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scalped0414 , 29 Apr 2014

do i need a doctor?

First time visitor, first time poster. I'll try to keep the background short and get to the questions. I've picked my scalp since my early teens, over ten years. There have been fluctuations over the years, but now it is currently the worst ever. I am picking near-constantly and have an open wound the almost the size of a credit card on the back of my head. I'm pretty sure it's infected since it is constantly oozing a thick, yellow-ish ooze (and to make this even more disgusting, there's a faint, but distinct, sharp, sour, odor). QUESTION 1: DO I NEED A DOCTOR IF IT'S INFECTED, OR HOW CAN I TREAT THE WOUND AT HOME? Like I said, this is the worst it's ever been. It actually caused a fight between me and my significant other when S.O. finally got a clear look the other day. Basically, significant other said that I should go to the ER for the infection and because it looked just as bad as if I was cutting myself. I said it was not self-harm (I don't hate myself or my body), just a harmful bad habit. But the conversation kind of made me wonder if I am really seeing my picking problem clearly. QUESTION 2: DO I NEED A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL/DOCTOR? I have seen one in the past and taken medications for depression/anxiety, but am not on any now. My picking subsided a bit during this period, but I was mostly working on other things. I'm working on getting health insurance, but don't actually have any at the moment. Appreaciate all feedback on both these questions.
3 Answers
May 12, 2014
I hope you went to see a doctor! I'm sorry no one replied to your comment. From looking at the latest posts it seems hardly anyone uses this site anymore. That's bad for me too as I was hoping to seek some help from people who have dealt with this stuff and overcame it. Good luck with your addiction I hope your able to get it under control.
May 13, 2014
Just posting an update in case other people are reading this. I went to see a primary care doctor, and even though they did not think it was infected, I convinced them to write a prescription for an antibiotic anyway (mostly for the sake of my significant other who was very concerned). After asking me some questions about how long I'd been picking, etc, they also referred me to a therapist and put me back on an anti-depressant/anxiety med I have taken in the past. But I think the biggest help was the nurse the doctor brought in. She cut a dressing/gauze pad in half and used some very gentle paper tape to cover the wound. It's very itchy underneath, and I know as soon as I take it off I will probably pick, but this barrier is really helping me for right now. Every time I reach up, I just get the top of the dressing. I rub and scratch to relieve the itch, but so far I haven't felt like I need to dig underneath to pick at the skin. Maybe if i can use these long enough for the open wound to heal and the skin to scar and become smooth, I won't feel the need to pick at the uneven edges of scab/new skin. My hair covers the white bandage pretty well so I'm able to keep it at work with my hair in a bun.
July 09, 2014
Were you ever getting a mass of seed like things out of the wounds? If so, check out my post

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