Skin-picking disorder is an embarrassing condition that very few people talk about. It is a disorder that is not just a bad habit, but a mental health issue.
The lack of awareness and discussion of this disorder often makes many people suffer in silence. They feel that they are the only ones going through such an experience and can’t possibly get help.
However, the reality is that this disorder affects millions of people all over the world. Fortunately, getting help is becoming more accessible, and a skin-picking therapist near you can be the change you need.
Our team at Online Mental Health Reviews is qualified to write about finding skin picking because of our thorough research, and background in mental health. We know how many questions come up when thinking about whether or not to work with a therapist, or even whether or not you have a problem.
Symptoms of Skin Picking and How to Stop:
Skin-picking disorder starts as a simple habit, but it can quickly escalate into an obsessive behavior pattern.
People with skin-picking disorder are constantly preoccupied with picking at their skin. They spend hours picking, scratching, squeezing, or rubbing their skin, often leading to open wounds and scars.
Skin picking is not just limited to a specific part of the body. Some people pick at their faces, scalps, arms, legs, or any other part of the body.
The skin-picking cycle is usually triggered by a feeling of tension or stress, which is then relieved through repeated picking up.
Why It’s So Common:
Skin-picking disorder is so common that it affects over 5 million people in the United States alone.
The exact cause of skin picking disorder is still unknown, but it is believed that it may be due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.
People with skin-picking disorder often face a lot of shame and guilt. Some may also suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, which makes it difficult for them to seek help. Many of them feel that they are the only ones going through such a condition or that they are weak-willed because they can’t control their behavior.
Why You Need a Therapist:
A skin-picking therapist can help you manage your symptoms and provide you with the tools to control your behavior. Therapy can also help you understand the underlying issues that are causing your skin-picking disorder.
For many people, skin picking is a symptom of an underlying mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other factors.
A trained therapist can help you identify these underlying conditions and provide you with a more comprehensive treatment plan.
Finding a Skin-Picking Therapist Near You:
The thought of finding a skin-picking therapist may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many resources available online that can help you locate a qualified therapist in your area.
Some of these resources include the Psychology Today directory, which allows you to search for therapists based on specialty, location, insurance, and more. You can also ask your primary care physician or your insurance provider for a list of recommended therapists.
With the help of these resources, finding a skin-picking therapist near you is now easier than ever.
What are the symptoms of dermatillomania?
Dermatillomania, also known as a skin-picking disorder, is a mental health condition where a person compulsively picks or scratches their skin, causing injuries or scarring.
The symptoms of dermatillomania include:
- Recurrent skin picking, which may result in lesions or scars.
- Picking at already existent skin lesions, such as scabs or sores.
- Compulsive rubbing or scratching of the skin.
- Digging into the skin or squeezing pimples, blackheads, or other skin imperfections.
- Mild to severe pain during or after picking.
- Sores, scars, and disfigurement.
- Medical problems like infections may also occur.
It’s important to seek professional help if you experience any of these symptoms, as dermatillomania can cause emotional distress and affect your daily life. Treatment options include therapy, medication, and self-help strategies.
How Long Does Dermatillomania Last?
Dermatillomania, also known as skin-picking disorder or excoriation disorder, is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
It’s a chronic condition that can last for weeks, months, and even years if left untreated. Skin-picking episodes can last for a few minutes or most of the day, and many people who suffer from dermatillomania report having a strong desire to pick their skin.
However, according to the NHS1, there are effective treatments for dermatillomania, including cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a helpful approach.
It’s essential to seek help if you are struggling with dermatillomania, as it can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health.
If you need professional support, various resources are available to help, including therapists, support groups, and mental health organizations. Remember that you are not alone and that there is help available to manage and overcome dermatillomania.
What Is The Difference Between Dermatillomania And Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
- Dermatillomania, also known as a skin-picking disorder, is a body-focused repetitive behavior that involves picking at one’s own skin, to relieve tension or anxiety.
- On the other hand, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.
While repetitive skin picking also can be present in both disorders, OCD’s compulsions typically involve a more elaborate and complex ritual.
The compulsions in OCD are also driven by the obsession related to a specific thought or fear, whereas in dermatillomania, the picking behavior is often driven by the urge to remove irregularities on the skin.
If you are struggling with mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a licensed professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
How Is A Skin-Picking Disorder Related To OCD?
A skin-picking disorder, also known as treat excoriation disorder or dermatillomania, is a type of impulse control disorder where the person repeatedly picks at their skin, causing tissue damage.
This disorder falls under the category of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) because of the compulsive urge to pick at the skin, despite knowing the consequences.
