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Sgirlfab , 04 Aug 2016

Sorry for the details.

This is my first post here. I have been picking at my skin for the better part of 15 years. I mostly pick my legs but most of my body is fair game. Oddly, I never pick my face. I get immense satisfaction from picking at hardened, crusty scabs. Unfortunately you usually have to leave them alone for a couple of days for them to get that way and I find that extremely difficult. I actually feel happy when I can pull a scab off all in one piece. Then I chew it between my front teeth for a while. I typically pick every scab in my body at least once a day. And I have about 2 dozen right now. What I notice is that after picking the same spot for months, the scab gets harder and harder to pull off. They also don't bleed as much. But I keep picking. I wonder if anyone else understands much you can enjoy doing something that is so gross and problematic.

I go through periods where I try to stop. I cover them with band aids and try to ignore them, but once the band aid comes off I pull the scab right off. I have tried the colloidal band aids but I find that the skin around them itches, so I scratch it until I dig into my skin creating new scabs to pick at. I literally cannot leave any imperfection alone. I get very upset when I get something as simple as a mosquito bite because I know it is going to be a problem for months on end.

I have tried the awareness notebook, jotting down the circumstances around my urges to pick. There was no discernable patterns for me. I do it in all different circumstances and settings and don't really have any specific emotional triggers either. I have no idea how I am going to stop this but I am tired of wearing pants and sleeves in the summer.

I went through 2 years of not picking. It happened spontaneously. I wasn't trying. I just realized one day that I had no open sores. But then I got a couple of mosquito bites on my legs and it started up again. I have also been biting at my fingers, chewing on that skin. I know that it is just another facet of the same problem.

Not sure what I am looking for here. I suppose I just needed to get that off my chest and perhaps hear that someone out there can relate.

5 Answers
August 06, 2016

I do do this a bit but I don't class it as a problem activity as I only do it a little. I actually used to do it more once, but I controlled it. Have you done the test to see what they say about it? If it's any consolation I have seen and heard a number of people say that they pick their scabs, and I think it is really quite common to do it a bit, or even quite a lot. I do pick and bite off hard bits of skin on my fingers because they get very dry. I am trying to drown my hands in lotion!

August 06, 2016

I bite the skin off my fingers as well. I probably seem like I'm pretty crazy. Lol. I can't stand having tiny rough spots so I chew at them. Sometimes I will use nail clippers to cut away at the dry bits. I also try to keep my hands smothered in lotion. Lol. I'm glad there are others who do this though. And I'm glad to know that there is help available.

August 07, 2016

I used to bite my fingernails but now they are so soft I have to trim them really short as they tear and catch on things.

September 04, 2016

don't apologize for the details. it is comforting that someone else has the same habits as myself. added to my problem, is that i am on blood thinners and sometimes, when picking even the smallest scab, streams of blood will pour out for hours. can not tell you how many mattresses I have ruined.
even writing this makes me feel that i am not alone. Thank you for sharing

September 04, 2016

Wow. That must be scary. It is definitely comforting to know you're not alone.

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