Lip Picking....

I have picked my lip(s) for as long as I can remember. I vaguely remember looking in the mirror when i was about 5 and thinking i wonder what that skin looks like...though i'm not sure if its possible to remember something like that, and i dont know why i would have come to the conclusion to remove the skin to see. Its weird-but i DO remember it.

The first time it was brought to my moms attention was when i was in kindergarten, and had to go to the dentist. I was picking my lip and started bleeding and the dentist stopped me and told my mom about it (my parents were in the waiting room). After that my mom would try to stop me but it seemed like her trying to stop me just made me hide it more and do it more often. Its been the same way when i tell a friend to bring it to my attention, even though i have ASKED them to do it, when they tell me to stop i get annoyed and it just gets worse.

One guy i dated, who was epileptic, suggested that it may have been a seizure-bc sometimes when i do it i cant do ANYTHING, i just stare into space until im bleeding and sometimes i STILL dont stop.

I think stress triggers it, but so does inactivity...or boredom. Sometimes its worse then others, Sometimes i will do it several times until my lip looks as if i got into a fight and it got busted, sometimes i do it to both and sometimes just the top one.

I also used to peel off the skin under my nails-toes AND fingers. Now i just do my cuticles and sometimes the skin under my fingernails. It doesnt hurt but if i start i cant stop until its all gone.

It REALLY embarrasses me, a few people have asked me about it and i tell them i'm just chewing my nails, and when people ask me how i busted my lip i either ignore them or tell them i burnt it. I hate doing it  but everytime i catch myself i think "well just this time and i will stop after this little piece is gone" its so gross but i just can't stop

firefly21 firefly21
22-25, F
4 Responses Mar 18, 2009

I have also been picking my lips and my cuticles for as long as I remember. I am actually just now starting to realize it may be bigger than I thought it was. I constantly pick at my lips until the bleed. I had a big "cut" on the right side of my lower lip, that I caused, for weeks because I kept picking at it. I always just thought everyone picked at there cuticles. But my therapist brought the lip picking to my attention. I haven't been diagnosed or even seen a doctor about it. Is that something I should do?

I'm so glad to find someone else facing the same problem that I do. I have picked the skin around my fingernails since I was five and since then it has progressed to me picking my toes, elbows and worst of all my lips. I do it ALL the time especially when I'm worried or stressed, and when I start bleeding I just get even more stressed because it's so unsightly when I'm in public. I don't even zone out when I do it, I just obsessively pick at my lips until I have gotten all the skin off, and then I either move on to other areas of my body or continue picking at my lips until they start bleeding. Right now my lower lip is bleeding horribly and I just feel so ashamed and angry with myself because I can't stop doing this. I think I have a problem because I can continue picking through anything, even when it starts hurting badly. But I think that with the right mindset we will probably be able to stop this obsessive picking habit after some time. Thank you so much for sharing and making me feel less alone!

I have had the same issue my entire life. I never talk about it though. I've told probably a total of 5 people ever. When people ask me I straight up ignore them. The first instance I remember is being in 1st grade, the teacher was reading us a book & we were all sitting in the floor and I was peeling the skin off my lips and it started bleeding. I told the teacher and she told me my lip wasn't bleeding and to sit down and be quiet.
I've quit for a total of probably 4 days in my entire life. I'll quit, they almost get smooth again and something upsets me and then there goes that. I just recently quit for about a months and didn't even notice I had quit then yesterday I caught myself doing it again. I forgot how much it hurts to eat when your whole mouth is a giant canker sore.
I hope I'll be able to quit for good this time and good luck to you two. Thanks for sharing.

I also pick my upper lip. I am so ashamed that I do it. I have also noticed that I zone out. When I am eating alone I notice I will have food in my mouth and not chew because I almost got it smooth. I hate this. I am constenly looking in the mirror at the damage I have caused and feel disgusted with myself. I have found that if I put hydrogen proxide on a q-tip and then hold the q-tip to the spot I destroyed it will help heal quicker. It hurts pretty bad and it puts a white spot where the sore is but it goes away after a little while. Hope this helps.