severe lip picking

I have been picking my lips my entire life( as long as I an remember) and I'm a 20 year old female. Sometimes I can go a day without doing it, but usually I cant. I do it probably over 100 times a day without even noticing. I dont even realize my hand is up at my lips when it's happening until a few minutes later. My bf gets really upset with me about it and wants me to stop. he doesnt understand that it is so incredibly hard for me to control. Every time he sees me doing it he yells at me. He thinks its going to help and make me stop. It just makes me do it even more when hes not around. I feel like I HAVE to do it, and I can't imagine ever stopping. I can remember so many times when I have sat down and decided I wasn't going to do it anymore. Then about three hours later I catch myself doing it. When i do catch myself, i make myself stop but I start getting extremely anxious and my head starts to hurt if I can't let myself do it. It almost relieves the physical pain I feel when I cant do it. When my bf slaps my hand away, the urge do it becomes so much worse. I feel like im going to go crazy if i cant. I have literally no idea what to do. I am so tried of my bf getting upset with me over it. He gets really mad everytime I do it, and he doesn't understand that I'm not able to control it. He says i need to replace it with something else. But nothing can replace that. I cannot imagine ever getting over this, but I would give everything I have to never do it again.

I first started picking at my lips in third grade, but later I picked in other places.i remember my lips would be bloody, and people noticed it but I don't remember what they said. Just know you're not alone,I hope someday you'll be able to stop. I haven't been able to stop yet but I just try to keep my hopes up that someday I will. Today is the first day that I've acknowledged my habits, so maybe by acknowledging it will be easier to stop.
Help! I can't stop picking at my lip! I'm 55 years old. Unlike others on this forum , mine started 3 years ago when I had precancerous patches of keratosis on my lower lip. Derm Dr. applied liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin cells. After a few days my lip would swell and began scabbing. The picking started then and now I do it incessantly. The keratosis lesions kept coming back and refreezing and scabbing continued with more picking. The growths just still wouldn't go away so Derm suggested minor outpatient surgery to remove a rather large AK (short for actinic keratosis) in the middle of my lip. It healed well and no disfigurement but 6 months later the AKs came back so I started picking again and again. My Derm basically gave up on me because I kept picking and referred me to another Derm. What a jerk he was. I wished I never had the surgery or even went to him in the first place as he used scare tactics like you're going to get cancer and people die from I trusted him. However come to find out only 4% of the AKs ever turn into cancer. As a result of the surgery and constant picking I continue to have problems with the lip. AKs which have been frozen 3 times in the last couple months but still return. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my lower lip which would be incredibly a huge tragedy. No one understands why I pick and can't stop. My husband gave up telling me to stop picking as I continue to do so. My family doesn't understand it. I am so glad I found this forum! I almost signed up for the Online therapy but I'm not good at programs and no guarantee it would work. I know why I pick... stress both physically and emotionally. When I pick just like all of you it seems to soothe me and calm me down. I do it watching TV, driving, reading etc...but not when I'm working or in public. I have anxiety and depression and take meds. My Psych tried Haldol which worked for a while but stopped working. Asked him if there was anything else and he smiled and said...No, I have no magical pill for you. To me that made me angry. Things escalated with him so I sought another Psych just recently and she said there's not really anything out there that can work. I've tried OCD meds but they didn't help. I'm told by siblings to wear gloves or find a picture of someone with lip cancer and each time I start picking look at it. No one gets it or seems to care or understand....even husband. The only thing I can think of to do is to continue to keep my fingernails clipped but that hasn't worked either. I have callouses on my finger tips from doing it so much! I will however continue to get on this forum and check things out and read your posts so I don't feel so alone and the only one. Also, apply carmex and aquafor continuously to try to stop. I've recently been diagnosed with a precancerous skin disease as a result of the picking. I just can't lose my lip..I would rather almost die than that happen. Hope to see more posts....
These are all symptoms of chronic stress.Some of your repressed emotions(stressful) are being channeled through this behavior.The mind is finding a physical outlet to release its bottled energy. These are subjects linked to the unconscious mind.Anytime you become conscious of an activity that has been lingering on for quite some time and you find yourself unable to overcome the "itch" then it is without a shadow of a doubt linked to unconscious activity.No amount of physical medication(tablets) will suffice if the unconscious root of the problem isnt tackled.Ever heard of the term "Will Power"?Your conscious self represents the "will" and your unconscious self represents the "power" .Anytime you go head on with your subconscious,"power" will overpower your "will" 100% of the time .Without the "power" of the unconscious, conscious "will" is futile.No matter how hard you consciously try to quit the habit,it persists and at the opportune time,it explodes. Dermatillomania = mania form = unconscious instability.Try to master your unconscious activity.Your brain is like a computer.Unconscious doesnt know the difference between "real" and "imagined",which is why it manifests itself in strange ways. .Concentrate on your dreams,take free association test,self hypnosis.....and get to the bottom on your unconscious instability.The mind that is so wonderfully capable of producing a disorder is also capable of correcting itself provided you use the right tools.You have to get to the bottom of the issue to correct yourself.If the foundation(unseen/below the ground structure = unconscious) is strong and steady then the building(visible part = outer self = conscious self) is sturdy. Hope this helps.
