Log in

Don't have an account? Register here

Forgotten password?

ALPHA Trial : Hand Eczema Research

Reasearch to find out what’s the best treatment for hand eczema?


A UK-wide trial  - the ALPHA Trial - which aims to work out which is the best treatment for chronic hand eczema is being coordinated by researchers from the University of Leeds.

The trial, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, is being led by Leeds’ Clinical Trials Research Unit with colleagues from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.


*UPDATE December 2016* - The first Bradford patients have now finished their first-year follow-up and there are places available to recruit new patients.

The study includes patients who have failed to respond to topical steroid treatment and is looking to recruit more than 500 patients nationally with the Bradford centre hoping to sign up another eight before the end of March 2017.  Find out how to apply by visiting the ALPHA website link below or clicking on the link to the right hand side of this page.



It aims to work out which is the most effective hand eczema treatment in people over 18 who have failed to respond to steroid creams. The treatments to be compared in the trial are the tablet treatment Alitretinoin and an ultraviolet light therapy called PUVA, where the hands are exposed to ultra violet (UV) light after they have been soaked in a special solution.

Both of these treatments are used in standard clinical practice, however, there is no clear evidence indicating which is most effective in treating different types of hand eczema. This study will directly compare these two treatments to examine:

• how well the hands heal with the treatment in the short term

• how well the hands heal with the treatment in the longer term

• how long the skin can remain clear once healed

• which of these two treatments is most effective in treating which types of hand eczema.

As Dr Miriam Wittmann, Associate Professor in Inflammatory Skin Diseases in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds,  explains : “We know how many people really struggle in their everyday lives due to hand eczema, but we do not know definitively which the best treatment to use is.”

The trial is being run at a number of sites across the country, including Leeds, Bradford and Harrogate, with other sites planned to open in the near future.

You can find out more about the trial, on  the ALPHA website . If you are interested in taking part, you will find information about whether you might be suitable and which hospitals the trial is being run at in the patient zone on that site here.

ALPHA Trial : Hand Eczema Research...

This research aims to give patients and clinicians a clear message about which treatment works for them. Dr Miriam Wittmann

 Find out more at the ALPHA website