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Shay , 25 May 2016

How/when did you start picking?

I started when I was a little girl- maybe 5 or 6 years old. Mosquitoes loved me (still do) & every summer my arms & legs would be covered in bites. Itchy bites that soon became scabbed sores that I would pick...and yes, God this is so hard to admit- eat the scabs.

As an adult- i am mindful about only picking hidden scabs. My abdomen has several round (about the size of a quarter or silver dollar) scars from past sores. One time i was in a fender bender but still had to get checked out at the ER- the doctor saw them & was bewildered- thought they were old gunshot wounds. I can't even put into words the feelings i was having. Mortified comes close.

I'm not a nailbiter & i dont care for acrylics so i usually clip my nails so they dont break or peel. I found that if i clip them really short- i have nothing to pick with so that has helped at some times. But right now- I've got one active scab (future gunshot wound-looking scar) on my abdomen now that is semi-healing (if i can only leave it alone) & my left leg has a few.

I have NEVER shared this way before. Not with anyone- not even admitting it to myself. Not 100% sure I will even post this.

12 Answers
July 28, 2016

Hey Shay. I'm Sarah. I started picking when I was six years old. Mostly it was picking at scabs but it was also that I would tear off the skin at the top of my hand. It made me feel better because I was bullied and it calmed me die . Now I'm 18 and I still pick just like you but something that I learned in therapy and through friends is that it's okay to feel ashamed but there is nothing to feel ashamed about. Yes we feel the need to pick at our skin and scabs but we are still beautiful people with our whole lives ahead of us. Remember you are not your disorder. This does not define you.

July 29, 2016

I used to always pick scabs as a kid (heyoo to the fellow sweet meat!) but it really developed into a compulsion for me around 18 as I started my first serious relationship. It's always a nice combination of not knowing how to handle a stressful situation, feeling down about myself or loneliness that I end up coping by picking. (Picking is def a way I try to calm down and deal with anxiety). But hey, we are all human and just trying our best :) And I can definitely say you are not alone

September 07, 2016

I started roughly around 13. Then it was easier to control but since then, I've been on the aggravating hunt for the right products for me. Now, it'S a problem and one I would really love to stop. I'm just glad to not be alone.

September 12, 2016

My mom passed away when I was 10 in 2010 and ever since then I picked all over my body starting at my face, then eventually my fingers, legs, arms (I also have KP which doesn't help), and now it's primarily my chest. I've been doing this for 7 years and after about 5 years it finally started to get a little bit better after a large stressor was removed from my life, but (according to the test) I'm still at about 80%. I'd normally be at 94% so I'm proud that I'm making progress. Until last year I never saw a therapist for anything before so I'd been without antidepressants/therapy for 6 years.

September 21, 2016

I'm 34 and I don't remember when I started, or even really how for that matter... In my teens I think... When I would get zits, or when I'd shave and get those lil red bumps from ingrown hairs... The habit just increased and progressed as I got older... And I've come to realize that I do this when I become depressed or stressed out about focus is taken off the worries around me and become transferred into focusing on my visible imperfections which causes picking... I used to be a cutter, which instead of feeling the emotional pain, you would instead focus on and feel the physical pain... And I have to admit my episodes of self harm still come and go as far as cutting... But picking has seemed to take over more throughout the years... And I know doing either one is going to make me feel and look worse in the end... But you never think of the repercussions at the time of self infliction unfortunately... :(

October 17, 2016

I have picked my lips for as long as I can remember. I'm 23 years old and it crossed my mind to look online & see if others did this. I'm surrounded by family & friends who DO NOT understand. When I was younger my mom would hit my hand and I would get REALLY upset and pick more aggressively privately. It never even crossed my mind that anyone else would do the same thing. I can go a week or so without but then sometimes I do it every hour. I use alcohol to make it burn then apply lip balm after constantly repeating this. Recently I have use tweezers to dig deeper with more accuracy. I have stood in front of a mirror for hours picking and peeing my lips. My boyfriend walked in on me and was so confused I really enjoy doing it but when people see I feel so much shame. Does any one else use alcohol or tweezers or video tape it?????? Will be scheduling an appointment tomorrow to see my doctor.
October 21, 2016

I started picking my fingers and even sometimes my feet since as long as i can remember. It got so bad to the point i used to take toenail clippers and clip the callouses from my feet, sometimes they bled. Eventually i stopped pocking my feet and began just gnawing my fingers down until they bled. I never knew why i did it, i could just be wathching tv and the next thing i know im on my 5th fijger before i realized i was picking. I habe tried many times to quit, and finally i stopped. I havent picked for almost 4 weeks now, my fingers are in a lot better shape than they were before "until they get wet" lol. But just focus on not picking, i know its really difficult, but try to stay aware of where your hands are, and when u are really just itching to go at it, occupy your mind, and hands. Thats what i've been doing so far to keep me straight. U guys got it, stay strong and overcome this obstacle with me!

