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Twizzlers , 18 Sep 2014

Ritalin induced face picking

I never had a problem with this until I started taking Ritalin. I mean I've always been able to squeeze my whiteheads out but never had any obsession or problem with my skin. Now- it's been about 2 years and the scars are adding up- and I've spent sometimes an entire nite damaging my once pretty face- and each time I end up shocked, horrified and disgusted that I now have to hide out until I can heal enough for the cover-up routine that takes me an hour to apply. I admit I take more than I should- and THAT is also a problem- so I end up feeling doubly out of control. I have Fibromyalgia with extreme fatigue so the Ritalin has been great for that- but only if I double up on the dose. I began to break out in horrible sores on my face, upper back and scalp. They weren't like anything I ever saw before and my skin changed too. They spread if I tried to squeeze one- and they also had a white center- with strange effects on my skin. anyway... I have no desire to do this when I'm "sober"..... but seem to be powerless to this - even though I've ruined my complexion and can't be seen without my three layers of cover up. Anyone else in this boat?
4 Answers
September 19, 2014
Yes! I was on Ritalin for about 3 years and my picking got ten time worse. I literally could not stop myself at all and would pick my face, chest, scalp and arms for hours! Ritalin helped me so much with anxiety (weird, but it did) and concentration and I was sad to give it up... But it made an already bad habit so bad, that I had to.
October 14, 2014

Yes!! I took Ritalin 3 years ago when I was 17 and that's when my skin picking problem started. I cut myself a fringe once to cover up the damage. I remember my mother coming into my room once and I was picking with tweezers with blood all over my face and she just said, 'what have you done?'. But even though I've been off Ritalin for 2.5 years the picking has not gone away. It's not so bad and I have phases where it's sort of under control, I can not pick for a few days if I need to, but it's still a real problem. I need to stop!

October 15, 2014

I have the same problem with Adderall. Somehow the drug exacerbates obsessive-compulsive tendencies. I have been using calamine lotion to heal my face, and it's working. I noticed the same white bumps you referred to in the first post. We all know what the answer is, stop taking the amphetamine, so why don't we? I got rid of all magnifying mirrors in my house and all my tweezers and other skin picking tools. I posted a picture on my bathroom mirror of a person with a disgusting facial skin infection from picking, you'd be surprised how effective aversion therapy is. It's kind of like putting a picture of a really obese person on your refrigerator when you're trying to lose weight. I went off Adderall for two weeks a few months back and my skin was almost completely clear before I started taking it again. If you can live without the drug, then stop taking it now. If you can't survive without it, then do everything you can to keep from picking and let your face heal. Get rid of everything in your house that you use to pick your face with. Put on a pair of cotton gloves when you are sitting around watching TV or driving, those are the times where I tend to pick my face the most. You can't pick with gloves on and it also helps you to fully realize how many times you do touch your face.

sitting on hands
May 10, 2015

My picking also got worse when I started on ADHD meds, it was at its worst when I was taking Ritalin. I've been off all meds for over 2 years now, but I still can't stop picking my scalp. Stimulant drugs suppress my anxiety too, but strangely made the compulsive picking worse, especially as the drug wore off. I think its because stimulants increase dopamine, which then converts to norepinephrine, which increases anxiety.

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