If you haven’t read the title this could be a major trigger warning for some people. I have talked about some struggles that I have had before such as my picky eating here but this is a slightly different type of issue that I have had my entire life. this post may be triggering to some people and to others I am sure it will be more than relatable.
I pick my scabs/cuts/scrapes. There I said it. I know what you are probably thinking to, but why? I really don’t know how to explain it. When I get cut or scraped it’s like an impulse comes over me where I just want to pick the scab off. I know there is probably also some sort of medical name for this but honestly, I never really googled it. I also never really talk about it. I just do it. Maybe I do it because I want to see myself bleed a bit more. Maybe I want the scab to make a scar. Maybe I just have nothing else better to do with my time that I just feel some sense of relief when I do end up picking a scab. This has been happening since as long as I could remember. It isn’t something that I think needs to be addressed in term of mental health.
Sometimes it does get so bad though that I have to actually physically cut my nails so that they are no longer able to pick anymore. I say bad like it can be seen as a bad thing but sometimes I just drive myself nuts. This also goes along the lines that I just am tired of picking. I also am majorly a pimple popper. In the terms that I will pick and pop pimples even though I know that they will leave scars on my face.
I will say, maybe not as confidentiality as I would like that eventually as I grew up I don’t think things were as bad. When I was younger I had a really bad habit of biting the skin around my nails and cuticles. This however was so bad it would only stop when I put actual bandaids on my fingers so I could no longer pick or bite them anymore. Then as I got older and painted my nails, even had gel nails for the longest times it because a really easy thing to avoid because I took pride in my nails. Even now I haven’t had real gel nails for the longest time however I am fairly confident that I wont be going back to biting my nails any time soon!
I know if you too are diagnosed with this you may be trying to pin point the reasons why I do this. When I was a teenager I may have agreed that stress or being nervous was a reason. However as I grew up it doesn’t seem to be the case. Its just if I have a cut or scrape I pick. The only way I stop is, as mentioned cutting my nails, or if the scab has healed enough that it can no longer be picked. When I was nervous or stressed as a kid I typically would bit the insides of my mouth. That was a tell tale sign that I was nervous. Particularly before I was in a bowling tournament I would bit my lips and the skin inside my mouth a lot.
I also don’t think it helps at all that I do have typically dryer than normal skin. I have always had medicated creams to help because I just have skin on my feet that I have picked, or my arms that start to peel too. my feet were particularly bad as a kid to the point I was the only person growing up who had to wear sneakers and socks in the summer time. Going bare feet was a big no no because I would have cracked and bleeding feet.
And I know, you also are probably thinking, why haven’t I talked about this with a professional. Why haven’t I actually put time into understanding why I do this. Maybe its because as much as I am aware of it, maybe I don’t see it as that big of a problem. I just am mindful that it is one of those weird and quirky habits that I have dealt with my entire life and chances are I always will. It does bother me to some extend if I have something that I cannot stop picking but at the end of the day I guess the only person I technically am hurting is myself.
I know by writing this too, hopefully if there are others who too feel the same that I do, maybe they wont feel so alone. thinking about why I do it or how can be kind of isolating. I know that it is a very strange habit to have and that I am maybe a rare individual. however I am sure there are people who have done these due to various reasons for maybe mental health, disabilities, drug abuse. For me, to be blunt. I guess it was always some sort of a relief. It made me feel a sense of accomplishment. Another thing that I do like also is once I picked something trying to “doctor” it up. Whether with a little bit of cream, maybe some band aides, something in that realm. I can say that when I am stressed that doesn’t seem to be a reason why this happens. Maybe when I was younger as the examples I pointed out, but as an adult. Nope.
Will I ever stop? Maybe. I will say that I do try not to do this in front of my kids because I do know that impact could very well rub off on them. But I do try to be mindful and keep it to before I had a shower or even being alone. Sometimes I go through phases where I do it impulsively, others its more out of habit. But at the end of the day, I sometimes just cant help it.