severe lip picking


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November 25, 2013

Hi guys, thought I would keep ya'll updated on the 'stop picking' initiative I took on the 14th of November. It's almost been 2 weeks now. The urge to pick decreases a little everyday, and I haven't picked once since the 14th of November! I know it's stil early days but I honestly think this is a mind-over matter thing. You also have to concentrate on what you are doing with you're fingers and be aware what you are doing with them, constantly. Like I said I decided not to touvh my lips with my fingers AT ALL, no exceptions! And it is really paying off - this way you don't tempt yourself by feelign those dry crusty scabs you so badly want to pick off. The best part is after about 4 days the scabs heal and they really do just fall off by themselves (I was sp surprised by this). I went to bed with dry scabbed lips and woke up flake and scab free. Every time my lips feel even slightly dry and flaky I apply DCT (daily conditioning treatment - by Bistex). My lips look and feel amazing. Obviously I do still get tempted to pick but I look in the mirror and see how healthy my lips look, and realise that its just no worth it. It's a constant struggle but its gets much easier! like I said the first week is the worst. If you can get through that, it gets a hell of a lot better. I'll let you guys know how it'a going after the next two weeks...STOP PICKING, if i can do it, you can too!!!!
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November 25, 2013

Hi guys, thought I would keep ya'll updated on the 'stop picking' initiative I took on the 14th of November. It's almost been 2 weeks now. The urge to pick decreases a little everyday, and I haven't picked once since the 14th of November! I know it's stil early days but I honestly think this is a mind-over matter thing. You also have to concentrate on what you are doing with you're fingers and be aware what you are doing with them, constantly. Like I said I decided not to touvh my lips with my fingers AT ALL, no exceptions! And it is really paying off - this way you don't tempt yourself by feelign those dry crusty scabs you so badly want to pick off. The best part is after about 4 days the scabs heal and they really do just fall off by themselves (I was so surprised by this). I went to bed with dry scabbed lips and woke up flake and scab free. Every time my lips feel even slightly dry and flaky I apply DCT (daily conditioning treatment - by Bistex). My lips look and feel amazing. Obviously I do still get tempted to pick but I look in the mirror and see how healthy my lips look, and realise that its just no worth it. It's a constant struggle but its gets much easier! like I said the first week is the worst. If you can get through that, it gets a hell of a lot better. I'll let you guys know how it'a going after the next two weeks...STOP PICKING, if i can do it, you can too!!!!
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November 26, 2013

Some background on my lip picking. I am currently 26 years old, I have been picking consistently for the past 18 years. The earliest things I can remember is I use to get in trouble in school (about 2nd grade) for pouring glue on my hands and picking it of and collecting the pieces in my desk. After the teacher and my parents discussed this I was banned from having glue, then when my family moved into a new house the previous owners painted the inside and edges of the bath tub, when I would take a bath I would start to notice the paint chipping and lifting off so I would stay in the bath an extra hour or so (as long as my parents would let me) and peel as much of the paint chips as I could. After a few months all the paint was peeled away and my mother made a comment but I wasn't punished. Then while sitting in the tub having nothing to pick I started to notice I could peel skin on my feet and fingers when my skin absorbed a lot of water, but that appeared to painful for me to continue doing that. So I started peeling the paint off the walls in the bathroom until my father caught me doing that and freaked out on me. Then while during the colder months (and the dry Las Vegas air) my lips started getting dry and cracked. It irritated me so much that I just pulled at it, despite how much it bled and hurt I just grabbed the rest of it and yanked it off. I looked at the little piece of skin under a flashlight head and it looked just like the pieces of glue that I LOVED to pick off years ago, So when it started to scab over I ripped it off again and I started collecting the pieces. My parents began seeing the marks on my lips when I was about 8 or 9 years old and at first I was doing it in private (usually in the bathroom) but then I started doing it in front of my parents and anyone I didn't care. For the following years up until I turned 18 my mother and father would hit me, yell and smack my hand when they caught me doing it. Then my mother would tell some of my friends to smack me if they caught me doing it. And I understand the reasons why they're doing that but all that negative reinforcement just escalated the behavior from a pleasure response to an anxiety driven response. Nearly 19 years later it's worse than ever, and I have grown to be an anxious, high-strung hyperactive adult. I always have to be doing something with my hands or moving, if I'm not I am likely picking, if I have disturbing thoughts, I pick. If I fight with a significant other, I pick. If I forgot to pick something up or run an errand or missed a deadline I will pick for HOURS until I either resolve the issue or keep myself busy so I can't pick. If I have multiple stressful situations going on such as, conflicts at work, discontent with my schedule, arguments with my significant other, family squabbles, running late or any sort of aggressive unjustified confrontation I pick and I continue to pick and pick. At this point the wounds are getting extremely deep, my pain tolerance is through the roof, just growing larger with age. There have been a few instances in the past where I didn't pick for a few weeks to a month and that is when there was a lack of over-stimulation, stress and interacting with other people. I am completely aware of what triggers episodes of picking and I try to do my best to avoid them or cope with them in some other way but with a busy complicated life (like most people have) I find it practically impossible to avoid all the triggers. Anyone here wants to add me to facebook . facebook.com/devilmissray Rae Reinhartz I do talk about my lip picking on my facebook every now and then and having some people on my friends list that understand would be a nice thing to have, anyone else who is looking for the same, feel free to add me.
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November 28, 2013

CindyR Have you seen a doctor about this - it sounds like your anxiety is feeding this.
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December 09, 2013

