Compulsive skin picking is a type of obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (OCSD). OCSD symptoms typically begin during the teenage years or early adulthood, but recent research shows that some children may develop the illness even during the preschool years. Research also indicates that at least one-third of OCSDs in adults begin in childhood. Compulsive skin picking also called psychogenic excoriation is also sometimes seen in children. It is disappointing to know that there are very few resources available to parents whose children suffer from this sometimes debilitating disorder.
Skin picking most likely starts due to inadequate messages from the skin to the central nervous system and a decreased sensitivity to pain. It is more likely to occur during periods of boredom or stress, and occurs most often at bedtime, in the bathroom, in class, and in the car. Through excessive skin picking, children tend to convey messages for which they can't find the words. It may be almost impossible for a child to describe all the thoughts and feelings that are making him to pick but the evidence alone of compulsive picking is enough to signal to a parent that medical intervention is needed.
Effort should be made to eliminate the possibility of a physical cause for picking. If there is a physical cause, that must be treated and the urge to pick will probably go away. A number of products are available to help alleviate the discomfort and distress associated with this disorder. Physical impediment devices such as special gloves can be used. They are helpful in only a small number of cases.
Finger nails of children should be regularly trimmed to avoid compulsive skin picking. Also, their fingernails should be clean and tidy to reduce the chances of infection in the areas that a child is picking.
Sensory stimulation can be provided to help reduce the incidence of the picking. An occupational therapist trained in sensory integration can do an assessment and make recommendations for activities that increase sensory stimulation, such as skin brushing and play activities such as playing with a stress ball that are fun as well as effective in reducing the need to pick. A trained professional can also provide insight into the mental outlook of a child and thus prove to be of great help.
It may become necessary to treat skin picking in children with oral or topical medications. There are special formulations of these drugs for children and care should be taken that children receive these special doses. This treatment should be observed for sometime in case there are signs of improvement in these children. It's quite likely to witness these children get better with continued treatment.
Since this disorder results from anxiety, drawing undue attention to the activity could likely make it worse. It is important to note that punishment, lectures, nagging, consequences, undue fussing, blaming and shaming and all the responses we persist in do not work. In fact, the increased anxiety could actually lead to an increase in picking.
Curing dermatillomania isn't as difficult as you may think, too many people rely on lengthy and expensive therapy sessions or medications; Compulsive skin picking can be cured without leaving the house.
If you'd like to know how to cure this disorder please keep reading Dermatillomania Cure