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dermatillomania-compulsive skin picking, anyone? - Page 3

post #41 of 66
oh my gosh.

i am so totally glad I saw this.

I have several of these habits, all my life, to a destructive degree, and I've never found info on it since I don't have any psych diagnosis going on and it's not about self-injury or body obsession, my best guess is to lump it in with my other sensory processing quirks.

the problem is, my 2 year old, who bites her nails (fine) and breath-holds (fine) has been chewing up the inside of her cheeks and lips to an awful degree. they swell and she chews more, they're the size of a nickel at least, and she gets blood on her shirts and pillow. It was shocking because that's something I do (rarely) but how the heck did she figure it out at TWO? she hasn't seen me, first because it is that rare and second it would be invisible. how amazing and weird that it comes from our genes... right?

help? please!
post #42 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cchrissyy View Post
oh my gosh.

i am so totally glad I saw this.
<snip>
the problem is, my 2 year old, who bites her nails (fine) and breath-holds (fine) has been chewing up the inside of her cheeks and lips to an awful degree. they swell and she chews more, they're the size of a nickel at least, and she gets blood on her shirts and pillow. It was shocking because that's something I do (rarely) but how the heck did she figure it out at TWO? she hasn't seen me, first because it is that rare and second it would be invisible. how amazing and weird that it comes from our genes... right?

help? please!
Wow that's a hard one. Most of the advice I have to give is advice for an adult, but my picking
and hair twirling started as a child, so I can answer from that point of view. I was always far
worse when people pointed it out, or told me to stop. My nail biting as a child was horrid, and
the more I was told to stop, the more damage I did. Mine always comes on strongly in times
of stress, so the more stressed I get the more it happens. As a child I remember people looking
at my hands, and asking me "why do you do that", and then as they walked away my hands
would go straight into my mouth. So I feel the more focus on the habit, the worse it can become.

My daughter used to bite her nails, she still does at times, but not nearly to the degree I used
to. She likes her nails short, so I bought her a nail file for her to do her own nails, that helped.
Plus even if their short she likes me to paint them, so that keeps them out of her mouth, that
wouldn't have helped me, I would have ate the paint too.

I know this problem runs in families, I don't know why. My sister does the same thing as I
do, with her hair. I don't think she also picks her skin. She has bald spots in her hair. I think
that when you get some sort of satisfaction from the habit it becomes your comfort, so while
I do pull my hair, it's not nearly the same comfort as picking at my skin. My sister gets huge
satisfaction from twirling her hair until it pulls out, so that's her vice.

I wish I had more advice to give about your dd. Fact is she could grow out of it. Usually taking
on another odd habit. I've never bitten my nails in front of dd, I stopped when I was a teen. It's
hard. I still want to, I just have to resist it. Plus when I don't have nails, I can't scratch, and that
would just be the worst for me personally.

post #43 of 66
I've been a picker my whole life...I focus mainly on my cuticles. I think I started doing this when I was 2 or 3. My mom says I had many OCD issues when I was a child - I didn't realize picking was an OCD thing. *sigh*

The ONLY time my hands have looked good was when I was pregnant (3x). I thought it was something hormonal, but I maybe it was the gestational diabetes diet I was following that helped. I looked up the John Kender diet and it does say sugar is bad. But it says egg yolks are bad and I ate plenty of those while pg. I'm going to look into it some more.
post #44 of 66
My sister has the tricotillomania (sp?) thing, and I have the nail biting/cheek chewing/pore popping thing. I think the cheek chewing is actually the most destructive for me. I will sit there and chew and chew, and I'll use my hands to get better access to parts I can't reach, and I'll even use my fingernail to scrape off the skin on the inside of my cheek if I can't get it with my teeth. My husband HATES it, I hate it, but I CAN'T STOP DOING IT. I'm 24 and I've probably been doing it since I was like 10.
post #45 of 66
Me too, BUT I HAVE HOPE!I almost totally stopped after I cut out all dairy!I'm serious.Nothing to pick, unless I created it, and I had the urge less...SO worth a try!My skin stopped irritating me-which I didn't even know it was til 3 weeks with no dairy and then a slip, and I itched and picked like CRAZY!Most people have at lest a sensetivity to dairy.
post #46 of 66

Dermatillomania Center

Hi,

There is a new resource and they have great support forums. It's here - Skin Picking.

