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Trichotillomania, also known as trichotillosis, is a hair loss condition where the sufferer pulls out or twists out their own hair. It is a neurotic compulsion to pull ones hair out. It may be happening unconsciously or the person may not believe they are causing the hair loss.
There can be eyebrow and eyelash involvement, it’s less common in men but I have seen male patients who pull out their beard and scalp hair.
It is very common in children and will usually go away if ignored, however in adulthood, it can be a more deep rooted problem and can be harder to stop.
On close inspection there are broken, short hairs in irregular areas of varying size. It is a compulsion as the sufferer will resist to pull their hair for some time until they feel forced to – the habit can be as strong as smoking or taking drugs.
Some patients insist their hairs are causing them sharp pains and they must remove them.
Long term trichotillomania can atrophy the hair follicles causing scarring and permanent hair loss.