Eating the scabs from picking linked to eating disorder?

I pick my scalp mainly but scratch everywhere else. I just thought it was because I had a more itchy body than everyone else until I came on this site tonight. I had no idea it maybe has underlying causes linked to anxiety and OCD but as I have been diagnosed with depression since 4 years ago, it seems maybe to make sense for me. I have picked since I was in my late teens which was when I also started with anorexia which then turned into bulimia, but of which I am now better. The most disgusting thing for me is that I am compelled to eat the scabs that I pick from my scalp, and I wonder if anyone else does this and also if it is related to the fact I deprived my body of food at the time I started doing this?
WAIT ok ok ok okm wait! t ------The ingestion can pass it takes time to recover from habitual acts, it may resume but it doesn't feed you and if you couple it with guilt it only hurts, sooooooooooooo -------Well you can stop acting like you are required to do it, act as if the stuff is like a (i'd say a blown nose but, i've been there too,) bit of food during a nice meal you politely wipe away and continue on without a second thought. What a fine eve indeed. If you are arriving at this situation often look at what is making you feel this way, it is often the answer, though it may be hidden.________________Please enjoy I've put a few thing down Dandruff can be alleviated via certain shampoos, Eczema scalp picking frustration and anxiety.......(maybe after spending 10 min. of doing it while tinking about what you want to be doing the only result you end up with lies the tip of yoyr nail, so to reward yourself you.... the choice is yours. The nutr, value isn't there, it only serves to gratify your effort. Make something of life. here's the test: you get one, you learn quick, you are you and what do you want to be, no one can stop you, don't doubt yourself. Growing up my sister would chase up and down my back searching for the slightest thing. My face, endured not as much torment as my back, being pinced and bowed, curled and rolled, manipulated until the least fathom of my pores bore forth their tears..white streaming like wax through a sieve... "no-no wait,...yeeouch," I'd yelp. "wait wait hold on i've goddit," she'd say. dam dam dam get off!!! --------->to the future_-------------> ------------ STARTING WITH NAILS______ I've realized that though i do share habits with most of you, i have realized a few helpful things: 1. Mind that you fulfill necessary needs i.e. urination, defecation, cessation of hunger (via eating a healthy and interesting diet), aleveating sexual frustration 2. Choose a different route. I took on nail biting (ahem, chewing cuticle ingestion, nail ingestion) and did well with several methods. 2a. tapping the nails upon a hard surface will stimulate the growth of them but, be warned, if you are looking to do this for more "enjoyment" as I saw, a solution is to begin cleaning under the nails. oh, there will be a degree of stuffs that gathers there, be forewarned that you fears of 'ickness' are all too present here. take to it with a ______________wait____check this----purchase a glass nail file as a treat for your endeavour----use the file. that's where it starts granted we're still on nails file them in the same direction with every stroke. taper and shape your nails as you want them, they will follow but, you must want them. (my old hang-ups were movies, I'd have my nails doin good and whoops! I'd gnaw them off before the film had finished.) it's okay if you mess up. You Can't Be Mad At Yourself If You Are Working on Yourself. Just stick to it. This is a nice thing you are doing for yourself, you're a great person. NEXT: SKIN wow! growing up on a beach I had my share of consuming sheets of my own skin. Literally sheets. The size of your hand, the sad part was that it was never as exciting as I thought it would be, always disappointing, always secluded. ????? what now drain blisters into my mouth? aw heck... I have my own troubles too, I can only hope for a better ^^^diet^^^ (my own beliefs) to cure this, coupled with activity i.e. hobby, work, exercise, and dealing with past deamons fears of ex's, parents, lovers, risks,,,,,, AHEM! skin something that I realized in the past was (we all know this one) I'd be standing/Leaning in front of the bathroom mirror in the middle of the night just before bed. Face slowly growing redder and redder as I inched towards nothing, total cleansing of my face through skillful scratching and pressing of my skin. Then. I'd look. and Voila! To my surprise to thing I'd been working on had been collapsed under my efforts. So, redfaced and swollen I'd sulk back to bed. So I offer this to you. A WELL LIGHTED MIRROR in the evening is a fine foe. It will tempt you and tease you, flatter you without precaution, and leave you with guilt. IF YOU ARE GOING TO BED: WASH YOUR FACE, BRUSH YOUR TEETH, DO WHAT YOUR BODY DEMANDS, BUT, DON'T WORRY WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. You will appreciate it in the morning. At the risk if picking I can only suggest the afternoon, the evening only threatens a greater effort. Good luck, it's not gross or disgusting it is. Thanks for being there for me.
Wow. Im soo happy I found this. Im 15 and about a year and a half ago i was anorexic. It lasted for only six month and never got to the point of hospitalization because my parentts noticed it early. Three months into my anorexia i wanted to bleach part of my hair. At the time it was past my shoulders, very healthy, and jet black. I was just doing the top of it. During the bleaching process, the chemical reacted with my hair products buring my hair and scalp. I never messed with my head before I bleached it but after, I started to develop all sort of mental problems. I also happen to be a perfectionist so after the hair incident it was very damaged. I got to where i would pick the split ends study them then toss them. It never got too bad until last December. I started pulling my hair, never alot, just a few strands. If they were damaged i would play with them, if not i would drop them. In mid December the hair pulling got so bad, it got to where it was shorter than my ears.. In January I started seeing a counselor. She gave up on me after six sessions so we decided on a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with OCD, Trichotillamania, and Psoriasis of the scalp. I am currently on Zoloft. Well Im glad to say the hair pulling has stopped and it is about an inch past my ears. Sadly the psoriasis got pretty bad. The spots on my scalp itched like crazy so i constantly scratched. Then I started to pick. And now, yep you guessed it, I eat. Am I crazy? What is wrong with me? Is this taboo? Is it cannibalistic? Im just happy Im not the only one of this sort. Help me out guys. Please. I know its not normal. I know it cant be healthy. I do know there is a way to stop is.
