Is Pulling out Pubic hair a sign of Disorder?

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In this blog, we are going to answer the question, “Is Pulling out Pubic hair a sign of Disorder (Trichotillomania)?” and also discuss Trichotillomania (a condition in which people pull their hair), its causes, treatment, and also answer frequently asked questions.  

Is Pulling out Pubic hair a sign of Disorder (Trichotillomania)?

Tio put it in a nutshell, pulling out pubic hair is a sign of a disorder called Trichotillomania but we need to understand the condition well.

Trichotillomania is a recurring, chronic urge to pull out one’s hair. It typically begins in youth and can last a lifetime. This habit of pulling out one’s hair causes severe physical and emotional suffering, sometimes driving persons to withdraw socially for fear of being judged. 

This illness has no absolute cure, but it can be successfully treated with proper professional interventions. Therapy from a skilled mental health practitioner would be the most effective way to treat trichotillomania. Trichotillomania can affect any part of the body, but only the pubic area is rarely affected. 

What is Trichotillomania?

Trichotillomania is a condition in which some people have strong urges to pull their own hair out. It can strike anyone at any age. Trichotillomania is a condition in which people pull hair out at the root from areas such as the scalp, brows, eyelashes, or even pubic areas.

Some people with the condition pull out large clumps of hair, resulting in bald patches on the scalp or brows. Others pluck their hair out one strand at a time. After taking the hair strand out, they may investigate or play with it. After pulling the hair, around half of those with trichotillomania put it in their mouths.

Some people are well aware of what they are doing to themselves. Others appear to do it extremely casually as if they aren’t aware of what they’re doing.

Avoiding the temptation to pull out one’s hair is as difficult for persons suffering from trichotillomania as resisting the urge to scratch an extremely bothersome itch.

Some persons claim that the urge to pull begins with a tingling or itch in their scalp or skin. Pulling out one’s hair seemed to be the only way to get relief. People may have a temporary sense of enjoyment after yanking out their hair.

How Trichotillomania can affect a person’s mental health?

Trichotillomania can cause feelings of embarrassment, frustration, shame, and depression in those who suffer from it. They may be concerned about what others will think or say. People who don’t grasp that they’re not doing this on purpose may make them feel nagged.

Trichotillomaniacs frequently try to conceal their condition from others, even their families. This can make it difficult to obtain assistance.

Trichotillomania can have an impact on how people perceive themselves. Some people are self-conscious about how tugging their hair affects their appearance. They may be less confident in establishing new friends or dating. Others may feel unable to resist the temptation to pull, or they may blame themselves for being unable to stop.

Signs and Symptoms of Trichotillomania

  • You get relief from pulling out your hair. 

The relief that comes from pulling out hair is a major part of trichotillomania; this is sometimes accompanied by a sensation of stress that can only be released by the action, especially if you’re battling the urge.

  • Your need to pull your hair is uncontrollable.

People with trichotillomania may try to fight the impulse, but one of the characteristics for the illness is that it is uncontrollable – you may try to stop, but you won’t be able to without assistance.

  • You get bald spots.

As previously stated, the hair-pulling must be so severe that it produces thinning or complete hair loss in the afflicted areas.

  • You attempt to conceal your problems

Trichotillomania is characterised by a sense of shame around the hair-pulling, which leads many people to go to considerable measures to conceal evidence of the disorder, particularly if bald spots begin to emerge.

  • You have been pulling out your hair for a long time

Trichotillomania is a persistent disorder that typically begins at a younger age and lasts into adulthood. Despite the fact that it may improve or worsen over time, trichotillomania is often a chronic disorder.  

  • It Gets Worse With Stress.

Many similarities have been found between trichotillomania and OCD, including the ritualistic nature of the behaviors and the sense of relief felt after doing them.

  • It Isn’t Self-Destructive Behavior.

It’s common to believe that hair-pulling is motivated by a desire to injure oneself, but persons with trichotillomania aren’t usually out to hurt themselves any more than someone who bites their nails.

Causes of Trichotillomania

Nobody knows why some people have trichotillomania. Stress could be a factor. So, too, may a person’s genes. People who have other compulsive behaviors or OCD may be predisposed to trichotillomania.

Experts believe the urge to remove hair is caused by a malfunction in the brain’s chemical messages (called neurotransmitters). This produces an irresistible urge to pull out one’s hair.

Pulling one’s hair provides a sense of relaxation or satisfaction. The stronger the habit gets, the more the person gives in to the temptation by tugging and then feels a temporary sense of relief. The longer this goes on, the more difficult it is to resist the temptation when it occurs again.

How to treat this problem of pulling out hair from roots? 

People with trichotillomaniacs usually require the assistance of medical, behavioural, and mental health specialists to be able to manage their condition. 

Most people can overcome their hair-pulling behaviours with the correct professional guidance support. Hair normally grows back when a person is able to stop pulling.

Psychotherapy/Counselling

People with trichotillomania learn about their triggers, desires, underlying issues, etc. in therapy. They learn how urges fade on their own when people don’t give in to them, and how urges become stronger and more frequent when people do. 

They learn to recognize circumstances, places, or times when they have a strong desire to pull.

