Signs & Symptoms

  • Recurrent skin picking of face, lips, scalp, hands or arms.
  • Tension increase immediately before picking.
  • Pleasure, gratification, tension decrease or relief when skin picking.
  • Sensations such as itching, tingling, burning, or an uncontrollable urge to pick one’s skin.

Individuals with CSP may pick at normal skin variations such as freckles and moles, at actual pre-existing scabs, sores or acne blemishes, or at imagined skin defects that nobody else can observe. Individuals with CSP may use their fingernails, as well as their teeth, tweezers, pins or other mechanical devices. As a result, CSP may cause bleeding, bruises, infections, and/or permanent disfigurement of the skin. CSP has negative effects on a person's life: individuals with CSP take measures to hide their disorder by not leaving home, avoiding social contact, wearing long sleeves and pants in summer, and heavy make-up use for coverage. The disorder is typically found among females more than males.