wow, finally I found other people like me. I have been researching this for a while. I noticed that I do most of my picking when I am stressed, or when its late at night, or when I am nervous about something. I also just recently have been reading some old books about self mutilation (I used to burn myself) even though I am trying to read the book to help myself get better from the picking, I am noticing that I am picking much worse then when I started to read the old books. I am doing a HELL of a lot better than before (I haven't burned myself in more than 6months!!) but every now and then my sly mind finds new ways to self mutilate and bring me back into the numb state, I turn into a zombie and pick the hell out of my scabs and eat them... So if this helps anyone. I think the picking has a lot to do with self mutilation and abuse - physical, sexual or mental. We are punishing ourselves in one way. We know it looks bad, we are bad so we need to punish ourselves and purposely sabatauge the way we look or the way people look at us, perceive us. If we are all scabby people may shun us. Which is negative and in turn make us feel alone and unhappy. It is a vicious cycle, because we want attention but when we get it, it is negative which makes us feel bad about ourselves and then we pick....and start the cycle again. I am not sure if I feel 100 % this way. But it is what I have been thinking about lately and i may be on to something..... hmmmm??
Actually, there's nothing morally wrong with the behavior pattern you are experiencing. The difficulty that you are currently encountering is societal pressure. Mankind spends a lot of time, money, energy and resources to artificially differentiate itself from the 'wild' where things like scab eating are common place....but the truth of the matter is that it is everywhere. Poor, rich, all races, all sexual identities have folks that participate in this behavior. Don't hate yourself for 'deviating from the norm', but rather congratulate yourself for resisting the status quo (an artificial construct).
I'm so glad I found this. Please allow me to tell you my story and see if anyone has similarities. I was a picker from as long as I could remember. I was also an eater. I researched pica a bit, but it seems to be so taboo it's not discussed. I did the following: *Nose picking and eating. Actually would have fantasies about it. *Severe issues with the scalp. I remember in Jr. High how I would "gather" my product. Scratch my head onto a piece of paper. Allow the paper to collect all of the "goods" Then, enjoy my works. *I also picked and ate scabs and acne puss. At the age of 19, I quit. However, I replaced it with smoking. I'm still obsessed, if that makes sense. When I am half asleep, I think about how good it would be to go back "just once" I haven't yet, however I am still obsessed with picking and popping. One of my greatest fantasies if having full access to my own back. To pick and purge as necessary. It's almost sexual, how carnal and instinctive this desire is. Do you think many people, have these desires? Is it just a taboo of our society? I would love to wake up one day and find it disgusting. I feel like I have been a recovering addict for over a decade. I tried to associate it with the most disgusting thing possible, eating vomit. Gross! However, it's like a dirty habit I can't ever do again. And I smoke so often it is crazy. Also, instead of eating my findings, I run them between my fingers and smell them. Bizarre. I know. I spend most of my time now smelling my fingers. Not normal at all.
I'm on my 2nd and a half day of not picking, and it's late here, which is when I have the most trouble, so instead of picking, I'm making this post. I totally understand what you're going through--it's sick, all of my scabs at this point are "perfect," i.e. easy to remove and big, and I find it utterly revolting that I can't stop wanting to put them all in my mouth. I'm determined to avoid it though, and I think typing out that I not only want to remove my scabs but that I want to taste them and eat them helping a lot, in that it's reminding me what I'm actually doing. I'm sorry that you replaced picking with cigarettes, that's a giant mess. I doubt this would work for cigarettes, but I went and bought some silly putty a few days ago, and it's been keeping me sane and my hands busy, plus you can pop it like a pimple if you squish it the right way. It's great, because like absent minded picking, it takes no attention and yet can consume all of your attention (I got the kind that changes color) and it's been keeping me from picking when I'm stuck sitting somewhere bored, or even when I'm doing something where my hands are idle. Question: does anyone else literally feel itchy when they haven't picked in a few days? I'm right at the point where everywhere I have scabs itches, like there's something stuck to my skin that doesn't belong and keeps tickling just enough to cause the itching. And yes, eating the scabs feels like a very carnal thing to me, vampire-like, and it makes me feel powerful, like I can stomach myself or I have power over my body or something.
huh.. i didnt know this was connected to depression/eating disorders/abuse.. well i got depressed last summer and then i wasnt for a while when school started until about last november.. i think i first started picking scabs on my head sometime during that time.. and now its a habit and i even do it in public. which is bad.........-__-; idk if it IS Dermatillomania but it kinda sounds like it well i just want the scabs to go away so i dont have anything 2 pick @.......
