Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Community
skin picking
About This Community:

This community is an un-mediated, community for questions and support regarding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) issues such as: causes, check locks, check stoves, clean things, count items, dirt, doubt, drugs and medications, family and relationship issues, fear of forgetting, fear that a mistake will harm a loved one, financial issues, germs, horrific images, OCD research , order things, perform rituals, repugnant images, repugnant religious thoughts, repugnant sexual thoughts, , shower, symmetry, symptoms, touch things, treatment, violent images, wash hands

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

skin picking

I am 33 and have struggled with this my whole life although the picking has worsened with age. Seven years ago I was diagnosed with OCD and the obsession to pick is similar to other obsessions I have. I am relieved to see that others struggle with this as I've always felt so alone and like many, embarrassed. Medication has helped, I'm on Wellbutrin and Effexor, and take clonazepam when my anxiety level is very high. I can relate to the feeling of being hypnotized by the act, as I can often do it for hours and hours. One thing I've noticed in keeping track of my progress, is that the busier I am, the less I pick. When I have weeks of being on the go constantly, I'm too tired at night to do anything but pick. Also, the more I'm around others, the less I do it, so I try not to isolate myslef too much. The last thing that HAS helped, is daily exercise. It has really improved the picking as I can spend energy through exercise and focus on those tasks- also gets you in shape! I am often distraught over this symptom but try to focus on what helps. I recently read a page where a therapist said "you simply have to NOT pick, just stop doing it". Wow, if only it were that easy...


This discussion is related to RE:RE: Compulsive scab picking.
Related Discussions
7 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Wow!!! I never knew this was a symptom of OCD. I have OCD, more the obsession side, and I constantly pick holes in my arms.
Blank
299889_tn?1257342977
Nothing is as simple as it seems, not with us with OCD.  It took me a long time and medication to be be comfortable in my own skin, so to speak and be alone with myself and be able to do nothing.  My obsession was really crazy,  it was feeling the need to mess with my ears constantly.  Pick at my ear etc.  I would also get lost in it and my daughter would say, Mom tune in Tokoyo because I would be off in this obsession.  It took a long time but I felt in my mind that I was helping my body rid itself of something or other and the real truth came as a shock when I was able to get outside my myself long enough to realize, let nature run it's course, the worst thing a person can do is pick at theirself, as our hands have been everywhere.  Therapy helped and no I didn't get a therapist who said just stop.  Put notes in places so you will see the absurdity of it, it is better to get lost in a book fun or self-help than to pick.  Hope this helps.  Clarity of mind will come and you will see the reality.  Don't try to run from it, face it.

Blank
299889_tn?1257342977
Nothing is as simple as it seems, not with us with OCD.  It took me a long time and medication to be be comfortable in my own skin, so to speak and be alone with myself and be able to do nothing.  My obsession was really crazy,  it was feeling the need to mess with my ears constantly.  Pick at my ear etc.  I would also get lost in it and my daughter would say, Mom tune in Tokoyo because I would be off in this obsession.  It took a long time but I felt in my mind that I was helping my body rid itself of something or other and the real truth came as a shock when I was able to get outside my myself long enough to realize, let nature run it's course, the worst thing a person can do is pick at theirself, as our hands have been everywhere.  Therapy helped and no I didn't get a therapist who said just stop.  Put notes in places so you will see the absurdity of it, it is better to get lost in a book fun or self-help than to pick.  Hope this helps.  Clarity of mind will come and you will see the reality.  Don't try to run from it, face it.

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Well I'm 17 years old and I have the same compulsion of looking in the mirror and standing there for hours looking at every pore on my face then picking. Then it over turned to my whole body, its gotten way worst since I begun doing this since 1 1/2 years ago. Its been putting me down a lot because I can't wear short sleeves or shorts in public without someone noticing i have multiple scabs, bumps, blemishes going everywhere and questioning me about it. I hate this because I thought it was nothing at first, but when I started noticing marks that were left after picking or messing with, its become embarrassing. I miss having a clear body and face, but its like a urge to me. Its like an itch that has to be scratched, if you don't itch it, the urge will grow until so. So after I became aware of my problem, I took my time to see if other people had the same symptoms as me, and I actually found a bunch of people. Well I also found something called Compulsive Skin Picking. Which it is but if you search it up on Google, its more of a mental thing, not a hormone imbalance that a drug would take care of it. I recommend not to take any prescribed drugs for this problem, because I can already tell you NONE will work. Probably just a medication that would mess with your mind or make you depressed. Try these helpful hints that I'm going to be trying out also...

