Serving you in the Glendale, CA area, Dr. Taji Huang, Ph.D., has the knowledge, experience, and understanding required when you need ideas to stop your teen from skin picking. Self-harm, including skin picking, is often a way of coping with feelings that are difficult to control or express, but there are treatment options available.
Questions You May Have
You have likely heard of self-harm and self-injury. You may not realize that picking your skin to the point of injury or damage can be a form of self-mutilation as well. If you have noticed your teen expressing self-injury behaviors such as compulsive skin picking, you likely have many questions.
- Why does my child keep doing this?
- Is a skin picking disorder serious?
- How can I help support my child and stop them from skin picking?
- What are common types of skin picking and areas on the body this occurs?
- Can this cause permanent scarring?
- Are certain people more likely to self injure in this way?
- What other types of self-harm are there?
- How can parents of children and teens who self harm this way cope?
What Is Dermatillomania?
Dermatillomania is currently officially classified as excoriation disorder. It is known more commonly as skin picking disorder. It is characterized by repeatedly picking at the skin resulting in skin lesions. This disorder can cause significant life disruptions.
Signs & Symptoms Of Skin Picking Disorder
A professional diagnosis should always be your goal to make sure you get the best treatment possible for your individual circumstances. If the following signs and symptoms sound like you or your teen, then Dermatillomania may be something you want to ask your medical practitioner about.
- Recurrent Skin Picking Resulting In Cuts, Scrapes, Or Sores
- Repeated Unsuccessful Attempts At Stopping This Behavior
- Distress Or Impairment Caused By The Symptoms
- Skin Picking Isn’t Related To Substance Abuse Or A Skin Condition Condition
Obsessive skin picking can take place on one or more parts of the body. Common areas frequently include the face, head, cuticles, back, arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Complications & Impacts
It is not uncommon to see medical complications as a result of Dermatillomania disorder. Infections that require medical treatment, scabs, open wounds, discoloration, permanent scarring, and even disfigurement are possible complications of chronic skin picking.
This self-harm disorder can also have a significant impact on the life of your child. Children and teens that suffer from a skin picking disorder may experience shame and embarrassment and avoid social situations and activities as a result. These behaviors can increase the likelihood of a mood or anxiety disorder.
Causes & Triggers
No specific cause has yet been identified for Dermatillomania. Some studies show that skin picking may run in families. You may notice these behaviors along with other disorders such as depression, OCD, addictions, and eating disorders. Skin picking most often appears around puberty.
Getting Help For Skin Picking
Dermatillomania doesn’t go away on its own. Proper support from a counselor, therapist, or psychologist experienced in dealing with self-harm disorders, like skin picking, can help. You may be interested in self-esteem exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and individual, group, and family therapy sessions.
Your teen can learn healthy tools to help them cope with difficulties and stop skin picking.
Support Through Self-Care
As the parent of a teen that is self-harming, you must care for yourself as well. Self-harm behaviors can be scary, frustrating, and hard to understand when they are impacting our children. Supporting yourself through this with an understanding therapist, like Dr. Taji, is an integral part of supporting your child during this time.
Ready For Answers & Relief?
For answers and support for your teen’s skin picking, trust experienced psychologist Dr. Taji Huang, in Glendale, CA. She can help you determine the cause and facilitate appropriate treatment options. Contact Dr. Taji for help today.