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Dermatillomania (skin picking disorder)

Buffyfan , 31 Aug 2010

I have began to pick the inside of my bellybutton, does anyone else do this??

Hi I'm 14 years old and I have obsessive compulsive disorder. I have a severe scalp picking problem and now I have begun to pick the inside of my bellybutton. I'm very scared, and I was wondering if anyone else here picks their bellybutton?
39 Answers
September 04, 2010
When my anxiety was very high (a few months ago), I started picking in my bellybutton to the point where it would bleed a little and then scab and then I would pick at the scabs and the whole process would start over. I did get it under control and I no longer pick there which is good because I think you could get a pretty nasty infection in there. Do you know what caused you to start picking your bellybutton?
September 07, 2010
when i was pregnant i picked the inside of my bellybutton... when it started to turn into an outtie cause of my big bellie it looked gross i hated it :(
December 09, 2010
I have done this since I was 8 years old, and I am now 21. I can't seem to stop. It's... kind of heartening to know that at least I'm not the only one. =/
July 25, 2011
Yes me too thats what brought me to this Page you are not alone Ive been doing it since oct of 2009 to the point where it is sore red and bleeds then i will use neosporin to heal it and then before I know it I'm picking again I'm not young I'm Older I have picked scabs all my life I never relized it was a disorder! I also found out I had Ocd in 07 I also pick at toe nails and finger nails off and on and a lil scalp picking from time to time most often if I wake up in the middle of sleep ! Never talked about this before thanks for being brave and mentioning it ! :)
Tati tiger
October 26, 2011
I'm 15 years old .. And I too pick my bellybutton since I was a baby . I tempt to pull it out as far as it can go and pick at it . I have try to stop but it's hard , and such a bad habit I do everywhere now . Is this really a disorder ?
October 27, 2011
Thanks for all of the comments, just knowing that there are other people out there who have similar problems. We're not alone. It sounds corny, but good luck to everyone. I really give my best wishes to you all. :) Tati tiger, I think it could be a aspect of dermatilimania. But I'm not really sure. Since I have OCD, at first I thought that it was a compulsion. But now that I know other people do this too, I don't think so anymore. Also, my phyviatrist seems to think it's not a compulsion aw well. Maybe you could try asking your pediatrician or other doctor? It could help understand it better and come up with ideas to help stop the picking. Good luck with everything.
Tati tiger
October 30, 2011

In reply to by Buffyfan

I like visiting this site to know that I'm not the only one but scares me to hear all this stories that sound really bad . I was wondering, umm, do you medicine or treatment to stop this disorder ? And are you trying anything to stop ? If so can u please reply as soon as possible to let me know , so that I can't stop with this thing that's make my life a living hell (in a way) . Thanks Tati =^_^= tiger
October 30, 2011

In reply to by Tati tiger

That's exactly how I feel too. Anyway, yes, treatment can "stop" this disorder. Or at least MAJORLY help it. I was able to stop picking for about 5 or 6 months, no real urges to do it or anything. Then school started to get stressful and my phyciatrist was out on maternity leave, so I think that's why it started up again. But I'm working currently with my psychiatrist trying to stop picking. Right now I'm keeping a log of when and where I am when I pick to see if there are any patterns etc. The picking has comeback mainly on my scalp, and a few other areas less majorly, but it's all similar. Seeking help/treatment is definately the right move here. It takes work, but you can do it :). Is there a parent/doctor that you can talk to about this? Because that could be a good first step. As for the medicine, I'm not sure of any medicine that is a "cure". I take 200mg of Zoloft per day for my OCD. But that doesn't really have anything to do with the picking. Just remember that you'll have your good days & bad days with the picking. It's all a process. Everything will be ok. I have some pretty good tips for keeping your hands busy therefore reducing picking, if your interested. Hope you're doing ok & that you see this soon :) Any questions or Anything feel free. I'm only 15 but I've been dealing w/ this for a while .__.
Tati tiger
October 30, 2011

In reply to by Buffyfan

Tati. I'm glad to hear about your story . It really brought hope to me , thanks . I'm to nervous tell my parents . They have deal with enough with me . And I dont want to worry them more . Right now I have a dislocated shoulder and I might need surgery , so its seams like more than enough for my parents to be worrying about . But if u could give me advice on keeping my hands busy that would be great :) Thanks Tati =^_^= tiger
April 21, 2020

In reply to by Buffyfan

Hey, thanks. And honestly, I didn't know this was a thing to worry about. It's just normal for me. Maybe when I'm older I'll see someone about it- I'm 13- but to my parents, it is simply an annoying habit I've had since I was a baby. Belly button, the inside of my elbows- I thought it a bit embarrassing. Thank you.

