Effects of Eyelash Plucking
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, repeatedly pulling out eyelashes can make lashes grow slower. Over time, they may not grow back. Additionally, there is a greater risk of eye injury, eye infection, and damage to the eyelid skin if eyelashes are pulled out.
Despite hair being pulled out, healthy hair follicles will continue to grow hair. So, new eyelashes should slowly regrow and replace pulled-out hairs within a few months. However, in severe cases, hair follicles can be damaged, and the hair may never grow back.
Trichotillomania (often abbreviated as TTM) is a mental health disorder where a person compulsively pulls out or breaks their own hair. This condition falls under the classification of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
The brain releases reward hormones, such as dopamine. This links hair pulling with the reward. It causes a hair-pulling habit to form. Each time the person pulls hair, the brain releases a small burst of reward hormone.
Trichotillomania is an independent diagnosis but is highly comorbid, meaning it frequently occurs with other conditions. Anxiety and depression are the most common comorbidities, followed by ADHD.
While people on the autistic spectrum often have comorbid trichotillomania and other BFRBs, the reverse correlation does not appear to hold true, and no scientific evidence could be found indicating that autism causes trichotillomania.
I use a fidget toy.
You might remember fidget spinners as being especially popular in the mainstream a few years back, but they definitely still remain in arm's reach from me at all times. Fidget toys such as spinners and cubes are an effective way to keep my hands busy when I feel a strong urge to pull.
Some have argued that hair pulling in trichotillomania (TTM) is triggered by traumatic events, but reliable evidence linking trauma to TTM is limited. However, research has shown that hair pulling is associated with emotion regulation, suggesting a connection between negative affect and TTM.
More frantic research: Depending on when lashes are pulled in the growing cycle, total regrowth can take about two months.
While this process can take several weeks, sometimes even a few months, it's crucial to know this is perfectly normal. Every person's lash growth cycle varies slightly, with most falling between 1 to 2 months for a complete regrowth.
Conditions that may prevent or change eyelash regrowth include: Damaged eyelid or lash follicles. The lash won't regrow if there's been permanent damage to the eyelid skin or eyelash hair follicle.
Trichotillomania is on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum, which means that it shares many symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), such as compulsive counting, checking, or washing.
Common causes, symptoms and treatments of trichotillomania
It can be triggered by stress, boredom, anxiety and various other circumstances. In fact, some women who suffer from this disorder can engage in the practice without even fully realizing they're doing so.
Research on treatment of trichotillomania is limited. However, some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely.
Trichotillomania has also been linked to impulsive behavior and sensation seeking, which are both often present in substance use disorders. Trichotillomania itself has been considered a form of addiction, as those with trichotillomania may experience withdrawal or difficulty stopping hair-pulling behaviors.
Results of research suggest that in patients with TTM, PTSD prevalence was found to be higher than the general population but lower than psychiatric sample. It is interesting that the number of pulled hairs and duration of hair pulling are negatively correlated with the severity of comorbid PTSD in TTM patients.
Trichotillomania and skin picking are often misdiagnosed as OCD because they involve compulsive behaviors. However, trichotillomania and skin picking generally lack significant obsessional thoughts and do not appear to respond to traditional OCD treatments.
Trichotillomania impacts adults and children. The condition is more common in children ages 9–13 years than other age brackets. Older adolescents and teens with trichotillomania often experience increasingly severe symptoms the longer the condition is present.
Pre-puberty, men and women are equally affected; after puberty, women are 5-10 times more likely to be affected by TTM (Swedo et al., 1992). MGH Trichotillomania Clinic has approximately 12:1 female to male population.
Trichotillomania is a type of impulse control disorder. People with these disorders know that they can do damage by acting on the impulses, but they cannot stop themselves. They may pull out their hair when they're stressed as a way to try to soothe themselves.