Background/Aim: Telogen effluvium (TE) is a scalp disorder characterized by the thinning or shedding of hair resulting from the early entry of hair in the telogen phase. Nigella sativa (NS) is a dicotyledonous belonging to the Ranunculacae family. It has been shown that its major constituent, tymoquinon (TQ), exerts anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting pro-inflammatory mediators, such as cyclooxygenase and prostaglandin D2. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of NS essential oil as a potential treatment for TE, a pathology characterized by a significant inflammatory component. Study Design/Methods: Twenty patients affected by TE for this double-blind, placebo controlled and randomized study were enrolled. Ten of these patients were treated with a scalp lotion containing 0.5% NS, daily for 3 months, while the other ten patients were treated with placebo daily for 3 months. Videodermatoscopic analysis (Trichoscan Dermoscope Fotofinder?) and evaluation of three independent dermatologists were performed before treatment (T0), after 3 months of treatment (T3) and at the 6 months follow-up (T6). Results: The results showed a significant improvement in 70% of patients treated with NS. Videodermatoscopic analysis showed a significant increment of hair density and hair thickness in patients treated with NS. NS was also able to reduce the inflammation observed in the majority of patients affected by TE. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that NS can be considered potentially useful for the treatment of TE.
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