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Old 11-04-2008
eleanorigby's Avatar
Newbie User

Yet another "is this OCD" question. I've been researching OCD and my symptoms don't really make sense in any other disorder, but aren't quite like I've read about OCD. I compulsively pick at my skin. This is a daily thing for many years (since I was about 12 and I'm 25 now). I know everyone picks at their skin, but this can go on for hours at a time, often causing real damage. I make myself bleed almost everyday from this habit. I use tweezers to dig at my skin, pull out potential ingrown hairs and other horrible stuff. Sometimes I even pluck the hair out of my legs. When I'm at school or work, I constantly rub my hands over my face and neck, feeling for any irregularities. Is this OCD?

I also "soak" my hands on a daily basis. I fill the sink up with burning hot water, then hold my hands under for as long as possible. I will do this a few times a day. I do not connect any of these activities with disastrous expectations (like something bad will happen if I don't do this), I just find both activities to be relaxing, as weird as that sounds. I'm also really paranoid about serial killers, like I think about them on a daily basis, but this just may be a weird me thing, not OCD.
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Old 11-04-2008
Psychedelicious's Avatar
Dreams of frosting...
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Sounds like it to me. I have the exact same problem, it's so bad. It is a really huge problem for me. I compulsively pick at my skin probably for atleast an hour a day, and can do it forever, so I know where you are coming from. I have so many scars, and bruises and cuts from doing this. I literally dig holes into my skin, it looks so bad. I'll actually take my contacts out and do it because then I can see it so much closer and clearer, how embarrassing. I can't show the top of my arms or other places etc because they are scarred from picking at them. I'm really embarrassed when I say this too, makes me feel ridiculous.

There are different kinds of OCD and other obsession compulsive tendancies. It also varies a lot in the severity of the symptoms. Skin picking or "Dermatillomania" has to do with impulse controls I think. Impulse controls are also part of obsessive compulsive disorder. I would say it's OCD.
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Old 11-04-2008
Daniel18's Avatar
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yep i believe you do have ocd
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Old 11-05-2008
Ocdforthelose's Avatar
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I do the exact same thing with the skin picking, it doesn't show too badly on most of my skin, but my heels are torn up.

About the hand soaking, I do the exact same thing but with my feet and have been doing so at least 10 times a day for the past year and a half maybe for the same reasons.. it just makes me feel better and I've tried quitting but it's hard. I try to stay in socks as a reminder. I have actually googled the hell out of this and haven't found anything on it.... But I am an obsessive compulsive, so no surprise there. Dermatillomania and ocd tend to go hand in hand. My feet look fine, the nails look fine, but unfortunately if I look at them under good lighting, my feet have a bit of a purple tint.
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Old 11-20-2008
ohdarsika's Avatar
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At first I didn't think I had OCD because my little brother has a more obvious form and I would compare my symptoms to his. I don't have to count things or arrange my belongings "just so" but I do pick at myself. I am unrelentless when I do it. I spend hours searching for things to pick at. I use tweezers to try and squeeze blackheads out of my face. I use them to pull the hairs out of my legs and bikini area. I rationalize all of these actions by telling myself that I am somehow saving myself from ingrown hairs or filth trapped under the skin. I don't think that this is really the true reason I do it. I do it because I can't stop thinking about it. I haven't ever told anyone this but I fantasize about popping huge pimples and pulling out severely infected ingrown hairs. This is what I do at night to help me fall asleep instead of counting sheep or whatever. The worst part in my opinion is not the physical pain, but the way I sometimes think of myself-- like that I'm a gross wierdo. It's really nice to know that there are other people out there who can relate in some way.

There was a time when I sought treatment for my problem, however, I came to realize that I was not prepared to stop. There are lots of aspects of my OCD that have proven themselves beneficial. At this time in my life the pro's outweigh the con's. It is frustrating sometimes but it is something that I can manage right now.

Although I chose to quit therapy, I was presented with some techniques to curb my craving to pick that proved helpful. So if anyone is interested let me know and I can post them.
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Old 11-20-2008
dottie's Avatar
Elite User

Originally Posted by ohdarsika
... I am somehow saving myself from ingrown hairs or filth trapped under the skin. I don't think that this is really the true reason I do it. I do it because I can't stop thinking about it.
i don't have advice on how to stop. i can relate, though. i cannot stand the feeling of anything under my skin- dirt, bumps, hair, whatever. sometimes if i touch my legs and feel stubble i will go crazy and pluck all of the hairs out of my legs one by one with a tweezer. it can be time consuming but it is all i can think about during the moment- just to get them all out. if anyone saw me doing this they would think i'm nuts. i just can't stand the feeling of having hair under my skin! i am considering getting an eppilator but they are pretty expensive.

has anyone tried an epillator?
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Old 12-05-2008
DOMiNiQUE's Avatar
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i do the exact same thing i will look at my legs and if thre is some thing to tweeze i will get it i will do it for hours and i sound really weird but i like doing it cuz i like pain and i will not stop digging at my skin until i ger a ingrown hair i make my self bleed every day and i make holes in my skin and feet sometimes it gets so bad that i am embarresed to even sho my legs
my bikini area i always get ingrown hairs down there (i have extreemely thick black hair) and i will spend hours not even exagerating (yepp i spelled that wrong) trying to get then out i will bleed and dig holes into my skin to get them out
im glad to see that im not alone
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Old 12-05-2008
Reholla's Avatar
Advanced User

well everyones different. you might have ocd, or it may just be a habbit. the fact that you do it for so long you bleed is a big indicator its more likely to be ocd.

but, i say that everyones different to say, i pick at my hair and scalp sometimes when im sitting there bored. i dont have dandruff but my scalp is dry enough to where i pick dead skin off. ive asked a psychologist about it, and he said you can do this and it not be ocd.

i have also plucked in grown leg hairs, but not on a normal basis. and you can do things like this and not be ocd.

but different people, different situations, so if its a concern go talk to some one. but also more importantly if it bothers you, thats when its a problem- ya know. good luck to you about it! but everyone has their little quirks!
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Old 12-05-2008
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I can relate to the skin picking...
My fingers look terrible. I pick at them constantly. The skin around my nails is always red and raw. I have to wear band-aids around my thumbs to work when I pick so much they bleed. I don't want customers to get grossed or weirded out... I thought it was just a way I try to cope with my anxiety issues, like tapping my foot or bouncing my leg... I even bought one of those spinning rings and wear it everyday. But nothing seems to help. I mean; I know my hands (and toes too which is embarrassing) look terrible, but it's almost involuntary, or a subconscious thing... :?
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Old 12-05-2008
marciaX3's Avatar
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ok yeah, here's another issue of mine that's on my shit list. skin picking, except mine is more scalp picking than anything else. don't get me wrong though, i do pick my skin, mostly pimples when they occurr, dry skin, all those stupid abnormalities that need to go! and if they don't go away the first time, i keep picking til they do, or pick them so bad they never go away...

i also do mess with my hair. ever since i was little (4?) i've messed with my hair. back then i could twirl/twist and break my hair with each of my fingers (yup that's my talent lol). then i moved on to pulling out the "weird" hair or (shhh!) white hair. then i moved onto just pulling out the "loose" hair (hair strands that are already out of my scalp but just hanging around cuz of my ponytail) from my ponytail. does that make sense? lol.

all this i'll do whenever really. i could be watching tv, on the comp, walking down the street, sitting in a car, talking to someone, etc. i've even been doing it lately before i fall asleep, this shit actually helps soothe me to go to sleep sometimes!!
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