Trichotillomania is a mental disorder that is characterized by an urge to twist or pull out one's hair. It may involve scalp hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows, or other hair on the body. Symptoms include bare patches where hair has been pulled out. Causes include a chemical imbalance in the brain, depression, anxiety, and more. Treatments usually involve behavior therapy and medications. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how trichotillomania is caused, how to treat it, and much more.
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What Is Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania is an irresistible urge to pull out hair. Learn more about this mental health disorder.
Hair Loss in Children
WebMD looks at the causes and treatment of hair loss in children, including alopecia areata, tinea capitis, and trichotillomania.
The Signs of Hair Loss
Learn more from WebMD about the various symptoms of hair loss in men, women, and children.
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Picture of Trichotillomania
Trichotillomania. This is a form of alopecia that is caused by the child’s twisting or pulling of his or her own hair. This cause of hair loss is usually easy to recognize. There is often, but not always, a parental awareness of hair-pulling behavior sometimes while the child is studying or watching television or at bedtime. The area of hair loss is usually asymmetric and follows an irregular pattern. Examination of the involved area reveals hair that are broken off at different lengths. There is never the total hair loss of alopecia areata or the scaling and erythema of tinea capitis. In most cases, trichotillomania is evidence of an innocent and benign habit that is best compared to nail biting. However, trichotillomania may sometimes be evidence of more severe emotional distress or a manifestation of obsessive compulsive disorder. In addition, children who swallow their plucked hair may develop a gastric trichobezoar.