Sharing you story allows you to:

  • Take control back from this controlling disorder
  • Lessen the stigma that this is merely a bad habit
  • Find & relate to others suffering with this as well
  • Challenge what society perceives as 'Bad Skin'
  • Advocate a mental illness in much need of attention


"I have been suffering from skin picking on my legs since I was super young then it continued to my arms then to my face when I began to get acne. The ones on my legs and arms were only being picked from mosquito bites or an injury. People ask all the time what’s wrong. Or if they’re bruises. I can’t ever tell the truth. It’s disgusting. I just wish I can erase all my scars and pretend I never had this problem." -Marlee, 24, Oklahoma

"I had a phobia of bees, and from that phobia came the need to control my surroundings. When things felt out of control, I would sit for hours and sort little beads into a sorting tray, repeating the processes when I was finished sorting. It escalated to picking my face and body when I started having problems with a high school boyfriend. When "Dr. Pimple Popper" came to Youtube, I would obsess over her videos and even bought my own "extractor..." only to realize it was doing a lot more damage to my skin than picking alone. I've had kids ask their parents what's wrong with my face...I hate going out in public, it's easier to just hide indoors. Every time I go out, I have to wear makeup...but the problem is I have really sensitive skin. So, each time I put makeup on, I break out really bad (which starts the cycle all over again). Though I've done this before, tonight I decided to through away my extractor. I pray for comfort and the ability to not feel the urge to pick." -Katie, 24, Texas

"I've had this since I was in elementary school and it has ruled so much of my life. I focus on my hands, feet, face, arms, and hands. Primarily my hands. The unfortunate thing is that I was a flight medic where open lesions stopped me from this career. People would point at me, comment, cringe, in college a woman beat me up, and people have such horrible responses. Especially when my bloody fingers touched books, papers, keyboards, and food.” -Tania, 46, Wisconsin

"I want to know what it feels like to feel confident again and not have to cover myself up with concealer and foundation. I don't want to hide anymore. I desperately want to get better and experience clear skin, so I can start truly living without feeling constantly bad for myself. People around me like my friends, siblings and parents know that I'm a beautiful girl with goals and ambitions in life, and my Dermatillomania is what's holding me back. I'll do anything to make it better." -Sierra, 17

“I  constantly pick my fingers and nails, my fingers are sore, my mum has bought me fidget spinners and stress balls and nothing works, I am at secondary school now and I’m embarrassed cause I can’t stop.” -Paul, 12, Great Britain

"I had no idea that organisations such as yours exists. I always thought I was the only one who has this problem ... It feels like the scars don't disappear, also because I keep scratching. This makes me feel self conscious. I feel guilty because I feel like I am betraying God by abusing the body he gave me, yet I struggle to stop." -Thureya, 36, South Africa

"After doing some research, I'm pretty certain that my brother has Dermatillomania. He has not been diagnosed with it, but has been diagnosed with OCD. He spends a lot of time picking the skin on his feet. He has lost toe nails and the toes are bloody a lot of the time. There are many scabs. He's very sensitive to this so it's hard to talk to him about it. It worries and scares me because he is diabetic and wounds to his feet are very dangerous." -Sara

"I was diagnosed with Dermatillomania in 2016. Since then I've tried on my own to stop with some success, but when I get a pimple or piece of loose skin it's right back at it again." -Marianne, 63

"I pull and peel the skin off the tips of my fingers... I have always been too embarrassed to talk about to ANYONE. And I am over sixty years old. I have done this since as far back as I can remember. It started with nail biting in grade school. I feel very alone in the world with this." -Dawn

"As if its not painful enough or embarrassing enough everyone around me always point out my skin, tell me to stop picking holes in my flesh, and I often get accused of being a drug addict." -Nikola

"I have a impulsive urge to keep picking my face, arms and legs. It's affecting my life and my relationship with my boyfriend. I'm scarring myself too and it's making me feel self conscious, I don't want to do anything or leave my home!" -Amanda

"I'm constantly picking my skin around my fingers, to the point where they bleed. I still continue to pick at them and bite the skin. I suffer with anxiety and I've tried everything to get myself to stop, my fingers have even gotten infected." -Kirsty, 20

"I think the one thing that truly got to me the most was when I finally said to myself, "this is madness - by definition - madness! In all these years of picking your skin, it's never ONCE made it better in any way - it has only ever made it WORSE. After that, any time I felt an imperfection in my skin that was starting to drive me crazy, I reminded myself to stop, breathe, and be rational. I visualized the worst aftereffects of a picking session and asked myself which I would rather live with. Today, I'm proud to say my picking is well under control (not without the occupational moments of brief weakness!)" -Kristin

"My daughter who is turning 15 soon has been picking and scarring her body since for 7 or more years. She has been to counselors for years and nothing helps." -Connie

"I've been picking my skin (on my face) for 30 years. I have in the past attended TLC meetings. They were fabulous. I still pick but not as bad as I used to, but I do ever single day. It sucks. I'm guessing I will forever to a degree. " -Nicole, 47

“I suffer from Dermatillomania, I compulsively pick at my hands, face, scalp, lips, back, chest, and feet. I would like to spread awareness on the disorder as well as gather resources on how to improve my quality of life. I don’t know anyone else who suffers from this disorder..” -Jessica, 16, California

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