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Tips & Hacks For Compulsive Skin Picking

Tips & Hacks For Compulsive Skin Picking

Dermatillomania or Excoriation skin disorder both terms are coined for compulsive or chronic skin picking. It is a condition when a person repeatedly keeps picking on their skin, sometimes to the extent of bleeding themselves out. These skin irregularities cause lesions, acne or scabs.

The reasons for such obsessive skin picking can be multiple such as -

  • Boredom
  • Stress or Anxiety
  • Skin Condition such as eczema or acne
  • Negative Emotions or Emotional distress

These are to be considered as the primary triggering points for anyone. Worst part is the indulgent cannot stop picking on their skin and that is when you need medical help, tips or hacks and stern counseling. Pointers to check if you have Excoriation skin disorder -

  • Cannot stop picking on the skin
  • You mostly bleed yourself out while picking skin
  • When you can’t even leave your moles, scars or freckles alone
  • If you pick your skin in stress
  • No acne goes without being popped out
  • When you even stop realizing if you are even picking the skin or not
  • When you start to use tools such as tweezers, scissors, pins etc.



These are the obvious signs of excoriation disorder. The results of excessive skin picking are dangerous to your skin health, mental health and also to emotional health. If the disorder remains untreated - it for sure leads to more psychological problems, bleed skin, scars and painful lesions. The problem may occur to any age group till 45 in most of the cases. Many kids aged under 10 do pick on their skin and eat nails; sometimes to distort themselves or sometimes in order to fill the gap of boredom. After couple of years when adolescence arrives the kids tend to pop the pimples and acne - that leads in an increment of breakouts. Later, stress and anxious adults turn in to scratch their skin out.

Then there are other issues that comes in play with compulsive skin picking -

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Commonly known as OCD; when a person is having excessive thoughts and it all leads them to a common type or repetitive behavior. The disorder can only be managed but can’t be cured. The core of OCD is mostly fear of germs or the need to arrange objects in specific manner.

  • Major Depressive Disorder - Clinical depression, when a person is always in a depressed mood and no activity interests them. The disorder is treatable but this is a serious emotional and psychological condition. This may lead to suicidal thoughts; the condition is only treated by therapy and medication.

  • Body Focused Repetitive Behavior Disorders - BFRB is a mental issue when a person might suffer from Onychophagia (Nail Biting) and Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling). This affects in both terms, physically and mentally.

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders - A mental illness where person tries to make their physical appearance perfect and no matter how beautiful or perfect they are - they just keep on detecting flaws. Person with this disorder spend tons of time looking themselves in mirror. It can’t be cured.

Now the first and foremost thing is how to manage this conundrum; as like always there are tips and tricks to control this compulsive behavior -

  • Cut your Nails - Cut your nails timely because for most of the skin pickers - their nails are their tools. There are many who move to an upper level with teeth and tweezers. Try not to own any tweezers, pins, needles etc; in short any sharp objects that you can use to pick your skin.

  • Vitamin E Oil - Apply vitamin E oil because Vitamin E oil makes it hard to pick on skin; while promoting the scar-scab healing process. Apply on those parts of body of which you pick the most skin of and keep a handy bottle of Vitamin E oil.

  • Water Proof Band-Aids - Water proof band aids are another way to go because they stay in put for a couple of days. They help in healing fast, in addition to which they aid in less picking of skin.

  • Occupy your Hand - Please occupy your hands with thumb crochet hats, bubble wraps, stress balls, slimes, rubbing stones etc. so when your hands are occupied with something comforting - you pick your skin less.

  • Acrylic Nails - Acrylic nails or fake nails makes it difficult for a person to pick skin. So, it is safe to wear them rather than growing nails, if you are going to pick your skin.

  • Warm Baths - Warm baths are soul soothing; they have capacity to calm your skin, brain and emotions. Most of the times dermatillomania is affected by uncontrolled emotions. Whenever you are feeling an urge to scab that skin, just take a warm bath.

  • Intake Less Caffeine - Caffeine is an enemy of calmness because it gives you adrenaline rush and that rush has caliber to trigger excoriation disorder. Try to avoid excess of caffeine intake or if you have a taste of coffee; please have a decaf.

  • Stay Moisturized - Keeping body moisturized is important because dry skin attracts skin pickers as it goes flaky; which makes it easy to pick on skin. Keep a handy moisturizer and a lip balm with yourself, especially in winters.

    • Exercising - Having a routine of exercise is necessary not only for your bodily health but also for your psychological health. Exercising helps you to release endorphins. Endorphin helps in triggering positive emotions. So, yes it is helpful.

    • Skincare Routine - Formulate a skincare routine for yourself because scabbing beautiful and healthy skin is hurtful. If you already have scratches, scabs - a proper skincare routine will help you to heal your skin.
    • Be Patient - Behavioral change takes time, so show compassion to yourself and be patient. Treating any problem always takes time, when it is psychological problem - be humble to yourself.
      When tricks and hacks do not work- you know it is high time for professional help. There are always two measures to come out of body and mental health disorders -
    • Therapy - Talking is therapeutic whenever you have emotional or psychological imbalance of any sort. So, go to therapy if excoriation disorder is going completely out of hand and no tips or hacks are working for you. There are number of techniques such as habit reversal training in order to manage the disorder.

    • Medication - Medications come as the last option when no tips and no therapy works but if it helps you, get a prescription from your psychiatrist. Get help no matter how you can because excoriation leads to number of other mental issues.

    We hope this write up might help you with your skin excoriation disorder and you will get better by time. Just have faith and heal yourself with a skincare routine.

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