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Skin picking is on the rise among young women

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Skin picking or is official name Dermatillomania is a self-harm condition that causes sufferers to pick their skin repeatedly causing skin infection scarring and long-term damage.

skin pickingThis condition is now on the rise among young women in their late teens and 20’s  and last month Dermatillomania was classified for the first time as a psychiatric disorder in the medical journal Diognostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The condition effects mostly women, who account for over 85% of sufferers, and is a disorder that is mostly linked to stress as well as body dysmorphia and it has similar behavioural patterns to OCD (Over Compulsive Disorder).

[quote]The condition often starts in adolescence with a sufferer experiencing a mild skin condition, typically acne or eczema or dry skin. The sufferer then obsessively and ritualistically picks away at the spots or dry skin trying to get rid of the flaw. Sufferers can pick at skin flaws until they bleed ending up with scabbing, infection and even permanent scarring.[/quote]

Eventually the sufferer can end up picking away at perfectly healthy skin under the false perception that there is a flaw in the skin.

Ingrown hairs are another target for the condition. Sufferers can use their fingers, tweezers, and even pins or sharp objects to try and remove the perceived blemish.

Any area of the body can be subject to skin picking, but the face is the most common area.

Often Dermatillomania sufferers are unaware of their skin picking disorder and do it automatically while their attention is elsewhere such as watching TV or reading.

Treatment for the condition range from anti-depressants to counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.

For help and advice visit www.skinpick.com or www.ocdaction.org.uk

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