Glad to assist

A

Quote:
Originally Posted by perl View Post
Awww, isn't it awful? My sister and I both do it and find that it's worse when we're stressed out. It's almost like going into some zone or trance when doing it. .................................................. .......
post #47 of 66
I am blown away. I just stopped by hear to post this to see if it was actually a disorder. I scalp pick and I'm so ashamed and anxious about it. I worry that I'll pass it onto my kids, too. So far nothing yet, though. Although I didn't start until I experienced a traumatic event in my early 20s. It's been 8 years of it. I can stop long enough for it to heal so I can get my hair cut if i really focus on it, but then I go right back to it. I'm sorry I can't help, but I thought I might as well post and share since I feel better knowing i'm not alone.
post #48 of 66
Another one joins the ranks... I honestly did not realise that this was classified as a disorder or that so many other people do these things.... over the years I have picked at my face, my cuticles, bitten nails, picked at my ears, and pulled out what I deemed to be less than perfect hair.... and someone mentioned right in the beginning of the thread that it has something to do with "making it smooth"... and that is what I feel, and then am mortified when I see the results in the mirror. Interestingly enough while I was pregnant this was a total non issue and has become an issue since the birth again!

I am really hard on myself about this as I just wish I could stop and keep trying to make pacts with myself to get a grip... DH is kinda ok with it but refuses to have me manage his pimples. He does leave me to myself when I tell him it's my way of de stressing! ( I am well aware that it is stress related, but just do not seem to be able to control it)

I am also worried about passing such habits on to my son (maybe the kids learn from imitation? and it's not just genetics?)

Gonna check out diet options and stop feeling like such a freak (I have managed to let my toe nails grow longer recently - so for the first time am wearing open sandles with painted toe nails! I am terribly proud of this) I have also been thinking of getting cotton gloves to wear when I am reading/watching TV and BFing so that I cannot absent mindedly do these things!

And like others have mentioned here, I do feel better to know that I am not alone X
post #49 of 66
OMG!!! There's a name for it! I've done it when I'm stressed for as long as I can remember. Face, arms, cuticles. I spent most of high school in sleeved shirts and concealer!
I've found that managing my stress better helps a lot. Maybe you could help her find a less destructive habit, and consciously make her aware of what she's doing?
So far, none of my LO's do it.
post #50 of 66
Well shoot, I didn't realise we had a thread for this. I know I've posted about skin picking in the past in the trich thread, but I thought I'd pop in here too.

I've always had a big problem with this.
I do a lot better now, but it comes and goes.
It's definitely just a part of the big OCD picture for me.

My dd is REALLY bad about it too. I mean... really bad. That makes me so sad, I hope she just grows out of it at some point. She picks at any little thing on her skin that she can. And she's had chapped, cracking lips forever because she can't stop picking at it. She knows not to, but still does sometimes, especially when she's sleeping. I don't know if this is an inborn genetic sort of thing, or if she really did just pick that up from watching me (and DP does it some, too). I really don't think so, though, I try really hard to be conscious of it and not pick at anything when she's around.
post #51 of 66
Hi there,

I've had a really tough couple of days with hardly any sleep and have been totally out of control with nail biting/picking and face picking.... as I said before I know that it is stress related, and 2 nights of hardly any sleep and a DS who just cries when he is not sleeping - most of the time - I feel I am at my wits end...

Is there anyone from this thread who would be happy to be a kinda buddy support for me? I kinda think that maybe if I had someone who understands the intense compulsion to pick/bite it might help.... I so want this under control already (still haven't found cotton gloves, and am thinking of false nails, but too embarrassed for someone to put them on )
post #52 of 66
about the cotton gloves... I have found some at several dollar stores. They're white and they look like the sort of gloves a butler might wear (weird description, I know).
post #53 of 66
Just bumping this up for someone asking about similar problems
post #54 of 66
I know I sound like everyone else, but I cant believe this is actually a disorder and that so many of you do this too. I would be happy to be a buddy to someone because I could definitely benefit from one as well.
I have picked since I can remember and my mom does too ( much less than I). Also, my great aunt was such a bad picker that she would sometimes wear ace bandages on her arms to keep from picking. I really think this is genetic. I have no other ocd traits though, just picking and head scratching.
I was just thinking of buying myself gloves too, I wonder if that has helped anyone at all. this is such an embarrassing habit and it seems to be getting worse and worse over the years. To make matters worse, I just moved to Florida back in March and the short sleeves/shorts are a real trial - I pick more and it looks more obvious. Plus the strong sun here + picking is going to wind up giving me skin cancer ( I have been pouring on the sunblock).
Thank you again for bumpin this thread for me lilgreen. It's nice to know I'm not the only one...
post #55 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ema-adama View Post
Hi there,

