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Excoriation Disorder

Excoriation disorder is a disorder whereby the sufferer feels the compulsive urge to pick at his or her own skin. Common places for skin picking include the scalp, shoulders, hands etc.


 

 

 

It is common to pick at your skin once in a while. However, if you can’t stop picking your skin, you might have excoriation disorder. Excoriation disorder is a disorder whereby the sufferer feels the compulsive urge to pick at his or her own skin. Common places for skin picking include the scalp, shoulders, hands etc. The skin picking compulsion may occur as a result of a perceived flaw in the person’s physical appearance, or it may occur out of boredom or stress. It is sometimes considered an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Treatment methods include:

  1. SSRIs to reduce anxiety related to skin picking, which is an antidepressant which helps to relieve anxiety associated with the picking.
  2. Habit reversal training-ways to reverse the habit by using distractions such as squeezing a rubber ball or doing something with your hands
  3. Stimulus control-Wearing gloves or band aids to prevent you from picking your skin

How do you tell if you have a problem?

  1. If there are scars and scabs resulting from the picking
  2. If you spend a lot of time picking at your skin
  3. If the habit causes you a lot of distress
  4. If you find yourself avoiding social situations or workplaces because of your scar

Other associated disorders include:

  1. Trichotillomania – the urge to pull out one’s hair
  2. Onychophagia – compulsive nail biting

Resources, Links & Sources:

  • https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/wd7d3m/compulsive-skin-picking-bfrb-823
  • http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/skin-picking-disorder#1
  • http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/excoriation-disorder-skin-picking-or-dermatillomania

 



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