Hey there! I'm sorry about all the medical issues you're having and I wish you all the luck in the world that things turn out for the best! As I posted down below last year, I've been a long time lip picker. Since I was 5 years old at least and I'm 29 now and just the past couple weeks have really been tearing my lip UP! Currently I have one deep gash I've been picking at less, and then another "surface" peel as I call it where I just keep peeling the healing skin back off it so it bleeds that super dark thick blood. I've been doing my best not to pick deep anywhere else on my lips at least. However, I've also been chewing up the insides really badly lately, more of a large surface area rather than chewing deeply though, thankfully. Two major factors play into it for me. The first one is stress as it is for a lot of us. Picking and chewing seems to be a very soothing thing to do for whatever reason. It doesn't always hurt as we all know. And even when it does it's not that badly. It's almost like I get some sort of strange satisfaction when I do it. Odd I know, right? Anyway, the second leading cause of my picking is simply idle hands and being by myself. If I'm working or otherwise out doing ANYTHING by myself, and MUCH more so with people, I don't pick. When I was in the Army and I constantly had people around me every minute of the day, I NEVER picked. At all. Period. When I'm working I don't pick. When I'm cleaning, I don't pick. You get my meaning. But when I'm alone, just playing a game, reading a book, or browsing the internet, I pick. So, to curve it when I'm not busy and/or alone. I'll get up and find something I need to do. Like do the dishes, take a shower, yard work, etc. ANYTHING HANDS ON. Long enough to where the urge passes. When I can't do that, what I like to do is either keep chapstick near by, or better yet, just plain ol' water. I feel like the chapstick on my lips makes me THINK about my lips. And I'm still going to wait to pick or power threw it. But a lot of times if I just have some water to sip on and get my lips all moist with it anytime I get the urge to pick, that I end up not doing it and that the water helps them heal faster by keeping them from getting dry! I hope anything I said here helped some. I only had a few minutes to type this out as i'm in a rush and I kinda rambled on a bit! Haha! Good luck to you! -Carlos
I'm sixteen, when I was five I started to bite my lips, and as years passed I began peeling the skin off my lips with my fingers.. I find it so relieving and soothing but it makes my lips look like crap, I like to peel even when it makes me bleed and inches of skin are ripped off. I don't know if this is some kind of disorder or idk but I can't find myself to stop. I've stopped before for months at a time but then one day i won't be paying attention or even caring and I'll just start finding a place to rip off skin on my lips. I do this mostly on my bottom lip, for some reason on the right side of it too o.O
I never really expected so many people to be having this habit. Like many others I have been doing this since 4yrs. I am from India so it is not because of cold weather to cause any kind of dryness. But I really like to pick my lips when it is dry until i peel it off and let it smooth. I never felt embarrassed because of this unlike many people here. Its just a habit and it keeps me relaxed. Sometimes it helps to sleep peacefully in the night. So i dont think it is such a big issue here to feel very bad about.
I could cry: at the age of 51, disgusted that once again, without realizing it, I've been picking at my lips - something I've done on and off for as long as I can remember - I googled and, lo and behold, came upon this site. I so, SO want to stop. I have lip balms stored all over the damn place, and every day I start out intending not to do it - I make it through the day, then sit down on the couch for the evening and that's when I stop paying attention long enough to start doing it. Definitely have depression and anxiety issues, so I wouldn't be at all surprised to find there's a link. But I'm so grateful to find out I'm not alone. I've never in my life been brave enough to tell anyone about it - they may have noticed, but I've never discussed it. This is the first time I've expressed anything about it at all. What a relief.
I've had this problem sence I was 3 it sucks and is verry embarrassing but one day my friend wanted me to get acrylic nails and after I got them I noticed it made it harder for me to get any skin or pick off skin so much lip doesn't look red anymore I can still pick it if my nails start to thin but it realy helps! And I've had my on for a year now I'm so thankful for the help I get from them ! This terrible habit sucks ass! And it's a plus to have beautiful nails all the time and ur bf has to let you get them ! Lol :)) anyway just thought I would let you guys know about it lots of love too you all beautiful people good luck and god bless you
I guess I am in the same boat as everyone here. I picked my lip my entire life thinking i was just removing some dead skin, and I knew I was a touch over zealous with it. I assumed my lip picking was to me was the way nail biting was to everyone else. I noticed I did it more when my stress levels were through the roof, and when I really tried, I could force myself to stop. But there have been times when I fell totally apart, my lip would turn to total you know what. Never saw another person who looked like me. Right now as I started to go to town on myself for no apparent reason I decided to google search because I decided there is no way in this universe I was alone. It's not a weather condition. I absolutely pick pick pick pick the hell out of my lip. I really find a way to make the skin come off. I've bought every product on earth. Aquafor is a great product. I've even picked it off my top lip, which has mended itself nicely. It's mostly my bottom lip that takes the beating. I just turned 33, and I don't know how long I've been doing it. As for people who talk about people around you who tell you to stop to help - yep. I've had that, and I've ended up telling them to shove it in return. I've been through therapy for depression and anxiety, and I've never been diagnosed for OCD. So I find it next to impossible I actually have OCD. I know if I don't pick my lip nothing bad with happen. So the actual idea that it's OCD is totally bogus. It's pure anxiety and purely compulsive. It's clearly a bad habit. It is nice though to see and know...I'm not some sort of total freak.
Oh my goodness i never thought this many people would have the exact same compulsion as me to pick my lips. It started I think when I was 4 or 5 because I grew up in Ohio where it was most of the time cold and dry. But when ever I would feel stressed, resorting to lip picking comforted me or gave me something to work on. I'm 16 and I still do this either stress induced, or out of habit. I just can't stand there being flakey skin on my lips. I have to pick it all off until it feels relatively smooth, even if it means bleeding. Very strange and I want to stop because I feel like people notice I do it and think it's weird. Also I don't know if my saliva is doing any damage to my nails... Anyone have some good tactics besides Chapstick that helped them stop?
PS I don't even live in Ohio anymore. I live in North Carolina where the dryness isn't an issue.
I am 46 and have been picking my lower lip as far back as I can remember. I do not pick at anything else at all on my body. I remember that I bit my fingernails as a kid but I finally got that under control with mind over matter as a young person. For some reason, I associate picking at my lips with relaxing. I have no idea why because it hurts after awhile yet I keep on doing it because....habit? I don't know. It's definitely a compulsion, but I've noticed that it's situational to when I'm sitting and not doing much - such as driving, watching TV, etc. If I have any stress - my hand will be at my lip without me even thinking or realizing it. Right now, I have picked them smooth and I'm going to really try to just keep them covered with lipstick or balm at all times and force myself to keep my hands busy and away from my lips. At this point in my life, it HAS to be habit because there's is no good reason - I'm a normal mostly stress-free person. What a strange thing this is.
