The case of the balding preschooler

Somya Abubucker, Bernard A Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A common cause of focal nonscarring alopecia in children is trichotillomania (TTM), a pediatric-onset obsessive-compulsive and related disorder. Although it is useful to differentiate between the early-onset TTM that tends to be more automatic and self-limited and the later-onset more compulsive and persistent variant, currently TTM is not formally subtyped. The diagnosis of TTM is clinical, with the key elements being a history that is positive for hair manipulation, physical examination that shows patches of incomplete alopecia with irregular borders, and trichoscopy demonstrating broken hairs on a normal scalp. Early-onset TTM responds well to simple behavior interventions, and later-onset TTM is best managed with behavior and pharmacologic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e41-e44
JournalPediatrics in Review
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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