Why do YOU pick???


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August 18, 2012

I pick for the simple reason i detest any little thing on my face. I want perfect hollywood skin. So i pick...then cant stand the scabs and pick more. I pick at what you cant even see...but i can see. It is a visouse cycle. This site is really helping me. So stay on it. It will help you to.
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August 25, 2012

Same here. I see hundreds of tiny tiny blemishes on my shoulders and my boyfriend gets mad because he thinks theres nothing there.. to me there is. Its so ridiculous.. I just want to stop.
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August 18, 2012

For some reason I just get a really strong urge and have to. When I'm doing it it's relieving.
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August 18, 2012

it has become more conscious for me over the past few months but it used to be that when i would pick, my mind just got a serious chance to escape. i wasnt close to my family when i was a little kid, i was forced to grow up in a lot of ways before i was ready. no one hugged me or told me they loved me and i believe that the picking was a form of self soothing. when i picked, i didnt think about ANYTHING else. i hate thinking about it this way but the times when i was picking, i got to be in a state of bliss. of course it would be a million times worse when i snapped out of it and realized the mess i had made.. but it used to be worth it. im 18 and i live with my boyfriend now. he hugs me and kisses me and tells me he loves me everyday, and i dont feel so lonely anymore. im making drastic strides forward and im so excited for the future (:
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August 18, 2012

It seems like I first started picking because my skin would itch intensely. It still does, so I start scratching. A bug will bite me and send me into a frenzy of itching. I used to, and still do, pick at my right thumb. I've done it for so long that my thumbnail is deformed. I would even chew on it. I'm always either picking scabs, picking my fingers or scratching. I have always thought it was a nervous, uncontrolable habit.
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August 19, 2012

I pick at any tiny thing because I want perfect skin. I'm not the prettiest thing alive and tell myself that if I at least have perfect skin then I will feel more attractive. I used to suffer from anorexia in a bid to be more beautiful too. My mother is stunning however and told me from a young age that I wasn't beautiful. It triggered in me a need to better the way I look. Then a bad relationship with a guy always putting me down added fuel to the fire. Doing lot better now. Supportive husband and gorgeous baby boy but still get relapse days if I'm feeling low. Not sure I'll ever be fully fixed. This site helps tho.
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August 19, 2012

Hi bud, If there is one thing that I have learnt in the past 3 days is that picking the shit outa my skin does NOT bring perfection. And perfection....what is that?? To be perfect in the dictionary says: having all the essential elements: complete, unspoilt, faultless, correct, precise, excellent. What the? There is no way either my skin or myself are gonna be "Perfect" so as of today... i am gonna be imperfect.!! (is that even a word) anyho...Im gonna be that...imperfect!!...wow look at that..Im already reaching my goal. Im over trying to put all these pressures on myself...OVER IT! Im inperfect and thats OK. And for our "loved ones" giving us advise on how attractive we are....My mom was giving me relationship advise the other day....shes been married and divorced 4 times!!!! Lord give me strength!!. Big hugsXXXXXXXXXXX
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August 20, 2012

Thank you, its good to know I'm not the only one with loved ones saying stuff that they clearly haven't thought through first. Spoke to my mum today on Skype as my rents live out of the country. First thing she asked was how my weight was doing. BMI is currently 23. Sadly she's more of a dress size person. "Any bigger than a UK size 12 and you've let yourself go". Its a pity as I'm always on guard with her. Wish she could focus on the inner person more. My mum has been happily married 40 years. However if I'd taken her relationship advice I'd be married to a much older man who I have since discovered doesn't let his current wife wear any makeup or wear anything she actually likes. A proper control freak. So whilst they think they have our best interests at heart, guess sometimes we just have to smile and nod and ignore the unhelpful comments x x x
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August 20, 2012

OOHH I so have to comment on this but I gotta go meet a friend. I will be back!!
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August 21, 2012

Oh heres one for you everyone. I have been picking for a least 20 years on and off and my mother has seen this and did the "dont do that or you will scar" etcetc.....well....today....hang on while I get over the anger....ok all good.....she proceeded to tell me today..today.....you got that right...today ......that she picked at herself all the time when she was younger!!!!! Are you furkin kidding me. She never said a word, not one. Twently years and NOT one damn word. I asked why she picked and she said cause she didnt like pimples. Well, to stop myself from reaching down the phone and choking her to death....I said I will call her back. Im working on it. Never said a damn thing.....but oh yes she can tell me that I look severely underweight and that dark hair colour is far too dark for you and the pot marks on my face arent very nice......but still never said a thing. The only reason I think she even said anything today was I was talking about this site and how it has really helped. Lord give me strength!!!
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August 22, 2012

