Share your experience to help others
Dermatillomania is still a relatively unknown condition, with many people who compulsively pick their skin not even knowing that it is a recognised clinical condtion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 (DSM5), or that it even has a name. When people hear about dermatillomania, most will not even know what the word means. The most recent edition of the DSM5 also refers to compulsive skin picking as excoriation disorder. Dermatillomania is one of many different Body-Focussed Repetitive Behaviours (BFRBs) such as trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder) and Onychophagia (nail biting disorder). BFRBs have been gaining awareness over recent years particularly due to the power of social media marketing and awareness campaigns being harnessed by organisations like the Trichotillomania Learning Centre (TLC) and the Canadian BFRB Support Network (CBSN). However there is still much to be learned about BFRBs in general, and skin picking disorder specifically. The recent uprising of blogging and vlogging among the new generation of skin pickers certainly has helped more people sufferring in silence to seek help.
You can play a part too
You may find you have dermatillomania and would like to contribute to increasing knowledge in this field, or just help others who share your struggles, but you are not the blogging or vlogging kind. Another way you can get involved is to participate in surveys, trials or research studies. However this can also be time consuming. That is where a website like PatientsLikeMe may be able to fill the gap. On this website you’ll meet other people with the same condition as yours and where you can share your experiences and opinions on issues like: symptoms, impact on daily function, diagnosis, and treatment options. Half of the members of PatientsLikeMe.com were reportedly not properly diagnosed. If you join in and share your experience, you’re not only helping support others in finding the best ways to manage this condition; you are also assisting researchers in developing an understanding on what compulsive skin pickers find helpful and effective, and vice versa.