**A personal post warning – mentioning of skin picking, scarring, blood and mental health disorders**
I recently watched a YouTube video by the lovely Kiera Rose talking about her struggles with dermatillomania which is a skin picking disorder also known as excoriation disorder. Kiera explained how she has problems with scratching and picking at areas of her skin she knows she shouldn’t, which can cause scarring and damage in the future. This immediately resonated with me because I regularly find myself scratching and picking at my skin especially my face. This is the most common symptom in the majority of cases and often the start of a long-term problem.
Most of us are guilty of picking at our skin and popping the occasional spot that is bothering us but dermatillomania is a step further; sufferers find themselves unable to stop, particularly picking moles, spots and “imperfections” causing their skin to bleed, scar and bruise. For me, I find myself scratching and picking without even realising I’m doing it, even in my sleep. Like Kiera mentions in her video, there are periods of time when it is worse and when it is less so. The worse times for me are when I am feeling anxious as a coping mechanism for me is to scratch at my hands or other parts of my body, like my head or arms. It has essentially become a habit, which was brought to light after Kiera’s video which I am so grateful for, especially when I thought it was just me. It also made me think back to when I was around 12/13, which was when it probably started, I had (and still have) a very sensitive scalp and so many different shampoos irritated my skin causing me to itch and leading to dandruff and scabbing.
I understand that to some people this may seem like a ridiculously far-fetched grasp at a disorder you may not believe to exist. Unfortunately, there will always be those who doubt others conditions and the only way to combat that is for sufferers to talk about how their issues affect them, emotionally and physically and get the help they need. Yes, I’m not being held back day in, day out by my skin picking but its something that hinders me and causes a lack of confidence in my appearance.
So you’ve got this far and you think you may need some more support? Here are some vital communities who can offer that help:
- Unsure whether or not you may have dermatillomania? Have a read up on the NHS website for guidance – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/skin-picking-disorder/
- Skin picking disorder can come hand in hand with anxiety – https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/anxiety-type/compulsive-skin-picking/
- The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Disorders – http://www.bfrb.org/discover-your-foundation
- Kiera mentioned an app called Calm in her video which you can download for free at the app store. Watch her video here
Please go and see your GP if you are being majorly affected by this condition.
Until next time,
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Kiera’s Social Media
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