Online Test

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

serene29 , 16 Oct 2008

Can't stop...

For as long as I can remember, I've been a complusive picker. Anything was fair game, but most notably scabs when I was a kid. I would pick and pick at scabs and they would never heal. I still at the age of 29 can't stop myself, even though I know it's scarring my skin and a great way to get infections. I also pick at my cuticles and nails, but the targets of most of my picking are my feet. I pull off all the skin on the soles of my feet and with that comes a great sense of relief. Except, more often then not, I find myself limping around, since the skin on the soles of my feet is totally raw and bleeding. My boyfriend thinks its disgusting (which it is) and can't handle the constant picking. Any body have any tips on how to stop?
3 Answers
December 04, 2008
Serene29 I just turned 30 and I've had this problem since I was a teenager! I don't think it ever gets any easier. not for me anyway. I have picked at scabs for up to a year on my leg, arm, hand, you name it! Even when I don't have a wound I'm picking at I'm disgusted at the fact that I have so many scars they are a total reminder of this gross habit that I've tried so hard to hide. My boyfriend tells me to stop scratching and picking all the time. "why can't you just let it heal" he says. It sucks! I feel bad about myself because I can't let it heal! Then again I have to remember when he tells me he loves me he loves me scars and all. I just found this sight today! I really do find comfort in knowing I am not alone and there may be a possible underlying reason why I do this even though I really never thought of myself as OCD or anything like that. I would like to know how to stop as well! I use creams, band aids, ointments, and I even cut my nails super short but none of that helps! :(
December 04, 2008

In reply to by Jamie_Lynn

Hi. It's interesting how many new ones there are who have only just discovered this site. I guess there are a lot more of us than we realize. But I don't think anyone w/o this problem could possibly understand. I've been married for 16 years now and I can see that my husband has merely resigned himself to the fact that it is what it is. From what I've read it's more of an impulse control disorder than an obsessive compulsive disorder, which doesn't necessarily exclude the possibility of having OCD as well. As attested to by others on this site, meeting regularly w/a mental health counselor is one way to help ourselves deal w/it. I know it's helped me in the past so I'm arranging to do it again. But if you realize you're not comfortable w/the person, ask to be referred to someone else. The last one I had was too good of a listener; that's all she did. It was OK for a time bu I wanted someone who could give me a little feedback and ask questions to make me think. Whatever you can come up with or learn about that might help, give it a go. And let us know. I'm more than willing to give something a try just in case. An earlier blog mentioned using a slinky while watching TV for example, so I tried that. I've found that playing w/silly putty when your hands are idle is helpful too. It allows you to squeeze and dig and pop bubbles. (Unfortunately, I've since acquired Dupuytren's Contracture and Tenosynovitis in my hands--Trigger Finger), so it's become tiring and painful to use it anymore.) Despite everything, though, I believe the problem isn't the fact that we pick--it's WHY we pick. That's the part that really needs healing. I know when I feel confident and hopeful, I'm not as inclined to do the damage. But I hear ya, even cutting my nails short is useless. I just resort to tweezers instead. I wonder if it's kinda like being an alcoholic: we might never be rid of the condition but we should be able to get it under control, which in itself would lend to a happier existence and all the more power to us. Knowledge and acceptance is the first key. Here's to wishing the best for all of us! Hang in there!!
December 05, 2008
Although I have no advice, you aren't alone. I pick the soles of my feet until I can't walk on them because they are so raw and sore. I have to miss my volleyball practices sometimes because I can't even stand. It's so disgusting to look at after and think about but I still just can't stop. I really feel relieved in knowing that other people go through this, we have support in each other. I just wish we had a way to stop it.

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