Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

scabby , 17 Jan 2008

does it run in your family?

i was just curious how many other 'pickers' have family members who are skin pickers or have other related disorders? my mother and sisters all like to pick, not to the extent that i do, but they have for years. depression, anxiety, ocd tendencies, bipolar disorder also run in my immediate and extended family. just wondering how much of a factor heredity might be playing in this picking disorder.
28 Answers
January 21, 2008
I do. My mum picks too, she as done for as long i can remember. I'm also a picker too. I also suffer with bipolar and my mum as OCD tendencies, and suffers with depression so i'd say it is heredity. All my family suffer with depression too except one.
January 29, 2009

In reply to by Kerry

Not that I am aware. My older son never did it. It saddens me that my 3-year-old has picked up this habit from watching me. I find it interesting my older son doesn't do it, but then again the younger one is much more like me emotionally and mentally.
February 02, 2009

In reply to by MonkeyMama

I do wonder if my 6 year old does it out of hereditary reasons. My 3 year old does not bite his skin or nails because he sucks his thumb and has a blanket, like I did when I was young. But my 6 year old daughter has never had the thumb or blankie habit, and has begun biting all the skin and nails off her fingers. I have a bad habit of twisting a piece of hair; I just can't stop fiddling with it. I am afraid she must see this habit and think it's ok for her to have a compulsive habit too. It's hard, it's sad.
January 30, 2008
I've been picking since I was 11. I am 22 now. My mom and dad both told me that they did the same thing in middle school, but they both "grew out" of it. It was weird though because when I started doing it they both said, "I did that too" without realizing that the other had done it in the past.
February 01, 2008
I have a twin sister and she started doing it before I did; I started doing it because I saw her doing it once, when she was sitting at the computer. Seven years later, she has stopped a while ago, yet I continue.
January 08, 2009

In reply to by elille

both me and my twin sister pick. I was actually the one who started ( i think) but I'm worse than she is. My mother and grandmother picked too. Does your sister ever tell u that it's gross?
February 23, 2008
I am the only member of my family who does this. Things like OCD, panic disorder, and anxiety run in my immediate family though, so it could be linked to that. I've always had an addictive personality though, and I was always seeking a "security blanket." I sucked my thumb until I was 7, because it was comforting. I think that may have been when I started picking.
March 17, 2008
I just found this site today. I always thought that my grandmother, my father and myself were the only people who picked scabs. I remember from the time I was a little girl how my grandmother would pick the scabs on her arms. Then I noticed my father doing the same thing when I was in my teens. The strange thing is, is that it was my maternal grandmother and not my father's mother who was the picker. I remember picking scabs from the time I was very young and I was also a chronic nail biter until 3 yrs ago. Depression also runs in my family. I didn't start picking to such a great extent until 10 yrs ago when I met my ex-husband. As the years with him went on, my picking became worse and worse until my arms and legs are covered with scars. I hoped that since we split 3 yrs ago that I would stop, but I haven't been able to do so.
January 10, 2009
I had started picking at sores on my arms back in the late 70's after I was badly burned on one arm at work with chemicals. I always thought that after that it had caused some kind of dermatitis or psoriasis. I truly feel a horrific itching in which I start to scratch and once I start scratching it turns into picking and causing open wounds and terrible scares. Through the years it has been only located on certain areas, one time will be on one arm or one leg or just my shoulders, but lately it is all over. My doctor seems to think it is Neurotic Excoriations. I know that for the last 15 years have had a lot of depression and worry, my mother was very ill for a long time and lived with her so I could take care of her. After her death though the picking continued. I am now engaged to a wonderful man whom truly understands that I am trying desperately to stop the picking. I have been in 2007 put in the hospital for both of my legs being terribly infected, they have since healed, than my arms started in 2008 and they are just about healed but now it is my thighs and back. I think it is the itching though that drives me crazy. Does anybody out there have the terrific itching? If only that would stop perhaps I could leave my skin alone. I am so relieved to know that there are others out there with the same problem. I was beginning to think that I was alone in this. The doctor again has given me anti-biotics to try to heal the infections. I have tried even putting gloves on at home while awake and at night because I know I do this at night too while I am sleeping. It seems to help a great deal. Also using a lotion and rubbing it in using a lot of pressure seems to ease the itching. If anyone has any other suggestions for the itch please let me know. I am tired of not being able to go to the Jacuzzi or swimming because the sores are so ugly.
January 30, 2009
it's hereditary.... Myself, my dad, two of his brothers and 4 of my cousins from my dad's side..... :-(
February 04, 2009
My brother used to do it just the same as me, but he stopped a few years ago :(. I felt like it kind of gave us a sort of camaraderie! Now he just makes fun of me for my 'disgusting fingers' - boo!! I know of mental illness in my family, but not sure if there are any other pickers..
February 04, 2009

In reply to by neverwake

I hate it when people talk about my fingers and ask questions like " what happened!?!" OMG PUT A BAND-AID ON THAT!!!!! But now I tell people I am healing from a burn. on my hand. The people I don't know I mean. No one talks about it in my family that I know of. My family wouldn't tell me to my face that I have a problem. But If they did I would be crushed for some reason.
April 01, 2009
My whole family has picking issues. My mom has anixety issues with depression and picks her scalp. My dad is bipolar and picks his nails, cuticles and feet. My brother has ADD/OCD and picks his face and I am an anxious person who has depressive issues/OCD and i pick my cuticles to death. I pick at my face and scalp though far less than my cuticles. Hate this! Any one tried the online counseling offered here? I just signed up. Hoping it helps me.
April 02, 2009
i dont know if it runs in my family..but i've been doing it since i was a child
April 04, 2009
I started picking at my face in college, and then graduated to picking at my arms, legs, chest, stomach, back, everywhere. It's gotten really bad in the past five or six years since I was attacked and raped in my home by a random stranger who broke in. I've been through about two years of therapy now, but the picking just keeps on. I will get in a zone when I'm in the bathroom, and spend hours pinching, tearing at what I think are clogged pores, blemishes..."imperfections." I stay up too late and lose sleep. I'm worried that the scars will never go away...that I'm doing permanent damage. I'm already on antidepressants and they don't help with the picking. But, I don't feel depressed! I am ashamed of what I do, afraid people think I'm a drug addict or have some nasty contagious rash, or that there's just something very wrong with me. I don't want anyone to touch or see my skin. I avoid relationships...haven't had a date in two and a half years. I'm 31 years old.
June 29, 2010

In reply to by mercuryme

I just want you to know that if you were in the same room I would give you a great big hug. Don't give up! You can't always choose what happens to you but you can choose what you think inside. Hard, I know! When you start telling yourself good things about life and yourself.. it will start to show on the outside. Know this, the fact that you are here today means that you don't want to give up and you are tough enough to make it through something that not a lot of people can. Continue with the therapy and you will get out of this slump! HUGS!
April 04, 2009
I forgot to say, my sister is anorexic, my mom is anorexic, my dad is an alcoholic, and my brother is a hypochondriac. All have anxiety/depression. Yay.
April 09, 2009
Mom has mild depression. No other mental health history on either side. Do you think it could be a product of an environment that has so much more stimulation then previous generations?
April 20, 2010
my mum showed me scars on her arms today when i admitted to her whats really going on with my skin. her and my dad were and in some way still are pickers. i think its definitely got a hereditary factor to it

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now