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Body-focused repetitive behavior

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Title: Body-focused repetitive behavior  
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Body-focused repetitive behavior

Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior (BFRB) is an umbrella name for impulse control[1] behaviors involving compulsively damaging one's physical appearance or causing physical injury.[2]

The main BFRB disorders are:[3]

BFRB disorders can also include Dermatophagia (compulsive skin biting), biting the insides of the cheeks, lip picking, blemish squeezing, and Rhinotillexomania (compulsive nose picking).[2] BFRB disorders are not generally considered obsessive-compulsive disorders.[3]


Dermatillomania of the knuckles (via mouth) illustrating disfiguration of the distal and proximal joints of the middle finger and little fingers.

The cause of BFRBs is unknown. Emotional variables may have a differential impact on the expression of BFRBs.[4] Researchers are investigating a possible genetic component.[1][5]


BFRBs most often begin in late childhood or in the early teens.[2]


BFRBs are among the most poorly understood, misdiagnosed, and undertreated groups of disorders.[6] BFRBs may affect at least 1 out of 20 people.[2] Trichotillomania alone is believed to affect 6 million people in the United States.[7]


Treatment can include behavior modification therapy, medication, and family therapy.[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Scientific Advances in Trichotillomania and Related Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, November 4, 2004, National Institute of Mental Health
  2. ^ a b c d e AAMFT Consumer Update - Hair Pulling, Skin Picking and Biting: Body-Focused Repetitive Disorders, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  3. ^ a b Trichotillomania (TTM) & Related Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs), The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia
  4. ^ Teng et al. (2004), "Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors: The Proximal and Distal Effects of Affective Variables on Behavioral Expression", Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 
  5. ^ ABC News 20/20 Hair Pulling, 2006
  6. ^ Families & Health, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  7. ^ Diefenbach, G.J., Reitman, D. & Williamson, D.A., (2000). "Trichotillomania: A challenge to research and practice". Clinical Psychology Review 20 (20): 289–309.  
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