Repetitive and compulsive skin picking is a serious condition called excoriation. Frequent and intense picking of the skin may cause bleeding, scars, and sores. Some people say that it makes them feel relaxed while others do it unintentionally. Children and adults who have obsessive-compulsive disorder are more likely to develop excoriation.
It requires serious observation to identify if a person has this disorder. Below are questions that may help you to distinguish skin picking from mild to serious habit:
- Do you enjoy picking your skin too much?
- Do you spend a lot of time picking your skin?
- Does picking your skin develop noticeable scars?
- Do you avoid beach or social gatherings because of the scar caused by picking your own skin?
- Do you pick your skin everytime you feel stressed?
- If you answer more “yes” to these questions, then it’s time to consult to a doctor for a proper medication.
The best treatment for excoriation is to undergo a form of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavior therapy. This can help a person to become aware of his skin picking habit and to recognize his mental state. It also involves behavioral exposure and response prevention. Another treatment is an antidepressant like Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor or SSRI but it is not the ideal option compared to a therapy. Being in a support group is also a help to a person with excoriation disorder. It can provide guidance and encouragement while he is at home which can lead to a fast recovery.
Important Note: This condition requires a consultation with a professional. While this is considered a mental illness related to obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is also a good idea to see a primary care doctor or a dermatologist about any skin lesions, wounds, or scars caused by repetitive picking.