Skin picking

Does anyone have problems with picking at bumps or scabs? I started having this problem in 2008 and I cannot stop. It is driving me crazy, but picking seems to be a type of "therapy" for me, until I realize how bad I've made myself look.

I bit my nails and skin around my fingers constantly until the look perfect in my eyes, even if they are bleeding.

If its concerning you badly, maybe you should look into CBT??? Just a suggestion. :)

A ♥

I have the exact same problem.
I started when I was about 12 and haven't been able to stop. I've realized that it gets worse when I start feeling a bit depressed and I feel horrible about wearing tank tops or short sleeves.
Are you picking acne? Or are you just picking the same things over and over again?

I also have the exact same problem. I have been doing this for over 10 years, but it has really lessened in the last couple of years. I wish I could just stop, but I feel like it is too late. I pick more at pimples than anything else.

I used to have problems with biting my nails until I was a teen, then I stopped because I guess someone commented that they looked nice long. I still have issues with chewing the skin around my fingers, and with picking pimples. I've got so many small scars that most people do not notice, but what sucks is that if I make a scar too big, it won't come back in a dark scab, it'll come back white for a while, which is even more painfully noticeable. Recently, within the last year, I've developed painfully dry skin around my elbows, which I have to try with all my might not to scratch or pick at. I'm not sure if its eczema, but it hurts whenever it's even lightly touched, let alone scratched. It's been going on for a little over a year now....

Glad to know I'm not the only one who picks at themselves this much....

hey all
since ive joined this site ive become to realize that the skin picking is actually quite a common OCD. i too always thought this was just me being really weird and of course weak cause i can't stop it. but obviously there is more behind it then i thought.
as a kid i used to bite my nails, nothing bad but when i stopped it i started biting and picking my cuticles until raw. at some point i started picking my skin, around 8 or 9 years ago quite severely and it only seems to get worse so my body could just be one big scar really!
i actually mentioned my skin picking to all my therapist that i saw over the years but i dont think any of them recognized it for what it is.
so any tips on how to overcome this are welcome!!!

if you are interested i found this 'group' on facebook for dermatillomania!!/pages/FOREVER-MARKED-A-Dermatillomania-Diary-by-Nova-Scotian-author-A-Hartlin/177738602694

maybe you can get some info from there :-)

lots of love

I've just happened upon this support thread while actually looking for a chat but just knowing I'm not the only one is a big relief. I decided to try to find help after a horrible picking session. My family is always on me to quit it...cuz it's just that I enjoy being a freak show and having people ask what happened to my face/arm/whatever. Anyhoo, my husband is out of town and the kids were occupied and I started picking and it was like all the times i felt the need to pick and couldn't just welled up and I went to picking big time. I literally dug a hole in my own arm. Once I got done (i'm like in a tranz when I really get going...nothing else exsists) I was sickened but what I saw. I had to pack the wound it was so deep. To look at it now, even to think about it makes me queasy, but at the time I just HAD to pick it to get the "thingy" out. The "thingy" is the mysterious thing that is under my skin that I KNOW if I can get the thingy out my skin will heal, but not until I get the thingy. The sores start with any little blemish, pimple, ingrown hair, bug bite...a dry patch of skin. And then I'm at it every chance I get. Usually I'm not thinking about it but then someone stops me. But then I realize that there's a loose piece of skin hanging where i was mindlessly picking and CANT leave it there. I HAVE to get that little hangy piece of skin off, which leads to another and another and then it scabs over and my brain says I HAVE to get the scab off..and I do and there is an instant sense of relief!!! Followed shortly thereafter by "what have I done?" and "how do I cover this up?" and I've cancelled appointments and postponed outings because my face looks so bad. I don't wear shorts or short sleeve shirts. but covering my face is impossible...theres no makeup in the world to cover the scabs and scars. I get so **** close to having it all healed up and then I start in on it again. It's almost like I'm afraid of not having anything to pick!!! WTF is that about? Anyhoo....I've been going on for a while now but I've never found anybody that has a clue what it's like. Thanks for listening!

Hi all,

I pick as well...anything and everything, especially acne, ingrown hairs, etc. I pick and pop everything I can on myself, and then I start picking at my husband. He is super patient with me, but I feel bad for doing this to both of us! It's like a nightly ritual for me, and I can't stop! My face looks messed up under the makeup so I don't like to go swimming so people see the real me. This is so frustrating...why can't I stop??

Love and hugzzz

i have the same problem. it's like i want to have smooth skin. but i pick at ever bump and make it turn into a scab and then i pick at the scab.

I can't help but try to "pop" all my zits and pick at every scab or ingrown hair I get. I used to bite my nails, but I got fake ones put on so I would stop. I still chew at the sides of my cuticles though. I can't help it, it's been a bad habit of mine since I was a small child.

I have done this as long as I can remember, probably since I had the hand coordination, as a toddler. It's horrible, and painful, and embarrassing. For me, it's worst on my lips. Recently, I've gotten it more under control than ever before. Yet I still can't stop completely. The first time I ever realized how many people do this, I cried, just from the relief of knowing I'm not the only one who does it. A few things I have discovered that helped were getting fake nails, which made it harder to get ahold of any skin, or alternatively, keeping my nails cut really short. You can also keep a rubber band or hair tie around your wrist, and snap yourself whenever you realize you're doing this. That particular tactic didn't work well for me, though. You can have "fidget toys" to keep your hands busy. I tried picking up knitting, and video games, anything that keeps both hands occupied. In the end, I can't really tell you how to stop, because I haven't figured that out myself. I did figure out that as I've picked my lips less and less, I've begun picking other things more and more, such as my cuticles, callouses, scabs, pimples, scratches, etc... It's impossible for somebody who's never done this to understand what it's like, or how STRONG that urge to pick is. Even where there isn't really anything to pick, I will hunt for something, I will examine my hands and feet, looking for some flap of skin to get ahold of. There have been times I was so determined not to pick, yet I wanted to so BADLY, that the internal battle had me in tears. My best advice is to be aware of when you are most tempted, so that you will know when you need to be strongest, and to do lots of research. Any and all advice you can find on line will help you, if for no other reason, then just to know that somebody out there knows what you're going through. The best site I've found is They have a lot of info on what it is, and self-help ideas.

Hi - I've never tried something like this before. According to my mom, I've been picking skin around my fingers since I was 2-3 years old. I can't understand why I do this but it is definitely therapy. I can't wait to "talk" to someone and get help. It's like I can't wait to get alone and pick to my heart's content.