Talk:Excoriation disorder

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Finally i have figured out Dermatillomania is the condition i have...i repeatedly and rapidly scratch my right palm with my left hand...its to the point that it is completely calloused. it seems like i do it in times of high anxiety or stress. this is a form of dermatillomania right? Bmc152006 (talk) 04:32, 13 March 2009 (UTC)


Does picking the skin of your fingers count? --Yono

Yes, sure does. jareha 00:32, 27 November 2005 (UTC)

Doesent this tie in with nail biting and genital scratching as well? Those seem to be pretty common and are not even listed. This article is pretty stubby. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Well, since it's pretty much "body" picking, skin just seemed like the right thing to call it, I guess. -- Ned Scott 01:32, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Merge imaginary foreign object article[edit]

I suggest the "Imaginary foreign object" page be merged into this one, as it is a relative obscure aspect of Compulsive Skin Picking. Kreb Dragonrider 02:00, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Done. jareha 06:39, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

What is "DNA"?[edit]

Clarification is needed for the following statement in the article: "Recent research suggests that dermatillomania may be a part of DNA, as a general behavioral disorder that results in the inability to control impulses."

The link on the term "DNA" points to a discussion of the stuff that makes up genes, not a behavioral disorder. There is nothing on the disambigutaion page for DNA about a behavioral disorder, either. Can someone who knows that DNA stands here for put in on the main page? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
DNA stands for DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. I believe that the poorly-written statement was trying to claim that dermatillomania might be a genetic disorder, passed down through the genes. That can happen with behavioral disorders. (talk) 21:49, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Could it be a term related to dermato-neurosis (which would be the "DN" in the abbreviation)? Maybe "Dermato-Neurotic Anxiety"? Dermatotillomania and dermatophagia are sometimes described as forms of dermatoneurosis, which are skin conditions caused by neurotic (anxiety-driven) behaviour. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Image inclusion[edit]

I added an image of my own. I suffer from this and figured this article was something I could contribute a unique yet useful image to. // 3R1C 05:00, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


Couldn't help but notice this article is completely anecdotal. Has anyone found any usable research regarding this? // 3R1C 05:09, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

This is one of the rarely studied mental disorder with the largest amount of affected patients (myself included). It is nearly impossible to find a psychologist or text source that has reliable and helpful information. Mclover08 20:34, 17 February 2007 (UTC)


I have put some sources in. It can be related to a lot of other mental health conditions. Is very similar to Trichotillomania -hope I spelt that right:) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Merkinsmum (talkcontribs) 02:22, 8 February 2007 (UTC).

I've not yet learned to do references/footnotes properly, please forgive me.Merkinsmum 06:27, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

The picture does not represent the condition[edit]

The attached picture does not represent the condition !! it's red hands.. some rash perhaps, but not Dermatillomania! (, which I have..)

Also, note that Inositol, treated for many OCD, has a better affect than most drugs... [1]

I'm gonna try..  :) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:39, August 20, 2007 (UTC)

Agreed -- the image had nothing to do with the article. I've now removed the image. --Elysdir (talk) 21:52, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
It's diagnosed from my psychiatrist as a compulsive disorder related to this. It is not a rash. It is an inflammation of the skin caused by oral picking of my knuckles. I would take a macro image to show you the damage, but the only camera I have is my iphone. If your argument is with the image quality, fine, but the image is in fact of a compulsive disorder. Just because it is not as dramatic or symptomatic of the other image does not make it less relevant. I have re-added it because it is in face, relevant, but moved it down the page in favor of an image that is more descriptive and indictative and severely symptomatic.

