This is the question that many trichotillomaniacs ask themselves. “Why Do I Pull Out My Eyelashes?” And unfortunately the answer is a difficult one.
No one really knows the answer to “Why do I pull out my eyelashes?”
Research of causes of Trichotillomania and treatments for eyelash pulling are still in the early stages. Studies have shown evidence that indicates eyelash Trichotillomania to be a neurobiological disorder and may be linked to one’s genetic makeup.
Eyelash pulling is often triggered by stress, anxiety and depression. People with eyelash trichotillomania generally have a neurologically based, often genetic predisposition to pluck eyelashes as a self-soothing mechanism. Often these individuals have difficulty or no capacity to deal with stress normally. When tension and stress build up individuals need to evacuate this stress. Most people have mechanisms to do this. However those struggling with body focused repetitive behaviors (what is known as BFBR) are unable, or have no coping mechanisms and thus use a coping mechanism that has ‘gone wrong’. That is why often a stressful situation can trigger hair and eyelash pulling.
A variety of causes of eyelash pulling
However while genetic disposition and a body focused repetitive behavior disorder may make someone more likely to be an eyelash puller, there are any number of triggers and causes of eyelash pulling. Circumstances, stress, hormones, a traumatic saturation, even mimicking an adult.
That is why it is ESSENTIAL to first understand the root of the eyelash pulling condition. Self awareness work must be done as a basis for any successful eyelash pulling treatment.
An itch-like urge to pull the eyelashes
80% of eyelash pullers also report an itch-like urge to pull the eyelashes out and there may well be a cause similar to folliculitis (inflammation of the hair root) or an irritation to the very natural and normal skin yeast, Malassezia.
A vicious cycle of eyelash pulling
People who suffer from eyelash trichotillomania have a hard time controlling this obsessive compulsive eyelash pulling disorder due to the vicious cycle of complications that stems from Trich. Eyelash pulling worsens the emotional instability that causes a patient to pull. Pulling momentarily satisfies patients but in the long run results in serious emotional consequences, such as severe self-consciousness, poor self-image, low self-esteem, and other lifestyle setbacks. Individuals who pull tend to feel “freakish” or “crazy” because of the abnormal behavior and its effects.
Eyelash pulling treatments
However there are treatment methods that help eyelash pullers reduce their pulling until they stop altogether. The basis of successful eyelash pulling treatments are self-awareness and understanding “Why do I pull out my eyelashes? Once this is understood the right methods can be put into place for the best chance of success to stop pulling out your eyelashes. Once a treatment is successful it is normal to slip and go back to pulling eyelashes. But this is normal and the puller shoudl expect setbacks and be ready to start again.
Will eyelashes grow back?
A pressing question for eyelash pullers is do eyelashes grow back? In general, unless there has been extensive follicle damage, eyelashes and eyebrows do grow back. While they may not be as full as they might have been without the pulling, eyelashes do grow back.
Once reassured that eyelashes do grow back, pullers will want to know how to get eyelashes to grow back. There are various ways of doing this including maintaining a healthy diet, and using natural means such as essential oils to encourage hair growth.
Read more of our articles about eyelash pulling