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Dermotillomania (obsessive skin picking)

(39 Posts)
tory79 Sun 12-May-13 10:21:44

Wasn't sure if this would be better off in mental health, but just wondered if there were any fellow sufferers out there who cared to share their experiences or generally chat about it.

My problem is my legs. They are scarred to fuck.

amigababy Sun 12-May-13 17:45:04

and as I did it when I was driving too I would focus on having both hands on the steering wheel to keep them out of mischief.

Slavetothechild Sun 12-May-13 17:59:47

Omg I co this pick spots on my face until they bleed and twice the size they started as. Also the skin around my fingers just can't stop !! Thought I must be the only one smile

DowntonTrout Sun 12-May-13 18:05:41

shock this is me too.

I rip the skin aound my Fingers til they bleed and I can make a tiny spot last for weeks. Ive always presumed it was a nervous habit but I didn't know there was a name for it.

MoreBoober Sun 12-May-13 18:27:24

Me too hmm
Former finger biter but never been able to stop picking and chewing the skin around my fingers. Go through good and bad periods. I didn't realise there was a name for it. I try to avoid it but using a filing board and filing round my fingers so I'm less tempted to start picking. I find the habit stressful in its self and once I'm started its hard to stop!

PotteringAlong Sun 12-May-13 18:29:21

I do. On my scalp.

ouryve Sun 12-May-13 18:30:41

DS1 goes through phases of it. He has ASD and if he has a scratch or a scab, never lets it heal and often chews the skin around it, if he can get at it.

pipsqueakz Sun 12-May-13 18:32:55

Ah I'm not alone! I'm bad with my legs arms and head im just as bad with my husband. I do have ocd. I'm gonna sound like a nut job but its a clean problem I have. Like dead skin and dirt shouldn't be there. I've been like it since I was young. My mum took me to drs and mum would tell me if I didn't stop she would wrap my arms and legs in bandages.

ChasingStaplers Sun 12-May-13 18:35:39

Me too.
I pick my nails, bite cuticles until they bleed, pick at spots relentlessly, pick my toenails, pick at ingrowing hairs, scratch my scalp until it scabs.
Sometimes I pull my eyebrow hairs and eyelashes out.

Pretty sure most of it comes from anxiety in social situations and as a consequence of being in an abusive relationship. Wish I could stop sad

OrangeLily Sun 12-May-13 20:44:32

I think DH has this. I didn't know it was actually a thing. I just asked him if he was picking his arms whilst watching the football earlier and he looked a bit guilty but claimed not to remember.

I know some of you have said bio-oil would the palmers cream help?

5madthings Sun 12-May-13 20:49:25

Another picker, i have eczema as well so its not good. Mainy my hands, elbows and scalp at thd moment. Every now and then i manage to stop and my skin heals but as soon as i get an eczema flare up or dry skin etc i just cant leave it alone.

Its stress rekated and my cpn said its a form.of self harm. No idea how to stop.

Niknakpaddywhack Wed 15-May-13 12:19:07

I do this too sad and I am so embarrassed by it but still it doesn't stop me. My nails and fingers are slightly better now (just around one thumbnail) and my face is much better since I have found something that stops me getting spots in the first place, but my legs (ingrown hairs) and my feet are terrible - it hurts to walk today sad. Why do I do it??

I have often wondered whether hypnotherapy would help- but I think I would be too ashamed to admit my problem.

amigababy thank you for the book recommendation - I will definitely order it.

Wednesbury Wed 15-May-13 12:40:16

I'm another one. DH really notices it and is very blunt about it and tells me to stop, which I am grateful for, as often I haven't realised I am doing it. I don't tend to do it in front of DCs as I am generally too busy and my hands are full when they are around, it is when I am sitting still working. It was better when I worked in an office as I did try to think about it and not do it in public.

Both DCs have a tendency to scratch at themselves though when sitting still, so I do wonder how genetic it is. DS (5) scratches at his hands and picks into his nails, DD (3) scratches at her belly button and collar bones. My sister has admitted she does similar things (scratches at scalp) but mine has been quite bad lately, I had three scars on my face recently. To try and help stop I try to think of my face as a 'no fly zone' and keep my hands away. The mental equivalent of a dog collar!

I do feel very silly about it, but have little doubt that it is to do with anxiety/depression. I have read a bit about it and for me it is to do with a sort of need to smooth away imperfections.

MimsyBorogroves Wed 15-May-13 12:54:17

I have itchy skin anyway, but if I scratch until there's a scab I will compulsively pick at it so it never heals.

I also bite the hard skin around my fingers.

I've done it since I was little, no idea how to make myself stop. If I could get rid of the itch it'd be better, as I don't pick unless there is a scab.

Queenofknickers Wed 15-May-13 14:00:57

I do this too - I pick skin around my fingers and especially thumbs and chew my cheeks. I've notices I don't do it on holiday - I'm pretty sure it's stress related. Doing it constantly today as anxious about going back to work next week. I suppose the best thing is to deal with the underlying anxiety....

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