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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Board Index


Re: Skin Picking
Apr 13, 2007
Wow! GatsbyLuvr1920! This is just so odd for me. I've been picking at my scalp for over 20 years and I'm 36yrs old. I just thought it was just the way I was. I never really thought to look it up on the internet.

But the last few weeks I started to lose my hair, in fact, at any give moment I can run my hand through my head and come away with at least 20 strands. I'm not sure it the two are related but I've got about 5 scabs going on my scalp and now I'm scared to touch them. Vanity I guess. It's killing me. I itch. I am freaking out. I'm trying to rub the itchy spot with the palm of my hand but it only works for a bit.

A long time ago, I thought perhaps I had a problem with my skin so I went to a dermatologist (after letting my scabs heal of course). He said I was fine.

It always starts with me running my fingers through my scalp, looking for something to pick. I do this when driving my car, watching TV or reading a book. Mostly I don't even think about until I find a spot. When I find it, it's a good thing. I'm happy. Then I start to pick. It's a bit painful, sometimes, but I enjoy the feeling of creating or pulling off a scab. I really can't believe other people do this, to some degree.

I find that crocheting while watching TV helps since it keeps my hands busy.

Other than that, I bite my fingernails, pick at my cuticles and search for dead ends on my hair. But there's this thing I do, my co-workers love it. I take apart their mouse on their PC and clean all the bits inside as well as the grooves on the outside. I really like doing it. I usually fold up a piece of paper and clean just about every groove I can get my hands on.

I'm odd uh?
Karen
Re: Skin Picking
Apr 15, 2007
Ever since childhood, back in the 6th grade, I've picked at my hair. Scalp hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, etc. I even had a bald spot on the top of my head from plucking the hair out. It embarrassed my parents at the time, but of course, taking me to a doctor would mean there was something wrong with their little girl and we can't have that, can we? :rolleyes:

To this day, 30 years later, my eyebrows still don't grow in fully. I find that when I'm stressed, I'll still pick at my eyelashes and eyebrows. For some reason, I find it comforting to pluck out the hairs and look at them.

I've found some relief though behavior modification therapy. Instead of picking at my hair, I'll rip little pieces out of a napkin, peel paint off of something.... any small finger activity that's nit-picky and detailed. I found working with beads to be extremely helpful.

Of course, I also do the usual nailbiting, picking at cuticles and scabs, and other minor self-mutilation behaviors. Sometimes I wonder if there's any correlation between pickers and cutters. Not a pretty thought, but both actions are a release of anxiety and a feeling of peace through physical self-abuse.
Re: Skin Picking
Apr 18, 2007
[QUOTE=hepeful;2919070]
A long time ago, I thought perhaps I had a problem with my skin so I went to a dermatologist (after letting my scabs heal of course). He said I was fine.

It always starts with me running my fingers through my scalp, looking for something to pick. I do this when driving my car, watching TV or reading a book. Mostly I don't even think about until I find a spot. When I find it, it's a good thing. I'm happy. Then I start to pick. It's a bit painful, sometimes, but I enjoy the feeling of creating or pulling off a scab. I really can't believe other people do this, to some degree.

I find that crocheting while watching TV helps since it keeps my hands busy.

Other than that, I bite my fingernails, pick at my cuticles and search for dead ends on my hair. But there's this thing I do, my co-workers love it. I take apart their mouse on their PC and clean all the bits inside as well as the grooves on the outside. I really like doing it. I usually fold up a piece of paper and clean just about every groove I can get my hands on.

I'm odd uh?
Karen[/QUOTE]

Hepeful, you're the first person I've ever met, online or off, that has ever described what I do so well. I only pick in two places... my scalp, and my lips. I've done it for longer than I can remember... I recall doing it as a child. My first realization that something wasn't quite right was as a freshman in high school, in summer school. I remember picking a HUGE scab off of my scalp, and being amazed (and thrilled) at how huge it was.

Things really peaked when I was a freshman in college. I managed to catch Chicken pox. Not. Good. Especially not for a picker.

I have several scars on my body thanks to my picking during that time, but nothing majorly out of place... except on my scalp. I had one large sore on the back left part of my head.

It's never healed. That was over ten years ago. I've never let it heal completely. It's smaller now (it was originally as big as a quarter), but it's still there, a nice, satisfying wad of scar tissue. If I ever had to shave my head, it would be a mass of scars.

It's funny, but I've never heard anyone else describe that sense of seeking for a spot. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

The other one is my lips. This has been my biggest foe, and has been something that drives all my family insane. When my lips get dry, I peel off the skin. The best ones are when I use lip balm, and about a day later, the top layer comes off, mostly in one piece. I don't like picking my lips until they bleed though, I'm so self conscious about it, but sometimes I can't stop myself. It's worse when I'm upset.

I do both almost unconsciously.

