How do I get rid of Compulsive Skin Picking?

I still remember my childhood years when my mother would gently say at me “Stop picking your skin, you shall destroy your beauty.” I cry anytime I have a look at my pictures as a child before being with diagnosed dermatillomania. I was a beautiful princess with innocent and smooth skin. At 24 years of age, anyone can easily notice that the acne on my face has gone due to CSP during my teenage years. I always feel out of place when in a group because I unconsciously find myself skin picking. I panic or feel embarrassed when a person tells me to stop skin picking as it gives me a certain sign of relief at the moment before I start cursing the act after getting sores.
In the past three weeks, I have been having compulsive skin picking (CSP) to an extent where a compulsion associated with great pain and disfigurement of my left hand and shoulder. Unfortunately, with CSP I cannot let my wounds heal because I continue with skin picking more and more. My fingers have become sour, and I fear to shake hands or to prepare a meal for my family. I can no longer go for a date of a girls’ night out because I feel embarrassed because I will find myself skin picking instead of enjoying the moment.
I have desperately tried to stop skin picking entirely, but my efforts fail after some time. I have become obsessed to compulsive skin picking, and it has taken over the head. I feel it is the time to seek help from a qualified health practitioner or a support group that can provide tips to stop this disturbing behaviour.


  • Oh Philomena, my heart really goes out to you. It is so easy to associate and sympathise with your experience. Childhood should not be ruined by that kind of experience. I know people will really get where you are coming from.

    Keep talking and tell us how you are doing.

    Love and pick freedom

  • You're not alone...I have to say that I took up knitting. If I'm sitting, I'm knitting...and then my hands are too busy to isn't 100% of the time I'm not picking my face or is a lot less...

    I know this is an old post but I hope you have gotten some help.
  • Hi, I’m Brian, and I was a member of the previous skin-picking forums.

    I’ve just turned 46, which means I have been picking for 36 years and I’m really shame-faced to say that.

    Any help, support or suggestions gratefully received.

  • Hi everyone

    It is very hard to get rid of compulsive skin picking, or CSP, but it can be done. There are a few reputable specialists who can help and any good one will also have an aftercare service.

    Think of a way to measure your current problem - e.g. how large the areas are which cause most problems and make them smaller. Think improvement before absolute abstinence. Get a routine so that you get up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time every day, Routine is important for BFRBs as they are very ritualistic. Count the hours of the day that you spend awake, divide them into four and try to be pick free for a quarter of a day at a time. It is likely that three of those quarters will be easier than the fourth. You have now identified your key trigger time. Congratulate and reward yourself though, if you have been pick free for 3/4 of the day, because that means you can do it. Now divide the hardest quarter of the day into hours. Use a different tactic for each of those hours.

    Let ,e know how you get on this this strategy and if anyone else tries it, please post and say how you get on.

    Love and pick freedom

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