This is another post from my OCD blog, so it sounds like I'm talking to a non-OCD crowd, 'cause I am…but here it is anyway…


i thought i would write a short post on a disorder i have been suffering with for as long as i can remember, dermatillomania(i.e. compulsive skin picking). it is not a part of OCD itself, but a part of another disorder called body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD. however, it is often paired with OCD, or a comorbid condition.

for me, this condition is generally focused on my lips, though it has affected other parts of my skin. i literally pick my lips until they bleed, or scab, or even get infected. at the age of 11 i came down with a bad case of impetigo as a direct result of my lip picking. it remains vivid in my memory mainly because the scars of that illness are easily seen in my school picture that year…so lovely.

many folks ask, well have you received help for this particular condition and to them i respond NOPE. in fact, from what i know, there isn't as much knowledge as one might think concerning compulsive skin picking. so, we pick on.

another question…doesn't it hurt. my answer…sometimes. most of the time there is actually a good feeling that comes from picking the skin from my lips. it is hard to describe why it feels good, but it does. other times it hurts, and can hurt quite bad. but, at those times i am still unable to stop picking. my husband tries to stop me, even my sister-in-law tries. but i get right back to it in no time. sometimes i don't even realize i'm doing it.

a final question that may be asked…why the hell do you pick your skin off? my answer…it is an unfortunate result of traumatic stress and continues to be a stress management tool my brain utilizes regardless of me liking it or not. i do not like that i pick my lips. i do not like that my lips very often look horrid, bloody, cut, scarred. i find creative ways to attempt to cover up the mess of my mouth. but it sucks. but i also know it won't stop anytime soon.

until then, i might look into getting stock in the chapstick company.


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