Once the problem has been identified, most people want to know how to stop picking. Whatever it is they’re picking. Fortunately, there are a number of options becoming available as the disorder is becoming more openly discussed. It is generally recommended to consult your physician. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to consult your family general practitioner, a dermatologist, or a psychotherapist, medical attention is the first step in determining the depth of the picking problem and its underlying or associated symptoms.
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Based upon the individual case, treatments to stop skin picking may involve therapy in cognitive and coping skills or in-depth psychological counseling. There is a growing body of evidence indicating picking behaviors are associated with anxiety and mood disorders. This type of disorder is often associated with an imbalance of the brain chemical, serotonin. For this reason, drug therapy involving a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of medication is frequently proving to be beneficial. In cases where acne blemishes trigger picking, surgical draining of the blemishes may help eliminate the targeted picking zone. Corticosteroids, antibiotics, and chemical peels may help to minimize outbreaks, allowing time to address the psychological issues involved and develop new habits so future acne flare-ups will be less tempting. Where behaviors are evident that do not involve acne, such as scalp picking, nail biting, and scab picking, techniques concerning how to stop picking skin include avoidance or substitution therapies may be helpful. Avoidance therapies help the patient acknowledge the problem, identify the triggers, and teach coping skills that the patient can employ when the urge to pick strikes. Once the picker is able to recognize the problem, he or she can then choose to review the situation that triggers the urge to pick and psychologically work through those issues to eliminate or minimize the habitual behavior. Substitution therapies also focus on the cause-and-effect nature of the disorder and help the patient find safer methods to deal with the associated inner turmoil. A new, safer, and more socially acceptable habit may be implemented in order to remove the picking from the patient’s repertoire of coping skills. A 12-step program, similar to that developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, is frequently cited as a successful spiritual-based approach for how to stop picking. These programs are valuable for the open discussion encouraged among kindred spirits. Today’s internet chat rooms can also provide a valuable avenue of sharing with others facing similar situations. There is no end of people the world over relying on prayer and meditation to strengthen their spiritual and physical lives. By enjoying these two activities on a daily basis, many people afflicted with skin picking disorders are finding ways to stop skin picking at the same time they are learning to embrace their spiritual natures. Whichever method chosen when concerned with how to stop picking, improving the quality of one’s regular diet and exercise regimen are almost always beneficial. Diet and exercise are instrumental in shaping our bodies, too, and utilizing a nutritious diet in conjunction with healthy exercise will most likely make it easier when dealing with any body dysmorphic disorders which encourage the picking. A healthy diet will almost always eliminate imperfections of the skin and add strength and luster to the skin, hair, and nails. It will also fortify the fuel feeding the brain, and the moods produced there, so the compulsion to pick will likely become easier to overcome as the patient’s mental outlook becomes stronger. Recent studies have shown that routine, moderate exercise is almost as effective as taking SSRIs to improve symptoms of depression. A brisk walk every day or so may be instrumental to feelings of well being, optimism, and higher self-esteem. Routine exercise may be just the boost needed to work those negative emotions, and the behaviors they generate, right out of one’s life. These techniques briefly mentioned here do not include all options possible for those seeking help to stop skin picking. There is also much to learn about tailoring each of these options to best serve the individual person, too. For comprehensive information about effective treatment methods for compulsive skin picking , get the Complete Guide to Picking Disorders today.