People who have Trichotillomania feel the urge to pull out body hair and often participate in this behavior in a ritualistic manner, doing so at a certain time of the day or in certain situations. The causes of the disorder are unknown, but many medical professionals believe that brain abnormalities, stress, anxiety and depression could be to blame.
One common symptom of the disorder is the compulsion to pull out eyelashes. Eyelash pulling is the most prevalent form of the disorder, occurring in approximately 73% of Trichotillomania sufferers. The symptoms and side effects of any form of Trichotillomania can affect a person's entire life. Because of the location of your eyelashes, the damage done by this form of Trichotillomania can be very noticeable.
Effects of Eyelash Pulling
Because people with this disorder use their fingertips to pull their lashes out, the eyes can become infected if bacteria from the hands gets into the eye. This can have serious consequences for a person's health. Aesthetically, a person's facial appearance can appear very different if their eyelashes are thinned out or completely gone as a result of pulling.
The emotional effects of pulling out eyelashes can deeply affect people with the disorder. Some people feel such shame and embarrassment over their disorder that they avoid social interaction, leading to depression. People lacking eyelashes due to pulling can feel low self esteem and develop a negative body image due to hair loss or skin damage.
Tips for Avoiding Eyelash Pulling
Luckily, there are several ways to both curb the behavior.
- Avoid mirrors. Seeing your reflection can trigger a visual reminder that there are eyelashes to pull.
- Engage in relaxation techniques or meditation. These activities can reduce stress and help quell urges to pull.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and sugar.
- Lightly coat lashes with Vaseline or olive oil. This makes the lashes harder to grip and pull out.
- Seek help in the form of professional behavioral therapy, or gain support by talking to trusted family members, friends or a support group.
Alternative Eyelash Options:
You can disguise your eyelash hair loss by wearing false eyelashes. We offer a selection of natural looking false eyelashes including options that are perfect for Trichotillomania sufferers who have lost all of their lashes as well as those with lashes that are thinning and sparse because of the pulling.
We recommend applying our false eyelashes using our secure hold adhesive glue. This specially formulated adhesive will not pull out existing eyelashes, even with daily application. This is something that is so important for people who have very few natural lashes left.
While eyelash pulling can greatly affect a person's life, taking advantage of the tools available to relieve and disguise symptoms can help you to cope with the disorder and it's effects, leading to a more positive self image and higher self worth.
What are your tips for dealing with eyelash pulling? Please let us know in the comments below.