The disorder can take many forms and manifests in may ways (anecdotally). I actually have received quite a few communications regarding this from several people who manifest symptoms in a similar fashion. // (talk) 02:53, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

If anyone would care to take a look at the picture for the dermatophagia page - those symptoms are very very similar to what you would see for dermatotilliomania of the fingers. this is from my own experience as a sufferer of both. the main difference between the two is that biting produces a more irregular pattern of sores and scarring. Not sure if this is worth adding to the article though. (talk) 12:43, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

External links[edit]

External links to patient support groups (especially online chat boards), blogs, and fundraising groups are normally not accepted on Wikipedia. The point behind an encyclopedia is to educate the average reader, not to help a patient. Please read the external links policy and the specific rules for medical articles before adding more external links. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:38, 13 January 2008 (UTC)


Causes & treatments lists increased endorphin receptors as a possible cause. I would assume that this has to do with how endorphins are released as a natural painkiller, if I am remembering my bodily chemicals correctly, and that since the picking can cause pain, it would release the chemicals, leading to a short high. If this is indeed true, should this be included into the article? --J6kyll (talk) 04:10, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Scab picking included?[edit]

Would anyone know if the compulsive picking of scabs would fall under the same header? My sister doesn't just randomly pick at her skin, but if she happens to have it broken (scratching at a bug bite, for instance) she just CAN'T STOP continually picking at it; constantly scratching at zits on her back until they open and bleed, then reopening the scab until it finally just becomes a scar. I'm thinking this might be the disorder she has, but am uncertain... Kailey elise (talk) 16:50, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from (talk) 23:39, 13 November 2010 (UTC)[edit]

Skin picking can also be suffered by those who suffer eczema. I have eczema, and I constantly pick at dry flaky skin in an attempt to get rid of it. Especially the big pieces of flaky skin, and also the little scabs that I get from itching. If other eczema sufferers could corrobate this if they do it, in order to provide more evidence, it would be helpful. (talk) 23:39, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Related conditions?[edit]

This is a shot in the dark, but I can't help noticing that I *look* like the current image for this subject but have a 'non-imaginary,' 'non-foreign' object condition that I have yet to find a proper name or diagnosis for. Specifically, besides or in absence of regular acne/folliculitis and ingrown hairs, I have a tendency to develop lumps of fairly hard blackhead-type material around the bases of (telogen?) hair shafts - the average size and appearance is something like a translucent sesame seed with a hair poking out of it, most often on the shoulders/back, scalp, or occasionally face - and I seem left with the choice of trying to 'pick' these (sometimes they express cleanly, other times with damage and scarring) or risking the chance that bacteria move in and make a nice infected boil out of the material if I leave them alone.

My GP simply calls it "folliculitis", but that doesn't seem to remark on the initial "sesame seed" condition pre-aggravation, and I had the bad luck to clear up when I went to see a dermatologist - Do I collect a dozen of these things in a baggie when they're most prevalent and bring them in, or does that just make me the crazy guy who brought his 'blackheads' in in a baggie? - so if anyone trained is reading and is going "Why, that's _obviously_ 'X'!", please let me know here and get it in as a 'See also' in this article!

I know this might fall under 'general discussion', but clearly others with the same thing landing here could benefit from finding the right tree to bark up. (talk) 15:51, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Long-time skin picker[edit]

I've had a long-time skin picking compulsion ever since being a young child. I loved peeling the dry skin on my lips and hoped to peel long strips off my back and arms when I got sunburned. I like the feeling of satisfaction of pulling off a stubborn scab and the final "release" of the strip or scab from me. I don't really understand why it feels satisfactory or a necessity/compulsion. Although it does give me an "Aha! Gotcha!" kind of rush and this makes me feel a bit more in-control in a stressful situation. This disorder makes it even harder to combat my Cystic Acne (genetic- Father had it and so-on) I get on my face, in my ears, and sometimes in my nose. The fact that I'm a female in my mid-20s, now I am finding out the long-term ramifications of the compulsion. The sores, scabs, and scars make interviewing for a job difficult. Also, my boyfriend gets really frustrated with the senseless damage I cause my body from the compulsive picking. I know I need to stop, but I don't even notice I'm doing it most of the time until someone tells me to stop. At other, more stressful times, I allow myself the intense focus and I relish the release of skin peeling, pimple popping, and hang-nail pulling. I know its gross to others but it feels good and satisfying in the short-term. At my worst times I take a sharp pair of scissors and cut away at the thick hardened callus on my feet. The fact that the chunks are so thick and tough is very gratifying. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:09, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry to hear about your situation, and thank you for sharing your issues. While Wikipedia provides useful information regarding a variety of issues, including dermatillomania, this talk page is not really a good place to address concerns associated with the disorder. Instead, the talk page is designed to discuss how to improve the article so that other may find it useful and educational. I am no physician, but it does sound like you have the condition described in this article, and it may be useful if you seek professional help to deal with the problem. You may want to check out since it seems like this is the most prominent website that helps people deal with this problem. I hope you get better and from what I understand of the condition, it is just something that some people have and you should not be ashamed of having the condition. Good luck. Remember (talk) 14:00, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Article overhaul[edit]

