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Does anyone else here suffer from obsessive skin picking? I used to be really bad a few years back, but it's gotten better now. I think taking adderall makes it worse for me, however, so I'm on alert if I take adderall for that feeling.

I used to visit a site called stoppickingonme.com that dealt with the issue (complete with a forum.)

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I pick my skin, yes. it is a habit i developed at the age of 13, I believe. i was laying on the couch scratching the bridge of my nose and scratched at scab i didn't know was there...i laid there scartching that skin/scab until it was raw and i had blood all over my hands. nowadays i still pick, mostly my arms and stomach.

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Yes (>_<)" - I catch myself running my fingers along my neck and face feeling for rough spots and blackheads. I do it without thinking, and I remember being made fun of in elementary school for it, so it's a life-long habit. Since starting Vyvanse and Celexa I'm not really doing a lot of picking, but then again Celexa was prescribed as anti-anxiety, which might have something to do with it.

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Heh... it's funny cause I used to be sooooooo~ upset with the condition of my arms (they had hyper pigmentation - those little pink spots that appear if you pick too much). and now that other shit that's gargantuan compared to that has shown up... it's nothing I think about anymore (or not as much, at least.)

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Heh... it's funny cause I used to be sooooooo~ upset with the condition of my arms (they had hyper pigmentation - those little pink spots that appear if you pick too much)

THAT'S what that's called. I've been trying to remember. I have little white speckles on the backs of both arms from it.

Turns out that like 40% of adults get keratosis pilaris (red raised bumps) on the backs of their arms, so we aren't alone.

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This is how I first figured I might have OCD. It was described in the same detail as I did. I would get an ingrown hair from my shaving. I'd begin to pick at it with pins until it would bleed and it would show like this big lesion on my face. So embarrassing especially when going to a job interview and this big thing is going to ooze out everything but the problem follicle. One time I picked at the same pore daily for a year and a half! I realized that when I stopped picking it actually went away.

While I was picking I asked myself 'what am I thinking about when doing this?' The answer was "what thing am I going to do next" accompanied by a lot of anxiety. I often did it before going out in the morning (a very anxious time). So realizing that was enough to get me to stop.

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Skin picking is the only compulsive behavior I have. I pick my lips, scabs and dry feet/hangnails. Sometimes I do it absentmindedly and then realize I'm bleeding in public. :mellow:

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In a big, bad way. I've been doing it since I was 6 or so. I don't realize that I'm doing it until I start bleeding. I'll pick at my cuticles and end up peeling most of the skin off my fingertips, regardless of where I am. There's a very identifiable scar on my right index finger from this. Actually, I'm currently kind of grossed out by what people must think when they see a pile of my skin shavings on the floor. I do the same thing with my toes whenever I'm not wearing shoes. I pick at scabs. I pick at my lips. I scratch my scalp. I haven't done it as much since my skin cleared up, but I used to pick at my pimples. In public. Until they bled. Awkward.

I've tried to stop, and I haven't been successful yet. I don't do it as much when my dog is with me, because she keeps my hands busy.

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Yes, picking is a major problem for me too! I pick at everything. I also suffer the lovely trichotillomania. I rub my eyebrow hairs until they fall out, I do it so much so it causes the skin to become raw and in turn scab. Any guesses as to what happens once the scab forms?? You got it!! Picking!! Geez from one problem to another. Needless to say I have had a scab on my eyebrow going on three weeks now. I cannot help myself from picking at it and making it bleed. If I am not picking at it I am constantly rubbing it. Ugh it looks so ugly but I cannot help myself. I do it unconsciously a lot of the time. But once I get to picking it is like a mission, even when it begins to bleed, I cannot stop until the scab is off. I am so disgusted with myself. My picking is so out of hand it extends beyond myself to my husband. He is a laborer, so of course he is gonna get scabs easy, and I cannot help myself but to pick his scabs too!! WTF is wrong with me? LOL I pick his black head and pimples too! Oh Lord help me!!

