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AP1992 , 30 Oct 2010

I think I suffer with Dermatillomania.. What do I do next?

Hi I am 18 years old and I'm not sure if i suffer with dermatillomania or not.. I spend ages in the mirror looking for any kind of lump, spot dry patch anything that i can pick at. I pick an area until it bleeds normally and then repeatedly pick of the scab while its trying to heal. When i see or feel anything i can pick i feel a pressure inside that i HAVE to pick. I don't eat anything i pick off though. Sometimes i dont notice i am doing it and i will pick at my hair line or rub the edges of my lips and lately started picking at my arms. Sometimes particularly on my chin i pick until a scab covers alot of the chin area and i have to hold a scarf or something over my chin because of the anxiety that someone will see and think im unclean or ugly or something. Does this sound like Dermatillomania? If so what should i do? Should i go to a doctors? If yes then what should i say to them.. should i ask if i have dermatillomania or tell them that thats what i think i have? Any help will be appreciated. If this is more than a silly habit i would just like it to be recognised and maybe that would be a source of comfort that this urge is something real and not imaginary. Thanks, AP.
2 Answers
November 03, 2010
I'd say yes, it sounds like dermatillomania. You should go to your doctor and explain that you think you have it and ask for a referral to a mental health professional. The doctor will likley just treat anything that's present with antibiotics and/or ointment to prevent infection and leave the rest to therapy. (important non the less - read on this forum about people's staph infections). Therapy is the best option for this. There doesn't seem to be any magic pill that i've heard of that helps significantly and it's really about uncovering your triggers to help you stop and focusing on the underlying OCD. People do get over this and this site is a great support resource.

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