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ALPHA: Comparing Treatments for Severe Chronic Hand Eczema

the ALPHA trial has completed follow up and the results are being analysed. Thank you to all of the patients who took part and staff at the participating hospitals who have helped us become the largest hand eczema trial worldwide. Our final results will be available on the NIHR website here: in due course, with a ‘notify me’ option to receive an email when they are published. We will also share our results on this site and via social media. Kind regards, the ALPHA trial team

kind regards the ALPHA team.

ALitretinoin versus PUVA in severe chronic HAnd eczema trial

The ALPHA trial compares Alitretinoin and PUVA therapy in patients aged 18 years and over with severe hand eczema which is not controlled on a daily (regular) basis with prescription steroid creams. This is to find out which is the most effective treatment:


Image of psoralen soak
Hands are soaked in psoralen

Image of ultraviolet light exposure
Hands are exposed to UV light


Image of Alitretinoin tablets

Image of Alitretinoin treatment
Taken once a

Both are equally used by doctors in standard clinical practice, but there is no clear evidence indicating which is most effective in treating which type of hand eczema.

BBC Look North (Yorkshire) features Dr Miriam Wittmann discussing the ALPHA trial – click the link to watch the full programme. Here’s a shortened version of the video on the BBC Look North face book page.