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OCD and Skin Picking

test1People with OCD often have other mental problems that accompany OCD. A very common one is skin picking. There are many different types of skin picking.

Most common ones are nail picking and picking at acne or other skin imperfections. Even though the two may seem different they are both ways of dealing with anxiety. The reason why people with OCD have a higher chance of getting these additional mental issues is because OCD brings on an extreme level of anxiety. The sufferer does not understand how to properly deal with it and feels overwhelmed. At this point the nails or the skin becomes an outlet of that anxiety.

I have had both skin picking and nail picking problems and I can tell you from my own experience that they are very difficult to overcome. For me, nail picking started a long time before OCD, way back in my childhood. Even now when I have my OCD under control I still struggle with nail picking. It has been so ingrained it is very difficult to break the habit.
Here are a few things I found helpful over the years that reduce the skin picking and give you more self control.

1. Keep your nails short and neat. If the nails look good you will think twice before ruining them.

2. Go to a salon and have fake nails put on. You will not want to bite the fake nail. Also the salon glue is stronger then the store-bought so if you forget and try to pick or bite your nails the glue will hold up.

3. Keep the cuticles nice and neat. Many people also bite the cuticle around the nail so if it is neat and healthy in the first place there is less chance of you wanting to ruin it.

4. Wear nail polish if you can’t afford fake nails. The effect is the same as in part 2.

5. If you pick you face it is a good idea to pit a sticky note on the mirror in front of which you pick so that when you get the urge to pick you will see the note and will get the opportunity to stop yourself.

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