Skin Picking

Join the Conversation on
Skin Picking
1.8K people
0 stories
370 posts
  • About Skin Picking
  • Explore Our Newsletters
  • What's New in Skin Picking
    See full photo

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - OCD


    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition in which you have frequent unwanted thoughts and sensations (obsessions) that cause you to perform repetitive behaviors (compulsions). The repetitive behaviors can significantly interfere with social interactions and performing daily tasks.

    OCD is usually a life-long (chronic) condition, but symptoms can come and go over time.

    Person with the obsessive compulsive disorder present with a wide variety of symptom including, persistent, unwanted thoughts, impulses or images (obsessions). They perform irritating, often seemingly purposeful, ritualized behaviors (compulsions) in order to neutralize or to reduce the thought.

    Repetitive and unpleasant, with at least one obsession or compulsion recognized as excessive or unreasonable. The persisting symptoms last for at least 50 to 60 minutes a day or considerably interfering with normal functioning.

    The common obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors include:

    -Obsessive cleaning, washing hands, household works to reduce an exaggerated fear of contamination is common.

    -Obsessive fears about harm occurring to themselves or others which can result in compulsive behaviors.

    -Repeatedly counting items or objects, such as bottles, clothes or pavement blocks while walking, junk mail and old newspapers.

    Related Disorders of Obsessive-Compulsive

    There are several disorders that seem to be related to OCD. They share similar features such as intrusive thoughts and/or repetitive behaviours. Although similar, there are important differences to consider when looking at effective treatments.

    The disorders include:

    -Body Dysmorphic Disorder – Preoccupation with an imagined or slight flaw in one’s appearance. BDD often includes repetitive behaviors that are done in response to appearance concerns.

    -Trichotillomania Disorder – Compulsive hair pulling to the point of noticeable hair loss.

    -Excoriation Disorder – Compulsive skin-picking resulting in noticeable damage to the skin.

    -Hoarding Disorder – Persistent difficulty getting rid of possessions because of a perceived need to save them.

    You can refer to this:


    anxiety or self harm?

    I've never been diagnosed with any skinpicking disorder formally but I used to pinch myself, hit myself etc when I was young because I was the one who should be hurt.
    Fast forward at least 25 years and sometimes when I come back in from a bath, I'm happy with my skin, how the soap made it feel and smell... Until I find anything that stands out. I know I shouldn't pick because I'll be mad at myself about what if someone sees blood on my clothes?
    It's like every time I'm fine with how I look, the next minute, I'm pinching, trying to pop something. Then my mental rumination goes on,
    you're ugly
    you don't know how to care for yourself
    you're evil
    you're a coward for not committing suicide
    you're shit.
    Everyone's using nonverbal gestures to talk about how awful you look
    they say one thing, maybe a compliment but they're meaning the extreme opposite

    I dissociate, but don't notice it until some time passes and my partner on the inside is calling my name, the name I use because I hate my given name,
    he's trying to get my attention because I'm bleeding. Bleeding? What? Who? me probably.
    Shit. I know I'm evil. Have to get the evil out, right? Only way to do that is to make it flat.
    inside partner manages to come out, wash the hands, put something like menthol on the cuts.
    I come back.
    Mental rage begins.
    My parents always made fun of me for having pimples, and even more so when their cleanser etc acne stuff didn't do a damned thing. They made fun of my teth.
    And I can't get those words out of my head.
    I need something that feels the same, making the same motions but not on me. We once got some oranges. for some reason peeling them felt like picking but wasn't. The same goes for peeling boiled eggs. But neither of those is portable or easily renewable. So how do I not do this? I don't know if it's anxiety, wishing to flattening the bumps to hide them or if it's me punishing myself but doing it in such a way that even if everything is taken away from me that I can still hurt myself. Rationally I don't want to, but emotionally I just hate myself more than anything or anyone on this planet. I don't want to exist. But I know the others in our bands do want me to, and do care. I'm the one who wants to fight by fighting myself, to run by not being myself, having someone else just take over all the time. That last one I'm getting better at balance between letting others who are safe enough and want to come out do so, but also being myself. I just don't know what this is, and because we have a lot of others inside who struggle, it's hard to find enough time to ask about this. Most of the people I know inside have something like this that they do. For some, the evil isn't as strong, but for me and one other especially lately, it's hard, sometimes impossible not to do this. It's like I'm not allowed to feel like I'm anything other than evil. Not evil like ruin the world evil, evil like I should be a worm crushed beneath someone's shoe. Evil like repulsive and a shame to the world. I know fixing my view of myself will take time, but I really need some things, with descriptions not pictures, that others use to make the same kind of feeling in a safer way. Please. I would really appreciate it. I'm picking before I know I'm picking. #CPTSD #Dissociation #ChronicDepression

