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Lip Picking

happytown3000 , 01 Apr 2011

I pick and peel at my lips, does anyone else do this? (long)

Thank goodness I found this website... I have felt so alone and weird with my CSP for so long, and now I've been on here for hours reading stories, and I feel so much better. I've hardly picked at all this whole morning! :] My CSP is centered only on my bottom lip. I know that is no where near as bad as a lot of all you have it, but it is still a problem, and I am still embarrassed about it. It started about 5 years ago, when I was 13. I used to have really chapped lips and would just peel the excess skin off. No big... it would always heal by like, the end of the day, and it was only a teeny spot. However, it continued to get worse and worse - I kept doing it more and more, and now I don't have a high school memory where my bottom lip wasn't just a huge scab. It's so embarrassing... people ask me, "what happened to your lips?" or "uh, your lip is bleeding..." all disgusted and weirded out, and it makes me feel terrible. It also makes it difficult to do certain things with my mouth painlessly, like kissing my boyfriend or anything that involves stretching my lips. I feel like such a weirdo and I'm full of shame for what I do. I try to combat my CSP by putting Vaseline on my lips every night before I go to sleep, but that typically just makes the scab really soft and easy to pick off in the morning :/ I also try to cover my lips with lipstick, which actually works pretty well as long as I keep applying it... but when I forget, it dries my lips a lot and makes me want to pick at them more. There are periods of time when I have enough willpower to stop for a couple weeks, and each time that happens, I'm always so stoked and tell myself "never again," but of course, it does happen again eventually. I don't do it because I'm stressed... I just do it. The only way I am forced to stop is by getting acrylic nails, but I can't afford to get them all the time and they make it too difficult for me to play guitar. It kills me to read some stories on here about people who are in their 30's and have been picking for 15 years or so... I never want to end up like that. I want to stop so bad. I'm also scared that eventually it won't just be my lips, but I will move on to other parts of my face and body. I used to take scissors, pins, razor blades or toenails clippers and cut off the calloused skin on my finger tips and on my feet for a good portion of my childhood and adolescence (which has stopped inexplicably), so I know it's possible. I'm lucky to not have acne, because when I do get a pimple, I pick the hell out of it. Even if I get a pimple on my back that I can't reach, I make someone else pop it for me because I can't stand the thought of it being there. It's very cathartic in itself just to write my story out and feel like someone will be empathetic, but if anyone has any advice on how to help me stop, I would greatly appreciate your input. Thanks so much for reading what I had to say; it means a lot :]
45 Answers
April 01, 2011
I sort of did that when I was a kid. But for me, having peeled sensitive cracking lips is like scratching nails across a chalkboard. I can't stop focusing on it (which is probably your problem). You want to quit but it's irritating so you keep doing the same thing to temporarily relieve discomfort but end up making the condition worse. I get it. There's a few things I would suggest you try. Seems you already realize lipstick is a way to deter your lip picking. I would also suggest you get something to numb your lips. Get some ambesol (it's for toothache pain. It's like the stuff the dentist spreads on your gums before he gives you a shot). It will numb your lips and you will be less distracted by them. Try and keep them moisturized, so switch form a lip stick to something that is petroleum based. Not chapstick or lip gloss. You want something that feels like Vasaline. Actually, you could get some anti-biotic ointment from the drug store (get ambesol there too), and spread some of that on your lips before you apply your lipstick. So here's the list: 1. Ambesol 2. Anti-biotic ointment 3. Lip Stick First apply ambesol and numb your lips up. Then apply anti-biotic ointment especially to the sore Then Cover it all with lipstick. Keep the ambesol with you so you can apply it as soon as you feel yourself picking or biting your lips. The anti-biotic will heal the sore in a few days, and the lipstick will keep you looking pretty. Good luck!
November 17, 2014

In reply to by sharmaine73

Omg I thought I was the only one.. I was just on google trying to find out ways to stop picking my bottom lip. Its driving me crazy I been doing this for years don't remember what age I started but I will pick until my lip bleeds and continue to pick until my nails are full of blood and my lips feel smooth and even. My boyfriend hates that I pick my lips he says I'm making them look ugly and that it feels like he's kissing sand paper :( . I want to stop but I just can't help it. Everytime I pick my boyfriend gets really made and would smack my hand away from my mouth. I would stop for the moment but inside I'm freaking out because I just need to finish with that loose piece of skin and rip it off but before i know it my hand is right back on my lip minutes after. I try telling my boyfriend its not hard to just stop that's like telling a crackhead to stop smoking.. my lip picking is an addiction I love how it feels to pull the skin off and I love how smooth my lips feel after. Lip chap or whatever just makes tgings worse and creates more loose skin for me to peel... I need help. Not to mention I'm on meds for anxiety, and depresson.. not sure if the lip picking is related but I do notice I pick my lips more when nervous or stressed.