November 29, 2016

I've been picking scabs and biting my nails for so long I can't say for sure. My earliest memory is kindergarten. I'm ashamed but honest enough to admit that I'm too vain to pick at anything on my face or chest. But a zit on my back is a real treat. I'll lock myself in my bathroom and use tweezers or cuticle cutters to pick at my nails. I really like to get the under nail, the thin stuff that bleeds. I recently started in on my toenails. I'm 37 now and I'm afraid I'll be a little old lady with bloody stubs for fingers and toes.

March 12, 2017

Wow... I think this is incredible, as I barely knew there was an actual name for this condition until about a week ago... and feeling as if I alone was the only one who did such things. I have had this disorder for years - I'm in my mid-fifties now... started as a teen with a severe acne problem that has never fully disappeared, although now my face is better than it used to be. But the picking began with the acne on my face around age 14... it got so bad... sometimes I just couldn't help myself... it either was so unsightly or it hurt so bad I had to rid myself of the source of the pain, the pimple, boil, zit - whatever it was. My mother even suggested the use of a pin - sterilized with a match - and I also used tweezers. Still do when the need arises. Currently I have had so much stress in my life that I've begun picking my scalp - irritations and bumps have shown up, they itch, or I absentmindedly scratch my head only to find something to pick on. It's gotten so bad I am embarrassed to go get my hair cut. I've resorted to trimming my hair myself (badly sometimes!). I don't know if I can ever stop the picking. Yes, sometimes it can be a compulsion to eradicate the confounded zit, sometimes obsessing over one for such long stretches of time that I don't even realize how long I've been at it. I've had small stretches of times where I've not done the picking as much, and think I've beat it, only to fall back in again... plus, it isn't just on my face... I think there's been a zit or pimple almost everywhere on my body... and when I get one, I have the strongest urge to "get rid of it". There's a weird satisfaction when it's been dealt with.
I have never told anyone about this until today - told my boyfriend (he smokes, so he's got his own nasty addiction), came here after googling dermatillomania ...
I knew I had some kind of disorder, but I didn't realize it was dermatillomania... I'd heard of the hair pulling, and body dysmorphic disorder (I thought I had that a few years back), but realizing I'm not alone, and that others do the exact same things and then some... blows me away. Just strange how we, by ourselves, think "I'm the only one who does this" only to discover it's a disorder - and treatable, maybe not curable but manageable. I am really relieved to find this site.
In my experience, it's been a major hindrance to not only my social life, but work, school, and any kind of activity that involved facing the public. Swimming was always hit or miss depending on how I felt about my skin. I have been wearing makeup to cover the acne and scars for years. I feel bad for the teenagers finding themselves with this issue. I am glad that sites like this have come into being. I so wish we'd had the internet when I was a teen. You younger folk, with the help of sites like this, with people who can help you, are so lucky. What a great place to come to. I'm truly comforted.

March 27, 2017

I'm really glad to have found this forum! About a month ago, I found out there is an actual name for this "habit" that I have. I have called it my "habit" because I did not know anyone else who picked their skin as much as me. I started when I was 9 years old. I thought I was alone. I grew up with my mother thinking I could "just stop," but even then, I knew there was more to it. I am 21 years old and I have been on the road to recovery for about a year now. I started therapy a year ago due to depression, anxiety, and picking my skin so much that I was sleep deprived due to wasting time rather than studying, and my finger tips hurt so much from constantly picking my skin so forcefully. I now have a new therapist who suggested that I check out a forum. I have also found skin products that I like, and that has helped a bit. I don't wear anything sleeveless or backless because I am extremely self-conscious when I do. I have heard people comment about my scars on my back and shoulders, and it is embarassing. I have somehow managed to survive being in a sorority for a year and not wear a tank top for a necessary event. However, next weekend is our formal and I am wearing a dress that exposes my back adn arms and shoulders. I am so scared. I did not tell my date about my picking and I am scared what he will say. I have been trying really hard to be good about not picking as much, but the scars and scabs will not heal in time. I also have never been to the beach with my friends because I am scared about what they will say. I hate that this "habit" is running my life and preventing me from doing things I want to do.

April 17, 2017

it is a hard disease habit or whatever to stop. I am in my mid 50s and I have been a picker since I was 10 or 11. I am always on the hunt for something to clear up any mosquito or any places before I wreck awful havoc on my skin. Love hearing anyones tips or ways to dry the scabs up very fast so there is No time to even pick them...wish.

April 22, 2017

Looking back, I guess I started when I was little. It's getting a lot worse now and I've only just realized that it's an actual disorder that other people have as well. I pick at my cuticles and use nail clipper and tweezers sometimes if it gets really bad. I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and am recovering from disordered eating so that just kind of makes things worse.

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