While engaging in a normal conversation you could never imagine that a topic like pulling out eyelashes would ever be discussed. However, it is a symptom of an anxiety disorder. This pulling hair out disease is scientifically termed as "Trichotillomania". The urge for pulling hair out can occur at any time and the individual starts pulling hair out wherever it grows. It is observed that the most common part from where the hair is pulled out is the scalp. However, in several cases, one can observe patients pulling out eyelashes, eyebrows, pulling hair from arm pits, axilla, face, pubic and perirectal regions and so on so forth.
The most appalling consequence of trichotillomania is alopecia. This is a condition where in excessive hair loss due to pulling hair out leads to balding. Moreover, several patients eat their own hair after pulling it out. This condition is called as "trichophagia". Trichophagia can further lead to bezoar formation, followed by anemia, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bowel obstruction, perforation, pancreatitis and obstructive jaundice. Hence you should clearly take hint when you see an individual pulling out hair on the scalp or pulling out eyelashes. Besides these, there are several other symptoms like pulling out others hair, increased levels of stress and anxiety, avoidance of social situations, gastrointestinal complaints and so on so forth.
Doctors believe that an individual suffers an increasing tension before pulling out eyelashes or any other hair. However after pulling the hair out the patient experiences a sense of relief. This disorder leading to pulling out eyelashes is found both in children and in adults. Though the exact cause behind pulling out eyelashes or trichotillomania is yet unknown, several theories have been introduced that might explain the cause. Some of these include serotonin deficiency, structural brain abnormalities, abnormal brain metabolism and so on so forth.
There are four effective ways to stop pulling out eyelashes. They are:
1. Use of trichotillomania treatment medication: As the root cause for trichotillomania suggested was serotonin deficiency, medications that reduce this deficiency are very much beneficial to help patients stop pulling out eyelashes. Just increasing the levels of serotonin does not work because it is soon used up by the brain. Hence, serotonin reuptake inhibitors prove to be more effective. Tricyclic antidepressants, Fluvoxamine (Luvox), Sertraline (Zoloft), Fluoxetin (Prozac) are such inhibitors.
2. Recognition of the triggering component: If you again hit by the urge of pulling out eyelashes make sure or at least try to recognize the component or situation that triggers this urge of yours. Once the trigger is recognized, controlling the urge would become easier.
3. Application of lubricant on the eyelashes: Before you encounter the urge to pull out your eyelashes make sure that you have applied a sufficient coat of lubricant like Vaseline on your eyelashes so that they become slippery and difficult to be pulled out.
4. Engaging in activities: Most of the times the urge for pulling out eyelashes comes when you are stressed, anxious or bored. To avoid such situations the best solution is to occupy yourself with the activities like watching television, reading a book, writing and so on so forth.
Most importantly this disease of pulling hair out can be controlled if your turn your focus and attention somewhere else rather than giving in to the urge.