Title of study: Clinical trial of a new form of dithranol for treating alopecia areata

Type: A clinical trial to test a new formulation of dithranol

Added:  11 January 2022

Closes:  Ongoing

A new clinical trial has opened and is recruiting study volunteers who have mild-to-moderate alopecia areata (patchy hair loss NOT totalis or universalis). The trial aims to test a new slow-release form of dithranol that can be applied as a cream to the skin.

Dithranol has been used for many years as a treatment for psoriasis and research suggests it may also be an effective treatment for alopecia areata. It is not widely used for alopecia areata as it does not have specific approval for this condition. If the trial is successful, the intention is to gain approval for mild/moderate alopecia areata so that it can be prescribed to all patients. 

The aim of the study is to see how effective the new dithranol formulation is in inducing hair regrowth.

Who can take part?


  • Age 18 or over.
  • With a current episode of patchy alopecia areata lasting more than 6 months
  • Able to read and write in English
  • Be generally in good health and not planning to become pregnant
  • Not be using any other alopecia treatments for at least 6 weeks (or 3 months depending on medication).

What will it involve?

The person with alopecia areata will be invited to attend clinics in the UK and asked to give consent to receive either cream containing the new form of dithranol, or a cream containing no dithranol (the ‘dummy’ or placebo treatment). They will not know which type of cream they have, so as not to influence the results. They will be asked to apply their cream to the affected skin every day for 6 months and will then be followed up for a further 2 months. They will be assessed by a health care professional and asked to complete a questionnaire about the treatment and their quality of life.

Please follow this link to find out more and apply to take part.