You know those anxious little habits we have, twirling our hair, biting our nails, or shaking our leg. Picking at your skin is one of them! Did you know that skin picking is an actual disorder that plagues thousands of people? Skin picking includes anything from picking pimples, cuticles, scabs, scratching, split-ends, nail biting, and even lip peeling. There are actually many names for this disorder but some of the mains ones are dermatillomania, self-injurious skin picking (SISP) and compulsive skin picking (CSP). If you or someone you know suffers from SISP then keep reading. Below are 6 tips to stop picking your skin.
Keep your hands busy
Picking at your skin actually makes it worse, especially if you have a pimple. When you pop or pick at your skin it spreads the bacteria. Ever notice that if you break out it’s typically in one location? Your hands are full of bacteria.
So what should you do to stop? Keep your hands occupied with something else. Hold a stress ball or play with some paper. Anything to keep hands busy from picking at yourself is going to be helpful.
Know your triggers
People who suffer from skin picking, aka dermatillomania, pick their skin when they come under some type of emotional stress. Discover what the trigger is for you when you have the urge to pick your skin and then try either change your circumstance so you do not have to be under that emotional stress, or find another way to deal with the stress.
Have a support group
If you suffer from dermatillomania know you are not alone! There are actually many people out there who suffer from it too and there is support. Joining a support group of other people who have dermatillomania will allow you to feel hopeful and give you the strength you need to quit.
See a therapist
It may sound extreme to see a therapist for your picking your skin, however the reason to see one is not necessarily for the picking itself, but getting to the root of why you’re doing it. People with dermatillomania usually have emotional stressors and picking is just one of the ways they are expressing what they are feeling.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Ted Grosbart PhD who specializes in dermatology, stated: "Skin picking is not a character flaw, and it's not a bad habit, it's a real medical condition with a biochemical underpinning."
If you suffer from dermatillomania having someone or something holds you accountable is important. They can either check up on you daily or weekly (or it could even be a reminder from your phone) which tells you to stop picking your skin.
Rewarding yourself after accomplishing something is very important. Rewards give you incentive and something to look forward to. You can set a goal, such as not picking your skin for a week, then at the end of each week give yourself a treat. You can create even smaller goals to accomplish it daily.