Hi there, Yes my lip picking sounds exactly like yours! Mainly do it while relaxing, watching TV, reading, etc and in times of stress. It started when i was around ten, my parents didnt understand and used to shout at me to stop! (it even got to the point where they made me wear mittens in the house to stop me). Didnt work! I didnt like the feel of the hard dead skin on my lips, and if felt good to peel it all off smooth. The longer/bigger the piece of dead skin that came off the more rewarding the experience! If i made them bleed i would feel bad and ashamed at what i done. The worst thing about this compusive lip picking is both my daughters do the same! And have done so for around ten years! The elder who is 22 picks mildly and wears chapstick and lipstick to limit the picking and this works to an extent! But the younger who is 19 picks sometimes quite badly and most weeks has sore lips! I feel very responisible for this. So i have decided to learn as much as i can about this problem so that i can help them and hopefully they wont be 44 and still picking like me! My picking over the last five years luckly has subsided somewhat but only because i wear lipstick all day long! S.L Ackroyd England
Nice knowing that there are lots of others with this problem. My question is, does anyone like the feel of it ? Like when I pick at my lips I get them dry and cracked so I can spread them and they will crack Ofcourse I'll bleed but I'll keep picking and picking but I like the feel of it just like if I get those uncomfortable sores on my tongue I'll pick and pick at it but I like the way it feels. I don't pick my lips in a self-mutilative way, I just want to know if anyone also likes the feel of it, I also pick at any little bumps or scabs I have on my head, I bite my nails also. But I've been doing the lip thing for years now.
Yeah, that's exactly how it is for me. It's not a self-mutilate thing at all for me. I enjoy the way it feels. I've picked my lips for as long as I can remember, and when I'm really "into it", that's when I like for my lips to be really dry, then spread them really hard so they crack and bleed.
I used to bite my nails for many years and then when i stopped bitting them i somehow switched to biting my lips and pulling the skin out. Years ago i used to pull so much skin that i ended up with my mouth full of blood but nowadays its not as severe. I do not think i am like most people on this thread because i havent been doing it my whole life but i reckon it has something to do with anxiety since i replaced nail biting (something very common amongst people with "nerve" problems) for lip biting. I do it all the time, anywhere, either with my teeth or with my fingers.
I just found this site and have been reading the posts on this thread. I cannot BELIEVE there are other people like me who have this problem. I have been picking my lips for as long as I can remember. Seriously. There are photos of me at age 3 where you can see the mark from the lip picking. I'm 24 now, and I think maybe I've got one or two days without doing it. I've tried countless times to stop. Acrylic nails worked for me at first, but I found a way to maneuver my fingers so I can keep picking. I'm so embarrassed by it. I'm also an all-around picker, but I'd say the worst picking problem I have is with my lips. I don't draw blood everyday, but almost. Seeing a movie in a theater is the worst, I've found. I've started to carry my chapstick with me all over my house, I seem to want to do it less and it's less satisfying if my lips have something on them. I'm really excited to go through these posts and maybe start trying some of these solutions suggested. Thank you to everyone who's posted here- it's so strange but so nice to know I'm not alone In this!
I do this too! I have picked my lips as long as I can remember and I never thought it was anything abnormal really... just an urge I had. I saw it as the same thing as someone who bites their nails. Family and friends are always yelling at me and slapping my hand away and all that does is make me want to do it more as well. I first realized it was a disorder when a girl in ont of my college classes did a presentation on trichotillomania and I kept thinking 'that sounds familiar!' I have certainly never met anyone who picks their lips like me, but it never crossed my mind that it was a disorder. It is so good to hear from others that they struggle with the same thing!
So im jus laying here sucking on the damage I've been doing to my top lip for the past two days and decided to google why do i pick my lip? And ended up here i never thought in a million years there were ppl that pick their lip like me, i didn't know it was a prob never really see what the big deal is when everyone that catch me picking my lip say its nasty cause ii try really hard not to do it around ppl cause i hate being interrupted when I'm picking my lip or judge such as nasty...When i pick my lip I'm really really quiet i speak to no one and no one speaks to me its like the only time i seriously concentrate sometimes its so bad i concentrate so hard sometimes i get a migraine like terrible migraine then i know am picking too much but i jus still cant stop doing it even with a messed up headache.. I have been picking my lip ever since i can remember i use to suck my thumb and rest my lip on the back of my thumb and jus pick in the middle till it bleeds and if my finger nails not picking good enough i get a pin or one of those fat needle and pick my lip and put the blood on something i can see this, as an adult now 26 all my towels in my house have blood on the tip all the time cause i have stop sucking my thumb now and i roll the towel end nice and pointy and rub it in my lip it hurts cause my lip in tender but its like it feels gud when it hurts i feel better ik it sounds bad, but reading u guys stories made me start shaking cause ik i have some kind of issues cause i cant get upset witout getting a panic attack and that hasn't been working out too well for me ik i need therapy and idk how to get help and express myself to someone that is actually looking back at me maybe judging me idk how to express what am truly thinking idk why, except when i get mad of course and when i get really mad my heart starts doing that thing like am about to die when i wanna hit this person in the face i get cold cant breathe then ik i need to stfu and try to chill and im telling u to get myself to chill after i get that mad i always end up at my physicians office with some oxygen mask. But anyways I'm a horrible lip picker and i bite my nails ppl say its like i have two diff hands i have my healthy left hAnd with nicely shaped nails then u have my right hand nails so sml when i put on false nails there is never enough nail to hold the fake nails idk why i do these things when friends catch me picking my lip or biting my nails they get mad cause i don't hear what they r saying to me when I'm picking my lip or biting my nails i jus completely zone out like am gone lol ik it sounds horrifying, i will get help one day and to make it worst i haven't gotten a good night sleep two days now cause i have been going thru some serious picking stage i wanna go to sleep but i keep feeling stuff to pick off and Xanax stop working cause I'm taking two a night and i haven't slept properly two days now this morning the last time i look at the clock it was something after 7. When my friends ask me why do i do this i use to say am jus weird i didn't know it was like a serious issue like ocd .... Reading some other comments that was left i obsess over my weight all the time but thats that norm for me but i get guilty when i eat too much or if i dint eat right i dont really like taking pictures cause i look fat in all of them honestly lol since doing a surgery i lost 32lbs and i cant c what everyone is talking about when they say not to take off anymore weight im not skinny but i have a few lbs that needs to be shed...
