I recently thought to check online to see if there was anything about my scab picking. I had no idea how much information came up! I pick scabs all over my body - there isn't really any area of my body that doesn't have scars on it.
I am almost 33 and I have been picking my scabs from as far back as I can remember. I don't know how or why I started to do this self mutilation but it has continued throughout my life. It didn't help that my parent's house was flea ridden and mosquitos love me... I remember one of the times I got "caught" picking by my mom; I was very young (I'd say around 4 or 5) and I was hiding in my room picking all the scabs off my legs and arms when she came in. I was bleeding a bit and of course from the repeated picking the area was red with infection. My mom made me come downstairs and she had me stand there so that she could take a picture of me while I was bleeding and embarassed! I'll never forget that - she even kept that picture all those years and I now have it in my possession. I remember she always threatened to take me to "the shrink" to have me analized, but never did. I wish now over the years that she had followed through with her threat. I don't know how to stop this obsessive behaviour but would like to be able to. For pretty much all of my life I have worn clothes to cover up my scabs and scars - I finally bought a bathing suit last year for the first time in 10 years but I have only worn it 2 times so far. I don't wear shorts and will only wear dresses or skirts if I have thick dark tights on. Only a couple close friends know that I pick my scabs on a constant basis.
I do suffer from depression and anxiety. I was on depression meds for a few months before I found out I was pregnant and had my little girl. Instead of going back on them I went to councilling for a few months while on maternity leave; but I realize I need to go back to the doctor and be medicated again. I don't know if a strong enough dosage will actually help to stop the picking or not but I guess it's worth a try.
When I finally found this information online, I told my mom about it. She said she knew that many people did this and that they just called it "picking" - I told her it was called Dermatillomania... an actual condition. She said my dad picked at himself too and that he just liked to make himself bleed and that's where I get it from and that she guesses that I just like to make myself bleed too! (Thanks mom - appreciate that!) That convo ended abruptly!
I don't understand why my doctors have never told me that it is an acutal condition... just that other people do the same thing and then they move on. It sounds as if doctors don't really care if people self mutilate themselves, and if Dermatillomania is actually depression/anxiety/stress related... then why aren't they doing more?!?!?!?!?!