So im jus laying here sucking on the damage I've been doing to my top lip for the past two days and decided to google why do i pick my lip? And ended up here i never thought in a million years there were ppl that pick their lip like me, i didn't know it was a prob never really see what the big deal is when everyone that catch me picking my lip say its nasty cause ii try really hard not to do it around ppl cause i hate being interrupted when I'm picking my lip or judge such as nasty...When i pick my lip I'm really really quiet i speak to no one and no one speaks to me its like the only time i seriously concentrate sometimes its so bad i concentrate so hard sometimes i get a migraine like terrible migraine then i know am picking too much but i jus still cant stop doing it even with a messed up headache.. I have been picking my lip ever since i can remember i use to suck my thumb and rest my lip on the back of my thumb and jus pick in the middle till it bleeds and if my finger nails not picking good enough i get a pin or one of those fat needle and pick my lip and put the blood on something i can see this, as an adult now 26 all my towels in my house have blood on the tip all the time cause i have stop sucking my thumb now and i roll the towel end nice and pointy and rub it in my lip it hurts cause my lip in tender but its like it feels gud when it hurts i feel better ik it sounds bad, but reading u guys stories made me start shaking cause ik i have some kind of issues cause i cant get upset witout getting a panic attack and that hasn't been working out too well for me ik i need therapy and idk how to get help and express myself to someone that is actually looking back at me maybe judging me idk how to express what am truly thinking idk why, except when i get mad of course and when i get really mad my heart starts doing that thing like am about to die when i wanna hit this person in the face i get cold cant breathe then ik i need to stfu and try to chill and im telling u to get myself to chill after i get that mad i always end up at my physicians office with some oxygen mask. But anyways I'm a horrible lip picker and i bite my nails ppl say its like i have two diff hands i have my healthy left hAnd with nicely shaped nails then u have my right hand nails so sml when i put on false nails there is never enough nail to hold the fake nails idk why i do these things when friends catch me picking my lip or biting my nails they get mad cause i don't hear what they r saying to me when I'm picking my lip or biting my nails i jus completely zone out like am gone lol ik it sounds horrifying, i will get help one day and to make it worst i haven't gotten a good night sleep two days now cause i have been going thru some serious picking stage i wanna go to sleep but i keep feeling stuff to pick off and Xanax stop working cause I'm taking two a night and i haven't slept properly two days now this morning the last time i look at the clock it was something after 7. When my friends ask me why do i do this i use to say am jus weird i didn't know it was like a serious issue like ocd .... Reading some other comments that was left i obsess over my weight all the time but thats that norm for me but i get guilty when i eat too much or if i dint eat right i dont really like taking pictures cause i look fat in all of them honestly lol since doing a surgery i lost 32lbs and i cant c what everyone is talking about when they say not to take off anymore weight im not skinny but i have a few lbs that needs to be shed...
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March 28, 2014

Honey, I dont think that's ocd, have you spoken to anyone about self harm?
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February 12, 2014

I do this too! I have picked my lips as long as I can remember and I never thought it was anything abnormal really... just an urge I had. I saw it as the same thing as someone who bites their nails. Family and friends are always yelling at me and slapping my hand away and all that does is make me want to do it more as well. I first realized it was a disorder when a girl in ont of my college classes did a presentation on trichotillomania and I kept thinking 'that sounds familiar!' I have certainly never met anyone who picks their lips like me, but it never crossed my mind that it was a disorder. It is so good to hear from others that they struggle with the same thing!
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February 18, 2014

I just found this site and have been reading the posts on this thread. I cannot BELIEVE there are other people like me who have this problem. I have been picking my lips for as long as I can remember. Seriously. There are photos of me at age 3 where you can see the mark from the lip picking. I'm 24 now, and I think maybe I've got one or two days without doing it. I've tried countless times to stop. Acrylic nails worked for me at first, but I found a way to maneuver my fingers so I can keep picking. I'm so embarrassed by it. I'm also an all-around picker, but I'd say the worst picking problem I have is with my lips. I don't draw blood everyday, but almost. Seeing a movie in a theater is the worst, I've found. I've started to carry my chapstick with me all over my house, I seem to want to do it less and it's less satisfying if my lips have something on them. I'm really excited to go through these posts and maybe start trying some of these solutions suggested. Thank you to everyone who's posted here- it's so strange but so nice to know I'm not alone In this!
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April 21, 2014

I used to bite my nails for many years and then when i stopped bitting them i somehow switched to biting my lips and pulling the skin out. Years ago i used to pull so much skin that i ended up with my mouth full of blood but nowadays its not as severe. I do not think i am like most people on this thread because i havent been doing it my whole life but i reckon it has something to do with anxiety since i replaced nail biting (something very common amongst people with "nerve" problems) for lip biting. I do it all the time, anywhere, either with my teeth or with my fingers.
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May 02, 2014

Nice knowing that there are lots of others with this problem. My question is, does anyone like the feel of it ? Like when I pick at my lips I get them dry and cracked so I can spread them and they will crack Ofcourse I'll bleed but I'll keep picking and picking but I like the feel of it just like if I get those uncomfortable sores on my tongue I'll pick and pick at it but I like the way it feels. I don't pick my lips in a self-mutilative way, I just want to know if anyone also likes the feel of it, I also pick at any little bumps or scabs I have on my head, I bite my nails also. But I've been doing the lip thing for years now.
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August 03, 2014

Yeah, that's exactly how it is for me. It's not a self-mutilate thing at all for me. I enjoy the way it feels. I've picked my lips for as long as I can remember, and when I'm really "into it", that's when I like for my lips to be really dry, then spread them really hard so they crack and bleed.
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May 03, 2014

I am 46 and have been picking my lower lip as far back as I can remember. I do not pick at anything else at all on my body. I remember that I bit my fingernails as a kid but I finally got that under control with mind over matter as a young person. For some reason, I associate picking at my lips with relaxing. I have no idea why because it hurts after awhile yet I keep on doing it because....habit? I don't know. It's definitely a compulsion, but I've noticed that it's situational to when I'm sitting and not doing much - such as driving, watching TV, etc. If I have any stress - my hand will be at my lip without me even thinking or realizing it. Right now, I have picked them smooth and I'm going to really try to just keep them covered with lipstick or balm at all times and force myself to keep my hands busy and away from my lips. At this point in my life, it HAS to be habit because there's is no good reason - I'm a normal mostly stress-free person. What a strange thing this is.
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July 24, 2014

