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J Cosmet Dermatol. 2005 Dec;4(4):258-61.

A pilot study evaluating the efficacy of topically applied niacin derivatives for treatment of female pattern alopecia.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, NC, USA. zdraelos@northstate.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Female pattern alopecia is a common dermatologic condition that manifests after puberty. The only approved drug treatment for this condition is 2% minoxidil for topical application.

AIMS:

This pilot study examined the effect of topical application of two niacin derivatives, octyl nicotinate and tetradecyl nicotinate, on hair fullness in female alopecia.

PATIENTS/METHODS:

Sixty female subjects with Ludwig types I-III female pattern hair loss were evaluated in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled (40 active, 20 placebo) design using standardized 35-mm photographic analyses for assessment of efficacy after 6 months of application.

RESULTS:

The niacin derivatives demonstrated a statistically significant increase in hair fullness (P = 0.04 compared to the placebo).

CONCLUSION:

Whereas evaluation of hair growth in women is challenging, this 6-month pilot study demonstrated statistically significant increase in hair fullness on blinded 35-mm photographic analysis. Long-term topical application of nicotinic acid derivatives offers promise for providing benefit in female alopecia and warrants further study.

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