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Lip Picking

happytown3000 , 01 Apr 2011

I pick and peel at my lips, does anyone else do this? (long)

Thank goodness I found this website... I have felt so alone and weird with my CSP for so long, and now I've been on here for hours reading stories, and I feel so much better. I've hardly picked at all this whole morning! :] My CSP is centered only on my bottom lip. I know that is no where near as bad as a lot of all you have it, but it is still a problem, and I am still embarrassed about it. It started about 5 years ago, when I was 13. I used to have really chapped lips and would just peel the excess skin off. No big... it would always heal by like, the end of the day, and it was only a teeny spot. However, it continued to get worse and worse - I kept doing it more and more, and now I don't have a high school memory where my bottom lip wasn't just a huge scab. It's so embarrassing... people ask me, "what happened to your lips?" or "uh, your lip is bleeding..." all disgusted and weirded out, and it makes me feel terrible. It also makes it difficult to do certain things with my mouth painlessly, like kissing my boyfriend or anything that involves stretching my lips. I feel like such a weirdo and I'm full of shame for what I do. I try to combat my CSP by putting Vaseline on my lips every night before I go to sleep, but that typically just makes the scab really soft and easy to pick off in the morning :/ I also try to cover my lips with lipstick, which actually works pretty well as long as I keep applying it... but when I forget, it dries my lips a lot and makes me want to pick at them more. There are periods of time when I have enough willpower to stop for a couple weeks, and each time that happens, I'm always so stoked and tell myself "never again," but of course, it does happen again eventually. I don't do it because I'm stressed... I just do it. The only way I am forced to stop is by getting acrylic nails, but I can't afford to get them all the time and they make it too difficult for me to play guitar. It kills me to read some stories on here about people who are in their 30's and have been picking for 15 years or so... I never want to end up like that. I want to stop so bad. I'm also scared that eventually it won't just be my lips, but I will move on to other parts of my face and body. I used to take scissors, pins, razor blades or toenails clippers and cut off the calloused skin on my finger tips and on my feet for a good portion of my childhood and adolescence (which has stopped inexplicably), so I know it's possible. I'm lucky to not have acne, because when I do get a pimple, I pick the hell out of it. Even if I get a pimple on my back that I can't reach, I make someone else pop it for me because I can't stand the thought of it being there. It's very cathartic in itself just to write my story out and feel like someone will be empathetic, but if anyone has any advice on how to help me stop, I would greatly appreciate your input. Thanks so much for reading what I had to say; it means a lot :]
45 Answers
June 07, 2015

OMG you don't know how relived I am to know I'm not the only one. I've doing this since I'm very young and I wanted to stop but nothing worked. Hope sone of the tips here will.

June 21, 2015

I have picked & bit my lips till they bled since I was a child! It's been the Bain of my life my whole life! I heard of so any reasons that may cause it & advice to stop.. Nothing worked! Till I discovered I am gluten/wheat sensitive/allergic.. I have nw been wheat free for 2 years & the lip biting slowed down dramatically in the first year & in the last year have stopped completely! I don't even think about it anymore & it seems weird that I used to do this!! I am strongly against the the most commonly thought cause.. stress/anxiety as I have just been through the worst year of my life & still not done it! Try it folks! What have you got to ls? Gluten is bad for everyone & wheat is so modified that's it's nutritional benefits are dubious to say the least & can be replaced.. Don't ay money making experimental therapists until you've tried this x

July 03, 2015

I'm with you! I only do it once my lips start to crack (dry weather, etc.)--and then it'll be weeks of bloody lips for me.

I'm worse with my arms, though. They're currently awful. My sister used to call me 'constellation' as a kid because my arms and face would be covered in sores.

July 12, 2015

Happy town, I pick and peel at my lips too. You are not alone in what you do at all. I also hate that it makes you look unattractive sometimes since your lips look discoloured or just chapped.People do not notice it but some think my lips are chapped.I do try vaseline and hate my habit.Since you stop for a couple of weeks, that means you have more will power than me.I am inspired.Any tips you can give me to stop?

