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My Dermatillomania, and me.
Okay, it is 11:36 PM here, so I am going to attempt to keep this somewhat short. I am 25 years old, a mother of a beautiful 17 month old boy, and I've suffered from what I now recognize as dermatillomania since I was probably 9 or 10 years old. (Can't really remember exactly, due to a coping mechanism that makes memories of most of my childhood nonexistent or hazy...). I'm actually starting to shake right now with the very idea of posting this, even to a basically anonymous forum like this. My arms, my legs, my chest, my back, and my face are covered in scars. I have nervous habits out the window, and I am on the extreme end of introverted. Being around crowds of people ("crowd" here defined for me as more than five people in the same room) for extended periods of time (over an hour), will cause me to have a headache. I pick, constantly. I live with my mother (moved back in with her when I found out I was pregnant, the baby's father is not in the picture), and she also had dermatillomania (she is covered in scars as well, though she found a way to quit when she was about 30). I pick when I am driving, when I am at work (or school), when I'm in front of the computer, any time I have a free hand. Even at church. When someone asks me about my skin, I usually don't have a problem telling them that that is what I am doing, though I usually back it up with "it's really just a bad habit.", or some other thing that makes it, I don't know, not as bad? Anyways, the actual reason I wanted to post here, is, I've had this idea running around my head, and what I really want to do is present it to someone who does research in the medical field, particularly with dermal conditions, and just don't know where to go. I figure, though, if I post it somewhere, maybe it will make its way around to the right person. I hope I am not the only one who has noticed this, but, I have noticed, that whenever I go swimming, or whenever I am in the shower for an extended period of time, (and I certainly don't THINK I am crazy, because I am intensely aware of the sores on my arms...) my skin heals much more rapidly, the longer it is exposed to water. (I usually can't stay in the water long enough to test my hypothesis, one, because I am a mother, two, because as soon as we get pruney, people want to get out of the pool, etc., etc., etc...). My hypothesis is, what if there were water treatments to help those of us who have a hard time leaving wounds alone, heal those wounds? Even, say, a bandage that adheres tightly to the skin and allows for (saline, fresh water, whatever works best) to be pumped into the bandage, then have that water be refreshed frequently? I know I said I was posting this at a late time, but I swear, this isn't an idea born of sleep-deprivation. I've been considering it for a long time, and just wanted to get that out there. Any responses would be lovely. Thanks!
August 06, 2014
I have noticed this as well! For years my skin picking would be the worst in the summer when my arms were more exposed... but I noticed that after I came home from a day at the beach or pool my skin looked a lot better. I've talked about this on this forum somewhere & I've heard others mention it as well. There seems to be a sort of drying/cleansing effect from the salt water... & even chlorine water (for me at least). Now I try to get to the beach/pool as often as possible, I take epsom salt baths, & I even use a sea salt soap when I shower. I've heard of saline sprays for the skin so I may look into those as well. I'm glad you've found this forum & posted this! Keep it up. Reading & talking about it really helped me a lot. I'd recommend talking to your mother as well since she's been through this as well. Since she's been through it before & quit she should be a great confidante.