What is Trichotillomania
Trichotillomania is a big word with an equally complicated definition. Essentially, it’s the urge to pull out and even eat one’s own hair. Extreme cases result in odd patterns of baldness and social rejection. The exact cause of this disturbing condition is unknown but depression and stress are believed to be contributing factors.
Trichotillomania is common in infants but it’s most prevalent in youths age 9 to 13. This condition is nearly 3 times more likely to affect females than males and isn’t limited to the hair on the scalp. Many people with this unfortunate disorder pull out their eye lashes, eye brows and even their pubic hair. Some people even pull their hair out without realizing they’re doing it. For this reason, trichotillomania is divided into 2 categories, automatic and focused. Automatic hair pullers do so without knowledge or even memory in some cases and this type typically affects children. Focused Trichotillomania consists of pulling hair until it feels “just right” or pulling in response to a sensation.
Trichotillomania Hair Regrowth
Because trichotillomania hair loss isn’t caused by traditional means, growing the hair back can be difficult. Before any steps to regrow the hair can be taken, the pulling must first be stopped. In infants and toddlers, the hair pulling usually stops as they age. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done for adults with trichotillomania by the way of medication. Instead, group therapy, intervention and behavior modification programs are the best answer. Psychiatric help may be of assistance if the patient pulls their hair in response to a sensation or feeling. The condition is often times associated with psychiatric disorders and addressing the disorders can help to curve the urge to pull.
Once the patient has stopped the pulling, there are a number of things that can be done to restore a full head of hair. Unfortunately, the constant pulling of the hair can damage the follicles to a point where they no longer function properly so simply waiting for the hair to return may not be an option. Hair transplant therapy such as NeoGraft and strip extraction can quickly and permanently restore hair to any damaged areas by taking permanent hair from the back of the scalp and transplanting it to the problem areas. Unfortunately, the back of the scalp may be damaged beyond the point of utilizing NeoGraft and strip extraction.
In many cases, exposing the scalp to platelet rich plasma may reverse the damage caused by constant pulling. The patient’s own blood is centrifuged to separate the plasma and platelets. This treatment may be the best solution for trichotillomania hair regrowth.