New Potential Treatment – Narrowband UV-B for Lichen Planopilaris (LPP)

Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is one of the most common scarring hair loss conditions, which is characterized by inflammation and scarring change of hair follicles under microscope. Phototherapy using particular wavelength of light (narrow band ultraviolet B therapy, NBUVB) has been successfully used for many inflammatory skin disorders. However, treating inflammatory hair disorder with NBUVB is challenging, partly because delivering the light directly to the scalp through hair is not efficient with current devices. A preliminary study published by Pathoulas, Senna et al used a comb attachment on a NBUVB device to directly deliver light to the scalp where the inflammation in scarring hair loss is located. Among 16 LPP participants, 45% experienced reduction in LPP activity, and 56.3% reported improvement in scalp itching. There were no serious adverse events reported. The study is a small pilot study without comparison to an untreated group, but the encouraging results and safety suggest a potential treatment option for LPP in the near future.


James T. Pathoulas, Kelly E. Flanagan, Mack Y. Su, Sarina B. Elmariah, Yao Zhan, Chloe J. Walker, Laura J. Burns, Athena Manatis-Lornell, Lauren Penzi, Daniel D. Miller, Maria K. Hordinsky, Maryanne M. Senna, A prospective pilot study of narrowband UV-B treatment of lichen planopilaris, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2022, ISSN 0190-9622.  Click HERE (JAAD) or HERE  (Science Direct) to view the article.</FONT COLOR=”#000000″>