Hi there, Yes my lip picking sounds exactly like yours! Mainly do it while relaxing, watching TV, reading, etc and in times of stress. It started when i was around ten, my parents didnt understand and used to shout at me to stop! (it even got to the point where they made me wear mittens in the house to stop me). Didnt work! I didnt like the feel of the hard dead skin on my lips, and if felt good to peel it all off smooth. The longer/bigger the piece of dead skin that came off the more rewarding the experience! If i made them bleed i would feel bad and ashamed at what i done. The worst thing about this compusive lip picking is both my daughters do the same! And have done so for around ten years! The elder who is 22 picks mildly and wears chapstick and lipstick to limit the picking and this works to an extent! But the younger who is 19 picks sometimes quite badly and most weeks has sore lips! I feel very responisible for this. So i have decided to learn as much as i can about this problem so that i can help them and hopefully they wont be 44 and still picking like me! My picking over the last five years luckly has subsided somewhat but only because i wear lipstick all day long! S.L Ackroyd England
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October 13, 2014

I'm exactly the same way. I hate the feel of rough, dead skin on my lip and just have to get it off! But if I bleed, I don't mind. I usually suck at it until it stops, I've gotten quite used the taste of metallic blood. I just sloths my nerves.
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May 19, 2014

Oh my goodness i never thought this many people would have the exact same compulsion as me to pick my lips. It started I think when I was 4 or 5 because I grew up in Ohio where it was most of the time cold and dry. But when ever I would feel stressed, resorting to lip picking comforted me or gave me something to work on. I'm 16 and I still do this either stress induced, or out of habit. I just can't stand there being flakey skin on my lips. I have to pick it all off until it feels relatively smooth, even if it means bleeding. Very strange and I want to stop because I feel like people notice I do it and think it's weird. Also I don't know if my saliva is doing any damage to my nails... Anyone have some good tactics besides Chapstick that helped them stop?
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May 19, 2014

PS I don't even live in Ohio anymore. I live in North Carolina where the dryness isn't an issue.
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June 07, 2014

I guess I am in the same boat as everyone here. I picked my lip my entire life thinking i was just removing some dead skin, and I knew I was a touch over zealous with it. I assumed my lip picking was to me was the way nail biting was to everyone else. I noticed I did it more when my stress levels were through the roof, and when I really tried, I could force myself to stop. But there have been times when I fell totally apart, my lip would turn to total you know what. Never saw another person who looked like me. Right now as I started to go to town on myself for no apparent reason I decided to google search because I decided there is no way in this universe I was alone. It's not a weather condition. I absolutely pick pick pick pick the hell out of my lip. I really find a way to make the skin come off. I've bought every product on earth. Aquafor is a great product. I've even picked it off my top lip, which has mended itself nicely. It's mostly my bottom lip that takes the beating. I just turned 33, and I don't know how long I've been doing it. As for people who talk about people around you who tell you to stop to help - yep. I've had that, and I've ended up telling them to shove it in return. I've been through therapy for depression and anxiety, and I've never been diagnosed for OCD. So I find it next to impossible I actually have OCD. I know if I don't pick my lip nothing bad with happen. So the actual idea that it's OCD is totally bogus. It's pure anxiety and purely compulsive. It's clearly a bad habit. It is nice though to see and know...I'm not some sort of total freak.
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July 16, 2014

I've had this problem sence I was 3 it sucks and is verry embarrassing but one day my friend wanted me to get acrylic nails and after I got them I noticed it made it harder for me to get any skin or pick off skin so much lip doesn't look red anymore I can still pick it if my nails start to thin but it realy helps! And I've had my on for a year now I'm so thankful for the help I get from them ! This terrible habit sucks ass! And it's a plus to have beautiful nails all the time and ur bf has to let you get them ! Lol :)) anyway just thought I would let you guys know about it lots of love too you all beautiful people good luck and god bless you
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July 26, 2014

I could cry: at the age of 51, disgusted that once again, without realizing it, I've been picking at my lips - something I've done on and off for as long as I can remember - I googled and, lo and behold, came upon this site. I so, SO want to stop. I have lip balms stored all over the damn place, and every day I start out intending not to do it - I make it through the day, then sit down on the couch for the evening and that's when I stop paying attention long enough to start doing it. Definitely have depression and anxiety issues, so I wouldn't be at all surprised to find there's a link. But I'm so grateful to find out I'm not alone. I've never in my life been brave enough to tell anyone about it - they may have noticed, but I've never discussed it. This is the first time I've expressed anything about it at all. What a relief.
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July 28, 2014

I never really expected so many people to be having this habit. Like many others I have been doing this since 4yrs. I am from India so it is not because of cold weather to cause any kind of dryness. But I really like to pick my lips when it is dry until i peel it off and let it smooth. I never felt embarrassed because of this unlike many people here. Its just a habit and it keeps me relaxed. Sometimes it helps to sleep peacefully in the night. So i dont think it is such a big issue here to feel very bad about.
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July 29, 2014

I'm sixteen, when I was five I started to bite my lips, and as years passed I began peeling the skin off my lips with my fingers.. I find it so relieving and soothing but it makes my lips look like crap, I like to peel even when it makes me bleed and inches of skin are ripped off. I don't know if this is some kind of disorder or idk but I can't find myself to stop. I've stopped before for months at a time but then one day i won't be paying attention or even caring and I'll just start finding a place to rip off skin on my lips. I do this mostly on my bottom lip, for some reason on the right side of it too o.O
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October 13, 2014

I'm pretty sure it's called dermatillomania. When you pick at your skin....try getting false nails or ChapStick, aquafor is awesome...
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August 03, 2014

