Trichotillomania And Hair Loss There are many reasons why someone may be experiencing hair loss. One that is considered uncommon, but can be the main contributor is the condition, trichotillomania. This kind of hair loss is not caused by natural balding, but by a condition that causes one to repeatedly pull their hair out. There are many symptoms and some treatments that you should look into if you have this condition. Keep reading to learn more.
Trichotillomania is an impulsive control disorder where a person repeatedly pulls or twirls their hair until it comes out or breaks off. The cause of this condition is unknown, but it is believed to affect around 4% of the population. Women are generally four times likely to have it than men. Many people with this condition cannot simply stop it. Repeated pulling and twisting can cause hair to become thinner or for it to not grow back, depending on how bad the breakage is.
There are several symptoms to watch out for if you believe you or a loved one has it. Usually, symptoms occur before age 17 in sufferers. The hair that is removed may come out across the scalp or in round patches creating an uneven appearance. This doesn’t just occur with hair on the head, either. Someone with trichotillomania may also pull hair out of other hairy areas of the body like eyelashes, eyebrows, or even body hair. Children under 17 with this condition usually have hair with an uneven appearance, bare patches of hair loss, exhibit continuous pulling and twitching of the hair. They may also deny pulling their hair, having stubble-like regrowth, exhibit other types of self-harm, or feel pleasure, gratification, or relief after they have pulled the hair out. Individuals of any age may suffer from depression, sadness, anxiety, and poor self-image.
Testing for this condition may involve an examination of your scalp, skin, and scalp. They may perform a biopsy to rule out any other causes for hair loss like infections.
Treatment is, unfortunately, a cause for disagreement among medical professionals. Some do not agree with using medication for treating trichotillomania, although there are a couple that could reduce some symptoms. Since it is often linked with some type of depression, some believe that using SSRIs may help. It is also believed that habit reversal and behavioral therapy could also be effective.
It is expected that children younger than 6 with this condition may have their condition go away without treatment. For older people with it, it could take up to a year to go away. However, it may never go away for some others. Luckily, there are treatments out there that help better the hair pulling, anxiety, poor self-image, and anxiety.
An obvious complication of trichotillomania is hair loss or baldness. The real issue is if you eat the hair that you pull out, otherwise known as trichophagia. It can cause an intestinal blockage or cause poor nutrition in the body.
As you can see, while not all that commonly mentioned, trichotillomania could be the cause of your hair loss if you exhibit any of the symptoms above. The earlier that it is diagnosed, the earlier you can start treatment and prevent any terrible damage. Don’t forget to reduce the stress that can lead to this compulsive behavior.