Jun 18, 2014
What Is Dermatillomania?
Most individuals pick at the occasional hangnail or loose piece of skin on their lips. However, when this occasional picking goes beyond this realm and leads to extensive picking to the point of injury, it becomes a disorder. Dermatillomania, otherwise known as skin picking, is a relatively common disorder of severe picking that is most prevalent in individuals with comorbid psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
The typical individual who picks his or her skin does not have skin picking disorder. Rather, an individual’s incessant picking behavior must fall within specific constraints to be categorized as such. Skin picking disorder is a disorder in which an individual picks the skin over and over to the point of causing tissue damage. In addition to tissue damage, the picking must also cause distress or complication with typical daily living activities such as work and social engagements.
The exact cause of skin picking disorder is unclear; however, research suggests it is linking to underlying psychological factors. Factors that influence the onset of skin picking disorder are likely to be both biological and environmental. At any rate, the disorder is classified as an impulse control disorder that is body focused. It may share ties with obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD.
Natural Dermatillomania Treatment
As dermatillomania is a self-injurious behavior by nature, treating and remedying the condition is vital to continued health. Many natural treatments are available that offer relief and remedy the disorder. Bach flower remedies are an option that focus on the exact emotions of individual and offer extensive success for treating the underlying issues causing the disorder. These remedies include agrimony, beech, cherry plum, white chestnut, chestnut bud, and others dependent on the individual’s emotional needs. Additional treatment options include apple cider vinegar, vitamin A, zinc, magnesium, and a real food diet. Identifying the underlying cause helps focus and guide treatment options, so that is often the best place to begin dermatillomania treatment.
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Remedies for Dermatillomania
My relative had this problem. She's 45 years old and was a compulsive nailbiter and skin picker especially around her nails. Her fingers and nails were in a very sorry state. She tried Bach Flower Remedies. The remedies she took were Agrimony, Beech, Cherry Plum, White Chestnut and Chestnut Bud (Look up www.bachcentre.com for details on the remedies).
In two weeks, there was a major improvement. Her nails were no longer bitten to the quick. The skin around them started looking healthy with less picking. Even better, her family reported great improvement in her moods and behaviour. Now after 6 weeks her hands are looking normal. She intends continuing BFR as she feels "lighter".
I know BFR are person specific and address a person's emotional state. These ones may not be the best fit for another person. Still I hope this may be of some help to someone.
I remember someone mentioning inositol helping with their skin picking. It may be worth a try.