Honey, I dont think that's ocd, have you spoken to anyone about self harm?
Some background on my lip picking. I am currently 26 years old, I have been picking consistently for the past 18 years. The earliest things I can remember is I use to get in trouble in school (about 2nd grade) for pouring glue on my hands and picking it of and collecting the pieces in my desk. After the teacher and my parents discussed this I was banned from having glue, then when my family moved into a new house the previous owners painted the inside and edges of the bath tub, when I would take a bath I would start to notice the paint chipping and lifting off so I would stay in the bath an extra hour or so (as long as my parents would let me) and peel as much of the paint chips as I could. After a few months all the paint was peeled away and my mother made a comment but I wasn't punished. Then while sitting in the tub having nothing to pick I started to notice I could peel skin on my feet and fingers when my skin absorbed a lot of water, but that appeared to painful for me to continue doing that. So I started peeling the paint off the walls in the bathroom until my father caught me doing that and freaked out on me. Then while during the colder months (and the dry Las Vegas air) my lips started getting dry and cracked. It irritated me so much that I just pulled at it, despite how much it bled and hurt I just grabbed the rest of it and yanked it off. I looked at the little piece of skin under a flashlight head and it looked just like the pieces of glue that I LOVED to pick off years ago, So when it started to scab over I ripped it off again and I started collecting the pieces. My parents began seeing the marks on my lips when I was about 8 or 9 years old and at first I was doing it in private (usually in the bathroom) but then I started doing it in front of my parents and anyone I didn't care. For the following years up until I turned 18 my mother and father would hit me, yell and smack my hand when they caught me doing it. Then my mother would tell some of my friends to smack me if they caught me doing it. And I understand the reasons why they're doing that but all that negative reinforcement just escalated the behavior from a pleasure response to an anxiety driven response. Nearly 19 years later it's worse than ever, and I have grown to be an anxious, high-strung hyperactive adult. I always have to be doing something with my hands or moving, if I'm not I am likely picking, if I have disturbing thoughts, I pick. If I fight with a significant other, I pick. If I forgot to pick something up or run an errand or missed a deadline I will pick for HOURS until I either resolve the issue or keep myself busy so I can't pick. If I have multiple stressful situations going on such as, conflicts at work, discontent with my schedule, arguments with my significant other, family squabbles, running late or any sort of aggressive unjustified confrontation I pick and I continue to pick and pick. At this point the wounds are getting extremely deep, my pain tolerance is through the roof, just growing larger with age. There have been a few instances in the past where I didn't pick for a few weeks to a month and that is when there was a lack of over-stimulation, stress and interacting with other people. I am completely aware of what triggers episodes of picking and I try to do my best to avoid them or cope with them in some other way but with a busy complicated life (like most people have) I find it practically impossible to avoid all the triggers. Anyone here wants to add me to facebook . Rae Reinhartz I do talk about my lip picking on my facebook every now and then and having some people on my friends list that understand would be a nice thing to have, anyone else who is looking for the same, feel free to add me.
CindyR Have you seen a doctor about this - it sounds like your anxiety is feeding this.
Hi guys, thought I would keep ya'll updated on the 'stop picking' initiative I took on the 14th of November. It's almost been 2 weeks now. The urge to pick decreases a little everyday, and I haven't picked once since the 14th of November! I know it's stil early days but I honestly think this is a mind-over matter thing. You also have to concentrate on what you are doing with you're fingers and be aware what you are doing with them, constantly. Like I said I decided not to touvh my lips with my fingers AT ALL, no exceptions! And it is really paying off - this way you don't tempt yourself by feelign those dry crusty scabs you so badly want to pick off. The best part is after about 4 days the scabs heal and they really do just fall off by themselves (I was so surprised by this). I went to bed with dry scabbed lips and woke up flake and scab free. Every time my lips feel even slightly dry and flaky I apply DCT (daily conditioning treatment - by Bistex). My lips look and feel amazing. Obviously I do still get tempted to pick but I look in the mirror and see how healthy my lips look, and realise that its just no worth it. It's a constant struggle but its gets much easier! like I said the first week is the worst. If you can get through that, it gets a hell of a lot better. I'll let you guys know how it'a going after the next two weeks...STOP PICKING, if i can do it, you can too!!!!
Hi guys, thought I would keep ya'll updated on the 'stop picking' initiative I took on the 14th of November. It's almost been 2 weeks now. The urge to pick decreases a little everyday, and I haven't picked once since the 14th of November! I know it's stil early days but I honestly think this is a mind-over matter thing. You also have to concentrate on what you are doing with you're fingers and be aware what you are doing with them, constantly. Like I said I decided not to touvh my lips with my fingers AT ALL, no exceptions! And it is really paying off - this way you don't tempt yourself by feelign those dry crusty scabs you so badly want to pick off. The best part is after about 4 days the scabs heal and they really do just fall off by themselves (I was sp surprised by this). I went to bed with dry scabbed lips and woke up flake and scab free. Every time my lips feel even slightly dry and flaky I apply DCT (daily conditioning treatment - by Bistex). My lips look and feel amazing. Obviously I do still get tempted to pick but I look in the mirror and see how healthy my lips look, and realise that its just no worth it. It's a constant struggle but its gets much easier! like I said the first week is the worst. If you can get through that, it gets a hell of a lot better. I'll let you guys know how it'a going after the next two weeks...STOP PICKING, if i can do it, you can too!!!!