    5 reactions 3 comments

    freefalling apart, again. #dissociativeidentitydisorder #ChronicDepression #skinpicking

    oy oy oy. I'm isolated, lonely, and one of my other people has been triggered to hell and back. Sorry to rant but I have one friend who moved away last year. I'm living in an apartment complex that doesn't feel safe, the faintenance guys and such just come in whether or not you're there, with no call in advance. I'm on lists for government subsidized places but no dice yet. I think if it wasn't for my inside people I'd be even worse than I am. Lately there's been a lot of confusion for me about what makes me my own individual aside from them, for example a lot of us love stones. I love stones too, collecting them. I used to be easily able to define myself, I love Russian as my favorite language. Over the summer we had several months of stress and someone new came out. He got me into music in turkish and I feel I can't be a person who likes that because I have loved russian for so long and I still do, but I'm confused. Part of me thinks I should be static, that things about me as a person should stay the same. I feel like I'm recreating myself over and over with each version having some things in common will its predecessor but some things are different. Also, have noticed that my skin picking is getting worse. I think it is less about anxiety these days than it is about a way to hurt us without seeming to. A lot of mh providers I have talked to say it's always about anxiety and it wasn't until years after I first found out about it that I was reading a blog by another person who lived with abusive parents and she said picking was about anxiety but more about SH for her. Oh, and did I mention therapy session are always too short to talk about all this? Sometimes I send my therapist my journal entries like this one but never know if she finds the time to read them or not. Sorry this is all over the place because my worry wheel is on overload.


    Skin Picking

    For almost a year i’ve struggled greatly with skin picking. I have marks all over my hands, down my arms and scattered on my legs. People noticed and begged me to stop but I couldn’t. I’m proud to say I was finally able to stop. I’ve gotten my nails done which makes it really hard to rip my skin open so I can botice when i’m doing it. My scars are healing externally and internally and I hope my skin goes back to normal. Pictures from a few months ago show me covered in infected wounds and scabs. Now, it’s just faded marks. I’m so proud I did it and am receiving help I need! #MentalHealth #Dermatillomania

    1 reaction 19 comments

    I have Dermatillomania

    #Dermatillomania is a “, is a psychological condition that manifests as repetitive, compulsive #skinpicking .” Approximately of the population has a skin picking disorder. So that means that approximately 11,500 people in the U.S.A. have a skin picking disorder. I am not alone. And if you do this, you are not alone either. If you don’t, please have compassion without judgment.My first memory of picking my nails until they bled was before kindergarten. I picked at my toenails. I am not sure why I did this, but that’s when it started. It was during nursing school that I really got carried away with my fingernails. Some days, all fingertips would be covered in bandaids. I frequently had to clean both my toenails and fingernails with hydrogen peroxide and cover them in triple antibiotics to prevent infection. I went through a lot of hydrogen peroxide and triple antibiotics during nursing school.To try to prevent me from this self-harm and to look better, I went to nail salons for fake nails. The workers showed my nails to each other and spoke in a foreign language with shock and amusement. They said “no nail” in English and then, they did their work. I sat in embarrassment as my ugly nails were inspected under magnified light. I felt beautiful and “normal” for a while when the lovely new nails were complete. But without much nail bed to hang on to, fake nails fall off quickly only to reveal a worse situation beneath. Putting on fake nails is also damaging to the natural nail…picking them off as I did after losing one or two…isn’t a great idea for beauty either.

    My teenager has fussed me so many times for picking at and over filing my nails. It drives them crazy. I know it’s poor role modeling too but, I file away. As a young child, I was soothed by rubbing my mom’s smooth nails. Now, if my nail isn’t smooth, I will go to the store to get a nail file if I can’t find one. Ironically, because of this bad habit, my nails will never actually be smooth.Before you comment on the many ways that I can overcome this bad habit, I have to tell you that I don’t need to. I have consulted with doctors and counselors; it’s not pretty or the healthiest coping mechanism but I’m ok with it right now. The stress of trying to quit is greater than the stress relief of just continuing. It’s not as bad as it once was and I’m not trying to cover it up with fake nails. Getting past the body shame has been good for me. That’s where I am right now and it’s ok.


    Skin picking

    I have a terrible compulsion to peel the dry skin off of the bottom of my feet. My heels are all raw and have sore spots. Does anyone have any tips to stop doing that? I bought some socks to wear but I always forget to put them on.