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I know I have have no right to redirect this thread ... but it is pretty clear how awful and OCD picking is ....what I would like to know and hopefully you can help is how do you help stop it??? I know this is first person ..but my husband shreds himself ...and it affects me because I have OCD as well and I work in a bacterial pool and while I try hard not to bring anything home (leave scrubs at work and shower on icky days before I leave) what worries me is my husband's open sores ...he binge picks and shreds..and never stops entirely .he has practically rubbed his thumb nail off!

and we have tried everything from derm to psych and no one seems to have resolve

do you guys have tips for remission? please anything I do not want him to get MRSA or something ...he is out in public I look at his hands and freak out when he touches shopping carts with out wiping them

so my OCD about keeping germs off him ..is triggered...and really it sends me through the roof and I start santizing everything in the house and carry santizier in public (oh yeah I do) ...when he gets bad I get worse and what a horrid cycle we get into...no arguments about it ..he wants to stop..

this is hard for both of us right now so any advice I know he will read this even if he does not post here he does read all he can about OCD here to try to help himself stop shredding his body!

he inherited it ..his father was a picker

he does have this cool tape if he uses it it works fairly well but he forgets ..it is a hydrocortisone permiated and it does take that deep "itch" out ..he just cuts it to the size of the area he is picking and covers it ....even if he rubs and tries to pick he still has the barrier

so please help ME by helping HIM

tell me some solutions to this torment ..what have you guys done that does work!!!

Edited by wondernut

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I'm a lifelong picker. Mostly it's been the skin around my fingernails and my fingernails, but I also pick my scalp, lips, acne bumps, dry skin on my feet, etc.

Much of the time I pick absentmindedly and find a pile of skin afterward. Blech. BUT, there are many times when I do it with full knowledge and I still don't know why. I'm compelled to do it. If there is dry skin on my hands or feet, I will pick at it. Checking my hands and feet for dry skin is something I do when I'm relaxing and/or tired. It's awful. My stepdad yelled at me constantly about it, which only seemed to make it worse.

When I was a little kid (and this is the first time I've ever confessed this...please be kind), I did two things to satisfy my need to pick when I didn't have any dry skin that needed picking:

1. A light layer of elmer's glue on my skin would dry and feel like dry skin. It would flake off very satisfyingly. My uncle caught me doing this once and confronted my parents, wanting to know "what was wrong with me." Strangely, I don't remember any fallout from that episode.

2. I would take a needle and thread and "sew" beneath the topmost layer of my skin, where it wouldn't hurt. The needle and thread would pull the topmost layer of skin away from the rest, leaving it raised and "pickable" like dry skin.

I'm not proud of it. I have no idea if it's OCD, or some kind of weird autism spectrum thing, but it most definitely doesn't seem normal. :-/

BTW, I'm new here...*wave*

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2. I would take a needle and thread and "sew" beneath the topmost layer of my skin, where it wouldn't hurt. The needle and thread would pull the topmost layer of skin away from the rest, leaving it raised and "pickable" like dry skin.

I'm not proud of it. I have no idea if it's OCD, or some kind of weird autism spectrum thing, but it most definitely doesn't seem normal. :-/

Me too! Exactly that. I don't think I'm at all even close to being on the autistic specturm, but perhaps there is an OCD connection there. I still pick, even though I've tried repeatedly to stop.

By the way, welcome!

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I have been picking since I was a young kid. I started out picking at scabs, then eventually progressed to creating them. For me it's mostly head, arms, chest and shoulders, though I also pull the hairs out of my legs and dig at them. I have patches on both legs where the hairs no longer grow. -.- I also chew on my fingernails and bite at the skin around them, and chew on the inside of my mouth (been mostly able to stop that particular disgusting habit, however). I think, for me, this was an early form of SI; the gratifying part was the pain and the bleeding, and the scars that were sometimes left behind. The cutting was an escalation--a stronger vocabulary for the same concepts.

It's really a disgusting, distressing thing. I'm always furtive about it, lest someone else should catch me at it and be completely repulsed. I think of myself as gross, and because of the numerous open sores around my cuticles, my hands always feel dirty even when they're not. It seems I can always smell blood and antiseptic salve under my nails. The psychological feeling is like being constantly draped in a filthy blanket I can't remove. The scarring and physical appearance of it don't help matters.

