International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 92-95

Treatment of pseudofolliculitis in trichotillomania improves outcome

Department of Dermatology, National Skin Centre, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Hazel H Oon
National Skin Centre, 1, Mandalay Road
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.90813

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Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder. The underlying psychiatric comorbidity or functional impairment is well recognized by clinicians. Patients with trichotillomania pull their scalp hairs, resulting in damaged, distorted hair follicles, and broken hair shafts within the skin. The local irritation and inflammation resulting from reaction to the broken, impacted hair shafts and malaligned regrowing hair can lead to pseudofolliculitis, much the same as a patient who waxes or shaves her legs gets itchy papules of pseudofolliculitis. Pseudofolliculitis becomes an organic reason for scalp itch and discomfort, and contributes further to the vicious cycle of itch and scratching in trichotillomania. This phenomenon has not been well documented. Treatment of trichotillomania would be more effective if the pseudofolliculitis component is addressed. We describe a series of patients with trichotillomania and pseudofolliculitis. These patients improved after topical steroid therapy, topical or oral antibiotics. Hair regrowth was also visibly better, with patients reporting improvement of symptoms of itch. All these patients were not placed on antidepressants nor antipsychotics.

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