Excoriation disorder (also referred to as dermatillomania or chronic skin-picking) is a psychological condition. It is characterised by repeated picking at one’s own skin which results in skin lesions and causes significant disruption in one’s life.

It is different than the occasional picking at skin imperfections and irregularities, which most people engage in from time to time. In the case of excoriation disorder, the behaviour is chronic, causes the individual marked distress and dysfunction, and can result in severe tissue damage. Treatment often requires a mix of therapy, medication, and self-help strategies.

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Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a skin picking therapist.

dermatillomania therapist near me

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You can find help with a specialist online on platform like BetterHelp.com. You just need to fill the questionnaire to find the right therapist for you.

What triggers episodes of Dermatillomania?

Different individuals may report different triggers for the behaviour. Some may report picking when they’re anxious; while the behaviour may temporarily relieve anxiety, it often exacerbates it and other negative emotions in the long run. Others may pick when they’re bored or distracted. Some individuals pick while they’re engrossed in another activity and may not immediately notice that they have started picking their skin.
Some individuals spend hours a day on their picking behaviour, which can last for months or even years. Excoriation disorder can result in visible skin damage and disfigurement from lesions, discoloration, open wounds, scars, and infections. It is generally a chronic condition, though symptoms may arise and disappear from time to time.
In addition to physical damage, excoriation disorder is characterised by the psychological distress it causes. Individuals with this condition can spend hours thinking about picking and trying to resist the urge before giving in; similar to impulse control disorders such as kleptomania, they may describe a feeling of “tension” that is temporarily relieved once they give in to the urge to pick. Anxiety, depression, shame, fear of exposure, and embarrassment over the condition usually lead to attempts at covering up the skin with makeup, clothing, or other means; such emotions, and other consequences of the disorder, can also interfere with normal social interactions, resulting in uncomfortable relationships with family and friends.

Is dermatillomania the same as self-harm?

Most experts consider dermatillomania to be distinct from self-harm. Self-harm often involves the deliberate infliction of pain upon oneself, usually as a means to seek relief from upsetting emotions or thoughts. While dermatillomania can be triggered by negative emotions such as anxiety, it isn’t always; boredom, for example, is just as common a trigger. What’s more, any pain caused by skin-picking is rarely the intention; instead, the behaviors often are experienced as soothing or relaxing, at least in the moment.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a skin picking therapist.

To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

How to pick your therapist?

You may be experiencing significant distress due to dermatillomania. Therapy tends to be significantly more effective than medication in the control of this condition and does not come with the same risk of side effects. You will do much better in a supportive environment, where you can express your feelins in the way that is most comfortable for you. You will also be helped with the knowledge that, if necessary, treatments exist to reduce the sense of anxiety that you feel.

How to find an affordable therapist near me?

Tailor made online therapy sessions exist. The more specialised the therapy is, the more difficult it is to find a therapist near your location. Online or virtual therapy is worth it, and it works: experience shows that apart from being affordable and convenient, individuals can access the help they need, when and how they can best receive it.

The online platform betterhelp.com can be a good solution, where specialised professional therapists can provide you with the guidance and support that you need to work on skin picking but other issues as well such as mother/daughter relationship challenges, eating disorder and much more.

dermatillomania specialist near me

How does online therapy work?

The Betterhelp network of more than 8,000 therapists makes it one of the biggest online therapy networks in the field. With a multitude of diverse professionals, Betterhelp is suitable for teens, individuals, and couples. And with some of the best prices for virtual counseling, Betterhelp is a great option for people on a budget.  After completing a brief questionnaire, you’ll be paired with a therapist who is a good fit for your individual needs; therapists have their own areas of expertise. You can be sure that you will find a specialising therapist in eating disorders and binge eating.

It’s easy to use. As a user, you may use the website login or smartphone app for video therapy sessions, scheduling appointments, and messaging your therapist.

When using Betterhelp, it’s helpful to know the following:

  • You will receive an email notification when your therapist responds to you.
  • You may schedule either phone, chat, or video therapy sessions.
  • You can revisit messages when you log in.

Customers seem to be happy with the Betterhelp platform, along with the variety of virtual options and tools. If you have a question for the Betterhelp customer service team, you must fill out an online contact form and wait for a response.

There is nothing shameful about seeking help

An individual may feel ashamed about their difficulties. They feel that they “should” be able to control the condition on their own. Online therapy makes it easier to reach out for affordable help by specialised professionals. Help is out there, and it is easy to check it out so that you ensure that the best match in terms of therapist is found for your own needs, in order for them to guide you to work on our relationship.

Does the online therapy accept payment through my insurance?

If you consider using your health insurance for online therapy, check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
  • What is my deductible, and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
  • What does the coverage amount to per therapy session?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Josiane Camilleri

Josiane Camilleri

Professor

Writer for Therapy Hunter as well as psychology
professor at Malta University.

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