November 02, 2011

In reply to by Tati tiger

I actually don't have a email right now, I managed to somehow inadvertently delete it or something :( Anyways, as for keeping your hands busy there are several things that may be worth trying. My number one thing is Silly putty. I usually always have it with me. Sometimes putting small pieces of rubber or things of similar texture inside of the silly putty is good. It simulates the picking sensation by picking at the rubber in the silly putty. Another is this thing called Beeswax. You hold it in your hand and it warms up and becomes moldable (it also doesn't stick to anything if you leave it lying around like silly putty does) Then you have koosh balls which are pretty helpful aswell. next there are Buckyballs, which are small round magnets that you can make pretty much anything out of. They're pretty awesome. I've also found that tying things to string and then swinging the string around my finger works well also. Gimp is another good thing, it's plastic string that you can make different knot stitches with. Squishy stress balls are good, especially ones with little Nubs on them which you can poke and pick at. pretty much anything squishy and/or stretchy is great. has all of these items, and you can buy silly putty at any drugstore basically. all these toys are called "Fiddle Toys" or "Fidget toys" Hope this helps! And I'm sorry to hear about your shoulder :( Get well soon!! :)
Tati tiger
November 05, 2011

In reply to by Buffyfan

Tati. Thanks :) their going to have do surgery on it. I'm so worried hopefully everything turns out okay :] And thanks I'll try this things out and let you know how it goes :) The beeswax sounds like fun :D So how are you doing ?
November 05, 2011
I have had a LOT of luck with the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine, which is sometimes sold as N-acetyl L-cysteine, for my 11-year-old daughter who severely picks her skin (arms and legs). I'm hoping that everyone on this group will check it out. We started out at 1200mg each day, 600mg in the morning and 600mg in the evening. Then we worked up to 2400mg, 1200 mg in the morning and 1200 mg in the evening, within about 3 or 4 weeks. The study that was done in 2009 showed the best results were after 9 weeks of continuous treatment with this amino acid, also just known as NAC. We saw great results after 6 weeks. Please consider trying it. I am not a doctor, so please weigh out the risks for yourself. It has truly been a godsend. My daughter used to pick to the point of staph infections. She has scars all over her body. It works by regulating the URGE to pick. You can download the summary text of the 2009 study on this website - The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.
November 14, 2011
I do this too! I'm relieved in a way that this isn't only me. I have a very deep innie that is naturally prone to producing more of that crusty stuff. I started picking at it recently, and now my navel is red and irritated. Does anyone know exactly what this crusty substance that belly buttons produce is?
Tati tiger
November 21, 2011

In reply to by SeptemberSapphire

Tati. yes, i also have crusty things in the bellybutton but it has never gotten to the point were its red and irritated... i tried keeping my hands busy by playing with play-doh and it has reduced teh picking urge. you should try it. hope it helps you too.:]
November 23, 2011
Get a piece of graph paper.(they have a lot of squares, but these squares will represent days for us.)-------------------- -fold the paper till it is wallet/pocket sized. Now open the whole paper up. (this just creates sections/fold marks in the paper).---------------------- BUT here is the main concept of this:---------------------------- Right when You wake up in the morning, u will place an x or the number 1, inside one of these squares.------------------------------------- NOW this symbolizes, that for the whole day until you go back to sleep and wake back up again u will NOT pick.----------------------------------- So this number "one or x" is your first day of not picking.------------------------- When u wake back up again next morning u put a number two/x.. symbolizing the second day of refraining from picking.------------------------------ U KEEP THIS GRAPH PAPER WITH U ALL TIMES, IN WALLET, POCKET.------------------------------- THIS IS MAKING YOURSELF NOT PICK "A DAY AT A TIME."---------------------- UNTIL THE SKIN CONDITION IS GONE!----------------------------------- so get the graph paper, put a one in the first square. U can stop for a day.------------------------ Then next day, put a 2 in the square. U can stop for a day--------------------------. Then next day, put a 3 in the square. U can stop for a day.-------------------------- keep doing this
June 25, 2015

I have the same problem I actually have habit of sucking my thumb and playing with my bellybutton. I can remember when I started to do this but I know that I was no older then 3 all day I have the urge to "pop" my bellybutton like I pull it out as far as it can go then I let it go and it makes this loud pop but any way I also pick and peel the skin out of my belly button I don't know if its safe but nothing has happened to me yet and I am now 16 sooo... Hope this helps

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