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Little Known Skin Picking Facts

Skin picking also often referred to as compulsive skin picking (CSP) is a serious disorder which is poorly understood by people and this is largely due to the fact that the is little information available about the subject. In it's mild form it might not be too much of a problem but in it's chronic state it often leads to lasting damages to the skin often the face.

What is Skin Picking?

The medical diagnostic term for this disorder is known as Dermatillomania. It is described medically as a disorder that is impulse controlled which is commonly characterized by the urge to repeatedly pick at one's own skin either face or body often to the point of causing damage to the skin. It is has been linked with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); since about a quarter of OCD sufferers also have CSP. It has therefore been regarded as a mental disorder.

Most sufferers pick, rub, scratch, or sometimes dig into their skin in order to remove observed tiny irregularities or imagined imperfections from the bodies. It is a form of self-mutilation leading to bleeding, bruises, scarring which might result in infections or permanent skin damage. In some cases, sufferers often carry out this behaviour unconsciously and it is therefore, quite difficult to stop since they are often unaware of their actions.

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What is the cause of Skin Picking?

It is quite difficult to say exactly as it has been linked with so many things. There are very few studies carried out on Dermatillomania and this is due to the fact most of the cases go unreported except in the chronic cases when families and friends urge sufferers to seek medical help.

CSP is often believed to be caused by anxiety, stress or high level of frustration with people who suffer from it always reporting a sense of relief when they carry out the act. It can also be caused by a morbid obsession about one's skin i.e. seen as a way of obtaining skin perfection.

Can Dermatillomania be treated?

Yes. There are medications that could be used to treat CSP and they are the same group of drugs used in treating obsessive compulsive disorders which include antidepressants and other drugs in that class. Although, it might take a number of weeks before visible response is noticed they often work.

However, these medications should not be seen as an end in themselves in this form of treatment but a means to help therapy which is the often the ultimate solution because this condition is a mental disorder. There are a couple of CSP online centres that could provide help and direction in finding experienced clinical practitioners in order to get adequate treatment.


Skin picking is one of the disorders that are known from the habits of pinching or scratching repeatedly. It is however, poorly understood due to an unavailability of adequate information. This article attempts to create full awareness of this serious disorder.

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Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 03/05/2016






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