@wondernut, and everyone else who struggles to stop:

I've found it useful to keep fingernails neatly trimmed and the edges filed smooth. Wondernut, your fella may not consent to this one, but when I can afford it I love acrylic or gel nails. I play amateur guitar, and initially I got the acrylics on my strumming hand because my own nails are weak (from years of picking, I'm pretty sure). Regardless, I found the acrylics stopped me completely from being able to pick; they are too blunt and thick to work with. If your other half won't agree to those, maybe, at least when you're home, he would let you put medical fabric tape or cheap band-aids on the ends of his fingers.

For showering, maybe a pair of shower gloves would help, or even showering in a dimmer light, like a night light, a small fluorescent, or even natural light from the window--just enough to make sure you're grabbing the right shampoo. :P Also, maybe take the mirrors out of the bathroom; leave a magnifying mirror for putting on makeup or what have you, but no big ones.

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Man, I didn't know so many people did this. I mean, I had a feeling, but the extent of posters here .. is kind of sobering? Wowie.

Compulsive scab picker 4 lyfe up in here. Scalp picker, acne picker/popper, blackhead exterminater, scab eliminator, dry skin peeler, especially on my feet and the little teeny flakes around my cuticles, and whenever my cuticles decide to lift up a little bit, I bite them off. So many scars on my face from acne picking and popping, but I try to hide them with face powder even if I don't get all done up when I go out. Just dust on face powder and pull on jeans and go out the door. I just get in these weird trances and try to eliminate all of the blackheads from my nose and the scabs from my scalp, or anything that resembles them from my scalp. Kind of gross, but man, I feel compelled to share. I also peel the skin off of my lips when it's dry enough.

When I'll be talking to my mother or just sitting somewhere, I'll just run my hands through my hair and .. go for it, and not even realize I'm doing it until I'm way into it and be like 'buh.'

Never realized it was anything.. really .. not BAD, since I kind of enjoy it, it's therapeutic but it takes chunks of time since I'm just like @_@ when it happens. Never realized it affected so many is what I'm trying to say.

Highfive, guys. Keep going, share your experiences.

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1. A light layer of elmer's glue on my skin would dry and feel like dry skin. It would flake off very satisfyingly. My uncle caught me doing this once and confronted my parents, wanting to know "what was wrong with me." Strangely, I don't remember any fallout from that episode.

2. I would take a needle and thread and "sew" beneath the topmost layer of my skin, where it wouldn't hurt. The needle and thread would pull the topmost layer of skin away from the rest, leaving it raised and "pickable" like dry skin.

I used to do stuff like that, too. Oh, my god. Thank you for reminding me. With a needle or safety pins or whatever was around, and the elmer's glue, it was pretty neat back then. Whenever I have elmer's glue around I just.. pour it on a table, let it dry and then peel it off in great quantities because I'm AN ADUUULT and I can do what I want. I'm.. a little special.

Also, welcome!! Hope you like it here!

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1. A light layer of elmer's glue on my skin would dry and feel like dry skin. It would flake off very satisfyingly. My uncle caught me doing this once and confronted my parents, wanting to know "what was wrong with me." Strangely, I don't remember any fallout from that episode.

I thought everyone did that!

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I am new to this site, and after reading this thread and others on this forum, I'm absolutely stunned at how many people do what I do. I've been a skin picker for the past thirty years. Over time I've gotten better at avoiding the actions that really hurt, and I am pretty good about being able to stop picking one area or type of area by shifting to another. Lately it's been the fingers, face, one small patch of scalp, ears, and one toe. That sure sounds like a lot, but it's better than I used to be.

Most of the time I don't even realize that I'm doing it. And I spend hours and hours doing it most days. Most of that time, though, is spent touching my skin, scanning it over and over for things to do. I really thought I just had a bad habit and not an "illness" until I saw some medical show a few months ago where they talked about a guy who was a skin picker and how it was so bad that he was losing his fingerprints. And I realized that I'd been in denial about why one of my fingers was getting smooth and why it doesn't work well on touch screens sometimes. I went to the Intertubes and found an article on dermatillomania, and it said that people with this compulsion are searching for imperfections and trying to smooth them by picking. That's exactly how I have felt all of these years. It's completely irrational, damaging your skin to remove an imperfection, but I've never been able to talk myself out of doing it. To know that there are so many other people with the same problem is a relief, but it also makes me sad to think of all of us doing this to ourselves.

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