Listen to this article
You must have come across several people picking at their skin; let’s just say most of the time, it is harmless. But if this habit becomes a part of your daily routine, it is certainly a cause for concern, ladies. It then manifests into a condition called excoriation (or skin picking disorder). Under such circumstances, skin picking becomes so extreme that it can cause bleeding, sores and even scars. Those who suffer from this disorder try to remove anything and everything on their skin that they deem as an ‘imperfection’.
It isn’t easy to identify if skin picking has become a serious problem in your life, but some questions can definitely help:
If you answered YES to these questions, you are certainly suffering from a skin picking disorder.
“Skin picking is not dependent on any age; it can happen at any point. It can show up in various ways. For instance, if you have a rash or small injury, it might leave certain scars. You might not like its appearance and scratch it to make it disappear, which is most likely to worsen it. The second way is when you don’t realise that you are scratching a scab, and it happens because you are stressed. Every time you are worried, stressed or anxious, you unknowingly pick at your skin, and within no time, it just becomes a habit,” explains Khyati Doshi, a Delhi-based dermatologist.
This disorder is a part of ‘body-focused repetitive behaviour’. For some people, it can be about picking their hair or nails. Some psychologists categorise it as a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, because most people want to pick at their skin, out of habit.
Absolutely! This disorder can be treated with the help of both therapy and medication.
“When it comes to therapy, there can be two methods that can be applied. In certain cases, the therapist can help you identify why you’re so stressed, and deal with the problem. And once the stressor is identified, there are several activities that are suggested that can keep them occupied. The second solution is to do it through stimulus control. Your therapist might ask you to wear gloves to prevent the urge to pick at your skin,” says Akansha Badhwar, a renowned psychologist.
There are certain medications that are also suggested, including serotonin or other antidepressants, anticonvulsants or antipsychotics. Make sure you do not take any medication, without proper consultation.