Blogs


Notices

Dermatillomania (sorry a bit gross!)

Old 03-19-2013, 12:28 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Night owl
Thread Starter
 
Lyoness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orion spur of the Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 2,050
Blog Entries: 1
Dermatillomania (sorry a bit gross!)

Well, I've come out of a lot of closets in my time. I've learned to talk about stuff I have felt ashamed or embarrassed about like being an addict and OCD. But one of my biggest problems, that seemed to get worse in my addiction, is that I pick my scabs/skin. I kind of have to "come out" about it because it's gotten so bad and widespread at times that I can't hide it.

I've done this all of my life. Usually it starts with a case of poison oak or a mosquito bite, and I scratch it til I'm raw. And then..... And it seemed to get a lot more severe while I was using. I was hoping with getting into recovery the picking would lessen but so far not so.

So I'm wondering if anyone else suffers from this? Have you found any way to control or stop it? Have you been able to understand why you do this?

I really want to stop feeling ashamed. And I want to stop doing it!
Lyoness is offline  
Old 03-19-2013, 09:34 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Payson, AZ
Posts: 43
Didn't know it had such a long name

I have also had this problem since I was a child. It began with bites, cuticles, etc. but as I got older I learned to pick selectively (bumps on my back or scalp where people wouldn't see). I've had my scalp such a mess that I was embarrassed to get haircuts and gave them to myself - not recommended.

Like you, I hoped stopping the drink would help (almost 10 months now), but it seems to be worse at times. Although my self-control was lowered by drinking, I find the need to pick is worse without my other means of dealing with stress. I've seen an improvement for several months (had to make a conscious effort to stop each time I found myself picking). I've recently found myself backsliding in the same ways I did with drink (just this one time, just until I get this particular scab off). I find that I have the urge to "clean" my skin of any roughness, loose skin, etc. as though I'm making things better when all I'm doing is creating a scar and causing infection/inflammation.

Helps to know others have this problem. Didn't offer any solutions but will do so as I make more progress.
NewLifeAt60 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to NewLifeAt60 For This Useful Post:
Neagrm (04-15-2013)
Old 03-20-2013, 08:50 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Night owl
Thread Starter
 
Lyoness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orion spur of the Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 2,050
Blog Entries: 1
Yes, it definitely helps to know we aren't alone. It makes sense that this might get worse when we lose our other stress "reliever" but I was still really hoping that it might get better off the drugs. Since it had gotten so much worse while using I thought it might be part of the problem. Oh well.

The only things that have helped me are to cover up my sore areas. I had some bad ones on my hands so I finally started wearing plain white cotton gloves, the kind you get at the drugstore. I'd put on some healing cream or antibiotic ointment and then cover it up. That kept me from picking and cream started the wounds healing.

I've tried it in other areas but with less success. Sometimes I'll just try to put on salve/cream instead of pick and that can stop me for a bit. I've tried cutting my nails really short but have found that I can't get them short enough. Then other times I don't even realize I've started to pick.....

It's such a crazy thing to do, I mean it hurts, it's messy and yet it does "satisfy" something. I hope some day we'll find a cure for this. Take care!
Lyoness is offline  
Old 03-27-2013, 11:37 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,065
Oh,

I just posted a thread similar! The soles of my feet are red raw from
Picking the skin off.
Midlifecrisis is offline  
Old 03-28-2013, 01:35 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Pondlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Midwest
Posts: 7,144
My sister sought medical advice for this problem. In her case it was an OCD.
Pondlady is offline  
Old 04-08-2013, 09:21 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 128
I have always felt relief from removing dead/flaky skin and picking at acne. I pick and bite at my lips a lot and in the winter I pick at my dry scalp. I have left some scars from picking pimples. I always thought that the urge to do this sort of stuff was human nature but my OCD tendencies have at times driven me to be over zealous and pick when I shouldn't (hence the scarring). I try to be conscious of what my hands are doing (apparently when you're tired you're more likely to "pick" at things without realizing) and to stop it before I go too far. I remind myself of how what I'm doing might leave a scar or make me bleed. Anyway I don't think this is something to feel ashamed about, I think its normal human behaviour but it is magnified by our OCD (with different ranges of it depending on how severe the OCD is).
rubbersoul is offline  
Old 04-11-2013, 05:07 AM
  # 7 (permalink)  
now's the time
 
fantail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2,167
MLC, I do the foot thing to! I recently went to a shrink and she thinks that (and some other traits I have) might be a form of OCD, like Kim's sister. That was about three months ago and we've been trying Prozac, which has drastically cut my anxiety. We've been easing up the dosage very carefully since I am very worried about over-medicating, but I've just gone up to the lowest dosage that is meant to improve OCD so I'm hoping to find it easier to quit my foot obsession fairly soon.

In my case it's been a lifelong thing... literally! I was one of those babies that thumb-sucked in utero, kept that up until I was six, then started biting my nails, then the skin on my fingers, and then realized if I switched to my feet people wouldn't notice as often. I'd love to be done with it, it's insanely embarrassing when people do notice.
fantail is offline  
Old 04-11-2013, 05:09 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
now's the time
 
fantail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2,167
Thanks rubbersoul, good advice about being mindful. I'm very tired right now and as I read your post I realized I was picking away at my fingernail!
fantail is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to fantail For This Useful Post:
rubbersoul (04-11-2013)
Old 04-12-2013, 03:31 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Night owl
Thread Starter
 
Lyoness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orion spur of the Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 2,050
Blog Entries: 1
Well, I'm not *glad* others suffer from this but am glad that more folks have posted! I think probably more people do this than we realize but who wants to admit it? "Oh, by the way, I sit and pick myself until I bleed, what do you do?"

