Dealing with Hair Pulling and Skin Picking Compulsions

Connecting the Dots between Human Behavior & Hair Health

Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania are a part of body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) – an impulse control disorder. A person with Trichotillomania tends to become compulsive towards hair-pulling. Whereas, the one with Dermatillomania (or excoriation) gets involved in neurotic skin-picking. The BFRB comes under the category of OCD Spectrum Disorders, yet it is not to be confused with general OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).1

Trichotillomania can have one unconsciously occupied in hair-pulling, regardless of any region of the body. They can get engrossed in pulling the hair of any body part but the most common ones include the scalp-hair, eyebrows, and eye-lashes. Constantly carrying on with this habit would lead to hair-loss. Befalling the most on females, it is speculated that the disorder is likely to stay for the whole life if not treated on time.2

Excoriation is an uncontrollable disorder of picking one’s own skin, which might even lead to the abrasion of the skin. While having this disorder, people most commonly involve themselves in picking the skin of face, arms, or hands. Apart from being a part of the BFRB, this disorder is also considered similar to that of substance abuse. Either by pharmacological or behavioral intervention, this neurotic disorder can be treated.

Dealing with these disorders may have one lose his or her social connections, as it will make them communally underconfident. But by adopting the following ways, one can set himself free from these compulsions.

Maintaining a Track Record of Skin Picking or Hair Pulling Habits

First things first, try to acknowledge as to how many times a day you are involving yourself into these habits. Keeping a track of your habits, would clarify factually if you are suffering from a disorder or if it is just a habit. The track would also help in making you control the urges.90

Busy Hands Cease these Compulsions

Every time you feel like pulling a hair strand or nibbling your skin, make your hands busy with tiny trinkets or any other thing that catches your attention. Since these neurotic habits concern your hands, you can carry on any other chores to keep your hands engrossed and always

Use of Scraps:  Sidetracking You from Hair Pulling and Skin Picking

If you are dealing with uncontrollable urges, then never forget to keep a few old rags handy so that you can destroy them instead of your hair or skin. This will be of no harm to you or your body, and will distract you from carrying your obsessive habits.

Discuss about Your Hair Pulling and Skin Picking

Sharing is caring and if it becomes too irresistible for you, pour your heart out before your confidante. You will certainly find a solution to your predicament by following your companion’s advice. If the issue has gone off-limit, then it is recommended that you should seek guidance from a reliable psychiatrist.

Hair Pulling or Skin Picking: Result of a Suppressed Obsession

The two compulsive disorders might be functioning as OCDs (Obsessive Compulsive Disorders). This disorder is a result of a suppressed thought or activity that keeps nagging your head. Visiting a credible psychiatrist would certainly provide you with the appropriate remedy.5

Medications can Control Hair-pulling and Skin-picking

In the severe cases, one might want to go for the last resort – medical treatment. Trichotillomania and Excoriation can be treated with medications and (or) with the help of a cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapy includes an exercise that helps one in habit reversal, which finally leads the subject towards gaining back the lost social confidence.


As mentioned earlier, these habits later might make one deal with other repercussions like hair-loss and skin abrasion. But there is a perfect solution for surmounting these outcomes.

Some brands might deceive you into using their hair care range by making false promises. While there are other hair-care products that give you cost-effective results. For fighting the skin-related problems, you can trust a range of skin-care cosmetics that will give you desired outcome.



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