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nicola77

pulling the skin of my lips

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For years now I've pulled the skin off my lips I just keep going until there bleeding and there raw its painful but it makes me feel so much better a lot of the time I don't know I'm doing it, it seams to happen more when I'm anxious but I will do it most of the time anyway I have scarred lips now and sometimes they bleed a lot so someone in my family has told me it has something to do with ocd, so I was wondering if anyone else has this habbit

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Hi nicola,

I do that as well. I find myself doing it especially in the winter when my lips are chapped.. In my particular case, it's much like picking my cuticles. I'll find a piece of loose/detached skin and then pick at it until it bleeds. I know quite a few people that do this too, not sure if it's OCD, but you are not alone!

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Thanka :) I pick the skin around my nails a lot aswell just didn't know if I was the only one

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I do that to my lips too, but not to the point that they bleed. I like to chew and eat the skin around my fingernails. Soemtimes I bleed from that. It happens during boredom and anxiety.

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Yep I do this... and my nails and skin freckles and allsorts. Not sure if its ocd or not... I haven't been diagnosed as ocd but i certainly show some symptoms of it, even if it's not full-blown!

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My understanding is that in order for a behaviour to be part of the OCD picture, one does it because it is compulsive... that is, you do it because you think it will help the bad thing you imagine to not happen.

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I can't answer for sure whether your habit is OCD-related but I can tell you that I pick at the skin around my fingernails ALL the time (it's anxiety in my case) and often have to wear bandaids because of the bleeding and the appearance. My daughter, who has been diagnosed with OCD, does it as well (even worse) - she chews her nails down and then picks and chews at the skin around her nails and also chews on her lips until they bleed. And she's a psych therapist! She can definitely identify with her clients who have OCD and anxiety.....

Therapy and medication CAN help with this.

Good luck!

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I used to do that. A combination of chewing the lip and then picking at it with my fingers. While nothing tastes quite as delicious as lower lip, I decided quite a long time ago that I wanted to stop doing it.

A few tips if you want to quit:

1. Always carry a Chapstik in your pocket. If you feel the need to chew or pick, apply the Chapstik instead.

2. Even better is Vaseline - you can get little tubes of it or just keep a jar around where you often hanging out (say, a desk drawer at work).

3. Every night before bed, apply Vaseline to your lips. This will:

A) help heal the wounds without the scabs drying out (which encourages chewing/picking).

B) In the morning, you'll often find some scab is falling off - you can then gently remove it - while looking in the bathroom mirror.

You're "debriding," not picking - use the mirror to see what you're doing, and don't over do it.

C) After the lips have healed (no scabs), over several months, you'll get layers of scar tissue coming off - again, in the morning, you'll

often have some skin to debride.

Now, this can work for you if it's just sort of a nervous habit, or if dry lips are driving you to lick them (which then leads to chewing them, then picking them). If it's caused by OCD, then you really need to have the OCD addressed medically.

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Guest Vapourware

I'm another who has done this for years. I think it's more of a nervous habit for me than anything OCD. For a long time, my lips looked atrocious - there would be scabs and flakes of dried skin. Sometimes I tore at my lip hard enough that I would bleed for a while.

What stopped me was when my lips became so painful and tender that it was difficult to talk, because any movement of the lips would crack the skin. So, I started applying lip balm regularly. I've been applying lipbalm for about two weeks and it's nice to talk without tasting blood.

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My three and a half year old daughter does this constantly!

I have nothing constructive to add, just that she seems well-adjusted but does have some quirks like this.

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