I think it's a form of OCD, too, as I've heard--and experienced--that it relieves anxiety. And it is SO compulsive. It's true for me, too, that I can just find myself starting to pick without being totally conscious of it. I do know if I feel stressed in any way I am going to pick, often mercilessly. I try to tell myself it'll make me bleed or scar or take longer to heal but none of that works in the face of this overwhelming urge.

Sometimes I wonder if there is some self-harm issue to it as well. I am also a cutter but have done that far, far less than the picking. But still, I think/wonder does a "normal" person pick a scab til it is painful? Keep picking while it is painful and then bleeds all over the place? Whatever that impulse to not hurt oneself is, seems to be missing in terms of this. And I wonder if it is addictive, too? Both self-harm and addictive substances can cause endorphin and dopamine releases, so maybe these pathways are involved also.

I just wish I could figure out how to stop doing it! My once smooth skin is pretty sorry looking and these scars are deep and don't seem to go away with time. THat of course brings up my last internal question--am I trying to make my outsides match my insides--show the world my invisible hurts?

I think, at least for me but maybe for others too, that this issue goes deeper than it seems. Anyway, I wish for healing for all of us with this!
Lyoness is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Lyoness For This Useful Post:
fantail (04-16-2013), gigi123 (07-13-2013), rubbersoul (04-12-2013)
Old 04-13-2013, 12:48 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,065
It's been life long for me too! I have always bitten the inside of my mouth too.

My husband just went to a course on this for work and they have found that cognitive behavioural therapy is best for this kind of thing.

It is so hard to stop. I don't think it's normal
Midlifecrisis is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Midlifecrisis For This Useful Post:
fantail (04-16-2013)
Old 04-13-2013, 02:00 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Night owl
Thread Starter
 
Lyoness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orion spur of the Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 2,050
Blog Entries: 1
Yeah, I don't think it's "normal" either, at least biologically speaking. I mean, it is normal to groom ourselves, etc., but purposefully doing something that delays healing, causes damage, makes me bleed and often really just plain hurts when I do it, I think that there is something that has taken a wrong turn in my brain.

Our natural (I hate using the word normal if I can help it, what is normal) impulse is to try to protect ourselves, seek healing. But, let's face it, we are not living in a world where natural, protection and healing are the orders of the day. We have to seek those things and fight hard for them.

I do think they start as a means to deal with stress, coping mechanisms. It is definitely deeply wired in my brain because it is the one "addiction" or whatever that I have repeatedly and utterly failed at healing. So far! I have hope that one day I will conquer this!
Lyoness is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lyoness For This Useful Post:
Midlifecrisis (04-13-2013)
Old 04-13-2013, 03:36 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,065
Me too. I want to conquer it. Like you, it is so deeply wired. I do things without thinking about them.

Drives my husband crazy too!
Midlifecrisis is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Midlifecrisis For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (04-13-2013)
Old 04-13-2013, 07:50 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
peanut44's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 626
So glad you posted this!!! My mother picks at her heels but MY thing is picking and biting around my cuticles and the skin around my finger nails. I pick and bite till they bleed.

There are pictures of me when i was 3 or 4 and i was picking then!!! Who does that when they're 4?????

Later in life, i found the ONLY thing that made me stop instantly and completely was getting acrylic nails. Worked like a charm
peanut44 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to peanut44 For This Useful Post:
Lyoness (04-13-2013)
Old 04-13-2013, 09:06 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Night owl
Thread Starter
 
Lyoness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orion spur of the Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 2,050
Blog Entries: 1
Originally Posted by peanut44 View Post
There are pictures of me when i was 3 or 4 and i was picking then!!! Who does that when they're 4?????
Me! And I expect a lot of us did, I think this starts pretty young. I remember being quite little and my mom nagging me to stop picking. And pix with my legs all covered with bites I'd picked into sores.

I wonder if I could get acrylic skin?
Lyoness is offline  
Old 04-13-2013, 09:18 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,065
Yep young for me too. My feet are really bad today. All bleeding, can't walk well.
Midlifecrisis is offline  
Old 04-15-2013, 06:34 PM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Night owl
Thread Starter
 
Lyoness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orion spur of the Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 2,050
Blog Entries: 1
Ouch, MLC! Your poor feet! My picks are usually in places that don't affect daily stuff, though sometimes they are in really bad spots and I scrape and hit them and it hurts! So I really feel for you! Sending you healing thoughts.
Lyoness is offline  
Old 04-15-2013, 08:14 PM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,065
Thanks. It's getting ridiculous. My feet are bleeding
Midlifecrisis is offline  
Old 04-15-2013, 08:49 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Member
 
Garden Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 346
Blog Entries: 3
Sometimes if I put a clay mask on right away( I use the Aztec one) it covers it up and takes my mind off of it. Also, it is really good at sucking dirt out of your pores. I use it all over, not just on my face, arms, legs etc...
Garden Girl is offline  
Old 04-15-2013, 09:07 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Night owl
Thread Starter
 
Lyoness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orion spur of the Milky Way galaxy
Posts: 2,050
Blog Entries: 1
MLC--I hope they get better! I can't begin to count how many times I've picked until I'm bleeding all over the place, deep deep scars, etc. and still I keep doing it! It is such a hard one!

Karissaleigh--Thanks for the idea! Sometimes my "areas" are big or hard to cover with a bandaid but putting clay on might be a good compromise solution. I know if it's covered with something solid like a bandaid I'll leave it alone, and clay is solid enough that it just might work!
Lyoness is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 02:06 AM
  # 20 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,065
It is really hard and embarrassing
Midlifecrisis is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:01 AM.