November 17, 2014

In reply to by gem16

Not to mention I also love scratching my back pimples to hear it pop and if I ever get a pimple on my face I pop the hell out of it amd sometimes I don't stop until I have a red spot on my face from bleeding under the skin.. making things worse than it was

May 09, 2017

In reply to by gem16

Omg, yes!!!! I'm the same. I looove Peking and picking until my fingers are all bloody! My boyfriend hates it and snacks my hand away too. I also told him that asking me to stop is like asking a crackhead to stop smoking Wow. I thought I was just a weirdo.

September 28, 2011
Who knew this was a common problem... I just want to know whether or not the reply you were given helped at all? I've tried most things, herbal plants, antibiotics, chili sauce, aloe extract... you name it I've applied it. Lipstick has become my mask because I try to wear red lipstick to hide the red blotches on my lips. Like you I have been picking at my lips since I was about 5, family members used to warn me that it would result in a 'rhino lip' and that I would be sorry. I have a tendency to scratch and pull and yes clip at calluses and even warts. Thanks to a lot of antibiotics I don't have a acne any more, but when I did I picked them too. I used to explain my scabs to piers by blaming it on my wild cat. It was so bad they believed me. The more I write the more I realize I might have to join a psychiatric website instead of a dermatological one because unlike happytown3000, I enjoy it enormously. I am ashamed by the reactions I get from people, but weighing the consequences, I always decide to pick anyway. I tend to pick when I'm sleepy, when I'm stressed, or even just deeply engaged in thought. As a child I used to wake up with bloodied fingers because I started doing it in my sleep. That did feel good to say :) I'm not even sure I posted this comment n the right place; any reply will be much appreciated though. Thanks so much
June 19, 2012
I've been doing this for as long as I remember, and I'm almost 15. I always keep carmex with me. It relieves the sting when your lips are raw and works miracles. I like to use strawberry carmex because the smell and taste isn't as strong as the original. And it has 15 SPF sunscreen in it which is an added bonus. I used to be really bad about my lips, but have gotten better over the years because my parents would constantly tell me that I had chapped lips. I actually am aware of it every time I put my hands to my mouth now, so I only get the occasional notice. And yes, I have gotten the "your lips have been bleeding" thing too, which can be kind of embarrassing, especially when they say it right after you were talking to your crush. :/ What a turnoff... P.s. the first time I realizes that I messed with my lips was when my teacher pointed it out while I was preschool. The only person that knows about this is my best friend, who I also met in preschool. She does the same, but not nearly as much and as intense as I. But seriously, use the carmex. I'm pretty sure you can get it for under a dollar at Walgreens...and everywhere else.
September 26, 2012
I have been picking my lips for as long as I can remember as well. I usually pick them until they bleed. I have been asked what is wrong with my lips or why are they all red? A lot of people have seen me picking at my lips and I get so embarrassed. I haven't been to the doctor about this because I really didn't think it was a medical condition. I know a girl who has the disorder of constantly pulling out her hair and it made me think is my lip picking a condition. I researched online and it seems like it is. I found that it could be Dermatillomania. I am not sure what it is but i need to find out. were you diagnosed with a disorder? I know I need to stop because it does get painful and I don't want everyone always staring at my lips wondering what is wrong.
January 08, 2013
Just reading these is helping me. I have done this since I was a young child. I find it is worse when I am stressed! I never realised it was a disorder I just thought it was a weird thing I did, my lips get sore and bleed!
February 04, 2013
Hi, my names jack and I'm 13 years old and have been picking my lips and fingers ever since I was 3. I thought nothing of it but found out it could be caused by anxiety and other things. My dream job is to become an actor because I'm very confident and isn't afraid to get up on stage. So why do I pick my fingers and lips. It annoys me so much when my mam and dad complain but I know they are trying to help me. Does anyone know how I could stop. Any way possible
March 19, 2013
Here's how to stop Leave it alone for a few days, If you can't stop, put some Elmer's glue on your hand and rub it, when it dries, peel it off. When you leave it alone for a few days it will become smooth and there will be nothing to pick at!! :) hope this works!!! Good Luck!!!
March 19, 2013
Here's how to stop Leave it alone for a few days, If you can't stop, put some Elmer's glue on your hand and rub it, when it dries, peel it off. When you leave it alone for a few days it will become smooth and there will be nothing to pick at!! :) hope this works!!! Good Luck!!!
June 20, 2013
I have been peeling the skin off both my lips for over 30 years now... I dont do it as bad as I used to, but I will do it until my lips bleed...I also peel the skin off the bottoms of both feet and have been doing that off and on for over 25 yrs...I also bit my nails for about 10 yrs or so, and I used to peel the palms of my hands too but not fot many years...I feel like I do it from a childhood trauma but I dont have a memory of one...when i have alot of anxiety i do it...
August 05, 2013
I just found this website... I've had dry lips for most of my life, and usually my mom just tells me to put on vaseline, but then when I was around five, I realized I could just peel off the dry skin. My mom used to think I was just sucking my thumb since I was cover my mouth, but then she realized I was peeling off the skin when she asked why I was still sucking. I've figured out why I do it, though. It's because I always consider myself second best at everything, and just downgrade myself (yeah, a bit of depression...) Whenever I pick my thumbs, it's because I think someone has said something rude about me, or ridiculed me - like when I went to see my cousins, and I thought they were laughing at me, I kept picking at my thumbs, they started bleeding a lot... Whenever I pick my calluses, it's because of perfection (I twitch whenever someone's out of tune on the violin, so that just shows how serious I am about it). Whenever I play badly, I purposely press harder on my fingers, so they end up bloated and disgusting. I think I need to be perfect to perform, so I try ripping them off...doesn't end well...usually with an bloody finger and like six bandages... Whenever I pick my lips, it's because (since lips are really the only attractive part of my face, ugh, I'm being mean to myself again...) I want to look pretty, and I hate whenever lips look dirty, like my mom. I feel the need to pick at my lips so they can be perfect like my sister's (my sister is perfect, it's actually quite annoying!!!), but I also feel the need to yell at someone (even a stranger) if their lips are dirty. Oh yeah, here's what I do to keep my lips nice and soft - put vaseline on, and then scrub my lips with a toothbrush but no toothpaste. No matter how gross it is, it works! Hope that helped someone out there, probably felt good writing it!
August 05, 2013
I do it when I'm bored, mainly to avoid picking my fingers or face. It"s not a big problem for me yet. When I put chapstick on, I don't pick my lips because first, I don't want to get it all over my fingers, and it makes them to soft to easily pick, and it tastes gross. But when it dries, it's like a second skin to pick off. So sometimes I put on chapstick just to pick it off when it dries..... but if you try not to let it dry, it might help.
August 06, 2013
I know how you feel. Though I have been picking myself all over since I was 10 years old and now I am 20. I have also been picking at my lips since I was little. I would suck in my bottom lip or top lip and take my teeth and bite off my skin on my lips. I am new to this site and am looking for some answers as well.
July 16, 2014
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
May 26, 2015

