Big, strange word to many I suspect. But I have discovered, as a result of sharing my problem with skin picking quite obsessively, as a result of increased stress and/or anxiety. That what I do is quite common and then I found out there is a name for it. Which is ‘Dermatillomania’

If you have no idea what this is, here’s a link to Wikipedia, which describes it:

Reading it, I was just like, OMG! That is exactly what I do! And there’s a sense of relief, even with such a damaging disorder, that there’s a name for it and it’s not that uncommon. It seems to be about 15% of people who suffer from this and mostly women. But men suffer from it too.

Because I have been quite stressed and anxious lately, I have been picking, picking, picking and my poor skin, it looks terrible! I feel so self-conscious when I wear anything short sleeved, as it’s most noticeable on my arms. So in the heat of summer I often wear a jacket and end up rather overheated at times, trying to hide this evidence.

The areas I tend to pick at, are anywhere there are spots or imperfections or dry skin. Generally my arms, chest, face and scalp. I do also sometimes, somewhat obsessively pull out hair, but only the loose bits, not from the follicle.

It’s particularly bad if I’m doing it at night, in bed. As I will feel some dry skin or what feels like a spot and I’ll keep picking at it. And being I can’t see what I’m doing, I often go a bit overboard and then see the results in the morning.

I’m pretty sure I will have many scars because of this. As, when things scab over, I don’t give them enough time to heal and pick the scab off. Yeah, pretty gross. But it seems to be quite an obsessive and sometimes uncontrollable urge. So, this is how it goes, the less stressed and anxious I am, the more controlled I can be and the more stressed and anxious I am, I just can’t stop myself and do this picking countless times a day. Also, the less busy I am, the more I do it.

I often do it so bad that it bleeds and therefore I have to have numerous band aids over my wounds.

I’d kind of tend to categorize at as self-harm as well.

So, there you go. Just one of my many faults. But hey, at least I’m not the only person out there with this fault.

I’ve added some pictures to show the result.

Dermatillomania 001

Dermatillomania 003