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kchance13 , 28 Sep 2010

Scalp picking and hair follicle squeezing.

I've picked at my scalp since 6th grade or so and I'm now in tenth. However, I've recently developed a new form of picking, if you could call it that. I don't know how it got started but I squeeze the skin on my upper arms (all around them) up to the front and back of my shoulders. A whiteish substance comes out after squeezing and if I don't scrape it off it will stay there. It's not puss, I think it's just the root of the hair follicle, but I didn't realize that until recently. I'm not sure if anyone else does this but I'm having a huge problem with it. Even on 90 degree days I wear sweatshirts now. Originally I was using it as an alternative to scalp picking and it worked for a while but now I'm doing BOTH and not only is the arm thing getting worse, but my scalp is worse than ever. Does anyone else do the squeezing/pinching with the arms to get whatever that substance is to come out? I find it so satisfying. I'd just like to find someone else that knows what I'm talking about.
3 Answers
September 28, 2010
YES!! this is exactly what i do on my upper arms too, ive squeezed my arms since i was 11 when the kp first appered. what you suffer with is a very common skin condition called kertosis pillaris and what you are squeezing out is keratin which is a protein found naturally in the skin. when you have kp keratin gets caught in the hair folicle and it appears as a little bump when you squeeze the bump the keratin pops out or rises out like a little pillar. i know what you mean when you say its very satisfying, it feels good even a bit fun to get the white stuff out, but please believe me when i say it leads to horrible scars all over you upper arms. i have suffered with this arm squeezing for years and only very recently have i managed to get a grip on it and finally my arms look better. if you would like me to explain more about kp or how i managed to improve my squeezing habit feel free to ask. :)
August 27, 2012
It definitely sounds like you have keratosis pilaris. It tends to decrease as you get older, but I'm in my 30s and have been picking away at mine since my early teens. There are some treatments that help, I think salicylic acid body wash helps as well as sun exposure. Sorry to say, the best treatment is not picking! Good luck :)
August 27, 2012
I do this too, and I would love to know what you did to over come it. I don't have the time or resources for therapy, and will not resort to pharmaceuticals. I can occasionally quit for a little bit, but I always start up again.

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