ALPHA: Comparing Treatments for Severe Chronic Hand Eczema

Due to the evolving situation within the UK regarding coronavirus, hospitals may not be able to enrol new patients onto the trial at this time. We are still accepting expressions of interest to take part, however it will be unlikely that we can refer you to your chosen participating centre for some time and there may be a delay in responding to you.

If you choose to submit your expression of interest today, we will be in touch once your chosen hospital has confirmed they are able to accept new patients onto the study.

Thank you for your understanding, 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 day

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.