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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Trichotillomania


Other Names for this Disease

  • Hair-pulling syndrome
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Overview

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.[1]
Last updated: 11/30/2012

References

  1. Trichotillomania. NORD. January 19, 2011; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/768/viewAbstract. Accessed 11/28/2012.
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Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it¬†provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.¬†
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Trichotillomania. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Hair-pulling syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.