Medical Terminology

Trudi Griffin - LPC
Aug 4th, 2019

dermatillomania, neurotic psychogenic excoriation

People who experience compulsive skin picking behaviors may call their activities many things including just picking, or pulling in the case of hair, but the medical field applies specific terms to specific behaviors that fall under the “umbrella” of picking.


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Excoriation Disorder - Official Terminology

As of 2013, the official name for compulsive skin picking is Excoriation Disorder (as listed in the DSM-5) for medical and mental health 

Neurotic excoriation

Neurotic excoriation is the medical term for incessant scratching without a known physical cause. The behavior shows up as linear erosions, scabs, or scars on the skin in areas of the body easily reached by the hands. 

Psychogenic excoriation

Another term used synonymously for neurotic excoriation.

Trudi Griffin - LPC


Education, experience, and compassion for people informs Trudi's research and writing about mental health. She holds a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Addictions and Mental Health from Marquette University, with Bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. Before committing to full-time research and writing, she practiced as a Licensed Professional Counselor providing therapy to people of all ages who struggled with addictions, mental health problems, and trauma recovery in community health settings and private practice.

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