    I excessively pick my skin but especially my scalp. I have very sore areas all over my head with raised bumps and open sores as well as older scabs and it hurts and throbs but I still go back to picking. It’s definitely not as bad when I have acrylic extensions on but I hate feeling like I have to get them done for this reason when sometimes I don’t want to. It’s been a week without them on and my scalp is in a state!!! If anyone has any tips or advice….. when my scalp is too sore to pick I then go to my skin any bumps or imperfections I find. Washing my head burns. I’ve done it since a child and I don’t know how to stop it. I try fidgeting with other things but it doesn’t do it. I even do it in my sleep and when driving. Again, any help would be appreciated! Sorry for the long medical post #OCD #dermotillomania #skinpicking #medical #MentalHealth


    My Daughter

    #Autism #ADD #PDA #HEDS #Anxiety #Skin Picking disorder #Isolation #parental shame
    #chronic Illness

    I am so worried about my 5 year old daughter. She will be 6 in November, and is on the autism pathway waiting for assessment. Potentially she has PDA, ADD and a genetic disorder I have called hEDS. She has only recently gone full time at school but they still won’t let her finish at the same time as her peers and I have to pick her up early from the office. Her school friends often overtake her home though, as she walks slow. Often her friends go to the park together or have arranged play dates. They are almost always in pairs. Other parents barely talk to me, let alone arrange play dates. I know my daughter has been feeling increasingly isolated.
    Yesterday I picked up my daughter from school and she was already feeling very sensitive, she was crying and fed up. She was passed by several friends talking about their play dates they had arranged. She wanted to go to the park, I also had my 3.5 year old son in a pushchair (he potentially has ADHD and also wanted to go to the park) but it was 30 degrees and I worried it was too hot, and she had already started crying and getting upset. (Of course other parents didn’t care about this). All of this resulted in a full on breakdown of epic proportions. She was so upset and so overwhelmed she struggled with her breath, she couldn’t stop panic crying. Other parents overtook us on the way home and said nothing, didn’t ask if she was ok. My daughter is well-loved at school even though she is very quirky and I find this behaviour from other parents so isolating. I honestly feel so alone sometimes.

    We got home and the continuous crying continued for about an hour. She wouldn’t let me touch her. She then proceeded to bite her fingers until they bled. She has been biting her fingers for about 10 months now, since she started reception year. She now has lumps on her fingers caused by scar tissue and infections. I am taking her to the nurse today, thinking she will get diagnosed with skin picking disorder (we are UK). Not sure how much they will do to help her as they continue trying to blame my parenting. I have done 6 parenting courses. Parenting SEND children is honestly so difficult, so thankless and no one helps you.

    I am wondering what is going on at school and why she leaves so sensitive. I wonder if it is a build up of trying to fit in over the day and masking. I worry she is being bullied by a couple of kids also (she tells me she was pushed at one point and called a baby by one boy). Also I think the isolation she feels from leaving at different times and being unable to make those connections is finally getting to her. It upsets me so much to see her like this. I have chronic illness (hEDS, fibromyalgia and a blood clotting disorder). Last week I was in hospital with a ruptured ovarian cyst, today I have the migraine from hell (I get bad pain, nausea, aura, blurred vision and unusual smells) and I feel like I can barely walk. Hubby is at work, I have no family near to help. I have to get my daughter into school with my 3 year old in tow. She doesn’t really want to go. Her attendance is already very poor (less than 60%). We are awaiting an EHCP assessment.

    I just feel so alone with it all. I am struggling with my own health, my children’s extra needs. How do I calm my daughter’s anxiety? How do I make my GP give us extra help? I have considered taking her out of school and homeschooling her but I feel I am not well enough or capable of that. I am worried about her biting her fingers and causing herself serious infection as her fingers look so scarred and awful and her hygiene is not good (she impulsively touches herself down below and always plays in dirt) and I am forever trying to get her to wash her hands and nails.
    My anxiety is through the roof. Just looking for support really also as in very short supply from other parent/carers from her school.


    Rejection & Obscenities: My LGBTQ+ Journey Part 2

    I’m dark skinned, covered in scars due to my skin picking, wearing wigs due to my trichotillomania, overweight, don’t look as feminine or put as much ‘effort’ into my appearance as others think I should, I ‘look poor’ because I don’t believe in keeping up with the Joneses so I live way below my means & drive an older ‘not nice’ car…I just don’t fit the mold, I guess.

    So I’ve stopped dating at all. Stopped trying to find my place in any communities. And here I find myself trying to build a better relationship with myself to stop hurting & stop getting hurt. I love myself or I wouldn’t be trying so hard. Rejection is still an underlying driving force though. I need to heal that. Not for some potential, future partner that in all likelihood may never materialize.

    But because I am not obscene and neither is my love.