I am working on a major overhaul of this entire article. Anyone that wants to help out with this can work on it here -User:Remember/Dermatillomania. Remember (talk) 13:12, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Please be aware of WP:MEDMOS for article sections, and the importance of using secondary high-quality recent reviews per WP:MEDRS. (I doubt that "The Complete Idiots Guide" is the type of source we should be using-- please try PUBMED and see the Dispatch on Sources in biology and medicine.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:16, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I've got some articles from PubMed (which I haven't added yet), but unfortunately most of the articles I found through PubMed have to be paid for. If you have any access to any good pubmed articles (or have any other good sources to pass along), I would love to add them to the article. Remember (talk) 15:24, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't have journal access (unless they're free), but a post to WT:MED will usually result in some friendly editor being willing to email them to you. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:28, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks!Remember (talk) 11:57, 29 September 2011 (UTC)


Copied from User talk:Kallimachus (with correct citation formatting):

  • Harris SS, Kushon D, Benedetto E., Pathologic grooming behavior: facial dermatillomania., Cutis. 2011 Jan;87(1):14-8.
  • This is a case report, probably not a good source.
    • Harris SS, Kushon D, Benedetto E (2011). "Pathologic grooming behavior: facial dermatillomania". Cutis. 87 (1): 14–8. PMID 21323095.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  • Odlaug BL, Grant JE. Pathologic skin picking. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2010 Sep;36(5):296-303.
  • This is a review article, 2010, recent, probably a good source, correct citation format:
  • Grant JE, Odlaug BL. Update on pathological skin picking. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2009 Aug;11(4):283-8.
  • This is a case report and a review-- use selectively, take care not to report on unvalidated case reports:
    • Grant JE, Odlaug BL (2009). "Update on pathological skin picking". Curr Psychiatry Rep. 11 (4): 283–8. PMID 19635236.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  • Lochner C, Simeon D, Niehaus DJ, Stein DJ., Trichotillomania and skin-picking: a phenomenological comparison., Depress Anxiety. 2002;15(2):83-6.
  • This is old (2002), not a review, not likely a good source:
    • Lochner C, Simeon D, Niehaus DJ, Stein DJ (2002). "Trichotillomania and skin-picking: a phenomenological comparison". Depress Anxiety. 15 (2): 83–6. PMID 11891999. 
  • Wilhelm S, Keuthen NJ, Deckersbach T, Engelhard IM, Forker AE, Baer L, O'Sullivan RL, Jenike MA. Self-injurious skin picking: clinical characteristics and comorbidity. J Clin Psychiatry. 1999 Jul;60(7):454-9.
  • This is old (1990), not a review, not likely a good source, use these kinds of sources carefully:
    • Wilhelm S, Keuthen NJ, Deckersbach T; et al. (1999). "Self-injurious skin picking: clinical characteristics and comorbidity". J Clin Psychiatry. 60 (7): 454–9. PMID 10453800.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
This is a recent review, Singer knows his stuff thoroughly and is well respected, should probably consult this source:
These should certainly be consulted, particularly the two that have free full text available:
SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:47, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Citation error[edit]

From this version of the article with page numbers cited (and the responses to my inline queries [2]), it's apparent there is a citation error. There is an Odlaug Grant article (a 2010 review), and a Grant Odlaug article (a 2009 case report and review), with similar titles, but neither of them includes a page 267, so which article is being cited? The title used seems to agree with the 2010 article, but it has no page 267. It should be the 2010 article, but where are the page numbers coming from? We don't cite page numbers on medical journal articles, so there's no need for the lengthy unnecessary harvnbs, but we do need to know which is the correct article being cited. Also Dermatillomania should be not be capitalized. See also WP:MEDMOS for secitons, and WP:MSH on reducing repetition in sub-headings. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:10, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

