Skin Picking Disorder: Why Expressing Pimples Can Be Addictive

When a pimple is sighted, many people affected react similarly: They want to get rid of the impurity as quickly as possible. However, this behavior differs from those who use a magnifying mirror and extra light to squeeze out every little bump. But usually, the problem gets worse, the complexion more irregular. And that means stress, which in turn encourages those affected to examine the skin on the face. Skin picking disorder or dermatillomania is the urge to act on the skin constantly. Scratching the cuticle is also recorded under this clinical picture

Skin Picking Disorder as a psychological clinical picture

satisfying pimple popping
The triggers: stress (due to acne, among others), boredom, loneliness, trauma and many more. Affected people often feel misunderstood and develop feelings of shame and guilt because they have often made irregular skin worse. Ultimately, it can even lead to social isolation. The corona pandemic does the rest: Many are psychologically stressed, spend a lot of time at home, or are exposed to a higher stress level. Incidentally, we have reported in more detail here on dermatillomania. In this article, however, we want to look at possible solutions.

The first step is to find the triggers. What comes after the introspection?

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Once you have been able to identify clear behavioral patterns with the help of a self-observation sheet or a tracking app, you can work on the various triggers. In general, everything that is good for the person concerned is also good against skin picking and lowers stress. It can also be very helpful to confide in your loved ones. Assistance can additionally support many affected persons on the way to recovery.

Which tips are acutely very helpful?

Many of those affected say that it helps remove the magnifying mirror from the bathroom, wear cotton gloves, or cover the "picking areas" with a rich cream. If your fingers need something to tickle, the following tips can help in certain situations: squeeze pearls out of plasticine, play with a chain, or press on a bubble wrap. But activities such as tinkering, painting, cooking, knitting, etc., can also cause distraction.

Many are ashamed of their pimples and want to get rid of them. What should people do in this situation?

ashamed of pimples

Getting an impurity is not something to hide or to be ashamed of. So many different factors can cause impurities. Unfortunately, it cannot always be prevented. It is important to know that we are human, not Instagram filters. There is no such thing as perfect skin.
If you need acute help with an inflamed "pimple," you can resort to soothing and anti-inflammatory ointments containing panthenol or zinc. Another possibility would be "pimple patches." This not only keeps the area clean, but also promotes wound healing.

When should one seek professional help or consider psychotherapy?

mental illness popping pimples is it true?
It is never too early or too late to seek professional help. There are various forms of therapy available to skin-picking patients. The most common of these would be, for example, habit reversal training, behavioral or hypnotherapy, or full-on psychoanalysis. Since the triggers of "skin-picking" can be very individual, it is vital to adapt to the patient's respective form of treatment. The earlier you seek and accept help, the higher the chances of a quick and long-lasting recovery.

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