CSP - Compulsive skin picking

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CSP - Compulsive skin picking

Postby PolkaBunny » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:09 am

Ever since I was a child, I used to bite the skin around my nails, and bite my nails down as short as possible. But it was the skin that was the worst for me, I'd do it if i was stressed, and I have never "grown out of it". Ever since having fibro/cfs, it's got worse. Sometimes I don't do it at all, and then I'm biting the skin around my nails until its red raw, bleeding and sore.

And I guess I never thought anything of it as weird as that sounds, I've always done it. But ever since having fibro, my hair has become so thin. I hate it, and it makes me so upset because I see it in photos and the top is so thin you see my scalp. Sometimes I get tiny little red bumps on my head, and in the last couple of years I've started scratching them. And sometimes I scratch them until they bleed, until they are red and sore.

But in the last six months it's gotten worse. I scratch my head ALL the time, so I know that I am making the hair loss worse by irritating my scalp. But I can't stop. If I am stressed or upset I just sit there and pick until I'm exhausted.

These two things have started taking over, and I have anxiety - so I'm sure it's to do with it. Today, after scratching my head for a full two hours whilst watching tv, I did the dreaded google search. (the one we shouldnt do, but do!) It's made me realise that I do actually have a problem, sometimes I do it intentionally and sometimes I do it without realising.

But, I know I need to see a doctor. Technically, it's nothing to "do" with fibro, I guess. But I just needed to post to kinda hold myself accountable I suppose for doing something about it. My anxiety can get so bad I dont want to leave the house. Then another day Ill be out meeting new people, it comes in intense waves and when I am stressed I scratch my scalp and bite skin.

.......Not really much point to this, I guess I just wanted to acknowledge it, you know?
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Re: CSP - Compulsive skin picking

Postby rachel995 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:26 am

You're not on your own there.

I am prescriped antihistamine 1 a day to help with itching to my upper, arms shoulders, chest and scalp.

I feel this is connected to the nerve endings and torso itching is more prevalent in the evenings.

I find an ice pack helps best as it helps confuse the body and stops the itching. Use 10 min at a time.

Best wishes

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Re: CSP - Compulsive skin picking

Postby MilYvieMum » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:46 am

I thought it was just me who did this. I pick my skin on my fingers too. Drives my hubby mad. It seems to be worse when I'm having a flare. As an example. I've no skin in my thumb, first finger and middle finger at the moment. I've got horrific elbow pain and weakness in the arm of the fingers I'm picking at. My theory is its a distraction thing. Making the pain go elsewhere. I also itch, my head and legs especially. More at this time of the year. I find wearing a hat (all the time) and I never uncover my legs so wear pjs for bed and leggings during the day. If I don't I itch like a crazy woman.
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Re: CSP - Compulsive skin picking

Postby dazzleship » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:29 am

hi PolkaBunny

this sounds awful for you. :hugs:

have you considered trying medicated shampoo, maybe that would help take some of the itching away?

I don't suffer as badly as you with picking at skin but I must say I have always had a tendency to pick at 'scabs' from cuts. it's like I just can't stand the feeling of it sticking out above the rest of my skin (if that makes sense) so I pick at it to remove it. (which of course just causes another scab and doesn't solve the problem of it sticking out anyway :roll: I never said there was logic in my method!)

I do get times when I'm quite itchy though for apparently no reason. it is extremely frustrating.

I hope you find some relief soon. have you tried antihistamine, would that help relieve things?
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Re: CSP - Compulsive skin picking

Postby madtaz37 » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:46 am

I have had the same issue i having been picking my skin on my hands since i was 2. pulling my hair since the age of 3. Im 41 now and no sign of stopping i was told by my doc i have hypersensitivity to nerves. also i have irritated bladder issues too . ADHD too . think some days i will fall apart its been a never ending cycle of years i was prescribed meds but i have a advised effect to tablets. so i have been going to Acupuncture for 4 weeks found this as helped a bit but now having test at the hospital at last . Not sure if doctors ever believe you or not keep thinking no one can have this many problems at once . so is it all in my head !. keep on tying to sort it and dont give up your not alone. :-P
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Re: CSP - Compulsive skin picking

Postby jrules1fair » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:51 am

Hi i have a habit of scratching at my skin again sometimes round my nails but could be anywhere on my skin. I drive my daughter mad because i hate scabs and will scratch them off especially on my face. I will also pick at my nails. I know this is wrong and doesnt help but i cant stop doing it. I have been diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome towards the fibro end of the spectrum and i also have chronic fatigue syndrome chronic stress and depression severe arthritis and had several operations on my knees i guess its not surprising that i am doing it i know i just can't help it. Hope this helps you with yours good luck �
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Re: CSP - Compulsive skin picking

Postby iblinkin » Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:20 pm

Hi PolkaBunny, I am glad you posted this as i thought it was just me and not a fibro thing. I have been as of late been training myself to not do this as i have found that it was making my hands and arms worse from the picking, the small movements seem to make my symptoms worse and much more painful and i have had some success but it takes a lot of trying to stop this picking nonsense and the elbow thing is just part of the fibro too.

Sometimes i just touch my elbow against something and i scream in pain! This is the worse illness ever!
Somedays it gets so bad i think how can one be in so much pain and not be dying? How is that possible?

Oh yeah i also have the itchy head thing going as well.. can't we just at least one part of our body that does not get affected by this?

I hope you feel better soon! Gentle hugs to all. :-)
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Re: CSP - Compulsive skin picking

Postby PolkaBunny » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:56 pm

Thanks everyone, I was a bit nervous about posting because it isn't "strictly" fibro - which someone on the facebook thread had to comment with saying just that :roll:

But, its how we cope isnt it, and therefore it IS relevant. It distracts me from pain in a weird way, and it also helps me cope when I am upset or anxious. The silly thing is my hair is thinning so much on top because of stress/fibro/amitriptline, so the scabs make it look worse, yet i cant stop.

I dont feel I can go to my gp, ...I just dont. But I have a fatigue course next week where we talk about how we cope and the lady is really lovely so I will tell her and see what she says.

I just came home and got really angry/stressed about something, and I sat upstairs for half an hour scratching at my head and the little bumps/sore bits. Ive always had scars on my arms and I never could work out why, and in the last day or so Ive realised any little bump gets scratched, whether its a rash/bite/whatever, i just scratch and pick.

I've read it's called dermatillomania, and its actually made me feel like less of a freak, and more understanding of it.

Thank you so much everybody, I dont post often but when I do you are all so lovely . :)
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