We read with great interest the recent article “A Bibliometrics of the Treatment of Alopecia Areata in the Past Twenty Years” published by Luo et al. [1]. We commend the authors for their work in highlighting the changing academic landscape surrounding alopecia areata (AA) and the current state of research on this condition.

In addition to growing interest from physicians and researchers, it is important to acknowledge that the general public’s knowledge of and interest in AA has expanded as well over the past 20 years. Advancements in treatment options, decreases in stigma surrounding the condition, and increased advocacy efforts may all contribute toward the increased public awareness of AA [2].

To capture the changing public interest in AA, we performed a Google Trends Analysis evaluating the search term alopecia areata from January 1, 2004, the beginning of the Google Trends Database, to December 31, 2022. Google Trends reports relative search volumes (RSVs) from 0 to 100, with 100 representing the most populous search volume relative to all searches on a term in a user-designated timeframe and geographic region.

Worldwide, the RSV for AA increased since 2003, with a peak in the year 2022 (Fig. 1). The authors of this original article created “Phases” based on the rate of article publication: phase 1: 2003–2008, phase 2: 2009–2018, and phase 3: 2019–2022. We evaluated RSV by these phases and found that there was a statistically significant increase from phase 1 to 2 and phase 2 to 3 (p = 0.00 and p = 0.00, respectively). The rising public interest between phases correlates to the rising research output noted during these time periods.

Fig. 1.

Google Trends Analysis relative search volume (RSV) for the term “alopecia areata” from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2022. Blue columns represent the average worldwide RSV each year. The red line represents the linear trend line for this dataset.

Fig. 1.

Google Trends Analysis relative search volume (RSV) for the term “alopecia areata” from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2022. Blue columns represent the average worldwide RSV each year. The red line represents the linear trend line for this dataset.

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Luo et al. found that the USA and China had the highest research output in the time period evaluated. We evaluated global regions with the highest RSV. High RSV concentration occurred in South American countries despite highest AA research output from countries in the USA, Europe, and Asia.

To further the work of these authors, we demonstrate that beyond academic interest, public interest in the topic of AA has increased over the past 20 years. As the treatment landscape continues to change, physicians and researchers should further their research and prioritize educating the interested global public.

No relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.

This article has no funding source.

A.N. and D.D. contributed equally to the design of this article and writing of the manuscript. J.S. and K.L.S. contributed to the editing of this article.

Additional Information

Ambika Nohria and Deesha Desai contributed equally as co-first authors.

1.
Luo
WR
,
Shen
G
,
Yang
LH
,
Zhu
XH
.
A Bibliometrics of the treatment of alopecia areata in the past twenty years
.
Dermatology
.
2024
;
240
(
1
):
42
58
. [published online ahead of print, 2023 Nov 8].
2.
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
.
Alopecia areata awareness as advocacy
.
National Alopecia Areata Foundation
. https://www.naaf.org/awareness-as-advocacy/.