Amazingly, I typed the words, I dare not say outloud ,into the search engine, and found this site. Although it won't help me stop, it helps me come to terms that I am not so sad and sick as I thought I am. At 48, I have been picking and eating forever, childhood grazed knees and eczema began my vicious circle. I had a vile school life..bullys made it hell from start to finish. I was raped at 18. But I have NEVER allowed any of that to spoil my life. The only thing that spoils my life is not being confident to wear sun clothes due to my many scars and scabs, all self inflicted. I become rather housebound during the summer and crave the winter. I have a wonderfull husband, who does not care about my skin issues and 2 children. MY worries are...both of my children have eczema, and both pick and eat. I worry they will be like me...scarred and sad. And I have no idea what all these years of skin abuse has done to my internal organs. Does it clog arteries? I had a blood test not too long ago, and my doctor found a liver infection. Is that related, or maybe due to infection from open wounds? I worry for my children. I do not worry about my past, I do not have a compulsive problem. I am so overjoyed to find that this is not a problem I invented all those years ago...this is a habit I need to break and should have had the will power years ago to sort out. But doctors do not care. Steroids for too many years they will advise, but the advice on picking...cut your fingernails! Thankyou to everyone brave enough to talk on here. You have helped me more than I can say. XXX
To Pickypicky. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I am 27 and i need to sort my problem before it escalates. My obsessions started when i was 13 and was told it was about time i started to shave my legs, by a boy in my class. I started on my eyebrows next and at one point pulled almost all of them out. I have since let them mostly grow back, but cant sleep if i find one that needs plucking. My scars used to heal and fade but i won't let them anymore and have permanent navel scarring. I cant stop biting my nails, eating the skin around the nail, pulling unwanted body hairs out, picking out with a needle and making bleed the ingrowing hairs, i pick and eat my nasal offerings and i know people see, it revolts me to see someone else doing it, yet i can't stop. I pick at scabs and spots til they bleed and often get infections. My condition is embarrassing because i havnt known how to explain it. Who to talk to about it. Or even that other people have the same obsessions as me. I think its time to go see a doctor. Has anymore gotten treatment for these problems? I would like to know what to expect.
I pick and eat, like you. I admit it might have to do with an issue with my self-image...I'm thin. 5'3 and 104 pounds on a good day...but I've always wanted to be thinner. Last summer I was down to 99 pounds for a while, and I was tired a lot, but I felt so beautiful. I felt like a willow-wand, springy and thin and fresh. I've never really enjoyed eating, it makes me feel, again, unclean sometimes. But I have always been very thin, naturally. I don't know. It's stress relief...or was. Not anymore. Now it stresses me out. I never feel bad about eating my scabs and such (until I actually start thinking and realizing how disgusting it it), it's ME and I'm just putting ME inside me again. Self sustainability. I also view most people as dirty. I wash my hands more than normal, which is healthy...But I feel like a hypocrite, calling people dirty when I have my own nasty habit... So, I think yeah, it might have something to do with eating disorders. I'm sure it differs person to person, but a lot of people here are linking them.
Phew ! What a disgusting habit...I think that's something everyone on here can agree to. So then, why do we do it ? OCD, Depression, some anxiety, bipolar issues ? Sure. I DO NOT think that drugs are the answer. They treat potential causes, but are not effective or worth all of the long term risks. I have had major success with Chinese traditional medicine -laser acupuncture, for obsessions and the previous manias. Hypnosis may also be very effective. However they are all gross habits, one of the main causes is simply a lack of self control. Get a hobby ! Get your mind ON something and out of an obsessive mode. Anything. I used to eat my nails, I now have realized that I chew them off until they look manicured, which was never possible. I now trim them short and that issue is done. We also need to realize that EVERYONE, EVERYONE has problems, even the woman with the $5,000 dress and seemingly perfect life. She probably buys those things because her husband is cheating on her and that is her only love - possessions and compulsive buying. Keeping that in mind, do realize that obsession is a problem and if you can control this one, it can and usually does transfer itself into another area of your life - addiction - obsessive behavior in other areas - compulsions. So, again, self control is a major factor in making a change to this issue of picking and eating. - And prayer never hurts ! Good luck all of you, believe in yourself and you can do it, one day at a time.
I have picked, but never eaten. Well, I take that back. I have biten, chewed and swallowed my nails, a habit I started as a child. Finally at twenty one, I stopped, just by acknowledging that I was continuing a nasty and childlike habit that I was embarrassed of. I stopped biting my nails by polishing them with clear polish and filing them daily and before I knew it, I had long & strong beautiful nails. 8 or 9 years later however, I came into a stressful period of my life and started biting them again. Hating it, but knowing I had the self control to stop if I just made myself. Like another poster said, I woudl be thinking, okay this is the last time - just one last nail biting session. I would not bit them in front of people, but while I was driving or watching tv, or stressing out laying in bed with my mind going way to fast. Finally, after 6 months of nail biting, I have stopped again. I dont even have the desire to chew em. It's like once they grow out a bit, I am fine. As far as picking goes however, I have picked acne forever, thinking it may make it better, but we know how that works. When I was pregnant, I had a couple of acne bumps apear on my shoulders that I picked until they were deep scabs, and left me with dark scars. Now that the hormone balance is back, the acne is gone, but I am reminded by the scars and I can't even wear cutesy shirts w/o them showing. I once had dry scalp and a littel scab formed, which I picked for months!!! That thing got big and deep and I would like picking it off even though it hurt. I also have a toenail picking problem. I remember seeing my mom do this, which she STILL DOES TO THIS DAY, and I think that's where I picked it up. All of my firends get cute pedicures and I dont even want to go in to get one, b/c my toes are so NOT pretty. Maybe getting pedicures will be my motivation. If I have a bllister that dries on my foot or something it turns into a total ongoing pick fest. So, even though I don't eat - I do have a problem. Bad joke, but if everyone lived in the same neighborhood it would make for one heck of a trick or treating time! haha...
