Learn what dermotillomania is, how drug abuse and skin picking affect the skin, and treatment options here. We can help you start the process of healing today.

What is Skin Picking?

Dermotillomania is the act of picking at one’s skin. It is a “body-focused repetitive behavior,” and a person with this condition is unable to stop themselves from the act even if it is causing them pain. Someone suffering from dermotillomania may have scars and scabs across their body, perhaps focusing on a particular area such as the scalp. Because the skin picking is uncontrollable, people with a drug abuse and skin picking condition may also experience infections from picking at the skin in an unsanitary way, or from repeatedly picking at scabs until the skin becomes intensely irritated.

Drug Abuse and Skin Picking

In drug addiction, dermotillomania is common during withdrawal. This is because drugs affect every organ in a person’s body, even the skin.

For example, “withdrawing from heroin, a highly addictive opiate, is an intensely uncomfortable experience. Restlessness, nervousness, severe cravings and goose bumps can trigger the urge to self-mutilate.” This all leads to the formation of a skin picking disorder, which can lead to infection at an even higher rate in a person who is already under the mental and physical stressors inherent in drug withdrawal.

Anyone who feels as though they are unable to stop picking at their skin should seek help before the more serious effects arise. To read more about the symptoms of skin picking, see the source article at the Dual Diagnosis website.

How to Treat Drug Abuse and Skin Picking

Most times, the skin picking will stop after the other effects of withdrawal do, but for some it will not. The condition will then require behavior modification training or even medication to overcome. It is important to figure out what is triggering the picking in order to treat the problem. This is why at Hayver, we specialize in creating a treatment plan that is unique to you. Our Circle of Support keeps clients connected to those closest to them throughout the recovery process, and holds them accountable for their treatment. For more information, contact Hayver today at info(at)hayver.com.