Anthralin is a cross over product that was originally intended for use as a psoriasis treatment. Despite being difficult to use, it is often, successful in treating this skin condition. It was also found to be effective as a hair follicle stimulant in some people who were using it. This discovery prompted the use of Anthralin as a treatment for conditions such as alopecia areata.
Alopecia is a medical condition characterized by patchy hair loss. It can afflict the scalp and/or the body. Anthralin is often used in combination with minoxidil topical treatments and cortisone injections to treat this condition. Realistically, anthralin promotes follicle stimulation in so few people, that the other two components of this treatment are generally the more effective portions of the plan.
Anthralin is chemical substance created to mimic chrysarobin, which is a natural substance used in the treatment of a variety of skin disorders, such as psoriasis. It is irritating to the skin and eyes and is tar-like. It has a limited shelf life and must be used within 6 months. Its components also create difficult stains. For anyone looking for all-natural treatments, synthetic Anthralin is not the way to go.
Anthralin is applied directly to the patch of skin that is affected and left for a period of time. You must avoid leaving it on longer than prescribed, as it is actually a skin irritant. Plan to do nothing that puts you in contact with other objects, people or parts of the body during this time. Expect to have stains on anything that touches Anthralin. As such, you need to wear gloves, protective clothing and take great care in the use of this product that only helps a small percentage of users.
The affected area that you treat will be stained, so not only will there be a bald patch where there should be hair, there will also be a stain covering it. Don’t worry too much though because the stain wears off a couple of weeks after the completion of the treatment. If you happen to get some on your bathtub or shower, treat it quickly, as it can easily become a permanent stain.
In addition to the inconvenience, prescription anthralin may cause your hair to become white. While white hair may be better than no hair, it’s still not what most people are looking for. Hair follicle infections, blisters, severe itching and enlarged lymph nodes are other possible side effects to look forward to. It has also been proven as a tumor-causing agent in animals. Even though tumors haven’t been noted in humans using it, it is still cause for concern.
Anthralin is not a good treatment for most alopecia sufferers. It is an inconvenient substance to use and the percentage of the population helped by it is so low that it may not be worth using. Let’s face it, the possible side effects and the additional work it requires make it a non-viable product for most people.