I just can't believe that you guys are here. I've done internet research, and never found anything about it. I really thought I was the only one!
Re: Skin Picking
Apr 19, 2007
I pick scabs, pimples, dry peeling skin on heels, my scalp, bite my finger nails until they are bloody, bite/pick cuticles, pull my hair, pluck hair on legs, arms, anywhere honestly.... pick mostly on my arms and legs, and chest and butt.
I can't wear shorts anymore, and only wear long sleeves.

I even pick at my cats acne and scabs.

I want to stop, but can't. I am on pexeva, and wellbutrin for depression - none of it works.

I hate when someone sees scars and asks what happened. I feel like saying, "Mind your own business" ...I would never ask someone about their scars.

I've never met another picker. I just want to understand it. Why do I do this?
I tried journaling - I've concluded I do it when I am stressed or bored.
I do find relief from it - a sense of relief while I am in the moment; picking and scratching something off, when the pimple pops, when the skin peels off in big pieces.
Re: Skin Picking
Apr 20, 2007
i am so glad to see i am not the only picker. i have had the same 2 scabbed up places on my scalp for 8 months because i cant stop picking them. if there is a scab i must pick it and i dont understand why i do it. i always picked as a child.and i use to pick at my cats scabs too, i thought i was the only one in the world that done that.
Re: Skin Picking
May 2, 2007
[QUOTE=dragonchilde;2929416]Hepeful, you're the first person I've ever met, online or off, that has ever described what I do so well. I only pick in two places... my scalp, and my lips. I've done it for longer than I can remember... I recall doing it as a child. My first realization that something wasn't quite right was as a freshman in high school, in summer school. I remember picking a HUGE scab off of my scalp, and being amazed (and thrilled) at how huge it was.

Things really peaked when I was a freshman in college. I managed to catch Chicken pox. Not. Good. Especially not for a picker.

I have several scars on my body thanks to my picking during that time, but nothing majorly out of place... except on my scalp. I had one large sore on the back left part of my head.

It's never healed. That was over ten years ago. I've never let it heal completely. It's smaller now (it was originally as big as a quarter), but it's still there, a nice, satisfying wad of scar tissue. If I ever had to shave my head, it would be a mass of scars.

It's funny, but I've never heard anyone else describe that sense of seeking for a spot. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

The other one is my lips. This has been my biggest foe, and has been something that drives all my family insane. When my lips get dry, I peel off the skin. The best ones are when I use lip balm, and about a day later, the top layer comes off, mostly in one piece. I don't like picking my lips until they bleed though, I'm so self conscious about it, but sometimes I can't stop myself. It's worse when I'm upset.

I do both almost unconsciously.

I just can't believe that you guys are here. I've done internet research, and never found anything about it. I really thought I was the only one![/QUOTE]


[COLOR="DarkRed"]I can't believe there's 2 others that do EXACTLY what I do! :eek: Even down to the [I][B]mouse cleaning!![/B][/I] My scalp and my lips are my battlegrounds. My poor scalp has presently 6 scabbed areas that I'm fighting not to pick. I didn't cut my hair for over 5 years because of this problem, I was too embarassed to go to the hair salon. To make things worse, I have thin hair and my scalp shows somewhat through my scalp...I had a sore on my scalp RIGHT on my hairline that was so open and bloody...I know people would look at it, especially since I work in Customer Service!!:eek: But I put my foot down and finally got a wonderful haircut this past weekend, I had to explain to the hairdresser (my new hairdresser in over 5 years!! yay :) )what was happening because I know she noticed them. She was very nice and put me at ease right away.


Now my hair looks great and I don't want these DAMN SCABS showing, so I am resisting the tremendous urge to pick. And oh, they are some beauties...:dizzy: But I won't pick them! I won't!! [[calming myself down]] It's driving me crazy, I am constantly rubbing them gently, [I]caressing[/I] them, if you will... so far, so good. :D It's amazing that before when I would peel them before I would feel so...so relieved, so accomplished. I would save the little scab for a while, look at it, analyze this piece of me that I removed from my body, something I had control over, even if was a dead piece of skin.

Now my lips are almost totally healed except for a tiny section in the corner that I'm constantly checking with my tongue, if there's a little bit of skin poking out, well I go to town and then I'm left with a smarting bloody patch on my lip. Booooo!! :mad: [/COLOR]
Re: Skin Picking
Oct 9, 2007
:) Hi Picker bee

I really appreciate your honesty and many others for their comments about skin picking. My husband does do this as well since he was a teenager and is now in his 40's. He always denies he has a problem to all the health professionals.

But we do know better than him. He has been in and out of hospital all his life with renal failure (kidneys) as his illness has advanced so has his skin picking.

I had never seen anything like it his entire body is covered from scarring because of the continuous skin picking and he refuses any treatment. But I love him and always will.

I just feel helpless to not be able to help him he does have to want the help. He is responisble for himself. I just wanted to let you know what it feels like from a partners point of view.

