European Journal of Dermatology


Trichoteiromania Volume 11, issue 4, July - August 2001


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Department of Dermatology, Philipp University, Deutschhausstraße 9, 35033 Marburg, Germany.

We describe a 61-year-old patient who compulsively rubbed her hair and her scalp because of a psychiatric disorder. Permanent rubbing resulted in fracturing of the hair shafts, leaving 2 cm long hairs and areas with stubs of 1mm length, giving the impression of bald spots. The distal ends of affected hair shafts were split, giving the impression of white tips. Light microscopy of the hair shafts showed split, brush-like ends of otherwise normal hair. We suggest the name trichoteiromania, which means “compulsive rubbing of hair”, as a new term to describe hair loss in such cases.