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Dermatillomania

Postby sl19 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:15 pm

Hello,

so I don't suffer with Trichotillomania but I do suffer with dermatillomania which is compulsive skin picking so it is pretty closely related.

I have had this since I was around 9 years old (I am now 24). It has varied in severity over the years but it is severe at the moment though and I can spend hours picking at my skin usually with tweezers. I already have so many scars from years of picking and I really want to stop this.

Does anybody else have any experience with this kind of thing?

I am posting here because I think it has pretty similar traits to trichotillomania and I was wondering if anyone had any advice about how to resist the urge to pull/pick?


Thanks for any help
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Re: Dermatillomania

Postby hitthelights » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:28 am

I have struggled with dermatillomania for years. I've been picking at the skin on my fingers until they bleed for as long as I remember, and occasionally on the bottoms of my feet when calluses bug me and then can't stop. I also chew the inside of my mouth and cheeks, which I believe is technically different but related.

If I'm anxious, I need a distraction for my hands, usually a fidget toy or something. I also try to moisturize frequently, so I don't get the little patches of dryish, hard skin that are so tempting to pick off. When it's the bottoms of my feet, I try to wear socks at all times. I just try to make it harder for me to absentmindedly pick without thinking. If it's a conscious decision, I'm more likely to be able to stop myself. I try to satisfy my oral fixation by constantly sucking on Altoids, hard candy, or Tic Tacs so I don't bite my cheeks--it's usually very effective but I have to remember to do it.

Gross, I know, but it's the truth.
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Re: Dermatillomania

Postby spacebot » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:18 am

I chew the inside of my mouth and cheeks as well, and I pull the skin off my lips. I also pick at my cuticles and any small cuts or injuries on my hands or arms. Most of my picking is focused around my face and hands, so it's kind of hard to cover the areas so I don't pick at them.

I've found that distraction really is the best way to keep from picking. For me, focusing on not picking can make it worse. Outside distractions help a ton. I carry around a pack of gum to help with the mouth-chewing, and I always try to make sure I'm doing something with my hands and they aren't just sitting there with all that skin available for picking at.

Sometimes you'll slip up, though, and you shouldn't beat yourself up for it. I celebrate every scab that I have let heal fully -- it's the little victories that count!
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Re: Dermatillomania

Postby Emberlea » Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:16 am

I have both. I do the hair pulling (eyebrows, eyelashes, hair on my head) but I also pick the skin on my scalp. I think it started with the hair pulling. (I was around 12 when I started. Im 24 now)
I use my fingernails and scratch all over my scalp till it bleeds, then I pick the scabs. I have 3 places on my scalp which I constantly pick at, and after so many years of doing it, Im starting to see the damage.
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Re: Dermatillomania

Postby owl-feathers » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:45 pm

I struggle with this with picking at anything even vaguely resembling a pimple or blackhead. It starts with looking in the mirror and just wanting to correct one whitehead or something, and next thing I know it's two hours later and my face and back and shoulders are red and blotchy. It's completely unconscious, like I zone out into my own little world. I'll have moments of clarity, where I suddenly realize what I'm doing, but then I'll get lost again. The only way to stop is to latch onto one of those clear moments and drag myself out, and it actually feels like a pulling sensation in my head.

It's at it's worst when I'm over tired, and I'm living on my own right now so no one's there to say "what are you doing in the bathroom, get out". Going to brush my teeth became incredibly challenging. I covered the mirrors with towels so I wouldn't see myself at night. I started moving the towels. Last week I finally resorted to taking down the mirrors in the bathroom and storing them in the closet. Now the only mirrors in the house are in the window where I do my make-up and there's poor lighting at night. So far it's working better, although I did a bit of a number on my shoulder last night (since I can see it without a mirror) and now won't be able to wear tank tops for a few days. Also the bathroom looks kind of weird since the mirrors were the cabinet doors :P

I don't pick to the point of blood, unless my nails slip, but the irritation creates pimples and sometimes small infections where my skin would actually be okay, and I've got faint acne scarring over my shoulders simply from picking at blackheads.

If anyone has any other strategies to avoid picking when being alone and over tired are unavoidable, please share!
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Re: Dermatillomania

Postby SuperMoose » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:17 am

owl-feathers wrote:I struggle with this with picking at anything even vaguely resembling a pimple or blackhead. It starts with looking in the mirror and just wanting to correct one whitehead or something, and next thing I know it's two hours later and my face and back and shoulders are red and blotchy. It's completely unconscious, like I zone out into my own little world. I'll have moments of clarity, where I suddenly realize what I'm doing, but then I'll get lost again. The only way to stop is to latch onto one of those clear moments and drag myself out, and it actually feels like a pulling sensation in my head.

It's at it's worst when I'm over tired, and I'm living on my own right now so no one's there to say "what are you doing in the bathroom, get out". Going to brush my teeth became incredibly challenging. I covered the mirrors with towels so I wouldn't see myself at night. I started moving the towels. Last week I finally resorted to taking down the mirrors in the bathroom and storing them in the closet. Now the only mirrors in the house are in the window where I do my make-up and there's poor lighting at night. So far it's working better, although I did a bit of a number on my shoulder last night (since I can see it without a mirror) and now won't be able to wear tank tops for a few days. Also the bathroom looks kind of weird since the mirrors were the cabinet doors :P

I don't pick to the point of blood, unless my nails slip, but the irritation creates pimples and sometimes small infections where my skin would actually be okay, and I've got faint acne scarring over my shoulders simply from picking at blackheads.

If anyone has any other strategies to avoid picking when being alone and over tired are unavoidable, please share!

That's because the habit stimulates endorphins, which feel pleasurable but numb you and put you in a dream-like state, much like opiates do.
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Re: Dermatillomania

Postby emma96 » Sun May 15, 2016 9:12 pm

I also have both trich and derm. It starts with pulling out the hair and then this will lead to ingrown hair. I then dig this out usually causes damage to skin. And then before the skin can properly heal a new hair starts growing and I pull this out. Rinse and repeat. I'm trapped in this hair-skin cycle :((.
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Re: Dermatillomania

Postby Mcdowjac0 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:42 am

Hello I suffer from. Dermatillomania and I mainly go for my eyebrows. I have completely turned the first half of each of my eyebrows into straight scars. I now have to fill-in the scar with eyebrow makeup to look somewhat normal. I am a 19 yearold male recovering addict and I'm trying to reach out to anyone who has dealt with this same issue. I've looked everywhere online and it seems like I'm the only one who had totally destroyed my eyebrows to the point of no return. Please anyone :(
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