Skin Picking: Addiction or Compulsion and How to Stop



        

The desire for perfect, blemish-free skin is one everyone in our modern society strives for. You see pictures of splendidly perfect skin everywhere on Instagram, Facebook, magazines.

But what’s that, you say? More acne? Scabs? Dry skin? It sees like no matter what you do, you are stuck with pimples and bumps.

Some may resort to picking. At least that way, you have control over something. At least that way, you can see a difference, feel a difference.

Picking at your acne can be a form of self-harm. The actual name for it is Dermatillomania and it affects many people with acne and even some without the acne.  There are two kinds of Dermatillomania, one of them is an addiction and the other is a compulsion.

A compulsion to pick stems from feeling a sensation in or on the skin that makes you want to pick at it to make the sensation go away. This sensation stems from factors usually inside the body like bad reactions to food, medication, stress, and lack of sleep. People with a compulsion sometimes don’t even realize they are doing it. They just go at it when they get an itchy feeling or some other trigger.

An addiction to picking comes from trying to manage stress in an unhealthy way, or simply because picking feels good. The desire to pick generally comes from wanting perfect skin, so the picker will use any means necessary to even out and flatten blemishes. They believe this will help their appearance when the opposite usually happens. People who are addicted to picking will feel a general sense of relief or a rush when they are finished picking. Think of it like a form of managing stress; they do it to escape their thoughts or problems for a little while and in process, damage their skin.

The need to have some sort of control over reality is often a big factor for people who pick at their skin. It is also a form of perfectionism, and sometimes it may be from other underlying factors like OCD, although that is not always the case.

Managing picking depends on whether you are addicted to picking or if it is a compulsion but the remedies can be very similar.

With an addiction, it’s best to focus more on reconditioning your mind and thoughts that lead up to the picking. Many of the ways to remedy this are similar to other addictions. Changing up your routine, avoiding people and places that make you want to pick, and even changing your diet can all help tremendously in managing the picking tendency.

To manage the compulsion to pick, there are usually a few environmental factors that need to be changed in order to stop. Adding consistency is a huge step. Sleeping and eating routines should be carefully looked at, as those can cause the “itch to pick.” Also considering what foods and medications may be triggering the desire is helpful so you can manage them better. Looking at what goes into your body will help you better understand any imbalances within that lead to compulsion.

Having a guide to help you work through these issues is important to not feel so alone when dealing with an addiction or a compulsion. Sometimes it can be hard to see that there is a problem and having someone else there to show you what the problem is and how to deal with it, is extremely important. But the most important factor of all is that YOU decide to quit. It’s not about anyone else until you make the decision to stop.

The only way to stop picking is to realize that you want to stop. But it doesn’t hurt to have some help along the way. Call us at 801-800-6602. We not only help with acne, but we offer support to those who want to quit picking and get clear skin in the process. We can help you manage the stress that comes from picking by making acne less of a problem. Whatever assistance we can offer for you to obtain clear skin, free of acne and picking scars, we are here to help.  Making an appointment is the first step!  UtahAcneClinic.com.

Request More Information