Behavioral treatment of trichotillomania and trichophagia in a 29-month-old girl.

Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, St Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA.
Clinical Pediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.26). 06/2009; 48(9):951-3. DOI: 10.1177/0009922809337533
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Early childhood trichotillomania (TTM) has often been considered to be benign. However, untreated early childhood TTM can have significant negative physical and psychological consequences. This report describes the behavioral treatment of a 29-month-old girl with TTM. Treatment consisted of 14 daily sessions of behavioral intervention, followed by 3 consecutive days of follow-up treatment conducted 7 weeks after the end of initial treatment. The hair pulling was addressed by using reinforcers for not pulling, provided at intervals of increasing length. At the end of initial treatment, the hair pulling improved significantly. At follow-up, although some of the initial treatment gains were reduced, the patient maintained significant improvement compared with baseline.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Trichotillomania (TTM), or compulsive hair pulling, is a disorder that typically onsets in childhood. It is mistaken to believe that children will "age out" of this behavior, as pediatric TTM often has a chronic, debilitating course that does not remit without treatment, resulting in considerable psychological and physical impairment. Because most children with TTM will be seen initially by nursing professionals in the practices of dermatologists, pediatricians, gastroenterologists, and other disciplines, raising nurses' awareness of this disorder is of the utmost importance for accurate nursing diagnosis and assessment. As the health care providers who spend the greatest amount of time with patients, nurses' detection and diagnosis of TTM can make a critical difference in the initiation of early intervention. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to provide an overview of pediatric TTM, including its epidemiology, clinical presentation, and treatment options, from the perspective of nurses who may interact with such patients in their workplace.
    Journal of pediatric nursing 06/2012; 27(3):225-32. · 0.92 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hair loss in children can cause psychological stress to the parent and patient alike. Alopecia can be classified into congenital and acquired. Commonly encountered causes of pediatric alopecia (tinea capitis, alopecia areata, traction alopecia and trichotillomania) are reversible if diagnosed early. Special note should be made of the extent and type of alopecia (scarring or nonscarring), any hair shaft anomalies and signs of inflammation. Diagnostic evaluation includes a bewildering array of age-old simple bedside tests (e.g., potassium hydroxide preparation) to state-of-the art accurate instruments (e.g., trichoscan). Systemic antifungal therapy is required for tinea capitis. Topical and systemic immunomodulators are currently being employed for treating alopecia areata. A holistic approach would include not just therapeutic intervention but also an active search for associated nutritional deficits, underlying psychosocial disturbances and behavioral problems, the latter two requiring counseling and behavior therapy. Children with permanent hair loss can be offered surgical hair transplantation or camouflage devices, such as wigs.
    Expert Review of Dermatology 01/2014; 6(6).
  • 01/1987;