Trichotemnomania vs Trichoteiromania as Causes of Apparent Hair Loss
Every now and then, the reason for a patient’s hair loss is the actions the patient himself or herself is taking. These situations can be challenging sometimes to diagnose and can be met with a variety of emotions when the diagnosis is finally made. “Trichotillomania” refers to the self indiced pulling of hair. This is a familiar concept to many. “Trichotemnomania” refers to the appearance of hair loss created from shaving the hair on account of an underlying impulse control disorder that prompts the need to shave hair to create the appearance of missing hair. “Trichoteiromania” refers to hair loss (or the appearance of hair loss due to breakage) from repeated rubbing. Again, this type of rubbing is not just an occasional rubbing of the scalp but rather a repeated rubbing associated with an impulse control disorder. Patients may rub the scalp or affected area hundreds if not thousands of times daily. Advanced cases of trichotemnomania can sometimes mimic alopecia areata. A careful history and careful examination can often help sort things out. sometimes a repeat examination is needed 3-5 weeks later to gain an understanding of whether or not there are any changes.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887