One Of Many Compulsions, On My Way To Total Recovery!

I didn't know what dermatillomania was until about 2 months ago when I was looking at an article about hair-pulling. My mom told me years ago that she used to do this, and I was wondering if it was hereditary because I used to pull at the hair on my legs. Then, I came across the information about this condition. I was shocked! It described me exactly ... so I started looking for answers and remedies.

Let me put this in context: I am in recovery from an eating disorder that lasted for 12 years. I compulsively pick my face, fingernails, and other areas of my skin. Things have to be in a certain physical order in many aspects of my life. All of these things are compulsions, and all of them have held me back sociallly and professionally.

I am so tired of having to blame my acne on hormones and other health problems; the truth is, it makes me feel better to pick at my skin. It's a relaxing source of relief. I could sit in front of the mirror for hours, and I sometimes have given up social engagements to stay home and pick my skin. It's been a problem ever since I realized what a pimple was.

Now, I'm taking steps to minimize the effects of dermatillomania and fingernail picking on my daily life. I've started taking anti-anxiety supplements to support my anti-depressants, and these seem to be working. This week, I have barely picked my fingernails, and I've been able to significantly reduce the time spent picking my face. I desperately want to rid myself of this detrimental compulsion. I'm excited to join this forum to find more solutions and understand more about dermatillomania.

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2 Responses Mar 3, 2010

Dude, you're ******** me. That's a problem? Popping zits and getting rid of unsightly loose skin?

My daughter suffers from the same condition. She keeps her nails cut down very short, has no mirrors, uses band aids to cover areas where she's compelled to pick. The most important thing she has learned that has helped tremendously is an explanation by her Doctor. He told her that if she could pick a tiny bit less every day she would start to create new avenues for the brain. The old avenues that lead right to picking can be by-passed a little at a time. He told her not to worry about relapses. Just continue a little bit at a time. This, somehow, created a visual image for her that she found so helpful. It's been at least 4 months now and she has never looked so great. YES, it is hereditary. Her father has the same condition. I don't know if this information will be helpful, I'm hoping.