July 13, 2015

This is the greatest thing, I never realized this was actually a thing and that I wasn't alone. I've been picking my lips for as long as I can remember. I remember my dad's boss telling me as a 5 year old that if I didn't stop picking my lips would swell up and burst. Unfortunately that didn't quite get me to stop!
Being in my twenties now I've realized that it's at its worst when I'm stressed or anxious, and unfortunately what with suffering from depression and a generalized anxiety disorder, that seems to be pretty frequent.
I've found that you could tell me to sit on my hands or tie them up and I'd still wind up picking or biting. Carmex has become my lifesaver, it really helps soothe and ease the pain. But what sucks is that once there's nothing more to pick off my lips, or they're bloody and sore, I just move on to different body parts. My neck, chest, face, scalp. Does anyone else find that they gravitate towards easily pickable areas? You know, such as pimples, or bumps that are already on your skin? I rarely pick at smooth areas of skin. I scratch and rub when looking for them, but don't usually go as hard there as I do when I already have something to pick at.

July 16, 2015

Dear Little Red,
Do not lost heart.You are alone in what you do at all,that's why we are all here for you.You sound really panicked so do calm down since you are not the only one who picks at various body parts.I also gravitate towards picking at certain parts of my fingers:) Certain parts attract my attention-then I pick...again and again at the same place.I know how addictive that is.

July 20, 2015

I'm 29 years old and I've been "picking" since around age 10. The places on my body have changed but there is something unique about picking my lips (which I've only started in the past few years). Someone said they get in the zone and feel a sense of relief and for me it's almost a pleasurable experience as weird as that sounds. I love and hate it at the same time. Well I don't have a cure but the closest I've come is having acrylic or gel nails. They just make it more difficult to pick overall. Hmm what else? Someone mentioned "brushing" their lips with a toothbrush. I've found that this helps remove those pieces of skin that would ultimately lead to a picking binge. I really like the ambesol idea that someone mentioned to numb their lips. I'm going to try that. I wish I had an answer but I just don't know what it is. I do feel that there is a perfectionist quality to it. I want things to be a certain way and I want my lips and skin to feel a certain way. Well good luck to everyone!

October 21, 2015

This describes me almost exactly. I have a lot of the same behaviors but I never knew until reading this that picking at the skin on the lips this way is a compulsive behavior that could be treated. Thank you for the ensight!

July 05, 2016

I'm 13 and have been peeling the skin of my bottom lip for about 3 years now. No, I don't stress or have anxiety it's just so addicting and I can't find a way to stop the weather is very hot so it preety much explains the dry and choppy lips. I am using Chapstick but that doesn't seem to be working but it's a way I keep my lips moistured hopefully someone can help me with my problem.

July 27, 2016

I used acrylic nails they saved my life! They make it much harder to pick my lip and I usually keep them short

February 08, 2017

Ugh I am the same! I've been picking my bottom lip for almost 20 years. I stop once it starts bleeding. I also stop when I have fake nails as they are too thick to pick. Its such an addictive feeling I get from it. Nothing else gives me this weird feeling. I buy the little cold sore patches now to help speed up the healing. Its like a second skin. It's good when I've peeled to much off and its very sensitive. But I'll admit I also use them to speed up healing so I can pick the next day.

May 10, 2017

For me it's like an addiction. I know logically I'm causing my body damage but I still can't control it. I am thinking of trying a 12 step programme for self harm like recoveries anonymous or self mutilators anonymous...
May 29, 2017

I started peeling my lower lip at the age of 6 and I'm now 44. My lips are so beautiful, deliberately oiling the lower one for me to me. This is weird!

January 07, 2018

Glad im not the only one, I pick my bottom lip like crazy, everytime i see a piece of flaky skin, i peel. My sisters have beautiful, smooth lips, and my sister and my mom told me to just stop picking them, but i just cant resist. Everytime my lips feel dry, i lickk them that makes it even worse, right now my lips are dry as ever, i am trying SO hard not to lick them. I am using a lip scrub, that contains honey,sugar, and lemon, and i am brushing my lips with warm water and a toothbrush.

