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verasama

180d

anyone else with ADHD have an issue with skin picking? I don't like the way that scabs or rough patches on my skin feel, so I frequently catch myself picking at them to try and make them go away, even though logically I know picking out the missions going to make them worse. I just wondered if this was an ADHD thing, because another one of my friends who has ADHD has the same issue. My cuticles are basically all trashed for exactly this reason, and I tried to leave them alone so they can get better, but like I said I catch myself doing it without even realizing it. I would think this could be something connected to my anxiety or depression, but I have been this way literally my entire life, and the anxiety and depression are relatively new diagnoses, so ADHD made a little bit more sense. I'm open to suggestions on what else it could be, as well as anything I can do to stop myself from doing it.

Top reply
    • thats.rough.buddy

      140d

      I do the same thing 😭. My skin will literally be bleeding before I even realize I'm doing it.

    • thats.rough.buddy

      140d

      I do the same thing 😭. My skin will literally be bleeding before I even realize I'm doing it.

    • Dodo21

      141d

      Yes, since I was a child. Picking my skin and biting my nails to the point of bleeding and hyperfocusing while doing that and being really pissed if someone tried to interrupt me. Having long fake nails prevents me from doing that (most of the times). They are too hard to bite and it is difficult to pick the zits precisely.

    • Bay_bee_boi

      173d

      I do it. Thank you for showing me that I'm not alone.

    • thats.rough.buddy

      175d

      Same here! It's calming for me to do it for some reason. When I notice I'm doing it, I usually try to walk around my house and find something else to "fix" or organize while listening to music or a podcast to distract myself until the urge passes

    • JovialManty

      176d

      If I feel along my skin and anything feels bumpy I will scratch and scratch until it feels smooth again. It happens the most when I'm stressed, I do it while I'm trying to focus on something. The biggest issue is when I do it on my face. When a rough time hit at work once I had scrapes and scabs all over my face. I started to get into skincare and for whatever reason that helped a bunch.

    • AnimalBoy

      176d

      Skin picking is a symptom of a number of neurodivergent conditions including ADHD, it seems kind of like a mix of stimming and impulse control issues so its present in pretty much everything with those symptoms including autism and anxiety disorders as well. For scabs I've found putting antibacterial ointment and a bandaid speeds up the healing process and I avoid picking at it until the bandage comes off. I have a lot of acne though and that gets really weird because a lot of it does need to be picked at or I get infections but I get carried away, I have my partner do it now but we are neurodivergent in the same ways so I'm not sure he's not also getting carried away lol

    • Beetlejuul

      176d

      I’ve been diagnosed with dermatillomania so I definitely struggle with it. I have people in my life who redirect my actions to less harmful outlets and that works fairly well, I’d also look at fidget toys and stuff to keep in your pockets to busy your hands

    • Ash.G

      176d

      I definitely do this. This counts as one of my stims when I feel irritated or anxious.

    • DrexOrStanley

      177d

      Yea I do, I also have OCD which is attributed to it as well. I'm still trying to figure out how to stop as well so I wish you the best!

    • Ashtonn

      178d

      I do it so much. I use chewelery. It’s bscly a block of silicon on a necklace string thing that u can chew instead of nomming on ur fingers. It’s really helped me stop chewing on my cuticles x

    • empls

      178d

      I definitely fixate on my skin sometimes. I saw a YouTuber talking about skin picking as a symptom of her OCD, and she said it really helped to focus on "nourishing" her skin instead. This kinda fits w my current attempted perspective shift, so I'm trying to implement this.

    • LissyBelle

      178d

      I have ADHD and depression and I pick at my skin so much it bleeds sometimes. Any bump I find (zit, scab, just a raised pore) gets scratched and picked at.

    • thestinkmaster

      178d

      yep. i pick my lips, zits, and scabs a lot, and only recently have decreased picking my fingernails by quite a bit.

    • Nemi221

      179d

      I can never leave my scab stitches or skin alone I constantly pick at it and it's frustrating because I don't want to pick at it but I still do

    • Bean69

      179d

      It’s Either ADHD Or Autism That Causes Mine Not Sure Which One But Yes I Experience This

      • Ash.G

        172d

        @Bean69 it could be both.

    • LunarMoth

      179d

      I'm diagnosed with ADHD and Excoriation (Skin Picking) Disorder, which is a Body Focused Repetitive Behavior (BFRB). I highly recommend looking into the organization Picking Me, which is highly informative about BFRBs and also has a support group available that I have found personally very helpful. To answer your question, I think my ADHD has a lot to do with why I pick at my skin. My skin picking has always been really severe since I started picking around age 13/14. This was also around when I started experiencing more of my ADHD symptoms and struggling with them a bit more. I feel like it's a way for me to seek external stimulation when I'm understimulated (or distract from overstimulation, occasionally). I also tend to hyperfocus on specific areas of my skin or hyperfocus on the act of picking in general. This resulted in, at one point, getting stuck picking at my skin for literal hours on end. Now I see a therapist who specializes in BFRBs, and take a couple medications aimed at reducing my urge to pick. I've gotten a lot better about it, but I still pick at my skin at least once or twice (sometimes much more) on a pretty much daily basis. One thing I will say is the harder you actively try to "just stop it," the harder it is, in my experience, to do so. BFRBs are similar to addictions in the way they affect your brain. This is why ultimately, seeking out the help of a therapist is what I think would probably help the most in figuring out why you pick at your skin, and addressing how to reduce triggers etc. And like I said, do check out PickingMe.org! It's a great resource that I can't recommend enough

      • LunarMoth

        179d

        @LunarMoth Another thing I wanted to add is that with ADHD, you have a dopamine deficiency in your brain. Picking at your skin releases dopamine, which can make the behavior become "addictive" in a way, because it provides bursts of dopamine to a dopamine-deficient brain. It's the same reason we ADHDers get hyperfocused on things like video games, for instance--it's an easy way to get the dopamine your brain lacks. This is why I think people with ADHD may be more prone to developing BFRBs like skin picking, though I'm not sure as to if there is any existing research on the matter.

    • cogsquatparsnip

      180d

      Yeh I'm the same

    • Alyss

      180d

      I definitely do. I've been diagnosed with dermatillomania, which is basically the unintentionally picking only I can't stop even when I'm made aware of it. I was only diagnosed with adhd a few years ago and dermatillomania in my teens. There likely is a link, though. They're both adjacent to compulsive disorders.

    • Music_Bird

      180d

      YES. I constantly pick scabs and zits. I think it takes them 2-3 times longer to heal because of it. I also always have to bite off hang nails all of the time. Idk if it’s ADHD or anxiety or depressions I have all 3. I seem to do these things more often when I’m anxious or can’t focus.

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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Yes, some people with ADHD struggle with skin picking disorders. It could be related to the need for stimulation or excessive energy that needs an outlet. To help reduce skin picking, you can try using stim toys, sensory toys, or engaging in activities that keep your hands busy, such as crafts and hobbies.

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