Skin picking behaviors may also be accompanied by various other ritualistic behaviors involving skin or scabs including examining, playing with, tasting or swallowing the skin.
Skin picking can be triggered by emotional components such as anxiety, boredom, or tension. Pain in not reported to accompany these actions. Often a sense of relief, gratification, and pleasure is achieved following the skin picking. Individuals have reported skin picking in response to minor skin irritability or to relieve an uncomfortable bodily sensation.
Skin picking can be focused and conducted following tension and used as relief mechanism, or picking may be automatic, occurring without feelings of tension and without full awareness of the action. Individuals typically engage in these acts privately without others present, aside from immediate family members. There are also reports of individuals picking the skin of others.
Due to chronic skin picking, medical complications can occur which include synovitis of the wrist joint, tissue damage, scarring, and infection. Excoriation Disorder often requires antibiotic treatment to address infections and may require surgery depending on the severity of the disorder.
Prevalence of Excoriation Disorder
Excoriation Disorder is estimated to impact approximately 5% of the population. Excoriation Disorder typically begins in early adolescents, though it can begin at any age. About 75% of individuals affected by the disorder are female.