I have picked my scabs for a long as I can remember.. ok and then I chewed them .. (not swallow)I had a very bad childhood with a nasty stepfather. Please help me , my family all knows!! my kids know .. Will they grow up like me... its not like I showed them but at real nervous times I tend to get "caught" please help me I am 40 been doing this my whole me..please explain..
I am 27 yr old mommy to 3 beautiful baby boys; Michael (8) Gage (6) and Aiden (2). I have picked at my scabs and face since I was a little girl. I come from an extremely traumatic childhood and early adult life. My mother beat and tortured me until I was 16 yrs old, my aunt molested me when I was 3, I was always hit on my family members grown male friends, when I was 7 my uncle's drunk best friend asked if I wasnted to play around and touched me, my step-dad molested and raped me from 4ish to 14 (started as touching and progressively got worse throughout the years. I not only didn't remember most of it until a few months ago but I also ideolized the creep for "being a good father/teacher" His "Love" was the only love I had known until my children. My mother showed her love by dumping food over my head and making me sit in it for hours, not feeding me for days because she was too drunk or coked out, tying me with a rope to a chair all night long so she didn't have to pay a sitter to go out (yeah, thanks mom still scared of the dark!) My ex husband physically and mentally abused me for years until he hit me in front of my son, at that time, I lost it and kicked him out saying he was not going to mold my boys into men like himself. My face picking has recently hit an all time high and I have with therapy realized why but feel futile in the attempt to stop. I was recently attacked by my boyfriend of 18 months best friend, he was drunk and came up behind me slammed my head into the car and I blacked out, I awoke running to find my boyfriend crying and telling him to leave me alone...I realized a short while after that my arm was bleeding and I had several teeth wounds on my left shoulder...Yes, entire dental impressions and I have no recollection of such event! I am getting extremely frustrated with my memory. I don't know why I can't remember this crap. I started having nightmares and became an insomniac...I'd either clean the entire night the boys slept or sit in the sink picking my face neck chest legs back and nani. Mind you I have very good skin! I may have a small bump or 2 and when I am done (6-9 hrs later) I look like I have had chicken pox for weeks and left unattended. My entire face is a red pulsating scab! I spend most of my days lately in a bandana looking like a cancer patient with leprosy than actually being the young pretty Italian woman I am. I've even started sleeping in the bandana because I am so ashamed of my face. Then when it is healing, I pick the scabs (and eat them) (ugh!). My 8 yr old is constantly reassuring me that proactive will work, he saw it on tv! That I'm sure you know breaks my heart into a million pieces. I feel like a horrible mother though I am one of the best moms you'll find . I am a little over protective and I'm strict in so far as video games are only on Sat and only after a good week at home and school, tv is only nat geo...animal planet... ect... Candy is on special occassions as well as non-caffine, no sugar having sodas. Other than that Im the most attentive, funky, fun-loving, creative mom in the neighborhood ( ;P ) Through finding a therapist for my skin picking she realized I was severly ADHD and I have been on 20 mg xr riddalin in morning and afternoon.... Holy crap is life easier now! LOL! I didn't know I had an imbalance I just thought I was a retarted, procrastinating, flip flopping, hairbrained, sporadic, lunatic. She also said I had severe PTSD and put me on 40 mg of prozac in hopes to thwart depression, picking, and the ptsd syptoms. Yup.....still waiting on the prozac to work 2 months later! I also bite my nails/lips/cheeks/skin on fingers & twirl my hair incessantly, The few people that know I do this all say the same thing and are starting to give up on me, "just stop picking" or " just call me when you start doing it" now it's .. "well you do it to yourself" I am getting overwhelmed and frustrated with their lack of concern and/or understading that... I CAN"T STOP OR I F-IN WOULD! I don't realize when I do it and when I do it's ... "just 1 more" or "just 5 more minutes" next think I know the sun is coming up and I just want to hide my disgusting body under the covers from the world... But, I can't because I am all my boys have and I refuse to let them end up like me! I am extremely self concious...When I stop attacking myself and access me... I am honestly a very funny, intelligent pretty girl with a nice body for no kids much less 3 and I am hating myself... scarring myself...essentially torturing myself from the inside out. I just want to figure out why, stop the self mutilation and help others do the same thing. We need to put our heads together and figure out the madness behind our common suffering. Anyone with advice or want to join in the effort email me at
OMG I am so glad to know that I am not the only one with this problem what can be done about it?
I am 20. I have had excema since I was a little girl and that is when the scab picking began. I now have horrible scars on my legs which are a constant reminder to stop what I am doing but I can't seem to quit. I am compelled to search out and pick and eat these scabs. I also pick my nose and eat what I get. One of the girls below said she looks for the "chunkers" I also do this if I get a scab on my scalp. I don't understand why I do this and I really want to stop. I was diagnosed with depression about 2 years ago but haven't needed medication for one year now. I also have an anxiety problem sometimes and also feel very OCD at times. Is there anything we can do to stop ourselves? I hate my scars and hide in jeans in the summer and I just feel so awful. I am so glad I am not alone but that does not stop me from feeling so horrible about what I do to myself and that fact that I am not strong enough to stop..
