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Bhush , 03 Mar 2008


Hi, I'm new here. I've been picking and eating things off my body all my life. I'm 42. I'm currently seeing a therapist and on Prozac. I have a severe case of psoriasis, and because of the picking, my entire body is covered with scabs. I've been single for the past 7 months, having escaped from a very abusive relationship. There's no way any sane woman would want to be anywhere near me in the condition I'm in. I'm concerned that I'll be alone forever if I can't do something about this. People have seen my scabs, and although nobody's said anything, I know that my social life has suffered because of it. I'm so depressed. The more depressed I get/the more I pick/the more depressed I get. See the cycle? I'm hoping somebody here has some answers, because so far I've found none. Thanks for reading.
27 Answers
March 30, 2008
I'm don't have a severe case of skin picking, but I have a method to keep myself from picking all the time. Every morning I check to see how long my fingernails are and if I can see the nail longer than the tip of my finger I cut it. Then when I feel compulsed to pick I don't have the nails to do it. Of course there are ways around it but it acts as an alert when you try to pick so you can stop yourself. Hopefully this helps. -Biscuit
September 30, 2009

In reply to by ButterBiscuits

but having no fingernails to scratch/pick for builds up so much more anxiety because I can't do it. Then it feels like a panic/anxiety attack is coming because I feel like people know and can see my dried skin.:-x there's where my cycle of anxiety/panic kicks in...
October 04, 2009

In reply to by Becca

I am completely opposite. I find when my nails are longer. i cant scratch..... I had french tips done on my nails once. and by the end of the day i had snapped them all off. so i could scratch better again. shorter nails i find i can rip into myself alot easier then having longer ones with no grip and no point in me paying good money for my nails to get done. if im only going to pull them off in a day with being frustrated
October 09, 2009

In reply to by ButterBiscuits

Wow, thanks to everyone for responding. I never thought anything I would write would generate this kind of response. One day at a time, everybody. Let's all do what we can to beat this. Hang in there, my friends. :)
December 05, 2008
I'm so glad I'm not the only one! I have always been mortified to admit this to anyone, even though I'm sure people see me do it. I mean, I can't even admit this to my psychiatrist! If it weren't for the internet, I'm sure we'd all go through life thinking we were the only ones who did this.
October 04, 2009
I am in my 20s and I do the same thing. its quite embarassing. walking around people looking at you. thinking ya must have some sexually transmitted disease or some drug habit. I myself come from a bad childhood. i was abused. my father commit suicide. everything in my past is all depressing i cannot even say a thing in my past that was a happy thought. this 'thing' started as a child and my mother put mittens on my hands to stop me from doin it. it didnt work. Ive had tests done cos i thought it may be skin mites or excema thats gone horribly bad. or even a disease. and tests all come back negative... So its purely self inflicted. I do it when i sleep. i do it while im laying in bed tryin to get to sleep. i do it every single day.. i cannot stop I do not wear skirts or shorts cos of sores and scars. I dont go a day without makeup. even though it makes it look sometimes worse.. but i have to wear it to cover up the redness and bruiseness ive done to myself And i understand exactly about the cycle your talking about, i get depressed so i pick.. then im depressed about the picking. then i pick more cos im depressed about the picking and keeps going round n round certain areas will heal and then ill start on a new area. that area will get bad. and then onto the next and so n so... I dont have an answer. cos i still do it... but i think. Its how we deal with our stress. but it is nice to hear i am not abnormal. and on my own. even though where i live. i kinda do get looked at funny being a small town. and it does make me feel alone I am gona try and kick this habit. I think i will spend more time around people. more time excersizing. cos i am slightly overweight. and try to occupy myself to the most i can... Cos if i am doing something. itll keep me from sitting and scracthing at myself
October 08, 2009
My big secret is that I EAT everything I pick. It makes me disgusted to even say it about myself, but it's true. i am convinced this is an oral fixation. I don't understand it, but I have always done it. I eat scabs, boogers, scalp build-up, the insides of my lips and cheeks, cuticles, and my favorite...acne scabs. Now I feel like throwing up. Sorry for grossing you all out. Anyone else eat their pickings?
September 06, 2010

