Stop Skin Picking

Compulsive Picking Treatment

Compulsive picking can be very difficult to stop on your own. Luckily there are a number of effective treatment options that can help you stop picking your skin.

Getting help for compulsive picking (or Dermatillomania) can be difficult because many individuals live in a state of humiliation and shame with regards to their illness.

But it is really nothing to be ashamed of! Compulsive skin picking is an illness and it’s not your fault.

Fortunately, this disorder has been getting more and more attention from the therapists community in recent years. More treatment providers are aware of this disorder and are gaining experience at treating skin picking patients.

Currently, the three most commonly used treatment tools for helping people to stop skin picking are:


Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a talking therapy that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented process. One of the main techniques used to help Compulsive Skin Picking is called Habit Reversal Training (HRT). HRT is based on the principle that skin picking is a conditioned response to specific situations and events, and that the individual with Dermatillomania is frequently unaware of these triggers. HRT challenges Compulsive Skin Picking in two steps. First, the individual learns how to become more consciously aware of situations and events that trigger skin picking episodes. Second, the individual learns to use alternative behaviors in response to these situations and events.


Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis both have impressive records of success for habit control. These approaches are especially useful for people who go into spacey, trance-like states when they pick. Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis are best taught by a qualified psychotherapist.


Antidepressants (SSRI’s) and mood stabilizers have proven very effective for some compulsive picking sufferers. However, finding the right medication may require experimenting with several different drugs and dosages over a period of time.
If compulsive skin picking is a concern for you or someone you know, it is highly advised to turn to a professional for help.

Although you may feel ashamed, you should not keep this to yourself. Sharing with others may by itself be a relieving process and an important step in healing.

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