The International OCD Foundation2 says that there is a strong link between skin-picking disorder and OCD. Many people with OCD also exhibit symptoms of the skin-picking disorder. Both disorders involve obsessive and compulsive behaviors that are difficult to control, which can lead to significant distress, anxiety disorders, and impairment in daily life.
If you are struggling with a skin-picking disorder or OCD, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional who can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment options. You don’t have to suffer alone – there is help available.
Types Of Skin Picking
- Acne excoriates: a compulsive skin-picking disorder that primarily affects the face, chest, and upper back. Individuals with acne excoriate pick at their acne lesions, causing significant tissue damage and scarring.
- Dermatillomania: a chronic skin-picking disorder that affects people of all ages. Those with dermatillomania feel compelled to pick at their skin, causing severe tissue damage.
- Excoriation disorder: another type of skin-picking disorder that involves repeatedly picking at healthy, intact skin. Excoriation disorder can lead to significant emotional distress as well as physical discomfort.
- Onychotillomania: a subtype of excoriation disorder that involves picking at the nails and cuticles. This can lead to nail bed infections, hangnails, and significant damage to the nail bed.
- Morsicatio buccarum: also known as chronic cheek biting, this is a type of skin-picking disorder that involves repeatedly biting the inside of the cheek. This can lead to significant tissue damage, oral pain, and potential complications like oral cancer.
- Trichotillomania: Although not strictly a skin-picking disorder, trichotillomania is a kind of repetitive grooming behavior that involves pulling out hair from the scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes. This can lead to hair loss, skin infections, and significant social isolation.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a skin-picking disorder, seeking help from a mental health professional may be beneficial.
What Is Excoriation Disorder? 6 Things To Know
- Excoriation disorder, also known as skin-picking disorder or dermatillomania, is a mental health condition characterized by the urge to pick or scratch one’s skin repeatedly.
- This disorder is classified as an obsessive-compulsive disorder and is more common in women than men.
- People with excoriation disorder often report feeling a sense of relief or pleasure when picking at their skin, despite the potential physical and emotional harm that can result from this behavior.
- Excoriation disorder can lead to scarring, tissue damage, and emotional distress.
- Treatment for excoriation disorder can involve therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common treatment approach that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors.
- If you are struggling with excoriation disorder or know someone who is, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Or Prevent Skin Picking? 4 Tips to Stop
If you’re struggling with a skin-picking disorder, there are several strategies you can try to reduce your risk or prevent skin-picking behavior.
Here are 4 tips based on expert recommendations:
- Try stimulus control: Change your environment to make it harder to pick, for example, by covering mirrors or using bandages or tape on your fingers or thumbs. (Source: Harvard Health Publishing)
- Seek therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy, including habit reversal training, is effective in treating skin picking disorder. (Source: International Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation)
- Understand your triggers: Identify the situations, feelings, or thoughts that trigger your skin picking, and work on managing or avoiding them. (Source: Apartment Therapy)
- Stay vigilant with hygiene: Pay extra attention to hygiene when you’re picking, to reduce the risk of infection. (Source: Apartment Therapy)
Remember, reducing or preventing skin picking is a process that takes time and effort, but you can do it. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you need it – there’s no shame in reaching out for support.
Stay strong and take care of yourself.
Reasons for Skin Picking & Benefits of Seeking Professional Help
Skin picking disorder, also known as excoriation disorder or dermatillomania, is characterized by the urge to pick at the skin repeatedly, causing injuries, infections, and scarring of healthy skin. This can result in stress, anxiety, and reduced well-being.
People with skin picking disorder may feel embarrassed or believe their condition is untreatable or just a “bad habit,” leading to not seeking professional help. However, seeking professional help for skin picking disorder can provide significant benefits.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common therapy for the skin-picking disorder. CBT helps individuals change negative habits and impulses and can help patients feel more in control of their behavior. Seeking professional help can also provide social support and help reduce feelings of embarrassment or shame.
If you are struggling with a skin-picking disorder, know that professional help is available and can lead to significant benefits in managing the disorder.
Advantages of a Specialist Over DIY Skin Picking Treatment
If you’re struggling with skin picking disorder, it’s important to know that there are effective ways to treat it. One option is to try to treat it on your own, but the advantages of seeing a specialist are clear.
Seeing a specialist, such as a therapist or a clinician, can provide several benefits over DIY treatment:
- Expertise and Experience: Specialists have extensive training and experience in treating skin-picking disorders. They can offer specialized therapy methods, such as habit reversal training and acceptance and commitment therapy, that are shown to be effective in reducing skin-picking behaviors.
