Excoriation Disorder

Excoriation Disorder (Skin Picking)


Excoriation disorder, also referred to as dermatillomania or persistent skin-picking, is a psychiatric illness associated with the condition of obsessive-compulsive. Repeatedly picking at one’s own skin develops bloated or broken skin patches and causes many disruptions in one’s life. Excoriation disorder is a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) that most frequently starts during adolescence, frequently with or after the onset of puberty around ages 13 to 15, but may also happen in children or adults.




An individual with excoriation disorder obsessively picks or scratches their skin, leaving wounds or scars behind. This disorder, also known as skin-picking disorder or excoriation disorder, is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This illness can adversely affect a person’s mental health, well-being, and quality of life when it causes extensive scars and damage. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a particular medical condition that also serves as the designation for a group of psychological disorders. Despite being classified as an obsessive-compulsive disease, excoriation disorder differs significantly from OCD in several important ways.

  • Obsessions. Obsessions are unwanted and difficult-to-control thoughts or desires that are associated with OCD. Dermatillomania patients don’t have those kinds of obsessions.
  • A feeling of satisfaction. People with excoriation disorder frequently experience relief or other happy feelings when they pick at their own skin. With OCD, that doesn’t happen.
  • Damage. Rarely does OCD involve any form of self-injury or self-damage. Such self-harm is quite frequent in dermatillomania.

Picking can cause bleeding and scarring by opening up new wounds or reopening old ones. When this disorder is severe, the skin damage it causes might be so consequential that it may require surgery, including skin grafting, to cure the injury. Antibiotic therapy may also be required for infected wounds. Rarely, infections that develop from these wounds may spread throughout your body and trigger a severe immune system overreaction. Sepsis and the overreaction that caused it are serious medical emergencies. The two ways that this action typically occurs are:

  • Automatic: This selection frequently occurs without a person consciously pondering it. The process of running palms or fingertips over skin sections to detect any spots that feel different and may later become the subject of targeted picking is frequently referred to as “scanning” by experts.
  • Dedicated: This type of picking is “focused” on a particular location and might last for hours. This type of plucking is typically more aggressive and more likely to harm your skin.


Causes and Symptoms:


Excoriation Disorder’s precise causes aren’t understood. Both biological and environmental variables may influence the disorder of skin picking. One of two things frequently happens for excoriation disorder to develop:

  • After a tiny cut, skin illness, or rash, picking at the blister or rash can further harm the skin and prevent the lesion from healing. The cycle of increased irritation, picking, and scabbing persists.
  • During a stressful period. You may unintentionally reduce stress by repetitively picking at a scab or the skin around your nails. It eventually turns into a routine.


Skin picking is typically a chronic condition with waxing and waning symptoms if left untreated. Excoriation disorder sites may alter with time. Patients exhibit different patterns of skin plucking. Some people have extensive scarring, whereas others just have a few lesions. Many patients try to conceal the skin lesions with their attire or makeup. Many other behaviors or rituals might go along with excoriation disorder. Patients may diligently look for a specific type of scab to remove, try to guarantee that it is released in a particular manner (using either their fingers or an item), and bite or swallow the removed scab.

Some patients might pick at other people’s skin. Many people also engage in different repetitive, body-focused behaviors like tugging on their hair or biting their nails. In extreme cases, skin picking can result in septicemia, infections, profuse bleeding, and scarring. Numerous people with excoriation disorder also have major depressive illness or obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Homeopathic Treatment for Excoriation Disorder:


It’s critical to comprehend the distinctive features of the patient’s excoriation disorder, what makes it distinctive, and how to provide a homeopathic medication. Here are a few examples of treatments that have worked well for specific ailments:

  • Stramonium: The central concept that must be present for this homeopathic cure to work is fear—fear that is almost horror (apprehension of water can be a subject), disturbed sleep, and a feeling that insects crawl all over the skin. It is possible that excoriation disorder began due to shock, terror, a high fever, a head injury, hydrophobia, or childbirth. There is picking and scraping. There can be a pins-and-needles feeling on the skin.
  • Ignatia: chest anxiety that can include palpitations. People who need Ignatia are hypersensitive with a propensity to spam; this is a cure for shock and excoriation disorder. Grief is evident after losing a person or a possession. There may also be feelings of irritation and a knot in the throat. 
  • Conium: The person is grieving, overworked, weak, exhausted, overstudied, and dislikes being with others but doesn’t want to be alone. Sexual needs could not be fully satiated.
  • Silica: The fear of being judged and tested is typically a source of anxiety. Silica is an effective acne treatment and may be recommended for those with acne and a tendency to pick at their skin, who have low self-esteem and a tendency towards perfectionism, who are indecisive and insecure, and who spend more time choosing the proper thing than desired. 
  • Tarantula hispanica: Extreme restlessness prevails; it’s difficult for them to remain still; they are constantly moving. They are unpredictable, frequently impulsive, crafty, cunning, and deceptive. The cause of their behavior may be punishment, wrath, or sadness. Moods can change suddenly. There is the impression that insects are scuttling across the skin. 
  • Belladonna: Every sense is impacted, and sensory overload is typically the cause of excoriation disorder and hair pulling. The person is self-absorbed, restless, excited, speaks quickly, is afraid of things that aren’t real, and is prone to arguments.
  • Cuprum Metallicum: irritable and glum. Tense, uncomfortable, weeps ferociously, fears society, avoids everyone, and exhibits perplexity, restlessness, and worry.

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