Dermatillomania aka Skin Picking - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New York, NY
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Dermatillomania aka Skin Picking

So I just yesterday realized that me picking at every little blemish and imperfection in my skin is something that has a name, that other people deal with. I'm now experiencing a combination of relief and anxiety--relief that other people get what I'm feeling, and anxiety because now that this thing has a name it's real and I'm going to have to work hard to deal with it.

Anyone else here have this issue? I've read some tips for dealing, like keeping your hand busy, getting fake nails, using gentle skin products, and plan to seek some professional help/advice, but I'd love to hear from anybody else dealing with this.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: midwest
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Sometimes its a feature of trichotillomania, or "trike" for short. Its an anxiety-based problem that can be associated with amphetamine abuse, or different forms of OCD (which evidence suggests may be hereditary). I knew a girl that suffered from this. She literally plucked all the hairs on her eyebrows and eyelashes. Looked strange.

CBT can be helpful, as well as certain meds to control impulses.

See a doc for more.
"If you can smile whenever anything goes wrong, you are either an idiot or a repairman." (or sober!)
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I was literally sitting here picking away at this one spot on my face that's scabed/rescabed for months now, when I came ax your post. I used to have this beautiful skin, only a blemish or two. For a few yrs now, I find myself not being able to control the urge to pick....i have embarassing scars (on my body too.) It started with a couple places on my body that I would pick and pick at...places that were covered and no one could see. Since I've started with my face, it's become impossible to stop. SOmeone described it well on a post here (search trichotillomania) - I'll be sitting at my desk working or whatever and sort of 'trance out' - next thing I know 15 mins have passed and I was picking at my face the whole time. It happens most when I'm stressed or not getting enough sleep. I also rub at certain spots of my hair, I guess more like my scalp, obsessively (I don't pull it out, it's difficult to explain) It sounds so odd after reading this, but it's comforting to me. I feel this wave of relief. I've tried the fake nail tips....they drove me INSANE. I would get SEVERE anxiety from not being able to pick at my face. I suppose if I stuck it out I could've gotten over the hump -- but I wussed out and got them taken off. What's your experience like? when did it start for you?
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
13 May 2009
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i picked my face and skin for 5 years, I used to have beautiful skin and now it is covered with scars. I could not stop picking and it was an anxiety issue, sometimes I could not wait until I got home and I would go to the toilets at work and emerge much to the surprise of my coworkers, red and swollen and usually bleeding. I stopped this behaviour by using CBT in combo with a rubber band around my wrist which I used to flick, quite severely when I felt the urge to pick. So no I do not think you are alone!!

Interestingly enough my flatmate would pluck her eyebrows to anihilation and had a huge gaping hole in which she claimed was an ingrown hair, but in reality she picked this spot the most. Try CBT it really did work for me.
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anxiety , ocd , skin picking , stress

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