OMG! I want to cry of joy for this website that I found tonight. I pick and eat: acne, scalp, boogers, nails, hair, eyelashes, basically any amount of cellular tissue that normally sluffs off. I always thought I was the only one who did this. My mom and I have been fighting for years because she can't understand why I pick my pretty face.... I pick everything though, my acne is just the only one she knows about. I think the most embarrassing thing is when you start bleeding in public, especially in class. I am 20 and have been picking for as long as I can remember. When i was a little kid i would get sores on my scalp, and my mom would have to put cream and huge headbands over them so i wouldn't get them infected. I recently stopped biting my nails, but still extract the under nail material with my teeth. I want to stop more than anything, because I have so much shame after I do it, but I definatley get the endorphins from it, and am constantly searching for things to pick. i am very anal about my face constantly feeling for the slightest bump. i constantly am touching my skin subconciously searching for a bump. My dad has had skin cancer and claims to have been a picker, but I don't really know the extent to his issue, but I am afraid I could develop issues from this habit. Besides exponentially worsening my acne, I also feel really embarresed a lot. i have ADHD and a history of minor depression/anxiety. I am currently on Vyvanse and Paroxitine, for that, but it doesn't seem to effect my picking complex. I just wanted to thank you all for sharing your story, because I honestly thought I was alone in this. I hope you all find a way to work through this, and I will keep you all in my prayers and heart. For the first time I don't feel so isolated.
ah this describes everything for me apart from i don't eat the hair.
I am fifteen and a female and I cant remember how long i've been doing this. but i've always picked my nose and ate it and never seemed to grow out of it and then i started searching for those bumps of skin or whatever and that would be on my scalp and i'd pick it off and eat it. My fingers are constantly in my hair searching for them. Then i have acne a little bit so when there's dry skin i can get to it and pick it off and i eat that too. Also ill try to find those little skin bumps on my back or my shoulders and eat that too. i also started recently biting my lips and eating the skin off them or whatever that layer is. I guess i just did it one day without even realizing it. I also bite my nails and ill even do my toenails on ocasion and ill swallo the nail. I am so bad that i have fakes nails on and ill bite the ingrowing nail underneath. I've never realized anyone else did this stuff. I've also never told anyone or talked about it. I just got interested one day when hearing about that tyra bank show about the women eating her scabs and it opened my eyes thats when i stared searching but if feels good to know i am not completely weird and other people do these things too. haha
I'm over 60 and have been picking my nose and eating it for as long as I can remember. I really thought I was the ONLY person that ever did it. It's somewhat comforting to know that others do it also. I also eat any scabs that I pick and the sking that I pick from the bottoms of my feet and from around my fingernails. How can we stop this???????
A.F. I am 49 and have been doing the same all my life. I always eat my boogers, no matter what. I pick and eat the skin around my fingernails and pick the soles of my feet until they bleed. I am a professional educator in the counselling field. I am taking 275 mg. of Effexor since 5 years ago. This is soothing to me. I love to scratch my scalp until I find skin or oil. In the shower, i scape the skin behind my ears to look at the oil, the more the better. Makes me late for work.
Hi Alexa, I do exactly what you do (and have since I was a young child) and am so glad to see your post. 
Hi. I am soo surprised at how many people pick. I always thought my cousin and I were alone with this. I dont understand why I do this but its habit. I brush my habds through my hair and feel for bumps or excess skin. It drives me crazy. on top of that, it seems like when I do this my hair gets greasy very quick. My hair is very thick. I also pick scabs on other parts of my body and am itchy a lot. Oh one that I havnt seen yet is. Does anyone but me pop or pick your zits and eat that too? I know that one is CRAZY but I cant help it. I just really want to know what is causing me to do this. Thanks.
it has been really hard for me to participate, but i need to. i pick, i eat, i love it. what the hell is this? i see that some of you say it hurts... it doesn't at all for me. it feels so nice to run my hands through my hair and find the "chunkers." i'm crazy.
Your not crazy. You just have Dermatillomania. With help you can stop it. ~~~~~~~~Stay Strong! Hope is not the closing of your eyes to the difficulty, the risk, or the failure. It is trust that- If I fail now - I shall not fail forever; and if I am hurt, I shall be healed . It is trust that Life is good. love
you keep stating the same quote. i hear you, but i need something more than that now. i have become increasingly aware that people see what i thought was an undercover mission, and i feel humiliated and disgusted...YET i can not stop! it tastes good, it feels good...i'm trying right now to make a few changes that i hope will effect my health and fitness and am wishful that these new habits (god-willing) will relieve me of such awful (yet wonderful) urges. if my whole body is healthy, won't these imperfections go away? will i still find things to pick? i have not admitted (again knowing that people see...) to anyone this horrible habit. how did you get there? what on earth did you say? my family and friends are aware of my anxiety issues and my ADD, but taking it to the step of admitting to picking and eating ones-self is just too much. trying everyday... ugh
i dont believe my doing it is from an eating disorder. I just feel the urge to eat the scabs. I pick mainly on my scalp. I run my fingertips thru my hair until I feel something that is not smooth. It drives me crazy so I dig down with my fingernails until I bleed and then it makes a scab. I establish new scabs over and over again and never let any of them heal. Im OBSESSED with doing this. I even do it in the middle of the night when I am supposed to be sleeping. Im addicted. Its gotten worse over the past couple of years. I wish I could stop but I cant. Its even left me bald in very small areas(not noticable) but I can tell.