It's really helpful to read all the comments here. It's nice to know that others feel some of the same things I feel (but feel weird about feeling). Like the satisfaction I get from peeling a long piece of skin off my lips, using tweezers to pick skin off my lips, using up hours of the day to pick. Sometimes I go to the bathroom with the excuse of "needing to go", but I've really just gone to pick without anyone knowing. I can't stop until I feel "done". And yes, by the time I'm done my lips are usually raw, red, and bleeding. It sucks when I've been unable to resist in those moments when I then have to go talk to someone. Especially if the lips haven't stopped bleeding. I have to keep wiping away the blood with my hands, or cleaning it off with my tongue. I know people notice, but are just too nice to say anything. I've done this since I was a child and remember my mother chastising me for it. I've also had friends see me doing it and telling me to stop. I will for a moment, just until they stop looking, but then I'll do again until I'm done (or I'll go to the bathroom to finish it off). I can't stop mid-pick! That's madness! Unfortunately I've done this so much and for so long that I've actually damaged tendons in my left thumb. Apparently it's a repetitive motion/strain injury. I had to have steroid injections and then, later, surgury on the tendons in my thumb. Now, I can't quite grip heavy objects with that hand because my thumb isn't strong enough to hold them, and there's almost constant dull pain (which physical therapy exercises do help a bit) in my thumb. Despite this, and that fact that picking makes it hurt sooo much worse (and I know is doing more damage to an already damaged thumb), I continue to do it. I decided last night that I really want to stop. I'm sick of hurting my hands, I'm sick of being embarrassed and having red, raw lips, I'm sick of feeling unattractive being I know what my lips look like, and I'm sick of wasting time picking. So I'm going to try wearing gloves so I don't unconsciously pick (when I've tried to stop being, the unconscious picking undid all the good work I'd done up to that point). I hate acrylic nails, but after reading about all the good they've done others, I might try this too. Vaseline seems to help my lips heal quite a bit, but I also might try the coconut oil, that seems to help others. We'll see. I'd love to be able to stop. Thanks all for sharing your experiences and the things that have helped you. Those that have been through it always seem to be able to help the most. If I find something that works, I'll be back to share. For those that have been able to stop, does the tight feeling ever go away? One thing I've noticed is that when my lips start to heal (I've been able to stop for a few days in the past), they feel really tight and I can't stand it. If I left my lips alone long enough, if they were able to heal fully, would this tightness feeling ever get better? Or does it just start to bother you less?
CindyR The tightness goes away. When my lips get dry I put stuff on them all day long. I like carmex in the little container ( not the tube - but that is ok too) at any given time I own up to 10 carmex, chap sticks, other lip balms and leave them everywhere. My purse is a literal pharmacy of all kinds of goops and medicines. When I go to meetings at work I take lip balm with me and I apply it during the meeting as often as I feel like it - doing that many times has got to be better than peeling my lip and make bleed during a meeting at work and have people wonder why I am holding a tissue on my lip. Same with church and in the car. As I said in the previous post I lip picked since I was very little. I am now 56 and for whatever reason I just stopped lip picking a year or two ago. I really can;t tell you why or how - I just stopped. My theory is that I applied the lip balm enough and constantly that I got used to the feel of normal lips. I still pick at other things though and still need help. My advice apply apply apply - if you like vaseline then make sure you have a container of it everywhere you go. Get about a half of a dozen just for your purse - your bound to lose a couple over the winter and if you have a lot every time you dig into your purse you will easily find one.
Go you! Will try this :)
I can't believe there are so many people like me. Who understand the urge and need to pick at that annoyingly rough chapped skin on my lips. I've tried applying lip balms and drinking water constantly, but at some point I forget to do it and there comes that feeling again. That need to remove my skin. My husband hates that I pick my lips so much and he too often yelled at me and nagged me to stop. But it would just want me to do it even more. Then he tried a new approach. Every time he saw me picking he would say "I love you jenn" and that was all. I would say "I love you too" and try my hardest not to pick because I knew it hurt him to see me do it. It's not a perfect system, often I find myself trying to pick when he isn't watching. But I always feel guilty doing it and it doesn't feel as good (unless I'm really really anxious about something else, then hell with it). But it is the best thing that has worked for me so far and helps me to keep my picking to a minimum when I do pick. I thought I should share that with all of you to see if it might work for you too.
CindyR Hi - Here's some hope - I was a severe lip picker since childhood and now I am 56 and I have stopped doing it - altogether. It is a relief even when I get a cold sore and it gets dry and crunchy I don't pick at it anymore. I do keep my lips moist with chap - stick but I just don't do it anymore and I am not sure why. However, I have not stopped picking other areas and tomorrow I am on the way to the dermatogist to talk about doing something about the scar I have now on my forehead and cheek. I have also some new-ish scars on my legs but they are healed and they don't upset me I live in the north and it is the winter so they will be covered up and will fade by spring. Your BF should not yell at you are slap you. It does make it worse. You become embarassed and who wouldn't. Nagging never helps. You have to try hard to have a serious talk with him about this - he is not all helping you- he is making it harder for you. Show him this site - show him these posts. I only allow 2 people to tell me to stop my husband and my daughter becuase they are very gentle about it and it is like a reminder and I don't feel embarassed. Everybody else just shut the hell up - you are not helping. I don't know the this dermatologist I am seeing tomorrow - I picked him out of the phone book I hope he understands this.
Hello, Im only 16 and i am despreate to stop. I dont relise im doing it till im finished and i look into my lap and see the skin ( discusting i know), I managed to stop for prom but now even as im writing this im picking, i cannot stop! my mum shouts at me every time i do it and when i pick she sometimes takes my phone away but it doesnt help, i didnt know it was an accuall disorder i thought it was just a habbit, i have been doing it since primary school. I need to stop as my lips look great after picking but then in about 20 mins i see my lips trying to heel with puffy dead skin covering the areas and it makes it look alot worse. Im sick of it, my lips often bleed and it hurts but once if i have done it i swear i will stop but never do. i joined a site called 43 things where i told people i would stop but i did it again. IM ONLY 16 AND DONT WANT TO DAMAGE MY LIPS, when you pull my lips like hook into them to see my teeth for example the skin opens like the dry skin gets pulled to one side and it looks discusting. i would pay money to stop this. ! Shall we all stop ?? COMMENT ASAP PLEASE NEED SOMONE TO HELP ME GET THROUGH THIS!!!
Hey, I'm 15 years old and I have the same exact problem but I notice it getting worse and worse everyday. I'm here if you wanna talk.
