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artistgirl1967 , 12 Jun 2008

Dermatillomania and PTSD

I have had this issue since I was about 13 years old. I also grew up in severely abusive situations and have very mild PTSD. I notice that there also seems to be a correlation between this and smoking with me. I know it's a direct result of stress. I seem to obsess over things and do this behavior when I'm deep in thought. I've tried to stop and will stop for a little while and then I end up right back to it. My mother also did this as well, to the extreme. What has others done to stop this behavior. I've created scarring on my face, it's terrible. I can't seem to stop. Does anyone one else here deal with PTSD? Thanks, artistgirl
2 Answers
June 21, 2008
hi artist girl, I have mild PTSD too, however my skin picking started a couple years before the event that caused my PTSD. I'm sure that they are related at least in that they both are caused by stress and the ability to cope with stress (or rather inability to cope). I pick when I'm spaced out and deep in thought too. I've tried cutting my fingernails super short so that there isn't anything to pick with and I've even tried wearing lightweight cotton gardening gloves in the house when I'm worried I'll absentmindedly pick...both worked for a bit, but weren't long term solutions. I think the key to beating this thing is figuring out how to deal with stress which might best be done through a therapist. I've read that cognitive therapy is more effective than talk therapy for skin-picking, but I suspect both are helpful when you throw PTSD into the mix. hang in there and good luck! p.s. I have found a couple of beauty products that seem to help with healing and the scars: -Olay Regenerist Serum (I wouldn't use it if you have a lot of fresh, raw spots) -Aveeno or Nuetrogena sunless tanning lotion (I have found these to be the best for healing. I don't know what's in them that does it, but it works for me and I don't use very much because I don't want the color, just the healing) -Proactive Repairing Lotion
June 21, 2008

In reply to by nolightsplease

Hey thanks :-). I reread my post. I think I made things sound worse than they are. The scarring isn't that bad but it's there. I don't tend to space out luckily but definitely do this when deep in thought. I'm going back to therapy (or trying to). I think probably the best thing is to get the anxiety level down. Thanks again :-)

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