- Personalized Treatment: A specialist can tailor your treatment to your individual needs and circumstances. They can help identify triggers and develop coping strategies that work for you.
- Support and Accountability: A specialist can provide emotional support and accountability throughout the treatment process, which can be invaluable in overcoming skin picking disorder.
- DIY treatment may seem like a cost-effective and convenient option, but it may not provide the same level of effectiveness and support as seeking help from a specialist. If you’re struggling with skin picking disorder, consider reaching out to a specialist for effective and personalized treatment.
Key Factors in Finding a Qualified Skin-Picking Therapist
If you’re struggling with a skin-picking disorder, finding the right therapist is important. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Specialization: Look for a therapist who has experience and specialized training in treating the skin-picking disorder.
- Treatment Techniques: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), habit reversal training (HRT), and competing response training are some effective treatment techniques for the skin-picking disorder. Make sure to ask your therapist about their preferred approach.
- Physical and Emotional Triggers: Physical triggers like itch and blemishes and emotional triggers like stress and anxiety can lead to skin-picking. Choose a therapist who will work with you to identify and manage these triggers.
Remember, it’s okay to ask potential therapists about their experience and approach to treating the skin-picking disorder. With the right therapist, you can learn new coping skills and improve your overall well-being.
For more information and resources on skin-picking disorder therapists near you, refer to the following:
First, you can search Psychology Today for skin-picking therapists, and then sort by location.
In one quick search on Zocdoc, you can also find out if your insurance covers skin-picking therapists, doctors, and specialists near you, where they are, and if they accept your insurance.
What Type Of Therapy Is Best For Skin Picking?
If you’re struggling with skin picking, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure about how to get help. The best type of therapy for skin picking is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and habit reversal training (HRT). These therapies aim to identify your triggers and develop strategies to manage your urges negative emotions and behaviors.
Group therapy and peer support can also be helpful for people with skin-picking disorder. These therapies provide an opportunity to connect with others who are dealing with similar challenges and can offer support and encouragement.
To explore the role of medication, seek an assessment from a psychiatrist who has highly specialized medical training. However, therapy should be the primary focus for treating the skin-picking disorder.
Remember that seeking help is a sign of strength, and with the right support, and professional treatment you can learn to manage your skin picking and improve your mental health.
What kind Of Doctor Do You See For Dermatillomania?
If you’re struggling with dermatillomania, which is also known as a skin-picking disorder, the best type of doctor to see is a mental health professional.
Psychiatrists and psychologists are both qualified to diagnose and treat skin-picking disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in serious mental health problems, while psychologists have a doctoral degree in psychology and are trained in psychotherapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and habit reversal training (HRT) are the most effective treatments for dermatillomania. These therapies focus on changing negative thought patterns, habits, and behaviors and can be provided by either psychiatrists or psychologists.
Primary care physicians and dermatologists may also be able to diagnose dermatillomania and refer you to a mental health professional for treatment.
Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and with the right support, you can learn to manage your skin picking and improve your mental health.
What Type Of Therapy Is Best For Trichotillomania?
Trichotillomania, also known as a hair-pulling disorder, is a mental health condition characterized by the urge to pull out one’s hair, resulting in hair loss and distress. If you’re struggling with trichotillomania, the best type of therapy to seek treatment for is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and habit reversal training (HRT).
CBT focuses on changing negative thoughts and behaviors, while HRT teaches individuals to identify their hair-pulling triggers and replace hair-pulling with positive behaviors. The goal of both therapies is to help you develop healthier coping strategies and break the hair-pulling habit.
Other types of therapy that can be effective in treating trichotillomania include:
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), focuses on accepting difficult thoughts and emotions as part of the human experience and committing to positive action.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), combines CBT with skills training in areas such as mindfulness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation. If you live in a major city, you’ll be able to find with relative ease DBT Clinics near you.
It is essential to consult with a mental health professional trained in treating trichotillomania to determine the best course of treatment for you. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and with the right support, you can learn to manage your trichotillomania and improve your mental health.
List of Therapy Resources for Skin Picking
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This type of therapy focuses on changing the way you think and behave in situations that trigger skin picking. It is a proven treatment for mental health conditions such as anxiety, eating disorders, or depression. CBT may take 12-16 weeks or more to complete. Learn more about CBT on Psychology Today.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – This therapy approach enables individuals to understand and manage negative thoughts or feelings. ACT helps in developing mindfulness and acceptance skills in individuals to cope with negative thoughts or feelings leading to skin picking. Learn more about ACT on Contextual Science.
