What is alopecia areata? Alopecia areata is a disease that causes hair loss. In alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the structures in skin that form hair (hair follicles). Alopecia areata usually affects the head and face, though hair can be lost from any part of the body. Hair typically falls out in small, round patches about the size of a quarter. In some cases, hair loss is more extensive.
The FDA approved Olumiant (baricitinib) oral tablets to treat adult patients with severe alopecia areata. The action marks the first FDA approval of a systemic treatment (i.e. treats the entire body rather than a specific location) for alopecia areata.
Human skin is home to diverse ecosystems including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These microbial communities comprise hundreds of species and are collectively known as the skin microbiome.
Researchers published a proof-of-principle paper in the journal Science Immunology demonstrating just how precision medicine for inflammatory skin rashes might work.
A treatment for severe skin inflammation that works well in lean mice made the condition worse in obese mice because of immune-cell changes associated with obesity.