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Other Names for this Disease
- Hair-pulling syndrome
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Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder characterized by an overwhelming urge to repeatedly pull out one's own hair (usually on the scalp), resulting in hair loss (alopecia). The eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard can also be affected. Many affected individuals feel extreme tension when they feel an impulse, followed by relief, gratification or pleasure afterwards. The condition may be mild and manageable, or severe and debilitating. Some individuals chew or swallow the hair they pull out (trichophagy), which can result in gastrointestinal problems. The exact cause of the condition is unknown. Treatment typically involves psychotherapy (including cognitive behavior therapy) and/or drug therapy, but these are not always effective.
- Trichotillomania. NORD. http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/768/viewAbstract. Accessed November 28, 2012.
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- The The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database contains genetics resources that discuss Trichotillomania. Click on the link to go to OMIM and review these resources.