Hey guys, Im a 16 year old girl with the same problem. I saw the lady on the Tyra show and I felt not alone. I started the pick and eat scab thing when I was 12. The scars on my face are present because of my habit also I my hair got thinner. I think I do this because it releases stress for a short time. Also do you guys picked your nose and eat it?Or bit your nails? If you do maybe thats why you are prone to try eating scabs.
Oh my Gosh!!! I can't believe that there are so many people that does this. I actually didnt realize this was "bizarre" or a type of OCD until today that i was watching the Tyra Banks show and they had a girl there that picks and eats her scabs!!! Story of my life....... i am 27 yrs old wife and a mommy and i do it all the time.... sometimes i dont even know, it is mainly in my head but i am constantly scratching everywhere like face, neck, head, arms, chest and i dont even realize it but once i have scabs i pick on them and eat them. What should i do know??? talk to a doctor??? I am super concern now, i mean i never thought nothing of it until today and now that i see all your comments i am really shocked and surprised. I mean it does bothers me nor makes me be ashamed but i wish i didnt pick and scratch much so my face and neck doesnt look weird...... can somebody help me and let me know how to go about it..... should i really be worried? =( thanks
It's a problem that I just found about not to long ago. I didn't know, and I was relieve there were people here to comfort me. I am someone you can talk if you nee a helping hand in stopping your problem. I am a skin picker and have been my whole life. Stay strong we can do this! ----------------Stay Strong! Hope is not the closing of your eyes to the difficulty, the risk, or the failure. It is trust that- If I fail now - I shall not fail forever; and if I am hurt, I shall be healed . It is trust that Life is good. love
it does feel really good to know that there r others like me, especially women! i didnt realize that it was a problem unil now to be honest. and i definitely dint think it could be a symptom of ocd. it's omehting ive done on and off unconsciously mostly my whole life. it used to be worse than it is. ie had psoriasis since i was little. i picked until it bled, and still do and then i eat it. i try ot hide it from ppl but i still pick in front of them, i just pick at the sdie they cnt see. i cant help it. i wa worse b4 bc i used to cut my hair around the area so i could get to it easier. i also used ot chew my finger and toenails. now i dont chew my toenails, but still sometimes my fingernails if i cant find clippers. im obsessed wih clippers and get really upset wheni cant find them. i clip my nails and the skin aound hem il it bleeds sometimes. im worried about not being able ot tk clippers on my honeymoon this r bc of airport regualtions. i also pick my nose and eat it and righ now theres a sore that wont go away and bleeds but its getting better. i also pick at my scabs sometiems, and eat them. even now im 5ryign ot control the urge to pick at somethng. i pick t my acne, so it never heals. i slammed my thumb in a door 15 yrs ago but it still hassnt grown bk bc i keep clipping it. i hv nothing but free time so its even harder.
I have had psorisis for about 5 years, I havent told ANYONE but I do eat my scabs... well their not really "scabs" their more like hard skin or I dont know something. Is this really rare or am I just crazy? Please let me know.
I do the same thing, with the hard skin formed over recently picked zits. it is quite the delicacy...
My brother has this problem. As long as I can remember, he has eaten scabs, boogers, body hair, ect. I know I am not the only one who sees him do this, but no one talks about it. I think everyone is afraid of embarrassing him. We are middle age adults now and I believe this habit, or OCD, is holding him back. He has almost no friends and no love life. How can I help him without humiliating him? Also, is OCD hereditary? My mother has always picked at her face and toes. I used to mess with my toenails until I saw where she had picked hers completely off. My brother is the only one in the family who eats any body byproducts so maybe he has multiple disorders.
It's so good to hear that others suffer from this as well. 14, I was born with eczema. That means Im pretty much going to have scratches and scabs all the time. I pick at them every night and eat them, then I'm left with horrible scars. I try to stop but when I'm busy doing something and my legs happen to be exposed.. Well I pick them. I really can't take any more of this eczema, it's like hell for me. Jonny
I'm a 54 year old female who has been "picking & eating" since my teens. Yes, that's right, approximately 40 or more years now! How disgusting is that? I finally admitted that I have a serious problem, the skin picking and eating scabs is so far out of control I have scarred my navel, upper arms and my legs beyond belief. I had abdominal surgery in 2002 and my navel is still infected from scab picking 6 full years later. Now I'm actually acting on this terrible addiction as some very close friends of mine got together when I was away on vacation to discuss it and when I returned did an "intervention" so to speak. I was so embarrased and ashamed of myself that I am actually making the first step to do something about it. It has been the hardest and loneliest thing I have ever had to do in my entire life. I have told my health care provider and have asked to be referred to a mental health facility for an in-patient program, not only to deal with this issue but obviously others like low self-esteem, binge eating, compulsive overeating, a financially crushing shopping addiction, depression and anxiety. Multiple issues to say the least. I just want everyone to know the following... Believe me, other skin pickers and scab eaters...if you think that others don't notice you are doing are sadly mistaken. I can only be thankful that these very dear and close friends of mine love and care enough for the screwed up person that I am to want to help and stand by and support me through this very critical time in my life. I have cried myself silly since I realized people around me have witnessed my habit. What actually made me see how bad the problem is was when I returned from vacation with a co-worker of 30+ years travelling with her for the first time, she mentioned to one of the "intervention" friends that she would never travel with me again because it repulsed her and she couldn't wait for the vacation to end...and here I thought we had a great time travelling together. Boy, was I sadly mistaken! I know it's not going to be an easy road but it is one I must travel. I know not everyone can go down the road I have chosen but I do wish you all good things in life on any path you choose whether it be to deal or not to deal with this issue. I hope I haven't offended anyone as this is definitely not my intention, but I have to tell you it feels soooooooooo good to share with others who have this same affliction.
