Now this is a subject very close to my heart, Skin Picking! The medical term for skin picking is dermatillomania or excoriation and I think I’ve got it big time. I am terrible for picking flakes of skin and scabs. Mainly it’s scabs before they’re healed and skin flakes because there are just so many of them! I can sit for hours picking.
But if I have clear skin, I’m not compelled to pick. I don’t pick at healthy skin and worry the edges of my nails for instance, thus making a problem where there wasn’t one before. So do I really have a problem? If my skin heals I don’t I will.
I’ve written about my addiction to picking skin before in Why do I eat my skin flakes, a particularly honest and grisly blog from a while ago.
I’m not ashamed, I don’t know why I do it and I’m trying really hard not to.
But it’s just not that simple.
I even do it in my sleep! It becomes a mission of cleansing my body of any scabs or adhesions and I can’t stop, it weaves into my dreams and I wake having usually done some damage!
If you want to learn more check out Cara Ward’s blog on Trichollomania, which is hair pulling and vey similar, here.
I used to pull the hair of of my head as a small child and eat it, causing many issues, mainly blocking up my digestion and I learnt not to do this. I don’t know why I did it back them, but I still do it a bit, now mainly with the hairs on my legs. I compulsively pluck them with tweezers! A thankless task let me tell you.
Could there be a solution or cure for skin picking?
I was forwarded an amazing resource today, skinpick.com which has a free survey that you can take to work out if you have a problem or not. Thank you Joanna, I am going to try this. I will keep you all informed how I get on.
Mine came up 55% – Severe Skin Picker! Well I knew it was pretty much all consuming.
I have to keep checking my face with a mirror and tweezers to remove any large flakes. I just can’t help it. Some days I spend far too long doing it and get far too much pleasure from it too. This is easing as my skin heals and there is less to see.
I also found this amazing US resource Picking Me which is packed with case studies and links that could help you.
And then the more you think about something it’s everywhere! There are loads of skin picking support groups on Instagram with tips to help you stop this habit. Just search skin picking and begin the road to discovery and habit reversal.
Don’t be ashamed. Don’t feel bad. Just start by recognising it’s a habit and that you’d like to change it. Don’t judge yourself. Just sit with it for now. Sit with me while we pick a few scabs and skin flakes. We can do hard things! We can do this guys. And if you’ve not listened to Glennon Doyle’s new podcast, We Can Do Hard Things, I highly recommend. It. Is. Brilliant.
Any skin pickers out there?