View Full Version : Skin picking

01-08-17, 07:46 PM
I don't think this ie thr right board. Maybe it should be posted in the anxiety board but it s not always accompanied with anxiety for me.

Anyway I thought I'd slowly tackle my issues this year starting with something that should be relatively easy to fix but has persisted now for more than 20 years or so.

I do two types of picking:

1. Unaware where I'm just picking and scratching my skin while deep in thought about something else

2. Fully aware where I systematically demolish every part of my face. In these moments I keep telling nyself not to do it but just can't stop.

I want to tackle mainly the second point as it's krw frustrating and damaging than point one.

It's not my biggest problem though the habit has gone through the roof and km tired of making myself look absolutely disgusting.

Any tips?

01-08-17, 08:12 PM

It works, with all seriousness, at least for a while, or as a temporary solution,
it is crude , but it helps and works too.

Or as short as possible fingernails.

01-09-17, 02:11 AM
For what it's worth, skin-picking and hair-pulling are now classified with OCD-related stuff in DSM-5. They certainly involve compulsive behavior (even if those compulsive behavior is not driven by specific anxieties or attempts to prevent specific dreaded outcomes). has some good resources (for hair-pulling, but also skin picking, since they often co-occur and seem to be similar problems in nature).

Stimulus reduction (after figuring out what, if any, stimuli trigger picking or are conducive to it) may be useful.

Getting enough sleep may help (but good luck with that with a wee one).

I found clonidine to be somewhat helpful in taking the edge off the urge.

Gloves may help in some situations, but may be impractical in most others.

Fidget toys may be a decent substitute that can help in "mindless" picking situations.

If you stumble across anything great, let the rest of us know!

01-31-17, 08:24 PM
I have done this as long as I can remember. I had always thought that it was related to my anxiety, and was simply a nervous habit. If I could take care of my anxiety, then this would go away. But it didn't.
Then, after being diagnosed ADHD, I thought it was just a way that I fidget, in the absence of something in my hands to fidget with. If I was on meds to help the ADHD, then the tendency to fidget like this would go away. But it didn't.

I now see where it is classified on its own, and called either dermatillomania, or excoriation.

I guess its now a similar feeling to when I first was diagnosed ADHD. At least I'm not alone. But, now being on ADHD meds that are finally helping with that part, now I am searching for help with this, as apparently it isn't directly related to my ADHD as originally I thought.

All of my picking started out as some sort of injury, a bite, a cut, a burn, etc. My worst though, is on my left thumb. I do pick my right, and at my hands, but my left thumb is at a point of permanent disfigurement. I can trace it back to a burn I got from a hot exhaust more than 18 years ago. I knocked off a long piece of pipe and muffler on my car going through road construction. And I attempted to pick it up with a few rags to insulate my hands, just to get it out of the way of traffic. Somehow, my thumb slipped away from the rag, and in my attempt to move that piece, I burnt my thumb pretty badly. Of course, I was young, and just figured on sticking it in cold water, then putting some ointment on it and bandage and it would be fine. Well, it never was fine, and it has always been messed up. It would never heal right, and I would always pick at the dry skin flaking off. Now, it is at a point where, I can barely bend my thumb at all, and it is 90% void of any pattern of thumb print left.

I have tried bandages, but that never seems to work for long. And depending on how bad it is, bandages over it seem to draw more attention to it than just trying to hide it. I cut my nails short, but even that doesn't do much to stop it.

Its a constant embarrassment, trying to hide it or cover it up. But, now that I'm more aware of time, thanks to treating the ADHD, I can't believe how much time I waste doing this. I think that realization, even more than the shame of covering it, is getting me worked up about finding a way to stop. It has to stop. There has to be a way to stop. :(

01-31-17, 09:12 PM
It'd very soothing picking my skin. Sometimes almost look forward to it.

It's really bad at the moment.

02-01-17, 12:21 AM
Yeah, mine is pretty bad lately too.
Winter is always rough, because the cold air dries out your skin pretty quick.
This winter has been a bit better than others, though. I have a diffuser running most of the time I'm home. In addition to the essential oils I blend to help me wake up, focus, or to calm down and sleep, it also adds moisture to the air, so that helps with the dry air that normally causes a lot of my skin problems.
Plus I almost always wear long pants and something with sleeves, I'm less likely to start picking at my arms/legs if they are covered up. Now if I could only cover my thumbs as easy, while still being able to use them...