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Aug 8, 2019

Topic - Rapunzel Syndrome

Obsessive behaviors are challenging to overcome.  One of the most common is trichotillomania which is compulsive hair pulling.  People suffering from trichotillomania pull out their hair regularly, but do it more frequently when they’re stressed.  Pulling it out relieves tension and they do it without thinking.  There are those people who not only pull out their hair, but they eat it.  If it’s long enough, they munch on the end of their hair, breaking off bits and swallowing it.  This condition is known as Rapunzel Syndrome a rare intestinal disorder named after the long-haired girl in the fairy tale.  Human hair is not digestible and when it collects and forms into hairballs, it can cause perforations in the intestinal wall, leading to death.  It’s critical to get treatment when you see this behavior.  The first step is to intervene if your child starts putting their long hair into their mouths.