Diphencyprone, also known as Diphenylcyclopropenone (DCP) is a contact immunotherapy and can be used in the treatment of alopecia areata or viral warts. Use of DCP involves multiple visits to hospital over several months. Contact immunotherapy is used in the treatment of severe alopecia areata which does not respond to topical treatments or intralesional steroid injection. DCP works by inducing allergic contact dermatitis where the mild inflammatory reaction is associated with hair regrowth. Evidence of hair re-growth may be seen as early as 3 months but the time taken to achieve significant hair growth varies between individuals. Around 50 to 60% achieves worthwhile hair regrowth. However, response rate varies as well. DCP can also be used in the treatment of recalcitrant viral warts (warts that do not respond to usual therapy). It works by inducing a hypersensitivity reaction to trigger the immune system to fight the virus.
Treatment is usually safe. Any side effects are usually due to hypersensitivity to DCP and no long term side effects have been reported. Possible side effects of DCP include:
Do not scratch or touch the treated area before it is wiped and washed off. This is to prevent accidental transfer of DCP to other parts of the body.
Treatment is recommended to be continued for at least 6 months. If no response is seen after 6 to 12 months, it may be recommended to stop treatment. Your child will require multiple trips.
DCP is not recommended for use in pregnancy or breastfeeding.
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