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Is Surgery The Solution For Trichotillomania Sufferers?

As National No Pulling Week launches this week, the Farjo Medical Centre is calling for surgeons to better educate themselves, to avoid unnecessary hair transplants being performed on vulnerable trichotillomania sufferers.

Trichotillomania is defined as ‘hair loss from a patient’s repetitive self-pulling of hair’. It is characterised by the repeated urge to pull out scalp hair, eyelashes, facial hair, nose hair, pubic hair, eyebrows or other body hair. This often results in noticeable bald patches.

Here at Farjo, we have noticed a 67 per cent increase in enquiries from trichotillomania sufferers, who are interested in hair transplant surgery. Many don’t even realise they are pulling out their own hair and they invest in transplant surgery to cover their bald patches.

While the surgery may initially fix the visible symptoms, is it really a solution which tackles the root cause of the individual’s hair loss? The patient could eventually end up pulling out the newly grown hair – which can be even more distressing for the sufferer after investing in the surgery.

Increased media coverage of hair transplant surgery has worked wonders in raising awareness of the solutions to hair loss, but this week we are urging surgeons in the field to be aware that the hair loss suffered as a result of trichotillomania is only a symptom of a psychological disorder, which needs to be treated in a very different way.

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