Thursday, September 11, 2014

What is Trichotillomania?

Photo by PR Photos

London's Daily Mail newspaper ran a story earlier this week about one woman's 30-year battle with trichotillomania (TTM), which is worth checking out. It's estimated that two to 10 million Americans could suffer from this psychological disorder in which the person compulsively pulls out their hair, eyelashes or eyebrows.

TTM is a condition that should be taken seriously, as it could be a sign of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other obsessive-compulsive habits. Additionally, those who have TTM and fail to get treatment can suffer permanent hair loss in the affected areas - which could be in the center of the scalp, as is common with many women, or even the eyelashes or eyebrows. I've treated a number of patients over the years who suffered from traction alopecia as a result of untreated TTM. One of them, who required eyelash transplants as a result, appeared with me on ABC's Good Morning America several years ago. Here's the clip.

So why is Olivia Munn's photograph at the top of this article? She admitted that she suffers from TTM a couple of years ago. Other stars that have been reported to suffer from it at one time or another are Charlize Theron, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry and Megan Fox, among others.

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