Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

leavingthemirror , 19 Nov 2015


Follow the link to my video on YOUTUBE so you can hear about how i stopped picking my skin for good!
I can't help but share since I know how awful and miserable it can be. Please share with anyone you know that may have dermatillomania as well.

4 Answers
November 19, 2015

the video is called "How I Beat Dermatillomania"

November 21, 2015


I watched your video and I was incredibly moved-- by your courage; your honesty, your decision to help others through your struggle.

After picking deep wounds in my face tonight, I took a shower and laid down in bed. I opened my computer and followed the link in this post. You spoke to a girl wrapped up in a towel, crying, wondering if this ever gets better.

I am that girl.

For the last 4 years, perhaps longer, I've obsessed over my skin. I've stood in front of mirrors for hours at a time, examining each pore, each follicle, each curve and angle of my face with unflinching resolve. I scan for spots, for places where I'm convinced that I'm less than perfect. Then I attack the areas-- squeezing, digging, resurfacing-- until I've sufficiently worked out my anxieties on my face. I walk away from the mirror bloodied and ashamed, each time resolving that it will be the last. Next, comes the obsessive research and spot treatments-- the constant hope that I'll take control of my body's healing process, that I'll wake up in the morning with a perfect complexion, having worked out all the bugs.

Logically, I know this will never be the case. The bugs will never be worked out. The result will always be aggravated skin, a longer healing process, a guilty conscience. This summer, I gave myself severe chemical burns by spot treating damaged skin. I haven't stopped spot treatments because I can’t relinquish control of my skin. Picking has become an addiction, something I wake up to do.

I continue my desperate attempt to exert control through my face, though I have all the therapy tools to kick the habit. I cover mirrors. I tape markers on the floor to remind me not to lean in too close. I buy fidget toys. I resolve to stop wearing makeup.

None of it sticks for longer than a few days.

I look in the mirror every morning and encounter a distorted picture. I see myself as the sum total of my blemishes and imperfections, however imperceptible to people around me.

I’m an attractive 23 year-old woman who digs holes in her skin. They are reminders to myself--to everyone around me-- that I'm not fine. I shouldn't look great, because I'm not doing great.

I'm exhausted. I'm tired of saving face, of pouring over my reflection, of wasting my time on the vain preoccupation with my skin. I hope, in the weeks that follow, I can begin to address this problem. After a five- year long struggle with bipolar disorder, I’ve been able to return to my university to finish my studies this semester. The greatest gift, would be to graduate this December feeling comfortable in my own imperfect skin.

Thank you, Paula, for helping me get closer to that goal.

December 19, 2015

In reply to by forgettingperfect

Dear forgettingperfect, it pains me to read your message because you have battled this this for 4 years and you can change this behavior with help and support. I have picked and gouged and ripped my skin for as long as I can remember, and I am 45. Always had flawless,beautiful skin because I hid my disorder so well. But 3 years ago that all changed. My skin on my back broke out in horrible lesions,especially around my bra area. I could NOT stop picking at them and now my back is completely scarred. It took 2 solid years for the sores to heal and even now, a few under my bra strap are still not healed . my hidden,guilty compulsion was completely exposed. I read somewhere about a woman whose goal it was to not look in any mirrors for one year. Sounds like a great idea to me. Right now, while this addiction hasn't completely taken hold, maybe make a solid decision and a game plan to get through this and heal your mind,body and soul. I too battle bipolar disorder and trust me, getting treatment for that was a huge step. You are in my thoughts girl. Peace

December 12, 2015

I liked the video and commend you for stopping! However I would like to say that I don't think it's selfish to put paper over the mirror, especially if you are open to the people in your home and they are supportive. I guess it would be different if there was only one mirror in the whole house. I covered our only bathroom mirror and I told my Roomate why. She was ok with it and gave words of encouragement. I don't think "selfishness" is a good excuse to not do something you know will help. I get that will power is a big part of it, and I commend you for being able to will yourself to stop, but a lot of people with dermatillomania can't just "act normal" and just not do it. For me, covering the mirror has been a Huge help, and I'm not ashamed that I needed to do that.

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now