Help! I can't stop picking at my lip! I'm 55 years old. Unlike others on this forum , mine started 3 years ago when I had precancerous patches of keratosis on my lower lip. Derm Dr. applied liquid nitrogen to freeze the skin cells. After a few days my lip would swell and began scabbing. The picking started then and now I do it incessantly. The keratosis lesions kept coming back and refreezing and scabbing continued with more picking. The growths just still wouldn't go away so Derm suggested minor outpatient surgery to remove a rather large AK (short for actinic keratosis) in the middle of my lip. It healed well and no disfigurement but 6 months later the AKs came back so I started picking again and again. My Derm basically gave up on me because I kept picking and referred me to another Derm. What a jerk he was. I wished I never had the surgery or even went to him in the first place as he used scare tactics like you're going to get cancer and people die from it...so I trusted him. However come to find out only 4% of the AKs ever turn into cancer. As a result of the surgery and constant picking I continue to have problems with the lip. AKs which have been frozen 3 times in the last couple months but still return. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my lower lip which would be incredibly a huge tragedy. No one understands why I pick and can't stop. My husband gave up telling me to stop picking as I continue to do so. My family doesn't understand it. I am so glad I found this forum! I almost signed up for the Online therapy but I'm not good at programs and no guarantee it would work. I know why I pick... stress both physically and emotionally. When I pick just like all of you it seems to soothe me and calm me down. I do it watching TV, driving, reading etc...but not when I'm working or in public. I have anxiety and depression and take meds. My Psych tried Haldol which worked for a while but stopped working. Asked him if there was anything else and he smiled and said...No, I have no magical pill for you. To me that made me angry. Things escalated with him so I sought another Psych just recently and she said there's not really anything out there that can work. I've tried OCD meds but they didn't help. I'm told by siblings to wear gloves or find a picture of someone with lip cancer and each time I start picking look at it. No one gets it or seems to care or understand....even husband. The only thing I can think of to do is to continue to keep my fingernails clipped but that hasn't worked either. I have callouses on my finger tips from doing it so much! I will however continue to get on this forum and check things out and read your posts so I don't feel so alone and the only one. Also, apply carmex and aquafor continuously to try to stop. I've recently been diagnosed with a precancerous skin disease as a result of the picking. I just can't lose my lip..I would rather almost die than that happen. Hope to see more posts....
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August 03, 2014

Hey there! I'm sorry about all the medical issues you're having and I wish you all the luck in the world that things turn out for the best! As I posted down below last year, I've been a long time lip picker. Since I was 5 years old at least and I'm 29 now and just the past couple weeks have really been tearing my lip UP! Currently I have one deep gash I've been picking at less, and then another "surface" peel as I call it where I just keep peeling the healing skin back off it so it bleeds that super dark thick blood. I've been doing my best not to pick deep anywhere else on my lips at least. However, I've also been chewing up the insides really badly lately, more of a large surface area rather than chewing deeply though, thankfully. Two major factors play into it for me. The first one is stress as it is for a lot of us. Picking and chewing seems to be a very soothing thing to do for whatever reason. It doesn't always hurt as we all know. And even when it does it's not that badly. It's almost like I get some sort of strange satisfaction when I do it. Odd I know, right? Anyway, the second leading cause of my picking is simply idle hands and being by myself. If I'm working or otherwise out doing ANYTHING by myself, and MUCH more so with people, I don't pick. When I was in the Army and I constantly had people around me every minute of the day, I NEVER picked. At all. Period. When I'm working I don't pick. When I'm cleaning, I don't pick. You get my meaning. But when I'm alone, just playing a game, reading a book, or browsing the internet, I pick. So, to curve it when I'm not busy and/or alone. I'll get up and find something I need to do. Like do the dishes, take a shower, yard work, etc. ANYTHING HANDS ON. Long enough to where the urge passes. When I can't do that, what I like to do is either keep chapstick near by, or better yet, just plain ol' water. I feel like the chapstick on my lips makes me THINK about my lips. And I'm still going to wait to pick or power threw it. But a lot of times if I just have some water to sip on and get my lips all moist with it anytime I get the urge to pick, that I end up not doing it and that the water helps them heal faster by keeping them from getting dry! I hope anything I said here helped some. I only had a few minutes to type this out as i'm in a rush and I kinda rambled on a bit! Haha! Good luck to you! -Carlos
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August 03, 2014

These are all symptoms of chronic stress.Some of your repressed emotions(stressful) are being channeled through this behavior.The mind is finding a physical outlet to release its bottled energy. These are subjects linked to the unconscious mind.Anytime you become conscious of an activity that has been lingering on for quite some time and you find yourself unable to overcome the "itch" then it is without a shadow of a doubt linked to unconscious activity.No amount of physical medication(tablets) will suffice if the unconscious root of the problem isnt tackled.Ever heard of the term "Will Power"?Your conscious self represents the "will" and your unconscious self represents the "power" .Anytime you go head on with your subconscious,"power" will overpower your "will" 100% of the time .Without the "power" of the unconscious, conscious "will" is futile.No matter how hard you consciously try to quit the habit,it persists and at the opportune time,it explodes. Dermatillomania = mania form = unconscious instability.Try to master your unconscious activity.Your brain is like a computer.Unconscious doesnt know the difference between "real" and "imagined",which is why it manifests itself in strange ways. .Concentrate on your dreams,take free association test,self hypnosis.....and get to the bottom on your unconscious instability.The mind that is so wonderfully capable of producing a disorder is also capable of correcting itself provided you use the right tools.You have to get to the bottom of the issue to correct yourself.If the foundation(unseen/below the ground structure = unconscious) is strong and steady then the building(visible part = outer self = conscious self) is sturdy. Hope this helps.
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August 06, 2014

