Dermatillomania can be hard to talk about. Let's draw about it.
This is a rolling collection of art by individuals who have suffered with Skin Picking Disorder.
Acting as a visual portrayal of their journey, these drawings help other sufferers understand they're not alone.
@tardi_babe, Sofie G., 20, Georgia
@colorfulfest / @maggieiswonderful, Margeret D., 30, Virginia
“I wanted to express a little doodle depicting mostly of my scabs (flaky skin from my late Grandfather). The lime green represent scabs, and there are some other themes. I struggle with bipolar disorder (2 hearts up and down), and PTSD resulting in borderline personality disorder. When I was drawing I wanted to express how my thoughts on how they pop up telling me to pick and at the same time focusing on my scar outlines in the mirror (no one notices unless I point them out). Despite it all I have maintained a colorful personality. Please enjoy :)"
@sademursu, Riina T., 22, Finland
@thepale_bluedot, Harshita B., 27, India
“Ever since my skin started breaking out in my teens, I’ve always had an issue with picking at acne even though I know it’ll leave scars. The thought of having pus and bacteria under my skin grosses me out. The scars used to make me feel so conscious, they still do some time but I’ve learnt to accept them and work on them but I haven’t been able to stop picking. The artwork was an attempt at trying to embrace the scars."
@kharleyat / @ktharley, Katie H., 24, Ireland, kharleyat.wordpress.com
@brianakennedyartwork, Briana K., 24
“I suffer from Dermatillomania or Excoriation disorder. It’s a mental disorder where you compulsively pick at your skin. Many people find it gross and think it’s something that is easy to stop. Unfortunately it similar to addiction and connected with OCD. The picking actually releases endorphins in your brain helping one to feel better. I do it without even realizing it. (Like while I am sleeping)
This image is an artist rendering of how I feel during a bad episode.
@abstractallie4, Allie F.
“Picking is no joke. I struggle every day. This drawing I made represents exactly how it feels to me. I hope I can get better! One day at a time."
@emiliachronix, Emilia C., 28, Britain
“I started skin picking and hair pulling at around 7yrs old. I was always made to feel embarrassed and ashamed, no one understood- medical professionals saw it, even psychiatrists and would say “did you do that to yourself?” I’d say “yeah I can’t stop it” they would just shrug and brush over it- Picking Me really gave me and my alters a place of comfort, acceptance and a sense of belonging, understanding and community. The people on their Instagram have helped me feel beautiful even with my scabs and missing hair. They have all helped me in my journey to accepting and loving myself just as I am.
People who pick their skin and pull out their hair are dealing with something much deeper and much more painful, please be kind and don’t shame us or embarrass us. Please don’t pull our hands away or tell us to stop because that just makes it worse, instead ask us “are you ok? If you need to talk about anything then I’m here and I’ll hear you. I want to try to understand” - we need your compassion not your disgust and judgment over something you see as “gross” because our brains interpret it as a comfort, as a form of self soothing. It’s a compulsive disorder rooted in shame and guilt of things that aren’t our fault. Please don’t be scared of us we are not contagious, we are not taking drugs we are struggling and need to feel safe and accepted."