January 18, 2018

This is strange. I've been picking my lips since I was a child. Im 32. I didn't realize it was a disorder till I saw my friend pick her scab and let it get worse just so she could pick more. I realized that looked familiar only w my lips. She said her counselor said it was a skin picking disorder and I knew right away that I fall in that category. I see comments about people wanting help for it. That is the only difference I hear between me and others on here. I've never wanted to stop. Its so funny though that everything I would say about it has been said on here. Like I have to get every last piece off. Or it bleeds. Or it hurts but I keep doing it. At first it feels good. Like before it starts scanning. I put chapstick on just so the next time I pick it feels a little more tolerable. I am not surprised to see I'm not the only one but I am extremely surprised to hear that we all go through the same thing from how it feels to how we do it. Like I said. The only difference is I have never tried stopping. Mayne when I was a kid but the thought does not last long. Wow. This is crazy

Wtf Am I Doing Here
April 26, 2018

So, my mom has a really bad lip-picking problem. She doesn't live with me anymore, but when she did live with me when I was 5, my dad used to get mad at her for doing it. Obviously, both my mom and dad did not want me to catch this habit, so they would always say things like "Don't do that, It's bad for you!" Knowing they would get mad at me for doing it, that's what made me start it. Doing it made them angry, and for some reason, I enjoyed that. Lip-picking wasn't an addiction back then, or something I wanted to do, it was only for my parents to get angry. I ended up stopping it, but as a few years went by, I started picking my lips again. I loved how smooth my lips felt afterwards. It was so satisfying to peel the skin off. Eventually, it got so bad that even my teachers got annoyed at me for doing it. That was in grade 1. Around grade 2 I sort of stopped, until I found a new addiction in grade 3. I just love, and I mean LOVE biting the sides of my fingers around the nail. Its so satisfying peeling it off, sort of the same way its satisfying to peel the skin off of my lips. Although Iv'e stopped lip-picking, I still bite my fingers every single day. Sometimes, I would get so stressed, or nervous one day that I would bite all of my fingers until they were bloody. Most of the time it doesn't hurt, but if I bite too far, it starts hurting a lot. But, even if it hurts, that doesn't stop me from biting that finger. All I care about is getting every single bit of skin until I cant bite anything off anymore, and even when I can't bite anything off anymore, I still bite it looking for more skin to bite. It mostly happens in class, since that's the place I'm mostly stressed. My friends used to make fun of me about it a lot, but since Iv'e been doing it for so long, I guess they just don't care anymore. Iv'e never talked about my finger biting to anyone (even though people still notice), or ever wrote about it before, so I guess writing this is somewhat a relief. Iv'e tried countless times to stop, but every time I say its the "last time" I start doing it without myself even knowing. When I notice I'm actually doing it, it's too satisfying to stop. I just don't know what to do. I'm entering high school in two years, and I don't want people to think my fingers are disgusting. I also don't want to bite my fingers like some weird kid in front of everyone. Anyone have tips on how to stop?

June 03, 2018

Wow! I’ve just found this site and am realising that I have an actual condition. One of my issues is that I also pick and peel at the skin on my lips which has left me with scarring. I’ve noticed however that i’m doing it less and less over the last few months.
I think some of the tips I have read are great, but you need to actually stop your lips from being dry before you can stop picking at them. Firstly, drink LOADS of water. I can’t tell you how much better my lips look and feel. It will take a while to have a noticeable effect but i promise you it works. Once you see how good your lips look and that the dryness is gone, the urge to pick goes away. I also use a couple of great products at times when i want to pick, as a replacement for picking, its more like a beauty therapy I guess. I use MAC lip scrub which is delicious and really works and then I use Aesop lip cream after that which smells divine.
My lips are maybe 90% better and I rarely pick at them now. Its all about drinking water!!!
Now all I have to do is fix my other picking habits .....

June 12, 2018

I'm so happy I found this site! It makes me feel considerably less of a freak! I pick my lips and gums and I bite my cheeks a lot. I have been for three years now and it's gotten worse over time. I'm currently nursing three scabs on my lips, two sores on my gums and one gash/sore on my inner cheek. I use a lot of chapstick but I haven't been able to stop. It always hurts but that pain combined with that I already cut/self harm is making it hard to stop. I just wish I could have normal lips again. But I hope to get help soon, and I'm making steps to stop so maybe someday I'll make a full recovery!

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