I have been wanting to get this off my chest for years. I remember googling lip picking about 5 years ago and there was virtually nothing on the web. It's nice to know I'm not alone but I still don't feel like anyone is fully describing what I experience...

My lip picking is not incessant, every day, OCD or habitual. Perhaps there is a pattern to it, but I am yet to work it out. I sometimes pick when I am stress, relaxed, bored, turned on? I really don't know what sets it off!
When I get into, what I can only describe as a 'zone', I don't just pick. It is almost a sensual experience? I shall rub my nails, hair, fingers over my bottom lip (it is always my bottom lip). Perhaps I shall suck my lip very, very hard making them swollen and feel them throbbing. I may then dig my nail very hard into my swollen lip making them bleed.
I know technically what I am doing is something that for anyone else would be inflicting pain, but for me it just feels SO good. Someone asked me if it felt like sexual pleasure before and I can honestly say it does not. It's a total unique feeling and pleasure that when I get the feeling it needs to be fulfilled.
I used to be a lot worse, picking every day making myself bleed, constantly with swollen lips and boyfriend and family begging me to stop. It's not that bad anymore, but I am quite sure I have changed my lips for life. I dig right into the tissue of my lip, its not just surface picking.
I remember the first pleasure of pulling skin off of my lips as a child, but it really wasn't a problem then, I don't think?
Anyway...its very hard to explain, maybe its some form of masochism rather than Dermatillomania? I think more likely it is both?

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