I just read the comment from the 32 yr. old accomplished woman with three degrees. I can't tell you how much better her story made me feel. I thought I picked because I never went to college, married the wrong person, and have serious financial problems. I guess there are no boundaries. I've been picking all my life. Now, at 56 it seems to be at it's worst. I think now it's my way of not letting any man close to me. Well,if he can't see me naked, I don't have to sleep with him, if I don't have to sleep with him, I'm safe. I prefer being alone. I've tried and tried to stop, with no success.
hello. im a 16 year old guy. i pick my scabs wenever i have dem nd eat da scabs. i never knew y. i used to tink cuz i saw my dad doing it. im kinda bi ploar,, but not very badly. i take break ups bad and all that nd iv done it since i was like 9. i av scars on my for arms that are fading now, but i still do it....... eh,, y do people do this? is it pyshological or us a habbit we got in2?
I wish there would be more scientific study done in this area. I think its a habit similar to cats licking their wounds and primates picking body flakes from each other. I am an occassional scalp picker. The phases comes and goes with my mood swings and level of stress. For the past two weeks, it's acted up again due to a surge of stress (I'm applying to business school - I wonder how the adcom would react to this sort of personal triumph :P). I basically only pick when I'm stuck on an essay or being asked difficult questions. But when I pick I would go at it bad. There are now a few spots around my hairline which are basically open sores pretty much during my waking hours. I feel great in the morning because the wounds have healed overnight and I promise myself to leave them alone. But alas when I've been sitting in front of the computer for a long time, I just get back into it. I think the easiest way to stop myself is to engage in less stressful work and do more activities like sports and hitting the gym. I use to do more of that but haven't since.. again, the applications. So in summary: my ambitions are destroying my scalp.
It is such a relief to find others who understand this problem. I am 32 female, married, no kids. I am an accomplished person with three college degrees and working on my second graduate degree. No one would ever guess that I have this picking issue. As I type this, I do so with bandaids on both of my thumbs because I pick the skin around them until the sides of my thumbs are open wounds. My arms have sores all over them that I have picked and picked. My legs have a nice collection of sores as well that I pick at. I also eat the scabs. I tell people that the sores come from mosquito bites that I have scratched. That is a lie. I have Keratosis pilaris and I pick the little bumps causing sores to form. I then pick the scabs. Even my husband doesn't know that I am basically causing these sores to form myself. He believes the mosquito story. It's embarassing and I am trying desperately to stop. I have made a decision that tonight was the last time I will pick. It will be hard to break free, but I am going to try and substitute another habit such as working out, which I enjoy, but haven't done for a long time. I cannot keep going on with picking at my skin. I am on Zoloft already. I also have a perscription for Xanax, which I will start taking more regularly to help with the picking issue. Thank you everyone for being here and contributing to this forum. None of us are alone. It helps to know that especially when no one around you seems to understand and constantly tells you to stop if it were that easy.
Oh my god, I thought I was the only one in this world that had this problem. I was born premature many medical problems and being adopted I lacked knowledge of why I had the problems I do. I since a young age have suffered from anxiety, depression, OCD, and yes compulsive skin picking and eating of scabs. I feel horrible eating my scabs and do not know why I do. I also do it in my sleep or when I am watching TV or focusing on something. I am digusted with myself for this habit and try and try to break it but it is so hard.
Hi there. Reading these posts today has been helpful for me, if only to know I'm not alone in this compulsion to pick and consume bits of my own skin. I've had a combination of OCD and depression since childhood, the OCD first manifesting itself in me washing my hands with harsh chemicals (Comet, rubbing alcohol, etc.). I've started on a low dose of generic Zoloft, but it doesn't seem to be helping (low dose only because of my low body weight -- about 85 pounds). If anybody has any new suggestions on dealing with dermatillomania, I'd be eager to know. Thanks so much, and good luck in your healing processes.
OMG! I thought I was insane. 41f, basically depressed all my life , recently diagnosed bipolar, OCD , diabetes, sleep apnea and i do just about everything, most of you have posted. I thought this was just something i did , and had no control over.
