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Trichotillomania and Compulsive Skin-Picking

Trichotillomania is a recurring uncontrollable urge to pull out one's hair.  Sometimes the hair that is pulled is localized (hair on one's head; eyebrows; arm or leg hair; pubic hair) and sometimes hair pulling is more generalized.  Pulling tends to produce hair loss that is clearly noticeable, although this does not always occur, and people usually try to hide their pulling by wearing hats, pulling hair in less-noticed areas, etc.  People who struggle with trichotillomania are often distressed and embarrassed about their hair pulling, so much so that treatment is not usually sought and people strive to hide it from others.  Trichotillomania occurs across the lifespan, with peak onset around ages 9 to 13. 

Similar to Trichotillomania, Compulsive Skin-Picking (Excoriation Disorder) is the overwhelming urge to pick at your skin. Common areas include picking of the face, arms, and hands, but many individuals pick from multiple body sites. Individuals may pick at healthy skin, at minor skin irregularities, at lesions such as pimples or calluses, or at scabs from previous picking. Most individuals pick with their fingernails, although many use tweezers, pins, or other objects. Individuals with excoriation disorder often spend significant amounts of time on their picking behavior, sometimes several hours per day, and such skin picking may endure for months or years

Our clinical staff are recognized experts in habit reversal therapy for trichotillomania, compulsive skin-picking, and other Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB), an evidence-based treatment for these chronic and disabling conditions. 

Contact us today at (734) 368-9691 or to learn more.

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