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Should this bother me?

(5 Posts)
SithLord Fri 04-Nov-16 23:55:43

I think my DP has dermatophagia, I'm not sure though.
He has eczema and really dry skin and he scratches his skin a lot, I first noticed him picking and eating a bit of skin about 6 months into our relationship, at the time I felt really awkward and wasn't 100% sure that's what I saw so I didn't say anything, and I haven't said anything 2 years later. We have a great relationship, we really do, but this is something I just can't bring up. I wish I could just say to him "hey why are you eating yourself?" But I can't. I think he thinks that I don't notice, it's obviously something he's done for many, many years way before he met me. He'll do it when I'm sitting right next to him but looking away, but I can still see out of the corner of my eye and now I know for sure that's what he's doing. I think it's a comfort thing, something he does without realising. This part I feel uncomfortable even writing annoymously on the internet. Probably click off this thread if you have a weak stomach.
There's been a few times I've seen him picking at himself, then i'll look at him and he'll stop and we'll talk about something while he's had a piece of skin in his hand, and as soon as I turn my head or look down or whatever his hand goes straight to his mouth and he'll eat it.
He has pretty dry skin too so his bed will have some dry skin in after he's slept in it, once he was wiping down his bed and he picked up a bit of skin, I thought he was guna chuck it, I was willing in my head for him to just put it in the bin but he put it in his mouth.
I have a pretty weak stomach so this obviously really grosses me out, to the point where we just don't kiss, I see him do it so often I just can't bring myself to kiss him anymore.
I just don't know how I would bring this up, he's sensitive and I know he would feel really ashamed. He'd never get help either I know he'd just be too embarrased so what would it change. I don't know anything about this compulsion and if dermatophagia is even what he has.
I just don't know what to do anymore.

BabyJakeHatersClub Sat 05-Nov-16 05:18:53

Time for you to grow a pair and have a difficult conversation with him. Show support but tell him what you've said here.

I assume he needs help: clinical as in something to stop the dry skin or mental as it's a pretty gross and unusual thing to do. I assume (with nothing more than first aid training) it isn't really harmful for him.

Complaining about it on the internet isn't going to get you anywhere and if you won't even kiss him any more then something's going very wrong.

BenguinsMummy Sat 05-Nov-16 06:27:00

Sounds like dermotillamania, it's actually a compulsive mental health problem... Would he speak to his GP? The issue is that 1. It's not good for his mental health. 2. There are bugs that live harmlessly on our skin day to day, but can make him really unwell if they were to infect him thru a break in the skin... (Think staph etc...) this is something much deeper rooted than just liking to pick at himself...

jenniferjay Sat 05-Nov-16 06:39:03

You wrote
'we have a great relationship, we really do'
If that is the case then you need to discuss the topic, if you are withdrawing from him already : you don't want to kiss him, then you need to resolve the issue before it is too late.
If he truely loves you he will realise that if he doesn't stop this habit/compulsion he might lose you.
I know of a friend who was unable to raise an issue with a beloved one and she just quietly withdrew and ultimately left him.
But you need to raise your concerns intially and gently so he is aware of the problem but without him feeling he has been given an ultimatum.

On a lighter note buy him some pork scratchings, every time you see him doing it give him a packet of them. It might be a way of addressing your concerns in an unambiguous and friendly manner?

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sat 05-Nov-16 11:04:51

This sounds like a MH issue..
pop over to the MH pages.. there are lots of people who look after DP's with "problems"..
They can't cure your DH, but you need help and ther is lots to be found there..

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