I first started picking at my lips in third grade, but later I picked in other places.i remember my lips would be bloody, and people noticed it but I don't remember what they said. Just know you're not alone,I hope someday you'll be able to stop. I haven't been able to stop yet but I just try to keep my hopes up that someday I will. Today is the first day that I've acknowledged my habits, so maybe by acknowledging it will be easier to stop.
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October 08, 2014

hi everyone im clem i am a lip picker too, but not till I bleed, I just rip to far and make it sore. but am left with a lil patch that never heals properly so when I pick again the same patch is their but healed , as I pick at both lips I find it by mistake and pull it and think oh shit!!!!!! it will be half dead skin hanging after picking, and half fresh still attached and I have to try and rip it the best I can to make it smooth again but get left sore and so on!!! been going on for about 6 till 8 years I think, anyway last night I was feeling run down cold and chesty im from the uk lol its getting cold now lol got in bed found my self picking my top lip the one with the patch, went too far this time really hurt and thought SHIT!!!!!! fell a sleep when I woke up iv got a huge blister there now it feels like when u first get a cold sore but blown up more. so that's why I thought enough is enough lets google this shit and go from there and found this site and anxiety uk come up as well about a disorder called csp compulsive skin picking. im still not sure my self but iv deep down knew its mental and only we can stop by reprogramming in someway, like what Desired August 03, 2014 post says above. I guess most habits us humans have are stopped or controlled the same way . good luck to all of us, peace out one love lol x
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October 13, 2014

Yes! Me too! I've started since grad school, and can't seem to stop. It isn't as bad as most of you-not many see the tearing because it's in the inside, and I find that I usually rip the upper lip. Everyone tells me to stop-and I don't have ocd, I'm pretty much the most messiest person ever. Before this, I'd never realized how common this problem is. I apply lipbalm every night, and it does not seem to help at all. I find that I do it unconsciously, and it's really hard to stop. My upper lip is pretty gross. I doesn't hurt a lot when you pick at it, and it's just like a drug. Like a personnel cocaine, though not as severe.
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October 14, 2014

I had no idea this was so common! I've been picking at my lips since I was really young, maybe 4. I remember my mom telling me to stop it. I wonder if she's noticed that I still do it. Now I'm 16 years old and it's been getting worse. I've been holding a tissue to my lip for the past 15-20 minutes waiting for it to stop bleeding. I try to apply chap stick regularly, so that my lips aren't dry and there's nothing to pick at. It's so hard to stop when I don't even realize that I'm doing it.
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November 12, 2014

Reading about other people with picking disorders somehow releaves me. I peel off old, barky, skin of my lips ever since I can think of. Only in a few cases they bleed, but not longer then a few minutes. I use lip balm sticks to grease them, especially when temperatures go under 10°C. This does not prevent my lips from getting loose ends, but helps to detach the dead cutic pieces with tweezers without taking away intact skin. I tried to stop this behaviour but this leads to scratchy lips with a surface reminding at dried african soil. Actually this treatment leads to smooth, even lips that even look good. I only get problems when having herpes simplex (2-3 times a yaer), that is a pain and I know it occurs on stress. Psychic stress and mechanical stress because of picking. I also shave my body besides extremitys, chest and pubic hair and epilate my nose (yes, this is pain), sometimes other regions with tweezers. I excise seborrhoic ceratosis chirurgically when they occure and I can reach them. And they occure. On my back, I seek a dermatologist to help, which is embarrassing for me to show. So I think I am kind of mad hygienic. But I feel better so an it gives a smooth look and feeling. I am 35 an have a medical PhD, not only MD, 4 children and am married 10 years. What I want to state: with some effort you can manage to peel of your dead lip skin with conciousness and awareness and it looks good. When you pick to blood every time, you should seek professional help. I use a mirror, good light and clean tweezers and take care in not blind picking my lips with dirty fingers in occasions when I am distracted. Because then it ends in ugly, bleeding lips. Try it, it may help.
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December 26, 2014

this is from a long time ago but idc haha. I'm almost 20 & I've been picking my lips ever since i can remember. my mom occasionally picks hers so i got it from her, I'm just ten times worse. i was picking them the entire time while reading all the comments just thinking how its exactly me. like the one said, i dont do it bc of stress or anxiety or anything. i guess i just want the skin to feel even. my family always judged me for it, simply bc i made my lips look gross all the time. a few months ago was the first time i decided to look it up & since i found out how many others go through the same thing, I've become more... comfortable, i guess, with my lips not looking ideal in public. so thank you guys ;)) but really tho, how satisfying is peeling a big piece off that doesnt hurt or even look like you picked anything? my fav.
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December 26, 2014

also, blistex moisture melt works really well for me. I'll coat it on before bed & when i wake up my lips look better. but then i feel skin & just pick them again. even feeling them with my tongue & rubbing my lips together makes me wanna pick them so keeping my fingers away wont help me :/ & i can just use my teeth
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January 02, 2015

I'm 16 years old, I've been picking my lips since as far back as I can remember. My parents absolutely hate it but they've tried everything they knew to do to get my to quit. I'll sit for an hour and pick them until they bleed, crack open, and create painful sores. Once you pull it off you can't stop until the surface feels like the rest of it. It's such a disgusting habit but the only time I can retain myself is when im at the school but the moment I get home it starts. My boyfriend has resulted to putting hot sauce or lemon juice on my lips and that's helped a lot but I have terrible anxiety and that's where the lip picking comes from. Id just like to have some advice on how to help or stop.
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January 25, 2015