Wow! Just.....wow.
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August 22, 2012

Hmmm this is really strange that I am in the same boat. I am constantly told that I am like a skeleton when infact I look like everyone else, and my hair colour is too dark when it is infact my natural shade with my deep eyes, and also that the marks on my face should stop as I just 'won't listen' about wrecking my own look. Yet out of the blue my mum says she used to get angry at her pimples, buy eveything ever advertised and just attack her pimples. Just like me! Now I am 28. I was so annoyed I interrupted by saying I don't wna hear it. I have struggled enough. Big sis said the same, with a simplictic cure of 'i cleared my face by drinking loads of water n stopped scratching'. I drink water! I don't need late info. from family members as it is then clearly inherent. I want advice from those that are not my family.
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August 20, 2012

I just realized something tonight. I got mad at my husband, locked myself in the bathroom, and PICK PICK PICK. So apparently anger is one of my triggers. Yay I'm going somewhere!
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August 20, 2012

Twenty minutes ago i nearly did the same thing!!! Got slightly mad at my man (for nothing of course) I could actually feel this physical pull to get up and go to the closest mirror. It was definitly a PULL feeling. I just breathed thru it. This whole process went down in a matter of 5 seconds. I remember thinking "you are trying to look sexy for your man your not trying to repulse him". So I didnt pick. And havent for 4 days 2hrs. You now know one of your triggers Feebee that in itself makes it easier to stop. That husband of yours....does he not deserve to have you at your very best???
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August 20, 2012

First off.....CONGRATS!!!! 4 days is HUGE! I would be thrilled to go 4 days w/out picking. Thanks for sharing your story. It helps me. A lot. ;). And yes, he does.
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August 20, 2012

I have picked the skin off my feet for years on and off and lately it's come back hence me finding this site googling "why do i feel the need to dig the flesh out of the bottom of my foot, eat it, then dig around the bloody mess for any loose strands to pull at?". At this present moment with evety heartbeat my foot is pulsating with pain....and I picked 12 hours ago! Been walking round on this thing all day, complete nightmare. The worst is when i dig out my toenails and pull the skin from inside there! And then I stub it on a table leg!!! WHY! Well, obviously for me it's just a natural stress response I can't help but do it I catch myself in the act - even when I'm at work I reach into my shoe sneakily and quickly pull a piece off! But my question is: why would our bodies, minds be using our hands to dig into our feet retrieve 3,4 layers of skin to ingest - that is some strange behaviour and isn't eating yourself kind of cannibalism? I'm at a low point in life at the moment why is my natural reaction to make things even worse? Eating foot skin isn't enjoyable and it's definitely not hygienic is it, I've only ever once showed a partner my feet to which after I said "they're awful aren't they", they replied with "well I'd rather they weren't like that", I was obviously right to keep the socks on in bed! Siiiiigh think I'm just sick of it at the minute I'll not be as wound up once it's healed I won't be bothered. But right now I want to find out what creepy caveman ancestor of mine lived on foot skin alone!!! Go back in time and beat em bout the head with a club
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August 21, 2012

Lol! Yes, our creepy self cannabalizing cave men ancestors!! Thanks for making me smile. And giggle. ;)
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August 20, 2012

Hi :-) I think I pick more when i'm lonely and bored these days. I can remember as a child feeling invisible and nervous and the absolute need to go to a quiet corner and operate on my toenails incase they got ingrown. I have had a picking kit for as long as I remember, I even buy nailcare kits with the express knowledge i'm going to pick out all the imperfections. As much as it makes me look disgusting, it cleanses me if that makes sense. I wonder what it feels like to have no pain that you've inflicted yourself, would I miss it? Perhaps it's now so ingrained in me I need to feel it to feel normal? My breasts are disgusting and I often panic that I shouldn't have children because they are so scarred. Lol I just read that and I've never heard anything so ridiculous... I've never ever told anyone that before. I need to throw away the nail clippers and penknives and never buy anymore! That frightens me to death, having nothing to dig with. At least I know i'm alive when a toe is throbbing and weeping, and I feel in control when I dig out nail beds or skin pores and cause, then cure my own infection. Thanks xxx
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August 21, 2012

