Confronting and Treating Trichotillomania
Trichotillomania is a compulsive behavior characterized by the urge to pull out one’s hair. Symptoms of the disorder usually start at around 13 or 14 and can grow more severe as an individual moves into adulthood. The condition is the number one cause of hair loss in children and be a cause of recurring stress in adults.
Symptoms of Trichotillomania
Individuals with trichotillomania experience an irresistible urge to pluck out the hair on the bodies, including the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Often an individual focuses on one area of the body or a specific type of hair. Trichotillomania can result in:
- Extreme hair loss and bald patches on the scalp
- Lack of eyelashes
- Thin eyebrows
Hair loss due to trichotillomania can be devastating, affecting self-confidence and an individual’s social life.
Causes of Trichotillomania
Attributed to a combination of factors, trichotillomania is a complex disorder that cannot be explained by a single cause. Although the condition is not linked to a single cause, there are some theories about why people have the compulsion to pull out their hair. Some risk factors include:
- Neurological abnormalities. In some cases, people diagnosed with trichotillomania have had shown abnormalities in brain scans.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Trichotillomania may involve a chemical imbalance in the brain, similar to that seen in those with OCD.
- Stress and anxiety. Hair pulling may be a response to stressful situations.
- Hormone levels. Because the condition typically arises in the early teens, some experts think that hormones may play a role.
- Family History. Behavioral disorders like OCD often have a genetic link and tend to run in families.
- Environmental factors. Outside influences, such as trauma, can exacerbate the problem.
Trichotillomania Treatments with Dr. Yael Halaas, New York
If you suffer from trichotillomania, it is important to reach out and get the support you need. There are cosmetic and surgical procedures can be performed to stimulate hair regrowth to fill in bald patches and restore lashes and brows. Dr. Yael Halaas, a hair restoration specialist, offers cutting-edge treatments, such as hair and eyebrow transplants. Contact her Manhattan office to schedule a consultation.