Constant Skin Picking Could be a Sign of Larger Problems

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For many people, taking good care of their skin is somewhat of an afterthought. Sure, they do what they can to keep their skin clean and moisturized, but they don’t do much more than that unless a problem presents itself. However, for other people, even the smallest blemish can become an obsession. If you find yourself constantly picking at and examining your skin, you may be suffering from a condition called dermatillormania.

Of course, occasionally picking at a pimple or dry patch is something almost everyone has done at one time or another and certainly does not classify you as a compulsive picker. But if you find yourself picking at your skin daily or several times a day, if you pick at your skin to the point of a scab forming, or if you have made an effort to stop picking at your skin but can’t, you may be suffering from dermatillormania, also known as compulsive skin picking (CSP) or neurotic excoriation.

There are numerous skin treatments available for this condition, depending on its severity. Some people have found that establishing a beauty regimen that improves the appearance of their skin helps them avoid the urge to pick. Others have sought the assistance of professionals like plastic surgeons to help them find procedures to safely address skin concerns. And in the most severe cases, a combination of options, even including therapy may be required.

If you are concerned that you may have a problem with obsessive skin picking, make plans to speak with a skincare professional today so you can start your journey from skin picking to skin peace.

This is a very important article since I see many patients that are “pickers” and as an aesthetic provider, I need to be aware of these patients since they can certainly harm themselves to the point that they leave permanent scarring and disfigurement in more extreme cases. When we know a patient is a “picker” we will avoid any sort of ablative treatments that require healing and essentially only stick with nonablative, no downtime procedures for these individuals so they do not have a reason to pick at anything. I have seen patients, fortunately not my own, who have created very disfiguring scarring of their face due to them picking on an area and then continuously picking at it since once they start picking and create a scab they simply pick at this again and again and again ultimately creating some very significant scarring if this is not adequately treated. These severe, compulsive skin pickers do need psychiatric evaluation and most likely need to be placed on medication for this unfortunate problem. Fortunately, the far majority of individuals that we see are not pickers and they do follow our instructions to the T and we, therefore, rarely get into any problematic situations.

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