Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

Picker26 , 14 Jan 2011

No one else seems to have this problem, even though its all picking..

Does everyone only talk about their face, arms, scalp, feet, etc because thats truly the only things they pick at? Or am I just disgusting? Here is my biggest picking problem.... I'll just throw it out there even though I'm very ashamed and even more embarrased because no one else seems to have this problem. I don't know if its an addiction or OCD, but somehow when I was around age 14 I started picking at the skin around my vagina and anus. The skin would bleed in little patches, heal a bit, and then I would scrape it back off. It would itch really bad if I tried to let it heal. The more I scraped, the bigger the thin scrapes of skin (or scabs I guess). Yes, it does feel good. It releases tension as well. My family never wanted to sleep in a hotel bed with me because of my "nasty scab issue."Yes, we are a very communicative family haha... My dad picks too. But he picks his hands and around his fingers mostly. Anyway... Now I am 26 and am still doing it. I will never have sex in the light because my private areas are scared and nasty looking. I do not have an STD, its just mental I guess. I find myself unconcious on the toilet, at every visit to the bathroom, using my fingernails to scratch off dead skin and the scabs bleed a little. I do not want them to bleed and hate it when they do, it just happens. I am not unsanitary. I wash my hands very well when I am finished, feeling totally gross that I have to go through such a thorough process for picking at my privates. Sometimes I will wake up at night and am picking them in my sleep... Also,and just as important, I know if I look at my face in the mirror I will pick at every bump. I always check for blackheads and zits on my back, neck, armpits, chest, and even my elbow pit (if thats what its called :). But this doesn't feel good like picking around my privates does, it feels like a necessary process during bathroom visits. It used to be for hours, but somehow I cut that down to a couple of minutes each visit (enough to have 5 or 6 pinch marks on my face when I go back to work). Then, there is picking the cuticles and hang nails.. I gave up on picking my friends and family members, they obviously hate it. I want to think none of this has to do with self-mutilation and that its OCD. I used cut a little in the past and haven't done that in 2 years. But, I don't feel like I am trying to punish myself when I pick. I think picking is fun and relaxing. I always knew something wasn't right about it. The doctor told me to wear gloves around the house and everywhere I go...yeah okay...and the creams didn't do anything!!! Long since given up on a cure. Help! This is a cycle from hell.
10 Answers
January 14, 2011
When I spoke with my doctor about how alone I felt about picking, he mentioned that there are more out there than you really know because those people pick in places you can't see. I don't think you are disgusting, I just think your compulsion manifests itself in a different way. I would definitely try maybe neosporin+pain relief on where you picked.. I have also heard that things like Aveeno diaper rash cream is good for nicks and cuts when you shave so maybe try that as well. As far as making picking a part of bathroom visits, I also have habit of picking my face when I am done washing my hands in the bathroom. I have found using the bathroom in the dark where I cant see the mirror helps to reduce my compulsion. Maybe this would help you? ... Don't feel alone.. No matter where we pick, it still sucks and is a cycle from hell.
January 14, 2011
I have heard of several people who also do this. You're not disgusting. Despite the fact that it may be rarer to pick those areas (just guessing, it also could be something people admit to less) we can all at least understand the picking part of it, no matter where it manifests itself. I'm sure you're not alone, there is bound to be others, probably even on this board. I tend to think picking is relaxing too. That is probably one of the first steps to stopping, trying to change that association. I haven't entirely figured out how to do that myself. Its a personal evolution, but don't give up!
January 15, 2011