Thanks :angel: [QUOTE=pickerbee;2933222]I pick scabs, pimples, dry peeling skin on heels, my scalp, bite my finger nails until they are bloody, bite/pick cuticles, pull my hair, pluck hair on legs, arms, anywhere honestly.... pick mostly on my arms and legs, and chest and butt.
I can't wear shorts anymore, and only wear long sleeves.

I even pick at my cats acne and scabs.

I want to stop, but can't. I am on pexeva, and wellbutrin for depression - none of it works.

I hate when someone sees scars and asks what happened. I feel like saying, "Mind your own business" ...I would never ask someone about their scars.

I've never met another picker. I just want to understand it. Why do I do this?
I tried journaling - I've concluded I do it when I am stressed or bored.
I do find relief from it - a sense of relief while I am in the moment; picking and scratching something off, when the pimple pops, when the skin peels off in big pieces.[/QUOTE]
Re: Skin Picking
Nov 10, 2007
wow I finally decided to research this topic today, after years of picking at my lips... I have or have had most of the problems described by others in this thread. I have picked my lips for as long as i can remember.. I'm 22 now.. My dad used to always tell me to stop.. he was really the only one as far as i can remember who would acknowledge this problem... I feel this problem has had an effect on my self esteem... it makes me feel ugly, and makes me think such thoughts as, I can't believe my husband thinks I'm pretty.. can't believe he married me.. can't believe he would want to kiss me...

The reason I finally decided to research this is because it has gotten soo bad, and worse than it has ever been, and I was hoping to find a cure.. Like many of you I had no idea I was not the only one w/ this problem.. I feel a little better now that I know I'm not alone in this, but wish their were better suggestions on healing this problem.. I guess I think I'm going to visit the doctor about it.. although I've never personally acknowledged the problem before.. I don't even talk to my husband about it.. I've never admitted to him that I have a problem, and he doesn't ask me about it, but I know he has to be aware of it.. It's just not something that's easy to talk about..

anyway I have the same lip picking problems as those that describe they get in a trance like state and cant stop until there is nothing left to pick of the lips.. and then afterwards i slab vasoline on them.. but of course it doesnt help. The lips are what I'm most concerned about because you can't really cover them up w/ make up and what not but i also have other picking problems...

I pick at the acne i get... usually only when its painful acne that has a lot of pressure in the bump... I've been trying a method of putting little bandaids over them w/ neosporn.. it does ok...

I also pick at the skin around my finger nails and have to end up putting bandaids on them.. that problem isn't as bad though..

I used to pick at the bottoms of my feet really bad that others have described.. I used to do it at points to where I couldn't walk either and would have to put big band aids on them w/ neosporne.. I have thankfully kicked that habit.. I'm not sure what did it though.. I know at the time of doing it I worked at a fast food restarunt, Sonic Drive In where i would do a lot of walking around b/c you deliver the orders out to the cars and stuff, and when we would clean the floors at night my feet would get really soaked, and that could have been a part of the dryness or something.. because after I quit sonic and got a job that didnt involve a lot of walking around and never got my feet wet that problem no longer existed.. but whenever I notice my feet getting really dry I put lotion on them b/c i'm always afraid of that problem coming back.. i hated not being able to walk on them b/c it hurt so bad.

I also pick at my scabs and when i'm done w/ one i look for others until i realize there's no others to do anything w/.. its like a viscious circle or w/e..

I guess what I'm most concerned w/ is my lips.. and I'm worried if i don't get this problem taken care of that its going to turn much worse, such as the scalp picking thing, or hair pulling and what not.. I've never had the urge to pick my scalp yet but i dont want it to come along.. I think its time I go to the doctor, as I now realize its more than just a bad habit..

sorry my post is so long but i had a lot to say.. thanks for listening, and your suggestions are welcome..
Re: Skin Picking
Nov 15, 2007
Wow, I didn't know that "picking" was a common thing..And connected with OCD/Mental health..I used to pick my scalp to make scabs then picked those...I was really bad when I was pregnant...Was a high risk pregnancy and very stressful...

I still pick my scalp once in a while..But now I like to pluck the little hairs on my breast and on my chin...It has gotten to the point where my plucking those little hairs are growing back as black/course hairs...Which then causes me to want to pluck more...This is getting bad, Im gonna have to get lazer hair removal before long...I didn't know when I started plucking that those hairs would grow back darker and courser..
Re: Skin Picking
Jan 23, 2008
I was diagnosed with OCD about 5 years ago. I never realized that skin picking was part of the package.. but it explains a lot lol. I pick at my scalp constantly. It's really embarrasing and annoying.. I have scabs on my scalp now because of it, and that just makes it worse cause I pick those too. I try to be discreet about it, but when Im alone, it's constant.
Anyway.. thought I would share!
PC





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