Trichotillomania, often referred to as Trich, is an involuntary and irresistible urge to pull one’s hair. It can be from the scalp, eyebrows or other areas of the body. For many people, the urges are mild and even manageable but for some, they are compulsive and overwhelming. Trich affects approximately 2% of the population or one out of every fifty people. Most people that suffer from Trich try to hide the problem and do their pulling in private but eventually the hair loss becomes noticeable and they need to take steps to cover up.
There is no known cure at this time and the cause is not clear but there are support groups and therapy to try and change the habits. It unfortunately affects children as well as adults, and many parents do not understand in the beginning and want their children to stop. It just is not that easy and harm can be done by threatening the child with discipline if they don’t stop. Trich usually develops just before or during the early teen years and can often be a lifelong problem. People suffer for many years with the shame associated with this disorder.
Here are the symptoms of Trichotillomania according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Repeatedly pulling your hair out, typically from your scalp, eyebrows or eyelashes, but can be from other body areas, and sites may vary over time
- An increasing sense of tension before pulling, or when you try to resist pulling
- A sense of pleasure or relief after the hair is pulled
- Shortened hair or thinned or bald areas on the scalp or other areas of your body, including sparse or missing eyelashes or eyebrows
- Preference for specific types of hair, rituals that accompany hair pulling or patterns of hair pulling
- Biting, chewing or eating pulled-out hair
- Playing with pulled-out hair or rubbing it across your lips or face
Trichotillomania is a long-term (chronic) disorder. Without treatment, symptoms can vary in severity over time. For example, the hormonal changes of menstruation can worsen symptoms in women. For some people, if not treated, symptoms can come and go for weeks, months or years at a time. Rarely, hair pulling ends within a few years of starting.
For additional information, you can go to http://www.trich.org
If Trichotillomania has affected your life, and you would like to get answers about restoring your hair, call Elite Solutions Hair Loss Specialists of Sacramento and let us help you find your way back to a natural full head of hair.