I've had a really tough couple of days with hardly any sleep and have been totally out of control with nail biting/picking and face picking.... as I said before I know that it is stress related, and 2 nights of hardly any sleep and a DS who just cries when he is not sleeping - most of the time - I feel I am at my wits end...

Is there anyone from this thread who would be happy to be a kinda buddy support for me? I kinda think that maybe if I had someone who understands the intense compulsion to pick/bite it might help.... I so want this under control already (still haven't found cotton gloves, and am thinking of false nails, but too embarrassed for someone to put them on )
hang in there, mama. my high needs dd started sleeping a little better around 4.5-5 months. does ds cry all the time?
post #56 of 66
just wondering how everyone is doing...
post #57 of 66
Hi mamas, how are things going? Megan, I hope things are better for you. I haven't checked in on this thread til now but I couldn't read on and not speak up in commiseration! I hate summer for the fact that it offers the opportunity to pick at new rough spots like my heels. Ugh. My feet get sore if I do it a lot.

Ok, I have a tool to offer that may help some of us get a little relief. Check this out http://www.emofree.com/Addictions/tricho.htm
a story about a woman who got relief from her picking urges with EFT. Not very detailed, and the story assumes you know some EFT terms, but there are other OCD stories on the site and if you feel like trying it, there's a free down load. You can get the basics down in fifteen minutes and get started.

I need to try this myself, as I've used EFT to great success on lot of other things (recently doubled my dd's sleep length from two hour stretches at a time all night long, to four hour stretches!)
post #58 of 66
I am a cuticle chewer. To the point where my fingers look awful and I have actually damaged my front teeth. It is very embarassing and seems to have gotten worse since having kid#2-probably the incredible stress. I tend to focus on my thumbs and will wear bandaids sometimes which just draws attention to my hands and I don't know what to say when people ask what my injury is).

My kids see me do it all the time-I just can't help it. They kind of do it too, which scares me. They ask me why I am wearing a bandaid and I try to answer honestly, but it just feels so lame.

What do you tell your kids?

I would love a buddy to help me try and stop. I am also considering meds. That is a huge deal for me, but life just seems too hard right now and I am not coping very well. I am not being very good to my family and do not want to emotionally damage my kids.

Thanks for the vent. Any nail biter buddies out there?
post #59 of 66
Quote:
I would love a buddy to help me try and stop. I am also considering meds. That is a huge deal for me, but life just seems too hard right now and I am not coping very well. I am not being very good to my family and do not want to emotionally damage my kids.
try not to be so hard on yourself, mama! if it were easy ( or even just hard) to stop doing these things, we all would have! I am sure you are wonderful to your family and they are lucky to have you! my dh is a cuticle/nail biter and his hands look almost a little deformed from it. it is impossible for him not to bite. I pick my skin and it feels the same for me, impossible. I dont know what the answer is to this problem, but for *me*, medication is not it. Maybe that would be a good option for others, especially if it helps.
post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kallyn View Post
My sister has the tricotillomania (sp?) thing, and I have the nail biting/cheek chewing/pore popping thing. I think the cheek chewing is actually the most destructive for me. I will sit there and chew and chew, and I'll use my hands to get better access to parts I can't reach, and I'll even use my fingernail to scrape off the skin on the inside of my cheek if I can't get it with my teeth. My husband HATES it, I hate it, but I CAN'T STOP DOING IT. I'm 24 and I've probably been doing it since I was like 10.
Me TOO! I can't believe there are so many others! My DH is always telling me to stop, and that other people will think it's gross, but who knew there were so many more of us out there? I'm 32, and vary through popping, cheek chewing, and my other one I haven't seen anyone mention is splitting my split ends, on my hair. It has such a calming effect, though since I cut my hair, it's not long enough any more.

I wonder why we have these habits?
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