Trichotillomania In Children- Hair-Pulling Disorder

3 min read

Trichotillomania in children is a condition where a kid feels the need to pull hair from the body. This can become a habit which the child needs to quit. So what is trichotillomania? What are its causes, symptoms, and treatment? Let’s find out!

Trichotillomania In Children

What is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania is a hair-pulling disorder that affects the scalp and other areas of the body, such as the eyelashes, brows, genitals, back, arms, and legs. Hair is more likely to be pulled out of the scalp by children. Some kids with trichotillomania claim that pulling their hair makes them feel better, although not everyone with the disease rips their hair out on purpose. Children frequently pull subconsciously and may not even be aware of it. Others create rituals, such as plucking hairs of certain textures or colors from specific areas, however, this is less common in children. Some persons with trichotillomania eat their own hair after they’ve done pulling hair out.

Trichotillomania in Children: Causes

The exact etiology of trichotillomania is unknown. It might be caused by anything from genetics to environmental factors. OCD and the brain’s chemical signals not working properly have also been known to be the reason behind trichotillomania in children.

Trichotillomania Symptoms in Children

hair fall in pillow

The onset of the disease is most prevalent around the age of twelve, but it can occur in infants as young as six months old. Keep a lookout for these symptoms for trichotillomania in children:

  • Rapid or asymmetrical hair loss, hair on the floor and pillows, and having hands continually near the head
  • Constantly scrutinizing mirror reflections and using hats or other cover-ups.
  • Some kids report experiencing a sense of relief after pulling out hair.
  • Some children with trichotillomania have hair-pulling rituals and may then play with their hair, rolling or bending it or placing it to their lips.
  • Excessive hair-pulling disorder alters a child’s appearance, and it can harm their self-esteem and interfere with their social lives and academic achievement.
  • You, as a parent, may also notice the child biting their nails, scratching, cracking knuckles in anguish.

How is Trichotillomania Diagnosed?

Children are frequently examined for scalp infections, alopecia (spot baldness), and any other probable medical reason before getting a diagnosis. In extremely young children, trichotillomania is more difficult to diagnose.

  • The doctor may perform tests to find out the reason for hair loss and scalp infections
  • If the doctor feels trichotillomania is the cause, then s/he may also ask questions about the child’s behavior and family history to parents.
  • The child may also be asked questions to gauge his/her reactions.

Risk Factors of Trichotillomania in Children

Kid rolling and playing with hair

Trichotillomania is more common in girls than in boys. Children with OCD and those with OCD in their first-degree relatives are more likely to develop the illness.

  • Pulling out here can be done to relieve discomfort or anxiety and this can become a habit.
  • It is a cyclical problem since hair itches as it regrows, prompting youngsters to continue pulling their hair to prevent discomfort.
  • Chances of OCD may become higher.

Treatment of Trichotillomania

These are the treatments used to help a child get over their habit of hair-pulling:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most common treatment for trichotillomania. It helps children in becoming more conscious of their hair-pulling and understand the emotions and triggers that lead to hair pulling.
  • Wearing noisy, dangling bracelets might sometimes help children become more self-aware.
  • They are told that when they sense the need, they learn to replace it with a different action or activity.

You must watch out for Trichotillomania in children so that you can help them. This disorder of hair pulling in kids can be very hazardous to their personality. Make sure you enjoy quality time with them so that they can have a strong personality and enjoy a happy life.

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