Therapists teach persons with trichotillomania how to plan a replacement behaviour to do when they have a strong want to take out their hair. Squeezing a stress ball, handling textured materials, or painting could be substituted habits. 

The therapist instructs the client on how to employ the new habit to fight the impulse to rip out their hair. With practise, one becomes more adept at resisting the temptation to pull. The desire weakens and becomes easier to resist.

Resisting the urges and habits that lead to hair pulling can be tough at first because they are so strong. People may experience increased stress or worry when they begin to resist the temptation to pull. A therapist can guide a person through these difficult times and provide assistance.

Medications

Medicines can sometimes help the brain deal with cravings better, making them easier to resist. A therapist may also assist patients suffering from trichotillomania in learning to handle stress, deal with perfectionism, or work out other obsessive habits such as nail biting.

If you are concerned about hair pulling in children, speak with other parents, school teachers, school counsellors, or someone you trust about receiving help to overcome the problem.

Research on pubic hair pulling Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania of the pubic region may be more common than previously considered. An internet-based study on 860 people. It concluded that around 50% of people reported pulling out their pubic hair in the 2 weeks during the research period. 

The results of this study contradict earlier studies that performed face-to-face collection of data and concluded that pulling out pubic hair is a rare phenomenon and very uncommon in the population. 

A Beauty Pageant Contestant with Pubic hair pulling problem

Trichotillomania is a serious psychiatric condition, despite the fact that many sufferers see a dermatologist rather than a psychiatrist. We present the example of a young woman with trichotillomania affecting only the pubic area who responded well to N-acetylcysteine and behavioural therapy.

An otherwise healthy 23-year-old lady arrived with 3 years of hyperpigmentation and hair loss in the pubic area. Physical examination indicated patchy alopecia, scattered short hairs of varying lengths, follicular hyperkeratosis, and pubic hyperpigmentation. 

Dermoscopy revealed fragmented hairs of various sizes, several black spots, and a V-sign. The hair pull test resulted in a negative result. Complete blood count, biochemical parameters, thyrotropin, antithyroid peroxidase antibodies, and potassium hydroxide preparation were all normal or negative. 

After further interrogation, the patient acknowledged to pulling pubic hair since competing in a beauty competition. During stressful occasions, the disorder intensified. A mental assessment was ordered, and the diagnosis of trichotillomania was confirmed, along with mild depressive episodes. 

Behavioural treatment and 1200 mg of N-acetylcysteine per day were started. After 4 weeks, the dosage was increased to 1800 mg/day, and a complete response was reported after 12 weeks of treatment. During the 6-month follow-up period, the patient had no recurrences.

Trichotillomania affects 0.5–3% of the general population and is more prevalent in women. Only 2%–5% of cases have revealed sole involvement of the public domain. 

However, pubic trichotillomania may be underreported: a recent study found pubic hair pulling in more than 40% of trichotillomania patients during a survey, implying that emotions of shame may contribute to underreporting in face-to-face interviews.

Conclusion

We answered the question, “Is Pulling out Pubic hair a sign of Disorder (Trichotillomania)?” and discused Trichotillomania in depth, cited research based on pulling out disorder and also discussed how this condition can be treated.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Pulling out Pubic hair a sign of Disorder (Trichotillomania)?

What will happen if I tug on my pubic hair?

Plucking pubic hair can be painful and time-consuming. Plucking can cause skin redness, swelling, itching, inflammation, and injury. It can also cause ingrown hairs (hair curling backwards or sideways under the skin) and infection.

Is trichotillomania a form of anxiety?

Trichotillomania, often known as hair-pulling, is a problem of impulse control. Anxiety and stress could be to blame. It is possible for it to coexist with an anxiety problem. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, regard it as a distinct illness rather than an anxiety condition.

What is causing the soreness in my pubic hair?

The pubic hair is more sensitive than the armpits and legs. So razor burn, which can be itchy or painful, could be one of the reasons you’re hurting down there when the hair starts to come back. Another reason you might be uneasy is that shaving might cause ingrown hairs to grow.

Is trichotillomania curable?

Yes, trichotillomania can be successfully treated. Therapy from a skilled mental health practitioner would be the most effective way to treat trichotillomania but sometimes medications are also important to deal with the symptoms. 

What is causing my pubic hair to turn black?

Melanin is the pigment that determines the colour of your skin and hair. Eumelanin is the type of melanin responsible for the hair surrounding your genitals. This is sometimes referred to as black/brown melanin and is more concentrated in your nether areas, which is why your hair appears darker.

How can I make my pubic hair stop hurting?

While your underwear isn’t the source of the problem, wearing cotton underwear with no elastic, lace, or other rough fabric that could irritate your skin may alleviate your discomfort. If you must shave your pubic hair (for no medical reason! ), always use a new razor, warm water, and shaving cream.

References

https://www.trichstop.com/pubic-hair-pulling
https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/body/news/a44152/what-is-trichotilliomania/
https://www.ijtrichology.com/article.asp?issn=0974-7753;year=2020;volume=12;issue=3;spage=142;epage=143;aulast=Piquero-Casals

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