Body focused repetitive behavior
(BFRB) is a general term for a group of related disorders that includes hair pulling, skin picking, and nail-biting. These behaviors are not habits or tics; rather, they are complex disorders that cause people to repeatedly touch their hair and body in ways that result in physical damage.
• Hair-Pulling Disorder
(Trichotillomania) causes people to pull out the hair from their scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, and other parts of the body resulting in noticeable bald patches. 5-20% of people who have hair pulling disorder also swallow the hair. Review our recommendations for the assessment of Trichophagia, or hair eating, here.
• Skin Picking Disorder
(Excoriation) causes people to repetitively touch, rub, scratch, pick at, or dig into their skin, resulting in skin discoloration, scarring, and even severe tissue damage and disfigurement.
• Nail-biting Disorder
(Onychophagia) causes people to bite their nails past the nail bed and chew on cuticles until they bleed, leading to soreness and infection.
• Other BFRBs include frequently cheek and lip biting, nail picking, scab eating, and other self-grooming-related behaviors.
The best place for you to get accurate information about how to deal with a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) is the web site of The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors here: https://www.bfrb.org/