QDoes intralesional kenalog work for androgenetic alopecia?

Richard Winkelmann, DO

Richard Winkelmann, DO

Director for Dermatology and Mohs Surgery
Optum Care
Los Angeles, CA

This is a great question because in my practice, I have inherited patients from non-board-certified dermatologist practitioners being treated for androgenetic alopecia with intralesional Kenalog injections. I wondered if I missed something in residency because, especially as someone with androgenetic alopecia themselves, I have never come across this as a potentially beneficial intervention. Intralesional Kenalog does work well for other causes of alopecia including alopecia areata, lichen planopilaris, and discoid lupus but I have not found any literature supporting its effectiveness for androgenetic alopecia in my review of the literature. 

Sometimes explaining this to patients is a challenge because the etiology of androgenetic is complex and multifactorial.1 I explain that androgenetic alopecia is most associated with how certain hair follicles respond to fluctuations in forms of testosterone over time. I do see that other forms of alopecia, particularly telogen effluvium, often unmask androgenetic alopecia patterns at an earlier age and this may be from where the disconnect comes.


  1. Starace et al. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2020