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Pick-a-little … , 02 Feb 2019

My poor scalp

I’m in my late 30s, have a demanding corporate career, and in the past few years I’ve picked my scalp so horrifically that it is amazing I still have hair and haven’t bled to death. I’ve actually considered just hacking away at my own hair whenever I need a trim because I’m too mortified to go to a salon. I am a compulsive skin picker in general, and have been since I was a small child, but what triggers my picking is any sensation where my skin is at all crusty or not smooth. I can’t handle it.

I have a chronically and severely itchy scalp that no amount of shampoos, rxs, allergy testing, etc has solved, and all the constant scratching leads to crusty spots. The relentless itching started it all, and then all the scratching led to scabs, and scabs are crusty, and therefore unacceptable. Every time I pick, the borders of the wounds incrementally widen. My poor abused and mutilated head. So much self-disgust and shame...

After reading this forum for the past several weeks, and hearing some tales of skin-excoriator recovery miracles, I did start using calamine lotion on the large raw spots. Not ideal, since I then of course have calamine lotion gummed up in my hair, BUT it makes the wound dry out immediately with a relatively smoothe chalky texture. So instead of forming a nightmarish mound of scabby crust (which must then be immediately and painfully extracted via a heavy-duty fine-steel-toothed comb)... I have a dry chalky patch with no unacceptable crustiness that I conceal with creative hair-parting or a wide wrap-style headband. Also the wounds seem to heal way faster than they do with neosporin or aquaphor or the countless other snake oil I’ve rubbed on my skinless scalp in desperation.

Unfortunately because no one can figure out the chronic severe itching that catalyzes the scalp-picking shit-cycle, I don’t know that it will really solve this for me in the long-term. I’m jealous that there’s no way to use those colloidal bandages everyone raves about without I guess shaving my damn head. But my scalp, at the moment, despite itching like a bastard and periodically releasing a slight *poof* of Calamine dust, is almost entirely healed of its wounds for the first time in years. I’m so sad knowing that the chronic and unbearable itching will probably land me right back skinless at square one, but maybe trying this will result in some success for you scalp-skin-scraping sisters (and bros) out there.

4 Answers
February 03, 2019

Hi, it makes me sad that you didn't write your name, remember that you are more than this. I'm more obsessed with my face and back, but I have a bump in the back of my head that I dig in till I bleed and when it scabs with hairs within it make nauseous. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this, but you are not alone.


February 08, 2019

I stumbled upon this site just minutes ago. I didn't know there was a name for compulsive picking or anything. I've been picking at my scalp (and the rest of my body) as long as I can remember. I've had the same spots on my scalp for Years, that I can't seem to leave alone. Right now I have a chunk of hair that's about 6" shorter than the the rest of my hair so it sticks out... It starts with a patch of dry skin or a small pimple and then just, ugh. I have to bounce around to different places ti get my hair cut and make up stories as to why I have a giant scab on my head. I catch myself staying away from people taller than me, making sure I'm never in a position where someone can see the top of my head and for a while would just cut my own hair. I've never told or spoke to anyone about it, but it's comforting to know I'm not the only one.

February 25, 2019

help, I cant stop picking/causing scabs on my scalp. Its sooo embarassing
May 23, 2019

Same problem... Good to hear some recommended cures here at least. Read my post...

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