I Have a Skin Picking Disorder – Dermatillomania (Excoriation) Story

I Have a Skin Picking Disorder – Dermatillomania (Excoriation) Story

Some people have a compulsive tendency, obsession really, at biting and picking their nails. For many, it starts as a simple reaction to stress. But over time, the habit can evolve into something more, and something that is difficult to either notice or prevent from happening. For onlookers it often seems like a simple lack of willpower or mental strength, but those who suffer from this sort of compulsion to pick and scratch and bite at their skin and body know it’s a real issue they have a veyr hard time dealing with.

A description from Mental Health America defines the condition as a body focused behavior that repeats in a chronic fashion; one that sufferers will find themselves engaging in for large portions of their available time. In some cases, it can occur for hours on a daily basis.

Some skin pickers have a traumatic source for the condition and how it afflicts them. Past experiences that stick with them, picking at their mentality the way they pick at their skin, induce them to unconsciously look for a distraction from the mental weight they’re shouldering. The psychological term for this is dermatillomania. The medical professional best suited to helping a patient deal with the condition is a therapist.

Key Points:

  • 1Dermatillomania is a skin picking disorder where the patient has a compulsion to pick and bite at their skin.
  • 2Psychologists and therapists can help deal with the compulsion, and guide patients towards more healthy behavior.
  • 3The condition can cause mental distress, which often worsens the behavior as the patient realizes what they’re doing.


I could be in control of this pain — like when I picked at my skin till it bled.
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