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My son is pulling out his eyelashes!


My 12.5 year old son has started pulling out his eyelashes.  He basically has no eyelashes on his right upper eyelid.  He orignially told me he was doing it because he had white flakes on his lashes and he was picking those off.  He did, but that was for like 2 dyas.  He has been doing this everyday for a couple of months and his lashes are gone.  Sometimes he will intentionally do it…goes in the bathroom to look in the mirror and sometimes he’s just doing it…I see him in my rear view mirror or when he’s doing homework.  He’s on Focalin XR 15 mg.  Does anyone have a similar situation or have any tips to get him to stop?

Replies

I have a friend whose daughter has been doing the same thing. It progressed to eyebrows and hair as well. It’s a sign of anxiety. Talk to your doctor.

Posted by ButterflyGirls on Dec 19, 2013 at 11:31am

This is likely a condition called trichotillomania.  It can include pulling out eyelashes, hair, and picking at skin.  It is an anxiety based problem and could be a form of tic that develops as a result of the Focalin.  I encourage you to see your sons doctor and also consult a counselor who can help your son manage this problem more effectively.  It is something he cannot control right now, so encourage him but do not shame or punish him.  With the right interventions, it will likely stop.

Posted by Kellie on Dec 19, 2013 at 12:08pm

My son (now 11) began pulling out his eyelashes during his Kindergarten year.  This was the year he started taking Concerta.  When I saw him pulling them I would gently remind him not to and his teacher would give him a non-verbal reminder as well.  He stopped pulling them in the first grade but started back in the second grade.  Again, I reminded him when I saw him pulling them and his teacher gave him a non-verbal command.  He has since stopped and has thick, full lashes I would die to have.

Posted by kkee1969 on Dec 19, 2013 at 3:38pm

Please go to http://www.trich.org  This is a wonderful website that will help you understand and provide your son with ways he can stop pulling, plucking and picking.  This website offers free printable pamplets to assist in educating teachers and friends.  Also has a short video of kids and young adults that have problems picking hair who share their stories about how it started and how it has affected their lives.  My 9 yr old GS has presently picked all of his eye lases too.  Cutting the fingernails very short will make it harder to pull.  Also applying a thin layer of vaseline over the eye lash area will make it more difficult to pull.  Wearing glasses or shades will serve as a reminder/prompt as they must be removed to perform the pluck.  My GS was able to identify when and where he picked:  watching tv, riding in the car, and sitting in class. We made sure he had various fidget toys available in those places so that he had an alternative to picking.  Therapy putty has by far been his favorite.  Very much like silly putty, but it doesn’t dry out.  We keep a container of it in the car and on his night stand.  At school he has a puzzle pen, and a spin ring that he wears which doesn’t bring attention to him in class and is not distracting to other students.  We buy our fidget toys at officeplayground.com They have a great selection and have the best prices that I have found on-line.  Good luck to you and your son.  I know it can be heart breaking to watch your beautiful child do such a thing to himself.  It is more common then you think.  I promise you guys are not alone.

Posted by iamsandrag on Dec 26, 2013 at 5:28am

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