Like everyone else in this forum, I also had no clue there were other "lip pickers" or that this was an actual disorder! I have been picking my lips since I can remember, and my friends and family as well as my boyfriend are always telling me to 'stop picking your lips!" but like everyone else knows that doesn't help and it's near freaking impossible. Yesterday I decided to stop, I've managed to stop for about a month before - the reason being I was literally getting white blisters on my lips from the deep gashes I was causing by picking my lips. I felt so embarrassed being in public and especially in front of my boyfriend. I'm 24 years old now, and I'm officially fed up, I don't want to be 50 and still have this ridiculous problem! Its got to be a mind-over-matter situation. My plan of action is to not let my fingers come close to my lip - as soon as I start rubbing my bottom lip I know I'm in trouble, because the moment I feel a flaky piece of skin on an uneven surface I will pick my lips raw until everything feels perfectly smooth and raw when I run my index finger over my bottom lip - and that stinging sensation is the best! So i figure if i keep my fingers away from my lip it will at least minimise the urge to pick. I'm also using lip balm regualrly (like all of us are...) which at least helps to mask that flaky scabby feeling. I use DCT (daily conditioning treatment by Blistex) and it works brilliantly! It also helps heal the sores and softens the scabs and it doesn't leave your lips feeling very dry and flaky if you dont use it - like chapstix does. Anyway i dont know if this mind-over matter thing is going to work, but i am suuuuper determined to make it happen! I dont want to have to resort to therapy! So we'll see what happens and I'll keep you guys far I'm one day pick free. We can stop!!!!!! I KNOW IT.
Hey all, I really have to say that it somewhat puts me at ease to know that there are others out there with this same habit. My name is Carlos, I'm 28 and from Toledo, OH. I've been picking my lips my entire life. For as long as I can remember anyway. I pick the outside of my bottom lip and chew on the inside of it. I will pick and chew at it until it bleeds every time. I just Googled this because I was sitting here picking my lip until blood was pouring out of it, as usual. I once chewed a hole on the inside of my bottom lip so badly that it felt like I came close to clewing completely threw my lip. Like hardly more than skin was left. I pick at my bottom lip constantly. I managed to quit once for a long time when I started dating the love of my life. For years I was pick free! We had our Daughter, Sophia, and I remember from the time she got pregnant that I have been worried that my Daughter would develop the habit. Anyhow, I was doing great until she informed me she wanted a divorce. It wasn't long after that I noticed I had begun to pick again. Biting, peeling, and picking until my fingers are covered in blood and it's even running down my chin sometimes.. Ugh.. it's so horrible. It's some weird, sick, satisfaction of getting a bunch of super dark red blood flowing and then licking it off my fingers. Or getting a piece of tissue and picking at it with the tissue until it's covered in blood.. And I smoke cigarettes, and have for a long time.. I fear it's only a matter of time before I get mouth cancer.. My teeth are already completely destroyed and even though I'm a decently handsome guy. I can't smile at all without feeling like I'm being stared at our judged because of my teeth. I can't even laugh or be happy without worrying about what people think about my mouth.. It hurts that so many Women have been attracted to me, or shown interest.. until they've gotten a good look at my teeth.. and then it stops completely... How many jobs I've lost because of it in the interview.. I've strongly considered committing suicide many times, and honestly.. I mentioned it because the though crossed my mind just now.. I'll never be happy in life.. because whenever i'm happy.. I become self conscious about my teeth and mouth. I wish you all the best of luck in quitting one day.. Man..I just depressed the hell out of myself.
I'm sitting here reading all of these posts, almost in tears - thankful that I am not the ONLY one who has this issue!! So here's my story; I'm now 37 and have been picking the skin from my bottom lip for as long as I can remember. As a child, I remember my parents slapping my hands away from my mouth after they'd start bleeding, and my mom would always tell me that "one day your lip is just going to fall off of your face if you don't stop picking" obviously that hasn't happened, but sometimes I pick them so bad that they sting and burn and even hurt to talk because they're so raw...maybe falling off would be better! LOL (not really). I find that whether I'm anxious or bored or scared or even busy with work, my hands always seem to find their way to my lip. I have spent many nights laying awake even though I was tired, because I wasn't "finished" yet....I can't just pick some spots and leave it alone, I have to make sure that I've gotten every possible piece that I can before putting on balm and doing something else. This is not normal!! I waste so much time out of my life because I'm stuck on pause while I pick. I've been at work for 2.5 hours so far, and I've literally gotten NOTHING done...because I've been busy picking. I know people look at my lips all the time and notice how bad they are, but so far only family members have ever commented on it. I rarely ever wear lipstick because that seems to make them peel worse, and I am having a hard time finding a lip balm that helps and not hurts. For a while I thought that the Vanilla Carmex was the answer, but I've found that the stuff is like crack! Miss one day, and your lips are worse than they started off as! So for now, I am trying out a few formulas and making my own lip balm. It's not as hard as it might sound, but that way I know exactly what's in the stuff, and I don't have to worry about all of the harsh chemicals that can potentially make the broken skin on my lips sting. My current formula includes Cocoa Butter, shea butter, honey, and Vitamin E. I'll keep you posted with the progress!! Thanks to everyone who has opened up and shared your stories...I truly feel like I'm among friends right now, and I appreciate the support! xoxo
I, like the rest of you all, thought I was the only one with this problem! It's so relieving to know that many people struggle with this issue. I'm 19 years old and I have been picking my lips since as long as I can remember. I don't even really remember when or know why I actually started. But I do know that it is so addicting and probably one of the worst habits I've ever encountered. I pick every single day either when I'm bored or anxious and I only do it when I'm alone. From what I've read it seems like most people pick on the outside of their lips but I only pick on the inside so it's definitely easier to cover up. I really hate the fact that I absolutely love doing it and just wish I could stop! I'll pick until it bleeds and hurts or until I just get that one piece of skin that I've been picking and peeling at for minutes/hours. And when I'm not picking, I'll try to chew away the skin. I'll stop when my lips are just so raw and then I wait overnight to start up again the next day. It definitely hurts the worst when I have to brush my teeth and the toothpaste stings the wounds on my lips. But it's so weird to think that I love the satisfaction I get out of it! I've tried to stop several times where I'd try my absolute hardest to use my will power and tell myself to not pick, but then after a couple of days, I'd start up again without even noticing. Since I only pick while I'm alone and not in front of others, I don't really think anyone knows that I do it. I've been caught by my parents, some friends, and even my boyfriend of 2 years a couple of times but they just don't say anything about it. I'm even sometimes scared to kiss my boyfriend cause I'm afraid he'll notice my picked at lips. I'm too self-conscious to actually speak up about it to someone and I'm afraid that I'll never be able to stop. Before I found this page, I felt like I wasn't normal and a freak but knowing that this is pretty common makes me feel a little better. I would give anything to stop picking and to have normal, pretty lips. Hopefully we can all find a way to stop this horrible urge once and for all!
