Combatting Excoriation Disorder

May 20, 2022

fidget toys to help with skin picking

What is the Excoriation Disorder?

Excoriation disorder, commonly referred to as chronic skin-picking or dermatillomania, is a mental illness linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. It is characterized by consistent picking at one’s own skin, resulting in skin lesions and a serious interference in daily life. 

The link to OCD through the classification as an obsessive-compulsive and related disorder comes from the consistencies with compulsions and obsessions. Excoriation disorder compels individuals to fulfill their urge to pick and creates a sense of relief or pleasure afterwards.

Symptoms of Excoriation Disorder

Some signs of excoriation disorder include recurrent skin picking that results in skin lesions, repeated failed attempts to cease the behavior, significant distress or impairment caused by the symptoms, symptoms caused by something other than a substance or a medical/dermatological condition, and symptoms are not more easily categorized into a different psychiatric disorder. Those who struggle with this disorder touch, rub, scratch, pick at, or dig into their skin, often leading to tissue damage, discoloration, or scarring of the skin.

Impacts of Excoriation Disorder

Excoriation disorder causes significant distress or impairment in areas of functioning including social and occupational areas. Individuals who suffer from this disorder may experience embarrassment or shame which can inhibit them from taking part in activities or seeking medical care. This emotional unrest can lead to isolation and more distress, which places them at higher risk for other psychiatric disorders including anxiety or depression. 

Who Does This Affect?

Excoriation disorder affects between 2 and 5 percent of the human population. Females are the largest population of the demographic associated with this disorder, making up 75% of the total population affected. 

How Can We Help?

Pick ‘N Peel Stones are sensory products designed to help combat these urges and intercept the urge to pick your skin. Our products act as a healthy coping mechanics to satisfy these compulsions and imitate the same sense of satisfaction you may get from picking your skin. Our stones are the solution that you may have been looking for if you struggle with excoriation disorder and have been searching for a satisfying outlet.

  Mental Health America. (n.d.). Excoriation Disorder (Skin Picking or Dermatillomania).,significant%20disruption%20in%20one’s%20life. 

The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors. (n.d.). What is Excoriation (Skin Picking) Disorder?