I am new to this site and have many similarities to what has been described here. I am 43, female, and have been picking since I was young. I have Keratosis pilaris, a "common skin condition in which a protein in the skin called keratin forms hard plugs within hair follicles" (quoted from medical definitions). My mom used to pick these off me and my sisters when we were little. I don't blame her for this, or for my now OCD skin picking, even if it contributed to this. I remember pulling out the hairs on my knees when I was young, too. For a time I picked my scalp, badly, for over a year. I don't pick my scalp now, but I have scars, open sores & lots of scabs or bloody spots all over my arms (this past year is the first time my forearms have been a real target), and my buttocks, and my legs. This past month I have gone very wild picking my calves, then I started on my tummy, breasts, and inner thighs, more than I used to. Then, yesterday I started on my face! I have always been able to limit my face to only what a normal would pick if they pretty much never pick. Stupid me! I have my niece's bridal shower on Saturday, and her wedding next Wednesday, and here I am with sores all over my body and even infection on my face (I have occasional flare-ups of infection pockets in a few areas of my face. One is right smack dab in the middle of my big fat nose, and one next to the inside of my eyebrow- right where everybody looks!!!) Anyway, Today I have decided to wage war on this demon of mine! I am so compelled and so obsessed and can't stop even when I am late for something and people are waiting on me and I am telling myself STOP! over &over, I just... can't! But now, I have found this site & info so I am really going to make a real effort to STOP! and at the very least, get back in major control so I can stop. Well, I have a real question for everyone. Have you had Rheumatic Fever or lots of cases of Strept throat? I did have Rheumatic Fever when I was 5, and I had Strept throat on & off until my tonsils were removed at age 16. There is a possible link between this and OCD. I found this article called PANDAS THE OCD/STREP CONNECTION, written by Marc W. Reitman, MD. It intrigued me. Please reply! Thanks! OmniSekhmet
Oh my god! I cannot beleive it! I have found people who are just like me. I have been picking at my sores for years. I mainly stick to the sores on my scalp because I have thick hair and it is easier to hide but I also pick at pimples. I constantly search my body for places to pick. Like others here I also chew the sides of my fingernails until they bleed or become sore. I also have a place inside my nostril that I pick at constantly until it bleeds. I eat the scabs as well but I don't have an eating disorder...I am a little overweight though. It is an embarassing thing when people ask me why I always pick at my sucks.
I am a 48 year old female. I've always bitten my nails, my toenails when I was a kid & my finger nails. I always ate the thumbs out of my mittens as a kid. I chewed on shirts that were tight around my neck. I pick my nose & eat my buggers. I pick scabs. I place bandaids over the scabs to stop picking, and I then break out where the bandaid adhesive was & get 2 more spots to pick at. My scalp is constantly broke out with zits, which I pick, scab over, and I pick again. I eat the scabs as well. I went through a bad time with anemia. During that time I craved dirt & chalk. I was able to not pick up dirt in the driveway to eat, but I did eat chalk. I would eat 1/2 piece of chalk at a time 4-5 times a day & still crave chalk even though I am no longer anemic. My mother says that as a small child I would eat dirt. I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, diabetes, under active thyroid, sleep apnea, and am being treated with 6 prescriptions & a cpap machine. I used to smoke but was able to quit. I abused alcohol when I was in my late teens & early 20s, smoked marijuana, snorted cocaine, and also tried acid & hash. I no longer do those things, but again I have 6 medications. I've decided that I'm not going to worry about the nail biting, scab picking, or bugger eating. As long as nothing is infected, I figure I'm not hurting anyone. I don't want more medications & I've seen a dermatologist who basically said "Don't pick". Was no help at all. Good luck to everyone who wants to stop, but for me, I do it in private & it's ok.
hello... i really dont know where to start, im 29 year old female and for a long time i been doing some thing that i guess i just didnt want to notice or pay atention to... eating my scabs. from body and head too. also the skin that grows next to the fingernails not the cuticle but the skin on the sides not like really bad but i do it once in a while i dont have a problem with eating well i am over weight really bad i weight like 245lbs. the other thing really groses me out but i also eat my bugers not all the time but why i do this????? im really worried when i do all this things they just happen i dont even think about it later i realize its not right no one knows about this but please can some one help me im afraid i do this because im sick i would lke to stop can some one advice please.
You are NOT disgusting! You're just a person dealing as best you can, like everyone else. Are you still in contact with whomever first diagnosed you with depression? If you trust them and feel comfortable you should tell them about the picking, the bulimia...all of it. Because it could all be related, like you mentioned, to OCD. Which is chemical disorder. It's biological, and it's not your fault. You didn't choose it, but there are things you can do so you won't feel out of control. Firstly, begin forgiving yourself because you didn't do anything wrong! It's easier than it sounds but you can get there. Find a therapist, counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, physician or any health care professional that you trust! They are not all created equal, people (myself included) have a tendency take the word of health care professionals as law and silently allow them to usher us out the door. If you can, interview a few and find one you like, after all he/she will be working for you!
Hi all This is just to stay I've been astounded to have had so much feedback since I first posted here in December. The ideas, the suggestions, the stories all help to make me (and I'm sure all of you who've posted) feel less alone and less 'weird' in this world of compulsive picking... My journey since December has seen me make many changes in my life- I left my very stressful job and after some time off have gone back to work in less demanding roles. I'm back on regular anti-depressant medicine, and I've had nearly 8 months of weekly/twice monthly Cognitive behavioural therapy which has worked mostly on low-mood, anxiety and self-esteem. All these things have helped me lessen in picking, and altho I do still pick, and it gets noticeably worse if I do have periods of more anxiety than what i consider is now 'normal', it is not so extreme and is no longer painful to wash/comb my hair. So these changes, along with my phone-reminders that say 'don't pick' at intervals throughout the day, and the note in my car, and the fact i'm learning to keep myself busy when stressed, and also giving myself time regularly to relax and chill out, mean that I'm altogether a lot more happy and relaxed individual generally, and I know that feeling low/negative/bad is what brings on the worst picking. I'm now going to set up a plan for the autumn/winter season with some help and advice from the SAD association, to prevent myself from making backward steps once the nights start drawing in as I have identified that this is a difficult time for me. Good luck everyone, and thanks for you help and support so far. Remember you are not alone; we are all special, important peole who deserve the best health and happiness and just seeking out advice or an opinion on this difficult issue is a step in the right direction to achieve those goals.
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