You are NOT alone! I am just gonna lay it all out... I have dermatellomania (spelling ?) that involves skin AND lip picking. I don't purposely create wounds to pick, what happens is when I'm deep in worry I get under a good light and scrutinize my arms, chest, legs, and less often... my face... for ANYTHING that looks like is in my pores or bumps that need to be squeezed or ingrown hairs. People tell me I'm imagining things b/c they can't see any blemishes but I swear I do see stuff! I'm lucky to have gotten no serious infections or anything, but on my arms I have scars. I also love to peel skin... especially sun burns! But I have for the most part stopped the picking, everywhere but my lips. And I can't lie... I LOVE it! I will spend hours doing it and have not done things I needed to do or been late to appointments b/c I couldn't bear to pull myself away from it. After picking/peeling sessions my lips burn and sting and have raw spots and as they heal they get hardened skin that makes me wanna peel more! I hate it when I peel the skin that's still attached enough to my lips to hurt and/or bleed... but not enough to stop chancing it. What I'm addicted to is seeing how big a piece I can pull off at once with no pain. I feel around my bottom lip with my fingernails until I catch it on a little piece of hardened skin that is starting to peel and I work at it to try to pick it off in as long a piece as possible. I usually have several places I'm "harvesting" in one session. Sadly I get soooo excited when I can get some good ones! As long as there's no pain or blood... just a good clean peel... it feels so good it's ALMOST like an orgasm. The ultimate is when I feel a good potential piece and I pick it to get it lifted enough to grip it between my thumbnail and fingernail and pull and I feel it pulling just enough to get that satisfying sesation w/o pain or blood, and it comes off in a long piece (my best was a piece going across my entire bottom lip that was almost the full width of my lip also!). And as gross as I know it sounds... I eat it. It's almost always my bottom lip I mess with, but every now and then I'll get a little from the top lip too. Usually though any peeling parts of the top one I bite off with my teeth. And like you, people smack my hand away or tell me to quit picking at them. It is really bad sometimes when I'm wearing lipstick b/c I chew it off and the spots that I pick stand out even more. I try to never wear light-colored lipstick b/c the raw spots show thru... so I wear dark shades of like burgundy, etc.
OMG!! From top to bottom that is me.
Hi All - I am 45 and have compulsively and comprehensively picked my lips pretty much every day from as early as I can remember. A few days ago I had a look on this site because I really wanted to kick the habit once and for all. Like many others, I've also become a master at covering up my habit with make-up and lip ointments - and annoyed the hell out of partners and family with my picking over the years. This site and others seemed to recommend hynotherapy as the only option for us dedicated pickers, so I checked it out and booked myself in, not knowing what to expect, but inspired to do something by knowing this was a recognised condition. I thought it would be some kind of hypnosis thing and take weeks of sessions because of how long I've been picking. But, it wasn't like that - for the first time, rather than hiding or ignoring it, I spent time talking about my problem, why I wanted to change it and focusing on understanding why I did it and the therapist explained that it wasn't as difficult as people think for your brain to learn new things - it can be pretty quick. Naturally, I was completely sceptical - even 3 days without picking felt like an impossible dream, let alone my brain stopping me doing it completely! So, one 2 hour session of therapy later, here I am now on day 4 of leading a non-picking life! Could be shortlived, but this is the most days non-picking I can remember, so I am going to try to keep going on my journey to lovely permanently soft healed lips - wish me luck!
I am 13 years old and I have been picking my lips since I was 8 years old. My mom yells at me for doing it, but it makes me do it even more. I need advice on how to stop my self. If any of you guys have any info PLEASE tell me A.S.A.P!
My name is Eden and I'm 14 years old. I have been picking my lips since I can remember and my mom would duck tape my hands together so I would stop. Nobody understands the problem unless they have it. They think you can just stop but they have no idea. My advice to someone that is forcing you to stop or yelling at you is to leave unless your problem is very serious.
@EdenWilliams Your mom would literally DUCK TAPE your hands? Man...that sounds painful.
I am nearly 40 years old. I have been picking my upper lip, right in the center, since I was about 4. I can remember sucking my thumb and picking that spot with my index finger. Sometimes I would just rub my fingernail or thumbnail over the spot just to feel the vibration it would cause. At some point, I changed from sucking my thumb to sucking the index finger on my right hand. I can remember my mom trying to make me stop my smacking my hand away from my mouth, putting the bitter stuff on my fingers, hot sauce, etc.. I can even remember being woken up in the middle of the night as my mom came in and yelled at me. When I was about 14 I simply stopped doing it. I don't know why or how. During this time, I could not suck my finger and pick my lip concurrently, but I alternated. I also bite or tear my fingernails and tear my toenails. I have twice stopped biting my nails for a long period of time. The first time for about a year. During this time, I stopped tearing my toenails too. I am currently in a more or less controlled stage in that endeavour. I try to remember to keep my nails trimmed and free of jagged edges. I don't live day to day with a sore lip. I don't always pick until I'm bleeding. I have many many times told myself how ridiculous all of this is. Like some of the other posts here, I've told myself I am going to stop, only to find myself doing it unconsciously a few hours or even minutes later. I don't know how many times I've woken up, felt how smoothe and almost normal my lip felt, and thought I was well on my way to healing once and for all, only to realize a mile down the road that I'm at it again. By the time I get to work, it's as though I've never stopped. One of the many things that set me off, and this goes for biting my nails too, is the feeling of a cool air across my lip and bitten fingers. It's soothing. When the skin on my lip is healing or when the my nails are too long, I can't feel that air flow and it in itself starts to make me anxious. Of course stress and concentration contribute to this as well. I wish I could just get to that same point I did when I stopped sucking my finger. The longer nails doesn't bother me as much anymore either so I feel I've almost got this resolved. Other than hypnosis I can't imagine what to do.
