Trichotillomania ( , also known as trichotillosis or hair pulling disorder) is an impulse disorder characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s hair, leading to noticeable hair loss and balding, distress, and social or functional impairment. It appears in the ICD chapter 5 on Mental and behavioural disorders and is often chronic and difficult to treat. Trichotillomania may be present in infants, but the peak age of onset is 9 to 13. It may be triggered by depression or stress. Owing to social implications the disorder is often unreported and it is difficult to accurately predict its prevalence; the lifetime prevalence is estimated to be between 0.6% and 4.0% of the overall population. Common areas for hair to be pulled out are the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, legs, arms, hands, nose and the pubic areas. The name, coined by French dermatologist François Henri Hallopeau, derives from the Greek: θρίξ/τριχ- thrix/trich- (“hair”), τίλλειν tillein (“to pull”), and μανία mania (“madness, frenzy”).
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