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) – This therapy combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness-based strategies to assist with emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, and distress tolerance. DBT may take 24-36 weeks or more to complete. Learn more about DBT on Psych Central.
- Support Communities – Joining a support community of individuals who understand your struggle can be helpful in the journey to recovery. Skin Picking Support is an online community that provides resources to educate and spread awareness of BFRBs while providing a supportive space for individuals struggling with skin picking.
- Therapy Centers – Several therapy centers specialize in treating Excoriation Disorder. The TLC Foundation for BFRBs and The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Center of Los Angeles are resources for specialized care. The Anxiety Institute also provides evidence-based treatment for Excoriation Disorder, including CBT and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP).
Dealing with skin picking can be challenging, but with these therapy resources, support communities, and sensory tools, individuals struggling with skin picking can effectively manage their condition and regain control of their lives.
About The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors
The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors has been around since 1991. It is a health and human services organization that helps the 1 in 20 people who have body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) through advocacy, awareness, connection, health education, celebration, and equal access to effective evidence-based treatments.
We like their message of positivity and celebration of body-focused repetitive behaviors. A great resource you can learn about on their website – https://www.bfrb.org/about-us/our-work.
Online Program for Skin Picking
This course teaches EFT Emotional Freedom Technique for Hair Pulling and Skin Picking with Joan Kaylor. Joan has 30 years of experience helping people overcome these behaviors.
The course provides relief from negative thoughts and emotions related to trichotillomania and dermatillomania.
You’ll learn strategies for immediate relief, positive habit replacement, anger management, and stress reduction.
This program is for anyone experiencing hair loss, pulling, twisting, or other self-injury behaviors. Start learning today!
First Appointment with Skin Picking Therapist Expectations
If you are struggling with skin-picking disorder (dermatillomania), and have scheduled your first appointment with a therapist, it’s normal to feel apprehensive or uncertain about what to expect.
During the initial session, your therapist will likely ask you about your history and current symptoms, as well as any triggers or patterns you’ve noticed. They may also explain different treatment options, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy, to help you manage your skin-picking behavior.
Remember that your therapist is there to support you and work with you to create a personalized treatment plan.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or bring up any concerns you may have. With their guidance and expertise, you can start on the path toward healing and recovery.
Preparing for Your Skin Picking Therapy Appointment
If you have decided to seek help for dermatillomania or skin picking disorder, it’s important to prepare for your therapy appointment.
Here are some things you can do to get ready:
- Make a list of your skin-picking habits and triggers. This will help your therapist identify patterns and develop a personalized treatment plan.
- Be willing to discuss your feelings and experiences related to skin picking. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s important to be open and honest with your therapist.
- Ask questions! Your therapist is there to help you, so don’t be afraid to ask for clarification or express any concerns you may have.
- Consider bringing a trusted support person to your appointment. This may be a family member or friend who can offer emotional support and help you remember important information.
- Remember, therapy is a collaborative process, and your therapist is there to support you on your journey toward healing. With dedication and patience, it is possible to overcome the skin-picking disorder and achieve your goals
Results and Duration of Skin Picking Therapy
If you’re struggling with skin-picking disorder or dermatillomania, you may be wondering about the results and duration of skin-picking therapy.
The most effective treatment for skin picking is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which includes habit reversal training. Through CBT, you can identify triggers and learn to alter your behaviors to eliminate or reduce skin picking. Clinical trials have demonstrated that skin-picking CBT can be extremely effective.
The duration of skin-picking therapy may vary depending on your individual needs and progress.
You can typically expect to attend several weekly treatment sessions over several months.
If you’re interested in skin-picking therapy, talk to your healthcare provider or mental health professional to learn more about your options and find a therapist who specializes in treating skin-picking and related disorders.
List of Steps to Maximize Therapy Session Effectiveness for Skin Picking
If you’re struggling with skin picking, therapy can be an effective way to manage the condition. Here are some steps to help maximize the effectiveness of your therapy sessions:
- Discuss your triggers: Make sure to communicate with your therapist about what triggers your skin-picking behavior. This will help them develop a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs.
- Practice self-care: Incorporate touch toys/fiddle toys and a face-care routine to help stimulate nerve endings in the face gently, which can be a soothing sensation and possibly reduce the urge to pick.
- Optimize treatment: If your skin picking is triggered by depression or anxiety, work with your therapist to prioritize addressing and treating those underlying conditions.
Remember that treatment for skin picking disorder often involves habit reversal training, cognitive training, exposure, and relapse prevention. Be sure to communicate openly with your therapist and take an active role in your treatment for the best chance of success.
