I too, have dermatillomania. I have almost all my life, probably 35 years or more. I believe mine started when I was around 4 or 5 years old. I have never stopped. It is one of many problems I have and seems to be the root of some of the other problems I have such as social phobias because I prefer not to be seen. I work full time and do fine for the most part. But it sure is hard sometimes working under florescent lighting and every red spot on my forearms is sharply enhanced by the lighting. More and more I am wearing long sleeves. Although, I can't really do that in summer. Too hot.
Well, I've been picking so long, there is no area of me that is not damaged, marred, defaced, and scarred. I will no longer date, and I don't own a bathing suit. I am excremely self-conscious and uncomfortable around people.I am aware of the absolute slightest glance of anothers eyes glancing at my arms or face. I definately do not like going to the doctor, and am too ashamed to see a dermatologist. Besides, what can they do? Nothing will help unless I stop picking first. I sometimes catch myself starting to pick while I'm out in public and quickly stop myself. But the real damage in done in private, and is habitual.
Obsessive compulsive disorders and bad habits. I believe they can be changed. I'm thankful to have found this site that specifically addressess skin picking. I've read some of your stories which are very touching, and I have compassion for you as I relate to your stories. It has been and is very helpful to read and learn more about this problem and motivates and encourages me to keep fighting. I believe the brain can be retrained into learning new, healthier habits. But, oh.....so hard. I keep praying. I believe God will help me and desires to help all. He is my strength, my hope.
I would like to encourage you, as we all suffer with this, to never give up. Thank you for reading my story and letting me share.