I originally posted this on my personal blog, but I got such a great response from it that I thought I’d post it on the organization’s blog as well.
Dermatillomania = compulsive skin picking.
Sounds kind of gross, doesn’t it? Well it is. I know it is, and yet I can’t seem to stop.
I pick at my face pretty much whenever I have the opportunity. I squeeze and peel and pop. I don’t know why I do it, but I have had dermatillomania since I was about five years old, which was when my first major “pick” happened. I scratched at the top of my head, and eventually a bright red scab showed up. After that, I didn’t pick at my skin too much, but I did bite my nails, which sometimes accompanies skin picking (along with hair pulling, which I’ve never done). After I began to get pimples (I’m not sure how long after), I resumed the face picking. I think I did it because the pimples made me feel ugly and disgusting; I just wanted them gone. So I picked, which did not make my face look better, but sometimes causes scabbing instead. I’m more of a pimple-picker than a scab-picker, so you’d think the scabs wouldn’t be an issues besides how they looked– but they itch. I don’t want to scratch them because I’m afraid that they might rip off, and I want to stop this gross picking, but they itch so much that I have to scratch them. Eventually the scabs go away, and all I can do is hope that I don’t make any new ones.
I didn’t even know that there was a name for what I’d been doing until about a year ago when I came across a dermatillomania support group on facebook. It made me realize what I was doing to myself, and also helped me realize that I am not alone.
Dermatillomania is often linked to Social Anxiety, which I also have problems with.
Dermatillomania on facebook:

4 Responses

  1. I never knew that this was an actual condition, with a name and all. I’ve done this since I was very young. My husbands favorite thing to say to me is “stop picking”

  2. I do it for some unknown reason. I have marks on my legs & arms. & i still do it. anybody going to help?????

  3. I understan jodi. it s something that you do but don’t understand why, & that’s the topic you hear most

  4. ive had this disorder for as long as i can remember and im 15 years old. it got bad about 2 years ago. i pick at my upper arms and my back pretty badly. but the urges have become less and less 😀

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