In reply to by Moonkitty

I know it's been almost a year since you posted this but...YES. I do. You are not alone. True story - years ago my mom and her best friend were talking about how the friend had gotten rid of an old armchair after we, (her kids and mom's kids), were grown and gone. When they turned it over to carry it out, some nasty dried up stuff fell out. After some investigation, they decided it was boogers. Then they decided that since I was a notorious nose-picker from way back, I must have wiped all my boogers in her chair. Now this discussion took place at a fairly large and well attended family gathering, so now I am the center of much ribbing and fun poking. But instead of being humiliated, I'm pissed! I know it wasn't me, could not have been me, but I can't say a word. Why? Because what I did with my boogers, (eat them), was way more embarrassing than wiping them on the furniture, and I'm so ashamed that there's no way I can tell anybody about it.
October 09, 2009
I'm in my 20's and i've been picking since i was little. I also eat what i pick. I mainly pick on my torso, sometimes on my legs and arms. Not so much on my face but i do pick on my scalp and hairline. A few years back i had a rash, that did not help my picking. It was mostly dry skin i believe. I'd scratch till it scabbed over then I'd peel it off. (that sound disgusting). I usually do eat what I pick. I used to think it was just something I did till not too long ago a friend of mine told me he did it too. So i've been looking into it.
February 13, 2010
Oh wow. I can't beleive I had the courage to google this tonight. I knew I must not be the only person. I also have psoriasis and wondered if it could be related. I know other people must be aware that I do it but I can never openly talk to people about it. I am not sure when this even started. I think it was about the age of 10 or so and once I got the taste for skin I couldn't stop. I know its gross but have not idea why I do it and why I can't stop.
August 19, 2010
me too, i have little bumps on my hands that i have had for three years that bubble. i poke them and a clear liquid comes out. i looked this up by symptoms and my best guess is a form of ecxema. Before that though i would alway cut my cuticles bite my cuticles; now i am peeling and biting my skin. More disgusting than that i am eating it. i am a smoker and my skin after i smoke kinda tastes good. i know i sound like a whack job. i have come to this site for,hopefully, understanding, and knowledge to help me get through this an d become a better stronger person. i am unsure if i am depressed. my mom and my two sisters and my husband tell me they think so. i drink alot and i have had about 8 beers tonight; i am soooo good at typing even when i am drunk, lol. anyway i hope to get some good feed back and advice from joining this:)
September 06, 2010

In reply to by mee21985

mee21985 - I too am a picker. I recently started getting these little blisters first on my face, mostly on my chin and cheeks, and now on my fingers. I believe it is called 'herpes whitlow'. I have had occasional cold sores on my lips since I was a kid. Of course, I pick them once they open up. And then I would go right ahead with my regular rounds, (you know, when you have several good scabs or dry spots that you go from one to the other). Well I think I have spread the herpes to my face and fingers this way. Google it and you might get an answer, at least about the little blisters. Best of luck!
September 07, 2010

