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What other behaviors are associated with BFRBs?

Body-focused repetitive behaviors include any repetitive self-grooming behavior that involves biting, pulling, picking, or scraping one’s own hair, skin, or nails that results in damage to the body.

Some of the BFRBs listed below are not specifically indexed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5).  They are classified as “other specified obsessive-compulsive and related disorders", with specification of “body-focused repetitive behavior.”

Trichotemnomania (hair cutting)

Is characterized by the compulsive cutting of one's own hair to achieve some visual goal (evenness, visual improvement).

Trichophagia (hair eating)

Occurs in approximately 15% of patients with hair pulling disorder. Eating hair may cause serious medical complications in the form of trichobezoars – hairballs that may form in the stomach or bowel. Bezoars can be life-threatening. If you or your child experiences the following symptoms, it is recommended you seek advice from a medical doctor: feeling sick, vomiting, stomach pain, foul breath, or other symptoms of gastrointestinal problems.

Lip Bite Keratosis (lip biting)

Involves the repetitive biting of the skin of one’s own lips.

Onychotillomania (nail picking)

Involves damage to the fingernails or toenails by means of chronic picking of the nails.

Dermatophagia (skin biting)

Often occurs among patients with onychophagia. Dermatophagia behaviors include biting the cuticles or fingers, and digesting scabs or skin (usually as a result of skin picking disorder). Oftentimes, lip, cheek, and tongue biting are also considered dermatophagia.

Tongue Chewing

Chronic chewing on the tongue, most frequently the sides of the tongue, to the point of damage is a common oral problem and is considered to be a BFRB.