I'm embarrassed to say that not only do I SH, I tend to constantly be picking at scabs, sores, etc... I have been on 3 rounds of antibiodics since June for digging up my scalp pretty bad. I have eczema, roscasea and back in June came down with a bad case of Sebboriac eczema on my scalp after swimming in the lake. The next day, that area of the lake was shut down for high levels of toxins. So I do not know if this is what spored it... I only know that once again, my entire scalp is inflamed, infected and I've been feverish, nauseated... So I question if I have developed a staph infection... I see my Pdoc next week and will ask for yet another round of antibiodics but what I really need to know is: Are there any suggestions as to how I can stop this behavior? I am in Therapy, etc all week long..dbt, cbt..etc...
mmmm... not too sure how this forum works.. sorry I'm a computer weenie... lol but Mandy this is for you re your skin.... couple of thoughts, would it help to go and see a dermatologist rather than a pdoc about the skin issues itself? They might be better qualified to tell you exactly what's going on and why and options?
Second thing is, I remember oatmeal baths are very good for soothing irritated skin, and perhaps you could have an oatmeal bath and soak your head at the same time.....( tho no adding milk and brown sugar! lol) ,,, seriously tho, that might help, then wrap your head in a big towel for a bit and wash out later with very mild baby shampoo.
Couple of things to check too, have you started a new medication or switched one recently? Started using a new body product? shampoo/conditioner/laundry soap, are you lacking in a vitamin or mineral?, are you allergic to some kind of food? wheat?? etc etc... many of those things can start a skin irritation, and then it goes from there to bigger things.
Check out a "good"book on BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) , because quite often picking of body parts, scabs etc is also covered under that. (it's also considered a form of SH) but they might have some good idea too...
If I were you, I would actually ask your pdoc to look at your scalp. Pdocs are actually medical doctors, and they've had the training to recognize this stuff. If s/he thinks it could be a staph infection, then you probably need bloodwork.
I have the problem with picking and pulling as well. I picked my skin off a finger yesterday and am regretting it today. I also pull my hair (I leave piles of it in places I frequent), so I keep my hair tied back or up or in pins at all times except when sleeping. I don't want to mess up the hairstyle so I don't pull it out most of the time. I do get in there and pull a few hairs if I'm idle, but people have told me that it fits under the SH label and also (believe it or not!) the anxiety in PTSD! So the official label of "trichotillomania" has not been attached to me (yet).
If you have something to keep your hands busy, that helps as well. I'm also a big believer in the "no-fail environment" and since I also pick at my cuticles to the point of drawing blood, I make fanatically sure that they're trimmed and don't stick out. I use a nail clipper and a cuticle ... thing. It kind of scrapes off the dead skin. I also pick my heels because they're so rough and dry, so I try to keep a sandpaper-like instrument handy so I can simply scrub the dry skin away. It's a semi-daily task, but better than walking on an open wound.
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