In reply to by Zananne

Zananne! That is an excellent comment. I've buried this inside my soul for so long that most of the time I've forgotten about it. My doctor says that my skin is my barometer. When things in life are good, so'd the skin. Bad joo joo, and skin go koo koo. When I was VERY young (around 5) I got quarantined because I had developed a case of "shingles." For those who don't know, it's herpes zoster. HZ is most often seen in the elderly, not young children. So yes, I got my herpes zoster little child pics put into medical books. My poor Mom did everything, took me everywhere. The most confusing part was that all the doctors agreed on what it looked like, but it would be like a 5 year old developing osteoarthritis. It's just so rare. This was the first time (there three,..I take that back, there were 5 doctors, and four of them encouraged my participation in new drugs, agreed to be a part in in the trial. (When you're in severe neurological pain and itchy you'll do anything a doctor thinks "may" work!!) Like ANY and ALL viruses, they never go away and you never can build antibodies against it, there's no cure. HZ covered my entire trunk from my neck, down to (and even "around" my groin, the lips and outer labia and anus). The doctor's recommendation: Calamine lotion and keep an eye on her. Five years old in tears from pain, afraid it'd spread, I could die. The doctor told me (smart move, bucko) that if I touch a sore and then touch a mucus membrane (think eyes, in the vagina, up my nose) it would spread there too. It eventually went away. Now let's talk 20 years later. I develop a skin disorder like psoriasis but multiple biopsies came back negative. I did chemo therapy for 3 months, followed all the rules (and yes it impacted every part of my life). The ONLY place I didn't get this silver, flakey, purple, scrapey, itchy, sore and extremely thick, thick skin, face (my neck/throat got it, not the face). It was my scalp and all the places we pray never to get it, and I got it there too. Facing the fact I'd never be pretty or have pretty skin, I did not want to live like this. Long sleeves and pants in hottest of days. Then, moving forward, (both of those cases resolved themselves), after an accident sliced my face and scalp open with glass, that started my picking, thinking I'd get glass out when often it a zit. Again, my skin is my barometer. My doctor looks at my skin and knows what's wrong with me before we even begin our exam. I did everything,....naturopathic medicine, Bach flower remedies, pcking my own natural herbs, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and don't laugh at this please, but even the "rebirthing" experience (thinking I could create a new me with no skin issues). I wanted to say my whole body is clean and normal and smooth. My body looks normal despite what it's been through. I can wear all kinds of clothes. My skin FEELS and LOOKS normal (except my knees which are little white capped from thick dry skin,....I can live with that). But oevercoming this using everything from herbs to radiation and biopsies,...I sometimes take my soft skin for granted. When I am reminded, I pray God and thank him dutifully. The doctors said I'd never grow out of it and essentially I would like a "snake woman. It took years to get rid of the herpes zoster, years to get rid of what they dubbed "MRM" or multi-rubri-pilaris. It means squat, it just means I have red scabs and sores and flakes on my body and they couldn't locate a diagnosis. I'm here to tell you today, after all I went through (and sorry for the dissertation guys). This disease mutates, at least it did for me. I saw dermatologists who would create COMPOUNDS for me the pharmacist had to make, they weren't available, to try and control this. The compounds started when I was 8 years old, and had this all over the palms of my hands, my fingernails looked fungal, my knuckles were bright, bright red and dry. Catholic school helped, we had uniforms. But my legs were covered, I was forbidden to go barefoot in the gym in case this was contagious (and I failed gym because of that). Shall we write about where I am today? My whole body looks normal, and no one would guess anything is wrong with me. I have ugly feet, but they no longer are covered in scaley red skin and silver shingles. My hands are not as soft a womans, but they're soft enough to where I can shake hands confidently. I'll be happy to share with anyone what I did during each event to rid myself of these diseases. Currently, however, with skin being my organ of choice to DO something with, I've scarred my face beyond believe. My face looks it belonged to TWO kids with chicken pox, that's how much scarring I've got. I have some type of dermatitis on my scalp so yep, I pick at that constantly until I get some good ones that give me blood and roots. The embarassment is when they don't brush out or wash out and I go to school like that. Thin, thin, thin hair, can see the dug at holes and scabs easily (next to the dandriff motels that have set up shop in my hair). Anyone interested, I had a total of THREE doctors tell me I'd have this the rest of my life, and they don't understand why I don't still have it. I found ways to sooth the time my body got covered in red, purple, silver scaley bits all over my body except my face (and that, too, I had in my hair, scalp,...if I scratched it, a fingernail filled with white sticky waxy goop could easily slide under a fingernail). My problem is the severe....very severe, embarassing severe, humiliatingly severe, the un-pretty severe, the loss-of-self-esteem pock marked, dented, lumpy, spotty face. I have spots on my face that are white and won't tan, and other parts on my face (and skin) that will tan me back to the Native American Heritage, in only moments. I have help and ideas for SOME of what some of y'all posted on the board, and I'd sure be thrilled if anyone has any ideas for me. Whew, out of breath, but what a relief to confess this.
August 20, 2010
Hi Bhush. I know the cycle you speak of. The way I look makes me feel out of control and anxiety ridden/ I pick....which adds to the I pick....which adds to the I pick etc etc. It has hurt my romantic relationships, social life, family relationships....etc etc It has limited where I go and what I do, what I think, how I feel about myself, how I feel about others, and how I see the world.When Im picking I become so hyper-conscious of myself and my defects (my skin obviously, but also all my flaws). I become consumed with fear that I cant stop. I see the consequences of the compulsion and fear what could happen down the line if keep going. There have been so many times where I have thought "well it cant possibly get worse, I cant possibly look like more of a freak" and have been wrong every time. My skin has become more and more damaged. People have asked me if I am a burn victim, thats how bad I look. I become afraid of myself and what I am capable of and in turn become afraid of others. When Im stuck in the self-hate I assume everyone else hates me and my skin. Its a total downward spiral. I find myself falling into it over and over. Somehow part of me doesn't want to stop. Partially because I don't know how to cope with my emotions and thoughts without the relief picking brings me, but I think it goes even deeper than that. Picking keeps me stagnant and keeps my world small. And even though I desperately want to stop I think Im afraid of looking at a bigger world and life for myself if I stop. I hope Im making some sense, Im not sure how to better explain. anyway you are in the right place. THe only thing that has helped me is sharing with others and finding a community to fight the isolation and shame picking brings. If there were support groups in my town I would go, but since there aren't I come here bc its the next best thing. I hope you find some answers here.
December 08, 2010
hello everyone,wow,im not the only one!!!i really thought i was as im sure alot of us have. ive been picking and eating for as long as i can remember.even as a baby i would scratch so much at night my mother would put socks with shoe laces tied around the wrist in an attept to stop i got older and grew teeth i would bite holes in them and away i would go. these days i pick more when i am stressed or worried about things. you would think after all these years i woulkd have some understanding of why i do it but i really dont quite get it. i know when i do it but not why.if i had 3 wishes i would be very tempted to use one on stopping it for good hhhmmmm???? world peace,lots of cash and all skin pickers stop. something like that,maybe love instead of anyway all the best everyone,thinking of you allXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOOOOOO
December 12, 2010
Hi everyone! I came across this site when i had a scab in my nose. I do not pick myself excessively but every person has challenges in life. I have found my own forms of grief and anxiety. To you the problem scab and booger pickers I say. Don't feel bad. You are not bad. Life is too complicated for this sort of thing. There are too many surprises. Life will scatter your reality into fiction. Instead focus your energy on being healthy. You will gain momentum and all of the good things in the world are available to you.
December 12, 2010
also if you want some happy music go to or listen to squarepusher and aphex twin... it will make you happy

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