Hi fellow lip pickers! I had just been picking my lips for the past hour, which now has led me to find this amazing blog! I almost thought I wrote this article. It mirrored me so perfectly. My boyfriend also tells me to stop and holds my hand so tightly, I cannot move it. I hate when he does this, because he does it exactly when my lip is ready to be peeled off. It annoys me so so much. I think I started this habit when I was about 7 years old, not sure how and why I did. I'm used to it now though. It's a routine I am comfortable with. I pick them when I am focused on a thought or when I am watching an intense movie, or even when I am trying to get work done. Minutes and then an hour goes by, and I feel like I've wasted my day away. I am also a professional procrastinator because of this and also late for many events and outings. It's troubling, but I can't help it. I just can't stop. I pick, pull, and even yank until there's blood, and then I suck and taste the blood from my lips until the bleeding stops. I don't mind the taste of blood (only if it's from my lips.) I also have this habit of curling my top lip up to where I can smell my lip. I do that in private because the face I make is hideous. My lips are constantly scabbed on the inside. I wear lipstick just about everyday to look normal. No one seems to notice. I tried fake nails too, but I've gotten good at picking with them now - it's a skill I know, But it definitely makes my fingers sore. It hurts to kiss my boyfriend. But at least he still likes kissing me...I guess. I would like to enjoy it more. I'm 24 now, and I know I'll never stop. It keeps my mind off of whatever it is I am stressing about. I use all kinds of Chapstick, Burt's Bees and medicated blistex ( I love the sting and coolness of it. I feel it healing.) I use Nivea as well. Then I apply a darker shade of lipstick, currently in love with the wine colored ones. It's a normal routine for me. I love spicy food too...so not sure what else can help. I've tried it all guys. I'm just happy I'm a girl in this situation. Best of luck to all the dudes!! Love this blog and support group!
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February 05, 2015

I pick my lips too and I'm a teenager
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February 23, 2015

I was very surprised to come across this site. I truly had no idea there were others who pick at their lips just like me. I knew there were people who were obsessed with picking at scabs, peeling skin, etc, but I've never known anyone else to pick their lips. I do feel the need to pick at any scabs or peeling skin I find, but picking at my lips is really starting to annoy me. I picked at them the entire time I was reading everyone's comments too! I can't remember when it started but I've been doing it for at least 15 years, and I'm 40 now. When I was younger, in high school, I thought I had beautiful lips. I was always proud of how I rarely had chapped lips, even though I was a clarinet player and constantly had to lick my lips. Especially in the winter time playing during the football games, it never phased my lips. I often wonder if all that contributed to my dry lips now?? When I first started doing it, it would make my lip swell a little and look a full and plump, so I kinda liked it. But that quit after a while. I just started getting chapped lips and I can't stand how they feel, so I started peeling off the dry skin. Now I am so used to doing it that I don't even realize it. Every day I vow to stop. I'll pick the skin off until they are nice and smooth at night, lather them up with some kind of lip balm (I've tried everything under the sun) and go to sleep. I keep thinking if I can just keep them soft and smooth, I won't do it anymore. My lips usually feel pretty gross from the lip balm in the morning and I wipe it off and they are usually soft for awhile. But at some point during the day they get chapped again and I start picking once again. Like many of you, I do it when I'm stressed, nervous, anxious or just relaxing....doesn't seem to matter really. Chapsticks and certain lip balms drive me nuts cause they feel sticky or annoying, I guess so I end up wiping them back off. Good tasting ones get licked off, lol. Sometimes, Iike some of you, I pick my bottom lip even after it starts bleeding. I don't bleed too often, but there have been times when pulling just the tiniest little piece of skin will cause it to bleed for hours. I hate it, I really do. And I want to stop so badly. I want my beautiful lips back, but sometimes I'm scared they will never heal back to normal. I'm afraid they will forever be chapped, or that I've permanently damaged them. I also breathe through my mouth when I sleep so I'm afraid that makes it worse, keeping them dried out. However, I've always done that and it never bothered them when I was young. I'm going to make a big effort to stop, because I want my lips to look kissable. The worst thing one of my ex boyfriends did was mutter "chapstick" after kissing me one day! I almost cried. Good luck to you all and I'll try to post again.
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February 23, 2015

I was very surprised to come across this site. I truly had no idea there were others who pick at their lips just like me. I knew there were people who were obsessed with picking at scabs, peeling skin, etc, but I've never known anyone else to pick their lips. I do feel the need to pick at any scabs or peeling skin I find, but picking at my lips is really starting to annoy me. I picked at them the entire time I was reading everyone's comments too! I can't remember when it started but I've been doing it for at least 15 years, and I'm 40 now. When I was younger, in high school, I thought I had beautiful lips. I was always proud of how I rarely had chapped lips, even though I was a clarinet player and constantly had to lick my lips. Especially in the winter time playing during the football games, it never phased my lips. I often wonder if all that contributed to my dry lips now?? When I first started doing it, it would make my lip swell a little and look a full and plump, so I kinda liked it. But that quit after a while. I just started getting chapped lips and I can't stand how they feel, so I started peeling off the dry skin. Now I am so used to doing it that I don't even realize it. Every day I vow to stop. I'll pick the skin off until they are nice and smooth at night, lather them up with some kind of lip balm (I've tried everything under the sun) and go to sleep. I keep thinking if I can just keep them soft and smooth, I won't do it anymore. My lips usually feel pretty gross from the lip balm in the morning and I wipe it off and they are usually soft for awhile. But at some point during the day they get chapped again and I start picking once again. Like many of you, I do it when I'm stressed, nervous, anxious or just relaxing....doesn't seem to matter really. Chapsticks and certain lip balms drive me nuts cause they feel sticky or annoying, I guess so I end up wiping them back off. Good tasting ones get licked off, lol. Sometimes, Iike some of you, I pick my bottom lip even after it starts bleeding. I don't bleed too often, but there have been times when pulling just the tiniest little piece of skin will cause it to bleed for hours. I hate it, I really do. And I want to stop so badly. I want my beautiful lips back, but sometimes I'm scared they will never heal back to normal. I'm afraid they will forever be chapped, or that I've permanently damaged them. I also breathe through my mouth when I sleep so I'm afraid that makes it worse, keeping them dried out. However, I've always done that and it never bothered them when I was young. I'm going to make a big effort to stop, because I want my lips to look kissable. The worst thing one of my ex boyfriends did was mutter "chapstick" after kissing me one day! I almost cried. Good luck to you all and I'll try to post again.
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March 25, 2015

