Make an Appointment: [email protected] | 410-907-7303

  • Hair-Pulling / Skin-Picking Disorders

    banner image

    Hair-Pulling and Skin-Picking Disorders

    Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs)

    Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) refer to a set of excessive self-grooming behaviors that people engage in, such as repetitively pulling, picking, scraping, or biting their hair, skin, or nails. These behaviors result in damage to the body (e.g., hair loss, scabs, or scarring) and disrupt an individual’s life. BFRBs vary greatly in severity, frequency, and location on the body. Without treatment, BFRBs tend to be chronic conditions that may come and go throughout a lifetime.

    While we will describe two specific BFRBs below, this is not an exhaustive list of the BFRBs that we treat.

    Hair-Pulling Disorder (Trichotillomania)

    Hair-Pulling Disorder refers to a pattern of hair-pulling behavior that causes damage to one’s body, is difficult for the person to stop, and negatively impacts the individual’s functioning in daily life. Hair pulling can occur in any area of the body (e.g., scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, arm/leg hair, and/or pubic hair).

    Skin-Picking Disorder (Excoriation Disorder)

    Skin-Picking Disorder is characterized by repeated picking at one’s own skin which results in skin damage, is difficult for the person to stop, and causes significant disruption in one’s life.


    BFRBs are not “just habits” and are actually maintained through many factors, including providing sensory stimulation and emotion regulation. As such, we offer Comprehensive Behavioral (ComB) treatment for BFRBs, which is designed to address the multifaceted nature of BFRBs. Together, we tailor our interventions to address and manage the specific factors that drive these behaviors so that you can learn to manage them sustainably.

    To learn more about Hair-Pulling Disorder, Skin-Picking Disorder, other BFRBs, and their treatment, please visit the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors.