There are many big-sounding labels for pathologic or compulsive skin picking or hair pulling behaviours, but there is a simple solution.
Dermatillomania….. Trichotillomania….. Acne Excoriee….. Excoriation Disorder…. Skin-picking disorder….. Neurotic Excoriation…. Psychogenic Excoriation.
This is a surprisingly common disorder suffered by both sexes and all ages but affects individuals in a multitude of ways, such as:-
- pulling out individual strands of hair from the head
- attacking the hair of eyebrows or eyelashes
- tearing out clumps or hair from the head or other parts of the body
- picking at split ends
- stripping or dividing individual hairs
- nibbling at cuticles around fingernails or toenails
- gnawing at knuckles
- scratching specific areas and the scabs created
- nipping layers off lips
- chewing the insides of cheeks
Most often the picking or pulling is done manually (fingers, nails) or with teeth but others might compulsively use tweezers, needles or other implements.
There are as many ways to suffer this condition
as there are people living with it.
Often this is associated with a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or seen as a form of Self Harming.
The behaviour might result as a Stress reaction or as a adjunct to Depression, though with others it is a stand-alone symptom and not connected with any other condition.
In the past, sufferers have been have been prescribed various medications to reduce the frequency of the habit or provided with psychological help such as counselling or CBT and while a good percentage of people do experience some benefit for a while, there is a far quicker and more long-lasting solution available.
LCH treatment aims to remove the cause of the habit and/or compulsion, ensuring that the behaviour itself is disposed of and enabling the sufferer to be able to deal with any future triggering situations calmly, efficiently and competently without returning to this (or any other) unwanted behaviour.