Trichotillomania (Hair Plucking Disease)

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Trichotillomania is a chronic disease characterized by repetitive hair pulling, , triggered by increased tension and causing varying amounts of hair loss to be seen by others. Trichotillomania is a very common disorder which affects the quality of life negatively and contrary to the belief.

Before the action is carried out, an increasing tension is heard, after the hair is teared, a period of pleasure and relaxation is entered. The feeling of relaxation is often followed by feelings of sadness and guilt. It seems 1–3.5% of the population. In adults, other psychiatric disorders are common associated with trichotillomania. The most common comorbidities are mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders and addiction disorders.

Genetic-biological susceptibility is higher in patients who develop trichotillomania. Familial studies have shown increased rates of Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and other impulse control disorders in first degree relatives.

The disease begins in adolescence or young adulthood. There are types that become chronic and heal from time to time. Scalp is the most plucking area. Eyebrows and eyelashes follow. There may be distress or avoidance from social activities, sexual intimacy, athletic activities. The severed hair is sometimes tangled in the mouth and rarely swallowed. This condition, called trichophagia, can have serious consequences, which can accumulate in the stomach and intestine, causing blockages.

Trichotillomania has been likened to OCD by many researchers. The high rate of trichotillomania in OCD patients also supports this.

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What is the reason of trichotillomania?

The scientific fact known at the point reached is that the disease is a neurobiological process and genetic and hereditary factors play a role in the development of the disease. The scientific fact known at the point reached is that the disease is a neurobiological process and genetic and hereditary factors play a role in the development of the disease. Like alcoholism, pathological gambling, depression and many other psychiatric disorders, trichotillomania is the result of a combination of genetic, emotional and environmental factors. However, it should be kept in mind that hair loss may be a symptom that may occur in different diseases. Trichotillomania can be observed during different psychiatric diseases like a high fever can have different causes such as pneumonia, urinary tract infection, sunstroke.

Who has trichotillomania?

People of all ages, ethnicities, sexes, nationalities and socioeconomic status can be followed. In childhood, the disease is almost equally prevalent in girls and boys, while 80-90% of adulthood cases are women.

When does trichotillomania begin?

The disease can begin at any age, but often begins around 11-13 years of age in late childhood and adolescence. This period in which the disease starts more frequently are tought that some hormone changes may be caused at the beginning of the disease. However, there are rare cases in which the disease can be seen in elders or infants under 1 year of age. The disease is often followed during a stressful period of life, following an important life event. But it can also start where everything is normal in one’s life.

Can trichotillomania disease heal spontaneously?

It is not possible to predict exactly how the disease will progress in an individual. Trichotillomania usually lasts for long years in those who do not receive any treatment, but periods of exacerbation and decline over time, or even a few months or years in between, it is seen that disappear almost completely and then revive. This chronic going can last a lifetime. However, in many cases, especially in infancy or early childhood, hair plucking may continue for a short time and disappear spontaneously.

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