What Medications Treat Skin Picking?
If you are struggling with a skin-picking disorder, you may be wondering what medications can help. Fortunately, several medications can be effective in treating this condition.
- Psychotropic medications are often used to treat skin-picking disorders. These include olanzapine, inositol, lamotrigine, riluzole, naltrexone, clomipramine, and doxepin. Another study found that memantine is more effective than other treatments studied so far, including behavioral therapy and olanzapine.
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac are effective in treating skin-picking disorders.
- Other studies have looked at topiramate and lamotrigine, which have shown some promise in treating this disorder.
It’s important to talk to your doctor or mental health professional about what medication may be right for you, as different medications have different potential side effects and may interact with other medications you may be taking.
In addition to medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can also be an effective treatment for the skin-picking disorder. For medication online delivery, you may want to learn more about Sesame Care.
Old Habits Die Hard: Treating a Woman With a 20-Year Severe Case of Skin Picking Disorder
This story from science article 3 talks about how a 55-year-old woman with skin picking disorder was treated. Her case was especially hard to deal with, according to the authors.
- Over the course of 11 months, treatment consisted of five phases: psychoeducation, habit-reversal training, cognitive training, exposure, and relapse prevention.
- During treatment, digital pictures were also taken of the wounds that had been caused by picking at the skin.
- Several pieces of information (continuous self-monitoring, rating scales, self-report, and pictures) showed that the treatment was making a big difference, especially after Phases 3 and 4.
- The biggest problem was coming up with exposure-based techniques that fit the client’s wants and symptoms.
Taken as a whole, this study adds to the small amount of research that has been done on how to help older people who pick at their skin but are otherwise healthy.
How Do I Take Care Of Myself And Manage Skin-Picking Symptoms?
If you are struggling with a skin-picking disorder, there are several self-care and management techniques you can try to help reduce the frequency and intensity of your symptoms.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Identify triggers: Keep track of your skin-picking behavior and identify triggers that make you more likely to engage in the behavior. Common triggers may include stress or boredom.
- Practice stress-reducing activities: Engage in relaxing activities, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to manage stress levels. Learn an effective, secular method of mindfulness through Headspace online app, via a free 2-week trial.
- Get enough sleep: Make sure to get enough sleep each night to reduce the intensity of skin-picking urges.
- Protect your skin: Use gloves, bandages, or other protective gear to cover areas that you frequently pick at.
- Keep your hands busy: Engage in a creative hobby, such as drawing, writing, or playing an instrument to keep your hands busy.
- Talk to a mental health professional: Consider seeking help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in treating the skin-picking disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often an effective treatment.
Remember that self-care and management techniques can help reduce the frequency and intensity of skin-picking symptoms, but they are not a substitute for professional help. If you are struggling with a skin-picking disorder, it’s important to seek help from a trusted mental health professional.
Skin Picking Therapist Near Me Conclusion:
Skin-picking disorder is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on your life. It’s essential to understand that you are not alone and that you don’t have to suffer in silence.
Seeking help from a skin-picking therapist near you can improve your mental health and quality of life. Remember to be patient with yourself and to keep an open mind about the treatment options available. With the right support and resources, you can learn to control your skin-picking behavior and live a happy, healthy life.
Feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or concerns you may have about finding a skin-picking therapist near you or any other mental health-related service. Additionally, we would love to hear your suggestions about what mental health service, app, or course the Online Mental Health Reviews team should try out and review next.
- Skin picking disorder. (n.d.). nhs.uk. https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/skin-picking-disorder/
- International OCD Foundation | What is Skin Picking Disorder? (n.d.). International OCD Foundation. https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/related-disorders/skin-picking-disorder/
- Martinson, A. A., Nangle, D. W., Boulard, N., & Sigmon, S. T. (2011, November 20). Old Habits Die Hard. Clinical Case Studies, 10(6), 411–426. https://doi.org/10.1177/1534650111428508
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If You Are In Crisis
If you find yourself in a crisis and need immediate help, waiting for an online therapy appointment may not be safe. In such cases, it’s best to call 911 right away. If you are having recurring thoughts of hurting yourself or others, you can call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. This helpline is available 24/7 and can offer immediate support.
Alternatively, you can also reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline by calling 800-662-HELP or 800-662-4357. This is a free and confidential hotline designed to assist individuals with mental health or substance abuse disorders in finding treatment and information relevant to their needs. This hotline is available round the clock, 365 days a year, so do not hesitate to reach out if you need help.