When tempted to pick, care for your skin by applying a moisturizing lotion instead.

Cover or remove mirrors if they act as a trigger and get rid of all implements such as tweezers and pins used for picking.

Consider the use of artificial nails to make picking more difficult, it may work for some.

Wear rubber fingertips or cotton gloves whenever possible if you feel the urge to pick.

Try replacing some of the sensory aspects of skin-picking with a more desirable alternative. For example, keep an object by you that you can manipulate (squeeze or pull) such as a soft rubber ball.
( I play with a rubber band around my wrist to occupy my hands when the urge comes.)

Keep your hands busy with something else such as a puzzle or knitting.

If you bite the inside of your cheeks try eating crunchy snacks when you feel the urge to bite.

Reward yourself for making progress with some kind of treat.

As you gain more confidence gradually begin to expose your hands, arms, face or legs to others starting with family and friends. You will no doubt benefit from their support but at the same time the negative consequences of engaging in your habit will be increased.

If all fails, get advice on skin care. If you have a skin complaint see a dermatologist.
(I went to a bunch of doctors and all they give you is acne cream or something along that lines. Most of the doctors won't understand until you explain every little detail of you problem that your having so they can get an idea of whats happening.)
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am an 8th grader and I have a problem with picking.  I normally have a couple of scabs on my face that I pick, and I would like to stop because there is not a way to cover them up and it makes my face look unattractive. I don't have very much acne; my face just gets a little bit bumpy in oily places.  If I ever do get something on my nose that I consider bad enough to be acne, I have to pick and squeeze at it until it makes a scab.  Then I will keep picking and reopening it, making it red and sometimes bloody.  My mom and grandmother nag at me all the time to stop, but it's just so hard.  I know that I souldn’t pick, and even while I am in the middle of picking a scab I am still thinking “Don’t pick!!  Don’t pick!!”  But for some reason I still do.  I am normally a very neat and clean person and like to look my best, so I try to cover up where I have picked with concealer.  I finally decided to see what I could find on the Internet this weekend to help me stop picking, because we are going to the beach this week and I really want the majority of my scabs to be healed before then.  I found two articles on how picking and OCD were related.  The articles made picking sound very extreme, and they recommended seeing therapists, taking medications, ect.  I don't think that my picking is on that level yet; I have never seen a therapist in my life, and I am not planning on starting now (even though my mom has threatened).  I don't wear things to cover my scabs up really.  I am extremely phobic about taking medicine--even the occasional Tylenol for aches and pains bothers me.  I will do without if possible.  I really want to find some other way to stop my picking that doesn’t involve doctors, therapists, or medication.  I am trying to gradually stop picking.  I have three scabs on and around my nose area, and several on various other parts of my body.  For example, this weekend I chose one of the scabs on my nose and would not let myself pick it.  Just about 30 minutes ago it fell off, and the scab was better!!  It really helps to see positive results, and since scabs can heal very fast if you don’t pick on them for a few days..  This week I am going to not let myself pick on the other two scabs on my face.  It is such a relief just to get my thoughts on a piece of (digital) paper and know that other people are facing this same problem like me.  It also really made me feel better to see that there were other people that have this problem and have been able to control it.  (Thanks Ruby333!!)  Since my picking habit is not as advanced yet, I am hoping I can break it before school starts back again.  Oh, and thank you so much for the tips JamesParty!!  I will definitely be trying some of those!!!
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Wow.. I never knew this was an OCD issue either. I've done it my WHOLE life, along with biting my nails so much that they're filed down pretty low.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I don't bite my nails like some of you, although I think it would be better than picking.  I tried the idea of putting the rubber band around your wrist and it's really helping.  It reminds me not to pick whenever I feel it around my wrist.  My mom doesn't know why I am wearing it, so it sort of bothers her = )
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I do this too, on my legs, i have so many scars and i tell people its skin irration when actually i cause it myself. I hate it but can't stop!
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Personality Disorder Answerers
1699033_tn?1405352675
Blank
JGF25
Somewhere in, MD
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
warriorromeo
India
480448_tn?1403547723
Blank
nursegirl6572
PA