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Vicky , 30 Jan 2012

Scalp picking, in grizzly detail.

Hi I just posted about finger chewing in detail as well. I think I stopped finger chewing as I developed this new habit which I have had for about 3 years. I like talking abut the details just because it is interesting and re assuring to find people who suffer from the same thing and I wanted to compare just how similar our habit is in detail. It started one day at work when I ran my fingers through my hair and noticed an imperfection. (I VERY rarely get spots) so it was novel that one was on my SCALP! I picked it and just thought nothing of it then when my shift had finished I was running my hand through my hair again and noticed that the stuff that came out had dried into a like a scab. I got so much comfort from picking this scab off and sliding it off down my hair, that from then on, I was constantly searching my scalp. I then started chewing the scabs when I picked them off between my front teeth. Basically it got worse and worse until I was purposely clawing at my scalp in order to make scabs. Each time I picked a scab off, I would wait with anticipation for the few hours to pass until a bigger scab had formed there for me to pick again. Even if it is just dried blood or fluid. Anything with the same sort of crunchy texture. I feel so PATHETIC when the first thing I do when I wake up is check for scabs, and get annoyed when waiting for my hair to dry when I get out of the shower. I sometimes like to rub the scabs between my finger or examine them closely too. Sometimes if I feel especially stressed I will save scabs on my head and pick them later as a sort of reward, and just keep feeling them on my head. Before that one day at work, I had never had problems with my scalp, no dandruff either. I don't let people see me eat the scabs. But my friends see me pick my head all the time. If they tell me its disgusting I just tell them to piss off. I've heard of much more disgusting habits than this. Up until now I am surprised I haven't had loss of hair or scarring on my scalp from this. I have a long history of depression, anxiety and OCD which I am on medication for, I suffered trauma as a child, but I really never thought that scalp picking had anything to do with it until I read this website. I thought everyone had habits and mine was just more intense. I have other, much more noticeable disorders that are clearly linked to my OCD, so scalp picking seemed to be one of the more NORMAL activities that I do, lol :(. Please let me know your thoughts.
11 Answers
January 30, 2012
Forgot to mention my fingers sometimes get covered in blood and it really hurts but I can't stop!
January 31, 2012

In reply to by Vicky

I used to to the exact same thing as you, Vicky. I could have written your post. I quit picking at my scalp and haven't in 15 years or so. It was bad in my late 20's - mid 30's. I'm nearly 50 now.
January 30, 2012
I've done many of the same things but I've never considered it as rewarding or a good feeling when I pick. It's always more of me cursing at myself and moving on.
March 28, 2016

As many ppl have said I could have written this myself. It's good to know you're not alone and weird!
I get great satisfaction in it and can't leave a scab if I find it...even in public. It must look so gross but at the time I don't care.

April 03, 2016

I have the same problem. I think I learned this behavior from my mom who is a picker. In addition to scalp picking, I go after the skin on my face, chest and back.

April 13, 2016

I'm glad I'm not the only one out there that is dealing with this problem

May 11, 2016

I have a sore on my scalp and I catch myself getting do relaxed as I'm picking at it when I pull scab off it's like a release

May 16, 2016

This is so weird; my name is also Vicky and I'm suffering from the exact same problems--every detail is identical to my experiences except I started excessively scratching when I was in high school, because I DID have dandruff. Long history with depression, anxiety, ADD, cheek chewing, nail biting, picking the skin around my nails, etc. Fingers covered in blood, eating scabs, waiting for them to form again, same mental position and relief from the activity. Only I DO have scar tissue, hair loss and bald spots. Thirteen years of this crap, I wish I could stop forever but the urge to scratch my skin in general is constant and neurotic. My hand always goes back to my scalp because of the pain, stinging, itching... It's becoming obvious now but I still go out in public. I think I might have to start coloring my bald spots with brown eyeshadow to camouflage them... I hope to find help. I want to stop. It's terrible and self perpetuating. I hope you got help and are better now. I have a long way to go yet.

November 08, 2019

I first learned I wasn’t alone with this problem probably a year or two ago. I went through a lot of childhood trauma, many counselors and psychiatrists (misdiagnosed as depressed, I’m actually bipolar) and have OCD and anxiety like many of you as well.
I remember starting to pick when I was about 11, and I’m 23 now and struggle every day. I’ve tried wearing gloves, fidget crap, you name it. Nothing is as satisfying as hearing that crunch of putting pressure on the tiny hairs growing back in on my scalp or picking with my nails. The people I have in my life know about this too, and have tried to help, but it’s no different than an addiction.
I go as far as far as using matching eyeshadow to cover up the balding spots that grow back and get torn up again.
Luckily I’m good with makeup, and no one would ever notice.. but what matters is that I notice. I’m aware of it.
If anyone else has any other tips to try to stop (even simple steps) id love the suggestions. It’s also a great feeling knowing I’m not alone. Best of luck to you all

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