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devynnleighh , 12 Nov 2012

There's a name for it!

I'm 19 and I've been picking at my skin for as long as I can remember. I have several main spots - when I was little, it started with my ears. Later, my upper arms - mainly my right one, more recently, my back and chest. If ever I've had a scab, I pick it off as soon as I become bored enough to do so. My picking has always been out of boredom, though. No other reason that I'm aware of, as I'm a relatively happy, healthy person. It doesn't just stop with me, though. I feel the insane urge to pick at pealing skin from a sunburn on other people - the same goes for my dogs. Because of this, I have to bathe my dogs frequently to prevent myself from harming them. I cause myself to bleed at least 3 times a day, probably more, but I'd never seen anything wrong with it - I really still don't - until other people started telling me to stop. But the problem is, I don't want to stop. It doesn't bother me and its soothing. I also wonder if this is a genetic disorder, as both my mother and grandmother pick to some extent, though not to the point of bleeding. It's interesting to have a name attached to what I do, though.
3 Answers
November 12, 2012
Hey! I'm exactly the same - so happy there's a name! and also happy that other people have it too, feels like I'm not the only person with this 'habit' anymore! :)
November 13, 2012
I am like that too. I have been picking at my cat cuz he has a lot of scabs from fleas. I also love to peel sunburn. I also peel paint if it is peeling. You are right, it is soothing. I would like to figure out how to stop though. My cat bites me when I pick at him. I have peeled the paint in my apartment so now I probably won't get my security back unless I paint what I have peeled. Well, that's all I got for now. -Abi
November 14, 2012
I have know for a long time that I had an issue, but I was frustrated that it wasn't diagnosed as classic OCD. I have spells where I don't harm myself as much, but when it comes back, it does so with a vengance. I recognized today, that I have a real problem and found this site. I'm glad to know I'm not alone. I'm tiered of being embarrased. I pick my face and my scalp mostly now, but I think this thing goes way back to childhood. I bit my nails when I was a kid and managed to break myself of that, but I was a nose picker, managed to quit that, I would scatch my scalp, (still do that), I picked at ingrown hairs, not so much anymore, but my face breaks out and I cannot leave that alone, even though I know it makes it worse. It can be quite frustrating as someone who is otherwise rational and fairly successful at life to have such an embarrassing problem. Maybe with focus I can learn to manage it.

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