Im addicted to picking my skin.
If you are squeamish please save yourself the read. I want to began by saying that I am completely conscious of everything I do, I’ve never been diagnosed of a mental disorder, skin condition, or any neurological issues for that matter.
It began when I was around 6/7. I would get this extreme tingling sensation on the sides of my tongue (one side at a time) that would itch and cause me to nip at the sides with my teeth. The urge would come and go and there was never any physical warning of its forthcoming; such as bumps, or sores. My tongue looked perfect but this overwhelming urge to bite at the skin was there. One day, after days of biting and nipping small pieces of skin off i began to bleed. This is where most people would’ve stopped. But with a rush of adrenaline the broken skin didn’t cause me pain... but this stinging pleasurable sensation. That deep itch I had screaming for me to keep going. My mind was telling me “if you keep going deep enough you’ll hit “that spot” and the itch would go away. The more I scratched the more intense it got.
The first instrument I used was a piece of paper. I took the edge of the paper and slid it across the broken skin on my tongue. I never felt anything like it in my life. The feeling of the sharp paper breaking through my skin was unfathomable and addicting. After about thirty minutes in the mirror I was finished. Looking at myself in disgust. The urge now gone and all that’s left was a bloody mess. I cleaned everything and pretended it didn’t happen. Although this happened countless times after I never figured out how to tell anyone. A couple years passed and the urge increased along with my pain tolerance. I stopped using paper and began using nail clippers that I bought and sterilized just for this. I wanted to know what it felt like to go as deep as I could. The first few times It was much too painful and I couldn’t bring myself to really do much. But eventually the urge was too much. I would clip so my skin off one spot on my tongue it would be a bloody mess. I at times go into a moment of shock I guess you could call it. Where I wouldn’t feel anymore pain and would keep going and going. My tongue would have a dark hole from all the picking. I would never reach “that spot” (because there isn’t one). But the feeling was again too much to ignore. And just like before after each time doing this the urge would subdue until I healed and it worked it’s way back up.
Fast forward to my teenage years and my tongue issue is still there. I pick, it heals, it repeats. I’m 13 at this and I wake up with the same feeling on my palm, left middle finger right between the knuckle. What began as scratching turned into skin peeling. And I quickly realized I had the same urge and sensation in this particular spot. I pick the skin so much and so often in that one spot I can barely close my hand at times.
I’m 24 now and there are 4 areas in total where from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep I have the urge to pick, peel, cut, and scratch. If I ignore it it becomes the only thing I can think about. If I do it I feel a stinging pleasure that is hard to describe but so intense it’s addicting to the point where it causes me to continue until I cannot induce more pain. The only way to stop the urge is to give into it. Once I do it I’ll have at least until it heals before it’s 100% back. But it never completely goes away. Even as I type I can feel in each area a warm throbbing, a urge to scratch, squeeze or apply some kind of pressure to get that particular feelings.
Before suggesting some help I would like you to know that I’m well-versed on common treatments and causes for skin-picking. Anti depressants have not helped me.. I do not have anxiety, I’m not stressed aside from dealing with this. This is not stressed induced. There are no triggers. I am not trying to fix imperfections in my skin as my skin is otherwise clear. I do not have acne or eczema. I wake and the urge is there in each spot and no where else.. when I eat, shower, drive, all day 24/7. If I ignore it it intensifies. When I’m busy the urge isn’t as strong but still there unless I’ve ignored it for hours already. I hope before suggesting something for me you take this information into consideration
Lastly, I do want help but it seems I’m living a life where I’ll literally never be comfortable in my own skin. I have frequent thoughts of taking a knife and cutting off those areas completely in hopes that if they are gone then so is the urge, but I couldn’t take something like that. At this point I’m beginning to think the only thing I can do is get multiple minor surgeries/amputations. But each doctor I’ve done too either cannot help or want me on some anti depressant. If anyone has anything that they think would help my situation I would really appreciate it. I don’t want to live the rest of my life with this.