Skin Picking (Dermatillomania)
We all have our own little habits and quirks which make us who we are, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.
The problem is that over time such behaviour can become compulsive and addictive, forcing us to do things we really do not want to do. A common example is the constant need to itch, scratch or pick at skin anywhere on the body. This can quickly turn into a debilitating habit which rules your life if left untreated.
Dermatillomania is a common compulsive tendency to scratch the skin until it bleeds and becomes inflamed. Skin picking disorder is related to obsessive compulsive disorder, where the person cannot stop themselves carrying out a particular action. It can be triggered by: boredom. stress or anxiety. Also known as Dermatillomania or excoriation disorder, it is listed in the ICD diagnostic manual as a body-focused repetitive behaviour. If you learn to recognise when you pick your skin obsessively and get help, you can move forward with your life faster than you may think.
Does the urge to pick my skin ever just stop?
If you’re looking for professional help with compulsive skin picking it can be hard to know where to look. You will tell yourself that this will be the last time you pick or scratch, but before you know it you’ve spent a prolonged period of time doing nothing else. The information online can feel inaccessible and confusing, which in turn raises your stress levels and causes you to fall back on picking as a comfort. It is uncommon to be able to break these types of addictive cycles of behaviour once they reach a certain level of intensity, meaning that professional help is always something to explore further.
How do you cope with dermatillomania?
Many sufferers end up hiding their condition and using homemade remedies to stop their sores and open wounds getting infected. While you may feel that if the world around you hasn’t recognised the problem then the problem simply goes away, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Hiding it and pushing it underground can quickly lead to feelings of isolation which can be hard to emerge from. The key to coping is reaching out and getting the professional help you deserve.
Does counselling solve dermatillomania?
Counselling for skin body focused repetitive behaviours like skin picking works by giving you a forum to express who you are, how you feel, and how it all began. By learning what triggers you and how the act of scratching and picking make you feel, you can gain perspective on the behaviour that has come to dominate a large portion of your life.
If you would like skin picking support, first see if you recognise yourself in any of the following:
- What began as a seemingly harmless habit now feels much more like an addiction
- Skin picking is causing you to miss social functions because you don’t like how you look
- You regularly have to hide wounds or treat infected sores
- It’s become your default reaction to stress, and yet it is not an effective coping mechanism
- You feel overwhelmed and unable to stop, even though you want to
How can we help you with dermatillomania?
We use online counselling for dermatillomania as a tool to help you express how you feel and understand why you’re compelled to pick. It’s about being open and honest with yourself so that you can take the steps which will allow you to move forwards the right way.
If you would like to understand how we can help you move past OCD and skin picking please get in touch today. And remember: taking the first step now is all that matters.
Skin Picking Factfile
Whilst most people pick their skin occasionally,
you may have skin picking disorder if you:
- Regularly pick at your skin
- Involuntary pick at your skin
- Pick when you are anxious
- Pick when you are stressed
- Picking causes bleeding, cuts, bruising
- Use objects to pick
- Experience shame after picking
- Try to hide your skin picking
- Eat your skin (Dermatophagia)
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