Trichotillomania

Below you will find more information about Trichotillomania from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Trichotillomania it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Trichotillomania and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Trichotillomania comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Commonly known as 'trich," Trichotillomania or TTM is an impulse control disorder characterized by the repeated urge to pull out scalp hair, eyelashes, facial hair, nose hair, pubic hair, eyebrows or other body hair, that may result in noticeable bald spots. Though classified in the DSM-IV as an impulse control disorder, there are still questions about how it should be classified.

Diagnosis

A biopsy may be conducted to rule out other causes, explain the hair loss and diagnose the disease.

Treatment

Experts do not agree on the use of medication for the treatment of Trichotillomania but nalrexone and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been found effective in reducing some of the symptoms. Other options include behavioral therapy and habit reversal.

Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms of the disease usually begin before the age of 17. In most cases, the hair may come out in round patches or across the scalp, effecting to an uneven appearance. Others may also pluck other hairy areas. Among the other symptoms of the disorder are bare patches or all around loss of hair, bowel blockage if people eat the hair they pull out, constant tugging, pulling, or twisting of hair, denying the hair pulling, increasing sense of tension before the hair pulling, other self injury behaviors, and a sense of relief, pleasure, or gratification after the hair pulling.

Causes

The causes of this disorder are not completely understood but it is a type of compulsive behavior. As much as 4% of the population may be affected by Trichotillomania and women are four times more likely to be affected than men.

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