I love the taste of my skin. Nails, cuticles, skin on the bottoms of my feet, scabs, peeling skin after sunburn (oh god how I pray it peels whenever I burn), I just love the taste and the sensation of peeling off skin.
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October 24, 2012

I love how direct you are about your motivations for picking. I am very interested in what motivates dermatillomaniacs - the power of our urges and underlying causes cannot be denied. For me, chewing my skin is as deep as I can go into myself - actually removing a part of me and chewing it (I avoid swallowing - oddly enough, that creeps me out). Skin is an organ and what organ can you pick off and chew? It's definitely a sick desire that brings negative consequenses, but It brings great pleasure to me. In fact, all my senses receive pleasure from picking. Mabey I'll post about this someday. I'd like for you to respond to this post. Thanks.
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August 21, 2012

I pick all of the time though, even while watching a movie, waiting for food, just standing around, while I'm on the computer, while I'm on my iPod.. I do it all of the time except for when I'm asleep. But the urge to pick peaks when I am anxious, depressed, or angry. If I'm not picking I'm fidgeting with my fingers or my ears, or I'm rocking my feet, curling my toes. I have a constant flow of anxious energy. I still don't know the real reason I pick. All I can think of that could possibly be what manifested into this is my past, my experiences, my upbringing.
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September 02, 2012

I can definitely relate to your situation. Stress and anxiety drive my compulsion to pick. I wonder what deep psychological forces are at play behind this. I desire to talk to others and share thoughts, etc relating to dermatillomania. Please feel free to respond.
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August 24, 2012

Hi I have been picking my skin probably for about 20 years. But the last 4 or 5 it has got much worse on my face. I am seeing a counsellor now and hope I can help myself. I am trying to stay away from the bathroom mirror as that is where it often happens. I feel disgusting, the mess I make of my skin when their are no blemishes to start with. I try and cover up with make up but I feel that when I talk to people they also think i am disgusting. Vicious cycle. I find reading some of the comments really helpful on the forum. I believe my picking is a stress buster and of times of acute anxiety it gives some sort of pleasure even though the aftermath causes pain. has anyone purchased the book on this website and thinks it is helpful? xTabby
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September 02, 2012

I have had therapy on and off throughout the years trying to get to the root of the problem. Just recently i went to a therapist who told me that my adoption (specifically the during the hour i was born) caused a lot of emotional turmoil for me..which set the initial wound for a lifetime of depression. Also, i know my picking is genetic, as my birth mom does it. I think picking goes hand in hand with OCD/depression/ADD/ADHD.I have been diagnosed with ADD and depression. In general, for most people, skin picking is something they do when they are bored, anxious, or feel any emotion very strongly.
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September 02, 2012

I think I would say that I pick for a range of different reasons. I absentmindedly pick when I'm bored or distracted (I have a short attention span) or if I feel nervous. The problem with the nervous picking is it's often triggered by awkward social situations and the worst thing to do when you're in public is start peeling off scabs so what I started doing is biting and chewing the inside of my mouth. When I am really stressed out for example if I have a lot of work to do for uni I tend to end up with sores, ulcers and a broken lip. I have even hurt my teeth biting and chewing too much and of course when I eat and drink it hurts really badly. If I'm angry I frantically peel at my fingers, If I'm just sitting alone doing nothing I'll pick at my feet or my back but the worst and most distressing is the attention I pay to my face. I feel that the face thing started when I started getting spots as a teenager and I got obsessed with getting rid of anything that could even resemble a pimple straight away. Now the thing that really frustrates me is that because I have dark skin its difficult to get good foundation (I live in the UK and use Mac make up but its really expensive) and so I find it difficult to cover the scars. So I get stressed out and start picking and it just goes round in a horrible cycle. I am trying to stop the face and back picking as my main priority then I'll start working on the mouth biting etc. All of my anxieties come from my dad who was a bully throughout my childhood and still feels like he can control my life. I don't deal well with general stresses and rejection is a big issue but I have been to counselling and am considering medications so fingers crossed things will begin to improve. I am officially 2 days into my no picking challenge and am taking it literally a minute at a time.
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September 03, 2012

Finallyreadytostop: your face picking story really resonates with me, I believe I started on my face for the same reason. Then I expanded my search for anything that could resemble a pimple on my arms, chest, back, legs and scalp. Good luck with your no picking challenge.