(Trichotillomania) causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, and other parts of the body resulting in noticeable bald patches. Approximately 5-20% of people who have hair pulling disorder also swallow the hair.
(Excoriation) causes people to repetitively touch, rub, scratch, pick at, or dig into their skin, resulting in skin discoloration, scarring, and even severe tissue damage and disfigurement.
(Onychophagia) causes people to bite their nails past the nail bed and chew on cuticles until they bleed, leading to soreness and infection.
Often referred to as "cheek chewing," chronic cheek biting can result in a myriad of complications. Redness, painful sores, and tears can occur in the mucosa, which is the inner lining of the mouth.
Frequently include cheek and lip biting, nail picking, scab eating, and other self-grooming-related behaviors.
BFRBs are among the most poorly understood, underdiagnosed, and untreated group of mental health disorders. Research suggests that causes of BFRBs include improving or correcting an imperfection in physical appearance, in addition to self-regulation of intense emotions. Several studies have shown a higher number of BFRBs in immediate family members of persons with skin picking or hair pulling than would be expected in the general population. BFRBs are not self-harm.
Body-focused repetitive behaviors are complex, multidimensional problems that require a multidimensional approach. Learning to understand the function of a BFRB, emotional and physical triggers to the behavior, and having a toolbox of strategies for working through triggers and urges are crucial components of success. The articles below offer various approaches and tips to help you or your loved one on the path to recovery.