Online Test

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

jenn , 29 Sep 2011

I've been a picker since I can remember.

This is the second time I've been on this site and all the topics & replies have helped so much. Since I was a child I have always picked. My hands especially, but any imperfections on my body. Scalp, arms, legs, feet, face AHHHHH!!!! I am 30 now and I swear I have been doing this longer than 20 yrs. I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I pick everyday, little by little for months and sometimes I don't pick for months too. I tend to rub my fingers past my lips and when I feel a piece of skin not smooth and I feel a rough edge I bite it off. Ripe the skin, eat it (gross I know) and even make my hands bleed. As I am typing this I am looking at my bandaged fingers. It is really pathetic. I use the excuse that I burned myself while cooking or something else that is dumb. If I heard my response I would think, "this girl burned herself again?" People must think I have a problem. Well I do have a problem. Anxiety is the killer. I also fight the urges when stressed out or depressed. I found that lately this would get worse when my husband deployed for long periods of time. My husband knows I have this problem and has always been supportive. He never tells me my hands are ugly but I know he must think that. I position my hands and fingers in way to hide the worst parts. I sit on my hands alot or place them in between my crossed legs at work. Please help. Any advice. I need to stop because I do not want my future kids one day to see this and think it is ok. Can I pass this on to my kids one day??? I hope now :(
3 Answers
September 29, 2011
I have the same exact problem with my fingers. I am 26 and have been doing this for as long as I can remember. I say I got burned also. I don't realize I'm picking them either. Now my fingers are disfigured and discolored. I hate them. I just joined this forum and there are alot of interesting methods for getting help. We have a form of OCD triggered by stress, anxiety, or emotion. Hope everything works out for you.
October 04, 2011
I have had a LOT of luck with the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine, which is sometimes sold as N-acetyl L-cysteine, for my 11-year-old daughter who severely picks her skin (arms and legs). I'm hoping that everyone on this group will check it out. We started out at 1200mg each day, 600mg in the morning and 600mg in the evening. Then we worked up to 2400mg, 1200 mg in the morning and 1200 mg in the evening, within about 3 or 4 weeks. The study that was done in 2009 showed the best results were after 9 weeks of continuous treatment with this amino acid, also just known as NAC. We saw great results after 6 weeks. Please consider trying it. I am not a doctor, so please weigh out the risks for yourself. It has truly been a godsend. My daughter used to pick to the point of staph infections. She has scars all over her body. It works by regulating the URGE to pick. You can download the summary text of the 2009 study on this website - The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.

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