This is the first time I have ever googled this problem; I'm 28 and have picked my lips since I was about 13/14...I have done it pretty much every day since. Until now, yesterday I decided enough was enough and that I've got a few days off and that I'm going to try and not pick them at all. SO I've used carmex constantly and the skin is really gross underneath HOWEVER, they are healing themselves and I am DETERMINED to not pick them...hopefully by tomorrow they will be healed completely...or even Saturday. However, even though it's not a problem that has really got to me, I realised I can't do it forever and my mum has always told me off for doing it! Even now at 28!!'s like smoking, the temptation is ridiculous; it's like a drug when you do it...HOWEVER the only way to stop is literally staying strong and being fully conscious of NOT doing it too...they will be horrible for a couple of days YES, but then after, you will become more aware of you doing it. Putting on carmex constantly is definitely helping the healing process and makes them look better. Anyway, a couple of days being strong & aware is all it takes really, (I notice I do it when I'm anxious) maybe try other ways to relieve your anxiety instead...(I know it's not as satisfying coming from a lip-picker I KNOW!) the end you will be proud of yourself & your lips will look normal! yay :)
P.S. many of these comments ring true for me, except I don't think I have any other addictions. Yes, I could stand to lose 25 lbs, but I don't binge eat or drink. I tried smoking in college but that didn't last. I found this site through researching Tourette's syndrome that my son has. He has tics that he can't control, and Wikipedia says it can be partly genetic. I thought, 'well, nobody in the family has that.' Then I clicked on a link for "Habit Reversal Therapy" and saw "skin picking" listed among nail-biting, tics and thumb-sucking. I thought, "Oh no, he's gotten it from me, since I pick my lips!" I hope we can improve ourselves.
I have been picking my lips for about 38 years, since I was about 4 yrs old. Two years ago I got acrylic nails for the first time and found that I could no longer do it with those fake nails on. YAY! I know someone who was born with a bad nail condition and has gotten acrylics every 2 weeks since she was about 12 years old and now she's in her mid-twenties, with no adverse effects. I hand-wash dishes a lot, and got a little fungus a couple of times, but it went away, no problem. I recently stopped getting them done due to finances, and to see if I'd start picking my lips again, which unfortunately, I did, and now it's been a couple months. I will get a new set pretty soon. I recommend the natural style of American manicure, which is like the French manicure, but not stark-white tips. They look very natural! I get mine rounded (not square shaped) and short. I had some expensive solar nails and another special kind that is meant to be superior, but the acrylics are the cheapest, look great, and do the job of preventing lip-picking. I was addicted to lip balm every night, which made my lips feel "tight" and when I picked them, they rarely bled, since it was pretty much the dried lip balm coming off. Occasionally my lower lip bleeds a little but heals in one day. I tried Mary Kay's lip exfoliation to ease the feeling that they need to be picked at, but that didn't help much; I usually still felt like picking. I have also tried the stick on nails from Dollar General, which are fine for a one-day special occasion or weekend, but they come off fairly quickly. The thumb ones stayed on well though, so I just kept them on for about 2 weeks (they were french manicure) which made it difficult to pick. I hope my experience and advice helps someone!
I will be 32 next month & have been picking my lips for as long as I can remember. I too get acrylic nails. At first it was mainly for looks & convenience but I noticed that when I had them I couldn't pick my lips as well & without them I'd go right back to it. So now I mainly get them done just so I can't pick my lips. I try to have them done as much as possible, unfortunately finances have been bad lately but soon as better income starts rolling in again I will be right back at my trusted nail salon.
yep chin and lip picker too., but these shady ass, asian salons have been linked to hep ab and c, and i know u have had your cuticle cut more than once with unethical practices! i would rather have my face picked to shit, as my chin is right now1 i don't want my husband to see me, yes it is that bad! This sucks bot don't add insult to injury
Wow. For the longest time I thought I was the only person who did this. I've been picking my lip for a long time and I've never been able to quit. There are times when I don't realize I do it and I'm constantly carrying Chapstick which actually makes the picking worse cuz it makes my lips dry and flaky. As of right now I am biting my lip cuz I have the urge to pick. Sometimes I bleed and get embarrassed. My lips hurt so bad at times from picking and I don't know how to stop. It's nice to know there's a name for it and I'm not crazy
oh my gosh! Me too, I honestly thought I was the only person who did this!! I don't know why but I just decided to Google it and here I am. I feel like such a freak sometimes and even though I can stop for a while I always end up going right back to picking! Been doing this as far back as I can remember. When I'm bored, or concentrating or falling asleep... You all know how it is... I don't really have to explain further because anything I could possible say has already been said before, I just wanted to add another comment showing other people they are not alone. I don't drink, smoke or binge eat. I'm a fairly healthy person, I guess this is my only vice. The whole "self mutilation" thing is interesting to me. I've been at this since I was really young and I don't feel like I hate myself so I'm on the fence about that theory. I'm not like a pain junkie or anything but for some reason I actually like the painful feeling of ripping off a good size piece of skin until it bleeds. (OMG that sounds so crazy in writing!!) Any how, I hope we all figure out a way to stop. I know that when I do go threw those phases where I am able to not pick, my whole face changes for the better. Like someone else mentioned, keeping my lips super moisturized ( Burt's Bee's/ Carmex) seems to help. Good luck to us all!
me too then i realize that liquid is profusely coming therefore i know huge scab, embarrassing! The only thing that i found to reduce the scabbing is pure coconut oil. i use it for my hair, as well as skin and cook with it. it is nature's natural rmed, i wish there was a remedy to stop picking, since i am off work due to summer as teacher i am thinking of a band aid, as now i am picking my chin and every time it is healing i pick at it again, Anxiety prob., even though unconsciously, obviously doing it is half the battle!
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