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mirrorwarrior , 25 Jan 2013

Dermatillomania on Dr. Phil!

There was a Dr. Phil this week about a girl who has picked her skin since she was 11 (now 21) who thought she was the only one who suffered until she went online and founds other like her. I've only seen the first 10 mins, but she's about to take off her makeup to face the world as she is... I can't even believe this is happening... This is such exposure for this disorder. Go watch anyway you can! The episode is called Distorted Beauty.
4 Answers
February 01, 2013
I just found this website (Skin Pick) and the forum with everyone else going through the same thing today. I finally found a site where I could watch the Dr. Phil episode being mentioned, but was disappointed by the girl who was featured. It does seem like she has a different problem than actual dermatillomania. Dr. Phil indeed doesn't call her problem by that name, but calls it Body Dysmorphic Disorder. They definitely seem like different things--to the extent that I felt like the episode didn't truly address or help people who have dermatillomania. The girl on the show 'said' that she picked her skin for hours and hours every day, and covered the scars that she made with masks of makeup, but when her makeup was 'removed' on the show, nothing looked any different. I thought for a little while that this was going to be great and really address my problem--but when her 'makeup' was removed (which only took about 5 seconds), her skin looked exactly the same and completely clear. I know I personally wear tons of makeup when I've made scars on my face, but it takes some good scrubbing (much more than 5 seconds) to remove all my makeup, and my face not only looks different and is truly scarred underneath all the foundation, but it's usually a different shade than my makeup as well either because my wearing heavy makeup prevents my skin from getting any sun so it's just extremely pale compared to my naturally tan skin tone, or just because the makeup doesn't match my skin. Recently, I've been going to a tanning salon to help make my face and chest (which have been coated in makeup for the past 4 years or so and receiving very little sunlight) a closer shade to the rest of my body. I am happy that this winter I am able to go to the tanning salon without wearing any makeup. I consider it a little step to be able to face the person at the salon counter (even if I avoid anyone and everyone else on my way to and from the salon). Last winter, I tried tanning, but couldn't go without wearing foundation, so it didn't help my problem very much. This winter, it is helping a little I believe. I don't know if anyone else suffers from having a face and chest that are a different color from the rest of you because you wear so much makeup all the time to cover up the scars, but tanning might be able to help you even it out, too. The worst areas for me are definitely my forehead (the absolute WORST--I've been thinking about getting bangs a lot lately just so I can cover this part of my face--but I want to beat this dermatillomania beast and be able to show my whole face, hair pulled back, and feel fine--confident, even. That is my goal. Maybe with the help of you guys I can get there, and you can, too. (When I go to the salon, I wear this winter hat that covers my forehead and helps keep my long hair against the sides of my face by my ears since these are the areas that I usually pick the worst.) That way, I can hide what I've done, but still try and keep fixing the problem (and tanning--which I think may really help.) I also just have a complex about being tan...haha. But I don't think it would exist if I didn't have this skin problem. My arms and legs and stomach and all of that are all a medium skin-tone color that I'm fine with year-round, but since makeup began to make my face and chest extremely lighter than the rest of me, I've been trying to tan privately to make my face and chest the same color as the rest of me so that if my skin were clear, I might be able to show it, rather than look like I was some sort of ghost from the chest-up. I think my problem is getting better because although my chest has many scars on it from all the picking I have done, I am not currently picking there--I don't have any scars on my chest right now--and I haven't for a month! My back has one on it that I've been aggravating a lot lately, but it is healing now, and hopefully it will be healed soon, and I can leave my back alone, too. My face will definitely be the hardest battle to fight, I just put on a heavy application of foundation before going for a run because I absolutely can't be seen around this town with my forehead looking the way it does right now. (The sides of my face by my ears are pretty unsightly, as well.) I have two big pockmarks on my forehead where I have delved into where small zits used to be. They were not even bad--not whiteheads or blackheads, just raised little bumps that I squeezed, and damn....before you know it, here we go agian -_- Not back to this.... I hope once these ones heal, with the help of you guys, willpower, willpower, willpower, and all the tips I have learned today, I will be able to start the road to healing this problem and my skin. I know I still need help, so write back, and we can encourage each other. I hope this becomes something that can benefit all of us. Love, tasi
June 11, 2013

In reply to by tasi

I totally agree- the girl on dr. phil was a HUGE letdown!! i don't think they should have advertised it as "a girl who picks her skin" because honestly it had little to do with actual dermatillomania. It actually insulted me to see the girl on the show who claims to have given herself scoliosis from sitting on the bathroom counter picking her skin for hours-- but then her face looked flawless without makeup!! however, i then realized that she has her own issues and struggles, BDD is nothing to laugh about. and i do appreciate the fact that she went on the show and talked about her problems in such a public way. I just wish a real skin picker could be shown in a public light!! the only one I've seen was on My Strange Addiction on TLC, and it was a pretty accurate portrayal of a woman with dermatillomania, however it had no resolution at the end, and it showed her going to therapy but the show itself didn't discuss any of the treatment options or causes of the illness, it just made her out to be sort of like a freak who had a weird addiction (hence the title). So i was super excited for this dr. phil episode, but turns out it was a bust :( oh well. PS- i too put makeup on both my face and chest, but since i am naturally super pale it doesn't really affect my skin tone or make it uneven. i actually spray tan occasionally to cover up the marks and scars all over my body, and plan to do that again after my wounds heal, good luck to you girl and let me know how your progress is going lately since this post is a few months old, haha :)

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