Trichotillomania, also known as compulsive hair pulling, involves repeatedly pulling hair from one's body. The most common areas often observed to be involved in trichotillomania include the scalp, eyebrows, and eyelashes. However, it is not uncommon for individuals to pull from other areas of the body. Often, in trichotillomania, the person experiences a strong urge to pull, although at times (and especially for young children) the person can be unaware of the pulling behavior. Typically, the person has tried to resist urges to pull, but has been unsuccessful in reducing the behavior on their own.. Pulling behaviors tend to increase during times of stress or boredom, and may or may not be accompanied by other anxiety concerns or OCD. Hair-pulling can lead to bald patches, or hair thinning, but this depends on the extent and frequency of pulling behaviors.
Excoriation Disorder involves compulsive skin picking that can result in lesions and scaring. Often, the person picks at their face, back, arms or torso. At times, the person may pick at minor skin problems, but healthy skin can also be picked. Often, the person spends a great deal of time engaged in picking behaviors, and despite their best intentions finds it very hard to reduce the picking. Many individuals with this condition will try to hide or camouflage their scars with makeup, or long sleeve clothing.
To speak to a South Florida specialist in OCD and related disorders, call Dr. Stewart today at (954) 298-8484.