In reply to by Nightshade21

Have you checked out the forum at I use both forums and there are things I like about both, but one thing that I've noticed is that stoppickingonme seems a little more active and I think it has more members. You might be able to find others who are in your boat.
January 16, 2011
You are certainly not the only one. I pick everything! pretty much every body party you could think of that might have some sort of flaw in it. My vagina isn't too bad, but when I get ingrown hairs I pick at them which usually causes scabs so I typically have 2-3 scabs at a time.
January 16, 2011
I am so happy to have found this. My picking is extremely bad, to the point that it gets infected. I pick everywhere. I'm ashamed of myself, and more so if I try to have a relationship with someone because I don't want them to see me naked. On top of that, I'm pretty heavy - so not only am I fat, but I'm fat with scars and scabs. I have been doing this since I was a child. I get in this zone and pick so much that it bleeds. I have been diagnosed as Bipolar about a year and a half ago.. My doctor explained that this is most likely related and is worse only in certain episodes.. I've tried to stop but it gets the best of me. I don't know what to do anymore. My doctor said my bipolar meds would help with this but it hasn't made a difference at all.
January 21, 2011
No you're really not alone and thank you for having the guts to bring it up. My friend and I are both pickers, also both 26 and have decided to try and put an end to it all this year, or at least make a start. Reading the account you wrote of your behavior was almost word for word a description of what she does. I have not seen her damage but from what I understand it's, like any other picking, a constant cycle of sabotaging all the skin down there. In a way WHERE we're all picking is incidental (at least it should be). Like a previous poster has already assured you, NO, you're not disgusting. Unfortunately we live in a very coy and prudish world, and understandably this automatically makes you feel that picking around your privates is in some way worse than other places. But it isn't really is it? It's still skin and they're just orifices like our mouths are, and as you said, you're not unhygienic so the psychological problem with this is stigmatic. As stigmas have a habit of prevailing, I'm not suggesting you declare to the world what you do, because judgement would no doubt preside over sympathy and understanding, BUT, what you CAN do is start seeing yourself and specifically your problem for what it is: compulsive skin picking, not WHERE it is. On a side note, completely agree that skin-picking doesn't feel like self-harm. Also had quite a long history of cutting, from 15 to 22. The skin-picking severely from about 19 (though to some degree think I've been this way my whole life. Anyone else remember trying to fall over on purpose so that they'd get scabs on their knees, that could later be picked off... oh dear), anyway so they overlapped, one did not replace the other. I also have other OCDs (hand washing, general tidiness beyond the call of duty etc....) and am convinced that's what this is. My skin picking is basically my face, arms, legs and cuticles but I'm also addicted to plucking hairs with tweezers, not my scalp, mostly my legs, underarms and bikini line, they then become ingrown as I'm majorly prone, which I then chronically pick at, with needles, tweezers, whatever works. I've pierced right through veins and all sorts, there really is no limit when it comes to digging deep into my skin. I almost enter into a state of hypnosis where pain and the threat of imminent post-picking guilt and damage temporarily dissipate, and I quite literally have zero control over it. Just zone out. There's an awful lot of people who will think THAT'S disgusting but the sterile and sanitary conditions under which I perform these rituals (that's not to say I think it's normal) have sort of lulled me into a false sense of security for all these years. No longer though. Another thing I'll say is that whilst I don't pick around my privates, the addictive and compulsive nature of dermatillomania makes me think if I started picking there I'd be as hooked as you are. PLEASE DON'T BE ASHAMED, and you do have people to talk to, when it's getting you down come back to these pages. The more we all talk about this, the more we'll learn about it in ALL its manifestations, and with any luck we may eventually beat it. Contrary to my usual personality, I'm actually hopeful about this one, if only because there is so little said or written about it, that I feel there must surely be undiscovered avenues of treatment and resolve (and I'm not talking about meds). Don't give up on a cure. On a practical note, I will talk to my friend in more detail having come across your post and keep you informed if she finds anything that helps her, that in turn could help you. And to everyone, real aloe vera gel (plant only, nothing in a tube, not even if it's 99.9%, because they've all been treated and are therapeutically hugely inferior) is by far the best thing for wounds and scars, both old and new. You have to be consistent but it works. I'm a very pale caucasian with very noticeable reddish/purple scarring and decided to focus my healing attention towards my face because that's what bothers me most. At night after washing I rub aloe over my skin, leave it overnight and wash it off in the morning. Wounds heal faster, old red marks fade faster, best thing I've come across by miles. Been doing it about 3 months and I say most of the old scars are no longer visible, and many of them have been there for years. Still picking and creating new wounds of course but like I said with the aloe they heal quicker and flatter. Tried 99.9% for years with no joy, in fact gave me eczema under my eyes, long term it really isn't any good.
February 02, 2011

In reply to by masquerade

Gosh I could just cry! I've been tweezing my legs and bikini area compulsively for years. I have huge holes in my legs and will pick for hours at a time. After an hour of research tonight I've learned that the hours I spend doing this and picking my lips and scratching at my scalp and picking at my fingers is all the same thing AND there's all this support out here! I dream of the day when I can have my legs showing and not be crippled by the embarrassment.
February 08, 2011
Well, I'm so glad to know that I'm not allow in my skin picking condition. I'm a 46 year old woman and have been picking my skin for many, many years. It has caused me so much embarrassment over the years. I've been wearing long sleeves shirt in the summer for many years and don't know exactly when this condition started. I've suffered life long skin break-outs, know as ezcema. I've felt like God somehow cursed me in my life because I've never known anyone with this condition.It has definitely affected my self confident's and I would like to add that I'm a woman with a weight problem as well. I do try not to let it affect me to much but, in all honesty it has. My skin is badly damaged and I just want to be feel of skin picking. I also suffer from other compulsive behavior such as latenesses, problem managing my finances and my home is out of control. I just want to straighten it all out and live like the rest of society.

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now