treatment—was achieved by 76% (23/29) of isotretinoin patients, 73% (8/11) of acitretin patients and 43% (6/14) of finasteride patients. The secondary treatment goal—defined as no further progression of disease following the discontinuation of systemic retinoid—was achieved by 72% (21/29) of isotretinoin patients, 73% (8/11) of acetretin patients, and 43% (6/14) of patients treated with finasteride.
The study was published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (October 2017)
Image: Isotretinoin molecule