Likewise, I was so happy to find this thread, as I have been a CONSTANT lip-picker for nearly the 25 years I have been alive. I used to pick with my finger (and occasionally still do), but the majority of picking I do is with my teeth, which is why keeping-your-fingers-busy tricks never work for me. I can't even tell you how many times I have been told to stop by a whole bunch of different people - my family yells at me about it, my boss once even stopped mid-conversation to ask me if I was okay because I was picking, didn't realize, and was making absurd faces because of it. It is such a problem, and so addicting. It's definitely perfectionism-related with me (though also partially boredom related), and I'm always trying to pick off even the smallest imperfection on the lip. Even if there isn't an imperfection, I create one, thinking that nothing is ever perfect enough and I can get it better. I tried consciously to stop - first getting a water bottle and use that as something to chew on, that didn't work. I made a New Year's resolution to not pick and that almost worked, but then without realizing it I started back up again and now I'm doing it almost as much if not more so than before. I have noticed a couple helpful things you could try, though, that worked (temporarily) with me: 1) If you're a person who picks using your teeth, just try to do different things with your mouth instead - move your tongue around the inside of your mouth, put chapstick on and rub your lips together, purse your lips tightly and un-purse repeatedly. Just keep your mouth busy so it doesn't feel like it it should be picking. 2) Whether you pick with your fingers or your teeth, I found this is helpful for all you perfectionists who just need something to be working on absentmindedly: Put on a layer of cheap, drugstore nail polish (on your nails, of course....not your face) and just work on peeling the nail polish off. It's almost as satisfying of a feeling and it's a good distraction from picking. Hope that helps! I still haven't found a "cure" and am curious to keep hearing more advice and stories from others in this same, miserable little boat we're all in!
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June 19, 2015

Hi Maca-roni I bit & picked my lips from childhood incessantly until I was 50! yes 50! 2 years gluten free now & not done it at all for a year!! Even though I went through the most stressful & emotional time of my life, caring for my father for 4 months when he had a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Myself, mum, sister & niece cared round the clock until his last breath in October. It was the worst 4 months of my entire life & I got physically & mentally sick..... But... Still NO lip biting!! I believe there is a link to gluten sensitivity, maybe coeliac? I don't know if I'm coeliac as I haven't had the test due to needing to eat gluten for 6 weeks, which I can't face! It's believed that millions of people are coeliac or severely gluten intolerant & don't realise it. In itself it is linked to numerous other diseases, too numerous to write here.. but Gluten is bad for anyone so why not give it a try!?
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June 19, 2015

I bit & picked my lips from childhood incessantly until I was 50! yes 50! 2 years gluten free now & not done it at all for a year!! Even though I went through the most stressful & emotional time of my life, caring for my father for 4 months when he had a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Myself, mum, sister & niece cared round the clock until his last breath in October. It was the worst 4 months of my entire life & I got physically & mentally sick..... But... Still NO lip biting!! I believe there is a link to gluten sensitivity, maybe coeliac? I don't know if I'm coeliac as I haven't had the test due to needing to eat gluten for 6 weeks, which I can't face! It's believed that millions of people are coeliac or severely gluten intolerant & don't realise it. In itself it is linked to numerous other diseases, too numerous to write here.. but Gluten is bad for anyone so why not give it a try!?
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October 28, 2015

I have been picking my lips for over 25 years and now, after I let it heal for a while I noticed a very tiny white spot on my lower lip. I'm wondering if anybody else had the same problem and if you went to the doctor, what were you told. I have an appointment for dermatology in 2 weeks and I'm freaking out.
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November 06, 2015

I am so glad to have found this, I am a fifteen year old girl and I have been picking at my lips and cuticles since I was a kid. I always thought there was something wrong with me and it is comforting to know I am not alone in this. Most of last year I rarely picked, but now that I have started 10th grade I am extremely stressed out trying to maintain a high GPA so I have begun picking even worse than I used to. Now I pick my lips every chance I get, so much that my lips are constantly bleeding. I wish I knew how to stop but its just something I do, in fact I am doing it as I type this because once I finish commenting I need to finish studying for my trigonometry exam. Nonetheless I am glad to have found others who struggle with this.
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April 20, 2016

I'm a 17 year old male and i've been picking at my lips since I was 12. Something triggered this behaviour off, which I am not sure of what it is. And yes I scour and rub my bottom lip and try to find any uneven or dry skin which I can pick at and ultimately peel off. I feel bad after I see all the blood on my finger and I think to myself when will I ever stop. Past couple of months I found out it takes 2 weeks of untouched lips for it to go back to its soft tender state and couple of months depending on the degree of damage and how long you may of been doing it for. For me I find telling my close friends helps to counter attack this problem as they don't look at me in a weird way but tell me to not do it in a caring way. I hope I stop this really bad habit soon as it hinders my ability to act the social norm in certain situations. Thanks for reading. Please contact if you want to talk to me about anything : abzflexx@live.co.uk
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April 23, 2016

I've read all the stories and it was like reading the stories of my life. I've never laughed so hard because I can relate. I'm probably one of the worst lip picker in the word. I would pick my lips while it's bleeding and my nails are stained with blood. I loose all focus when picking my lips, I drove with one hand on the wheel and the other picking my lips. I sit in public picking my lips while knowledgeable of others watching. I postpone much of my duties until I get a good rip on my lip and feeling smooth. Its not only my lips, I pick my feet until it bleeds, the same passion I get picking my lips I also have with picking my feet. I've tried to stop, but I find myself doing it without even thinking about it. I wish there was a solution, I'm sick of my lips looking like a brillow pad and my feet looking like damaged stones.
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April 27, 2016