It was a typo. I was citing the 2010 article and I meant to cite to page 297 not 267. Also, I didn't realize we don't need page cites. That makes things a lot easier. Remember (talk) 22:57, 1 October 2011 (UTC)


I corrected several issues introduced in this edit, but the source I replaced the inadequate source with is still not a secondary review (although it is more specific to the text added, and neither was the source given a secondary review). A secondary review mentioning the utility of this instrument for dermatillomania should be found, or the text should be deleted-- I found no mention of it in any of the free full text reviews I could access. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:20, 1 October 2011 (UTC)


Sandy, thanks for cleaning up the citations. I actually was planning on keeping the overcitation until I finished adding material to the article because it helps me know where I obtained all my information when I move sentences around, but if you want to clean it up in the interim that is fine too. Remember (talk) 12:51, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Ah, I see-- you can revert if you wish, or if it's confusing, I will ... let me know? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:11, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
No worries. I am sure it will be fine. Keep it as it is. Remember (talk) 14:26, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, I'll leave citing by sentence in place until you tell me you're done ... SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:37, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Recent reversion to cites from[edit]

I recently reverted several edits that were added by an anonymous editor that were based on citations to I really appreciated the edits, but I did not think that they could stay because I do not believe is a suitable website for citation. That being said, I am very appreciative of anyone trying to improve this article and if the anonymous editor that added them will work with me, I am sure we can find high quality sources to cite so that we can include such information into the article. Remember (talk) 12:45, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Bad Habit or Cultural Norm?[edit]

"dermatillomania is merely a bad habit and that by allowing this disorder to obtain its own separate category it would force the DSM to include a wide array of bad habits as separate syndromes, e.g., nail biting and nose-picking"

As the DSM is used not only in the United States but world-wide, is it necessarily the case that all readers would regard nose-picking as a bad habit? Picker O'nits (talk) 17:22, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Most cultures seem to have concepts of good manners which reflect their concepts of good behaviours for public health, though I'd be hard put to find a reliable source for that statement. LeadSongDog come howl! 22:30, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy[edit]

I saw that someone added information regarding psychological therapy and the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The cite provided did not show that dermatillomania was treated with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (unless someone can show me otherwise). I hate to remove good information so if this can be substantiated can someone please add further information. Remember (talk) 18:28, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Ok, I am going to remove the cite since I didn't get any response. Remember (talk) 11:52, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Excoriation (skin-picking) disorder and DSM-5[edit]

Should we move the page to the term used in the DSM-5? Remember (talk) 18:16, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

What it feels like to have severe excoriation disorder[edit]

I do not like having this disorder. My dad gets angry at me for it, but I can't stop. I'm embarrassed to wear shorts in public, worrying people will stare at my scar covered legs. Recently, I put on several heavy duty band aids on the wounds I like to attack, but I can't take them off. It's absolutely horrible. There's this nagging feeling that tells me to rip off the band aid and pick at what's under, but I can't. I've tried squeezing therapeutic stress balls, I've tried punching things, I've tried kicking things, but it's not the same and it doesn't remove the feeling. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation, and thank you for sharing your issues. While Wikipedia provides useful information regarding a variety of issues, including this disorder, this talk page is not really a good place to find help with your condition. You may want to check out since it seems like this is the most prominent website that helps people deal with this problem. I hope you get better and from what I understand of the condition, it is just something that some people have and you should not be ashamed of having the condition. Good luck. Remember (talk) 11:52, 13 August 2014 (UTC)


i am not agree, the DSM-5 give the equivalent classification CIM-10 for excoriation disorder and it is L98.1 since 2013.

"L98.1 Excoriation (skin-picking) disorder".
DSM 5 here page 870
not classed with "Impulse control disorder" (f63)

Vatadoshu (talk) 14:47, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Term "dermatillomania"[edit]

This article itself points out that the most common term (at least, out of technical terms) for excessive skin picking is dermatillomania, so should this not go nearer the top of the article?Vorbee (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:43, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Use of language to indicate sex-based differences[edit]

The article says that excoriation disorder is "dominated by females". Would it not be better just to say that excoriation disorder is more common in females? Vorbee (talk) 16:49, 26 June 2017 (UTC)