Trichotillomania – Compulsive Hair Pulling | Alopecia: Introduction and Types

Trichotillomania – Compulsive Hair Pulling | Alopecia: Introduction and Types

Trichotillomania – Compulsive Hair Pulling

Trichotillomania or Compulsive Hair Pulling is a psychiatric disorder that makes people pull at their hair out of compulsion.
This is a disorder that involves impulse control. Patients of this disease
often face baldness and hair loss. This is associated with other conditions
like depression, anxiety, and also the Tourette syndrome.

These illnesses generally refer to illnesses caused by a
person’s upbringing. There is no treatment however for this disease. This can
be taken care of by medicines used for anxiety disorders and depression.

Associated with this psychiatric disorder of
trichotillomania, are repetitive behavior syndromes like shouting obscenities,
blinking, and clearing the throat. Such illnesses are quite prevalent and they
affect one out of the four Americans between the ages of 15 and 44. These
disorders are social phobia, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Trichotillomania causes excessive hair loss. People with
this disease also called TRICK are generally to pull hair from eyebrows,
eyelashes, and heads. These people play with the hair they have pulled out. They
roll the hair strand within their fingers, face, or skin and others swallow the
hair or bite it.

There is no scientific cause for hair pulling. A variety of
mental conditions could be responsible. This is generally considered a bad
habit like biting of nails. This could be referred to as obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is an irresistible feeling and a great impulse to
control disorder.

Since this is considered to be an obsessive-compulsive
behavior, it is treated with the help of a therapist. Parents can help children
with this habit while older children and adults would require professional help.

People with this disease often feel left alone and isolated.
There are peer groups to help them out and also therapists who can help improve
their self-image and boost their self-confidence.

The adverse effects of this disease are:

  • Ø 
    Hurting themselves and
    changing their looks.
  • Ø 
    Spending much time in
    pulling out hair.
  • Ø 
    This also cause worry or

Early detection and intervention can eliminate or reduce
this disease. The support groups are often found to be useful in treating this
mental condition.

Alopecia: Introduction and Types

Around 2% of the world’s population suffers from a hair loss
problem known as alopecia areata. In the last decade, much progress has been
made in terms of research on the causes and treatment of this disorder. Hair
loss from different parts of the body, especially the scalp leading to bald
spots on the head is caused by alopecia areata. This disorder has also been
nicknamed “spot baldness”. Resting follicles are not affected by this disorder
which attacks growing hairs only. Hair follicles are not completely destroyed
but the growth of hairs is truncated.

Due to alopecia areata, hair follicles go into a resting
state which leads to significant shedding. Hair follicles remain in this state
of rest for a prolonged time and they are forced back into the resting state if
they attempt to go to a state of growth. The treatment of alopecia areata is
based on attempting to promote new growth in the hair follicles at rest and to
lessen the effect which immune cells have on the hair follicles.

areata is of different types namely alopecia areata monolocularis, alopecia
areata totalis, alopecia areata Universalis, alopecia areata multilocularis,
diffuse alopecia areata. The causes of this disease are still not known for
sure. Alopecia areata contains autoimmunity which is the failure to identify its
own constituting parts. The hair follicles are treated as foreign tissues
erroneously which suppresses and stops hair growth. People often mistake
alopecia to be contagious but it actually is not although in some cases it may
be hereditary.

It is still not known whether the stress factor causes
alopecia areata. Alopecia can be treated in a number of different ways, like
PUVA which is Psolaren and UV-A light, topical sensitizers like
diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP) and squaric acid dibutyl ester (SADBE),
vasodilators, and non-specific irritants. The treatment methods are not directed
at cosmetic hair regrowth and hair loss is not prevented by them. The most
popular treatment options are Anthralin, Topical corticosteroids, and injected
corticosteroids or therapy in which minoxidil is used. The extent and duration of
the disease are taken into consideration when deciding the most suitable method
of treating alopecia areata.

Related: Treatment, Tests/diagnosis For patients From
medical authorities, Symptoms, Causes/risk factors, For health professionals and
Alternative medicine for Alopecia

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