I seriously never knew that this is a common disorder until I came here. For some reason it gives me hope, though, knowing I'm not the only one with this problem... I'm only 15, but since I can remember I have been picking at my lips all my life. It must of started from as young as the age of four. I just remember thinking "my lips are always so dry!" All the time, and that the only solution was to pick the dead skin off. I noticed that I did it mostly at times I was stressed or even bored. Sometimes I wouldn't even realise I was doing it. I remember that the classroom has always been a primary place for the lippickung to start- sitting doing nothing triggered my fingers to wander to the imperfections of my lips, determined to get rid of them. The thing is that no matter how much I peeled and picked, the next day the skin on my lips would yet again wrinkle and grow dry, maybe even start to peel by themselves. Gradually my lips have settled with the same never ending cycle of growing dry and being peeled off, mostly even daily. But I don't want it to be like that. I have had enough of shaming for my lips, avoiding any kind of lipstick that could emphasise the dryness. Even the thought of kissing someone seems a nightmare. For that reason I decided to stop, which now must have been nearly 6 months ago. It was hard at the beginning. But I was determined. I decided to put the safest Vaseline with a minimum amount of chemicals on my lips, and swore to myself not to touch them. Of course it didn't work in a flash, habits have never been easy to overcome. But after an amount of weeks I was no longer peeling my lips every day. Of course I still had the need to touch them sometimes, but I had a reason to... The thing is, I have been picking my lips for nearly 10 years. As I said, my lips got into this cycle of going dry and peeling off. So without me peeling the dead skin off anymore, it just became SO DRY, and would build up into big dead flaps of skin. Not very attractive. I remember going home after school one day, genuinely proud of not picking my lips once. Only when I looked in the mirror I was shocked with the horrific look of my mouth, on which white, ugly skin covered my bottom lip. Still determined to beat the cycle I carried on trying to leave my lips alone. Tinted lip balm became my best friend, my only hope of hiding the scabs in my mouth, if the flaps became dry enough they would sometimes peel off by themselves, leaving smooth, baby scin underneath. This would only last a day though, leaving the next to shrivel and dry out again, making me really self-conscious. Somehow, I carried in this routine. After reading online the wonders of glycerin, I decided to have some ordered online in hope for some help. By now my lips still peeled, but the dead skin no longer built up so thick and dry. Still it was noticeable, and even I noticed friends unconsciously licking their lips while talking to me. glycerin is a sweet, liquid which is not yet as runny as water, but not as thick as the average honey. After being put on my lips it takes a few minutes to dry, leaving no tint or shine, as if the skin was bare. I noticed that after applying the substance, any flaps in my lips are stuck down in a way, making the seek smooth for a while. It certainly has helped me. If it was the glycerin, or the many months time, I can confidently say that my lips have definatly healed. After so long I no longer have the need to pick them, though I must say it's tempting when they have a peeling faze again. Yes, they still peel. Sometimes they survive a day or two. When my lips do begin to peel though, it's nowhere near as bad or thick as before. It normally happens in the middle of the day, and all I have to do is briefly rub the dead skin off when the time comes, and they are normal again. The best part is that my lips are no longer dry. Even when they peel they feel very soft, maybe because I never leave the house before applying lip balm or my handy bottle of glycerin. But I have hope that the peeling will soon stop altogether. It just takes a matter of time. I have written this long text on here because, well, I want others like me to know there is a way. Yes, lip picking may be a disorder, but it can be overcome. I'm saying this now because this time last year, I was probably sat in my room, peeling my lips until they bled, not giving a second thought about it. Now when I think about the actual pain I went through, not caring about the stinging and the blood, just wanting to feel the sensation of the skin tearing of my lips... It just wasn't right. It is in no way healthy and is just hurting your own body. And it also forces your skin on your lips to adapt to unnatural cycle of healing and dying in an abnormal amount of time. This is the reason why most of your lips are so dry and irritated all the time, tempting you to pick. A never ending circle. I hope this might enlighten someone out there. I really am sorry for the long text. But maybe some of you might give stopping this habit a chance. It's worth it.
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June 22, 2016

Im only age 10 and I pick my lips. Ive been doing it for about 1 year and i really want to stop. My family tells me to stop but that just gives me a bigger urge to pick them. One thing that kind of helped was honey and sugar mixed together, rub it on your lips, and the sugar will take away some of the dead skin. I hope this helped you.
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December 06, 2016

I actually though I was the only one, who actually picks there lips.. I could sit there hours ands hours picking at it until they bleed.. and I end up making them so sore.. but there worst is that sometimes I would get a pin or eye ring to rip the dry hard skin of my lip.. and I can't stop.. and some times I could just got in space and just pick pick! It's so annoying because I don't want my lips looking horrible. I've done this since I was so small.. and I can't stop..
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February 02, 2017

Same here! I literally thought I was the only one who did this!. My mom yells at me all the time for it and tell me to put lip gloss on and its so hard to stop even then. I cant help it! sometimes I dont even know that i'm doing it until I pull off a painful piece of skin and it bleeds and stings and burns... I cant even remember why or what stared this but I really wish I could stop... atleast theres other people like me though! :) I always try to get to a stopping point where I tell myself I'll stop and then I'll always feel just a little piece and then it turns into more and more and more and MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....UGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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March 15, 2017

I've had this problem for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it gets so bad that I bleed and even after the fact I still cant stop. Its embarrassing being out In public and the only thing you can think about is picking at your skin or when people look at you weird because of your bleeding. I've tried many things to try to stop the impulse including lip-gloss, Chap stick, etc and nothing works. I even tried cutting my nails down. I find the only thing that helps me is getting my nails done. It actually helps a lot. The nails actually prevents me from grabbing skin and since then my lip has been healing. I think if any lady is having severe lip picking symptoms please try it. It wont get rid if the desire, but it will prevent it and make it hard for you to latch on to anything and cause bleeding or severe damage. I found this website and even though this impulse is a horrible thing to live with I feel much better knowing I am not alone. Hopefully this helps some of you.
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October 12, 2017

And all this time, I thought I was the only one that did this! I've read through a bunch of these post and it makes me feel like i'm really part of a large community trying to get better. I want to believe that the core reason why I pick is from nervousness and anxiety and the fact that I love how my lips feel after it is smooth. Thanks everyone for sharing your story. I will begin today to stop the picking. #stopthepicking

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