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Did you know scalp picking was a disorder?

I have been doing this for many, many years. I think I started it as a teenager as a method to deal with stress. My parents never noticed and neither did my ex (which is strange since we were together for 14 yrs). I never thought much of it until I was watching a show about it.
I've since researched it on the internet. My dd told me the other day that she noticed that I scratch my head a whole lot more when I'm stressed.

There are times that I'm really good about it. Then there are times like this past week where I seriously think I need a new way of dealing with stress.

Anyone else do this? Any tips?

Putting this in money & work since those are my 2 biggest stressors right now.


Asked by tempsingl3mom at 9:55 PM on Jul. 23, 2013 in Money & Work

Level 26 (27,595 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Dermatillomania. It's a subset of a variety of impulse control disorders or Body focused repetitive behaviors. (sometimes it's classified with OCD sometimes with conditions such as tourettes). Sometimes it can be influenced by diet, most often by stress. Some people have show improvement by decreasing caffeine and increasing water. Some people have found NA supplements to be helpful. In either case the best advice would always be talk to your doctor and even a counselor to determine what your triggers are and methods of coping to decrease the behavior or find a viable alternate such as a tangle toy etc.


    Answer by KristiS11384 at 10:23 PM on Jul. 23, 2013

  • I don't do the scalp thing, but I pick at my cuticles till they bleed. They're all scarred over. I've done it ever since I can remember. Sometimes I'll go for weeks and weeks and not tear them up, and they get to looking pretty good. Then I'll get stressed about something, and before I even notice what I'm doing, my cuticles are shredded an bloody. I've noticed my daughter starting to pick at her nails, too, which breaks my heart because the last thing I would have wanted is to pass my bad habits along to her. But nothing has worked to stop the habit for good. I eve got a bad infection on my right bird finger once and could have lost it, but that didn't slow me down for the long term. My mom punished me a lot to try and make me stop, even scrubbing the open sores with Comet and dipping my hands in boiling hot water. No dice. I've worn gloves, Band-Aids, etc. So if you find a cure, let me in on it!

    Answer by Ballad at 10:28 PM on Jul. 23, 2013

  • I just started scalp picking about a month ago. Definitely stress related. I don't know how people live with it because my scalp is a mess, very painful. It's gotten a lot better over the last week or so but I was doing it in my sleep :(

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 10:30 PM on Jul. 23, 2013

  • LOL
    So can we apply for disability because we do this?
    I have done it as long as I can remember and have no reason to stop. It doesn't hurt any one. It does not interfere with my life it is what we used to call a quirk.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:24 PM on Jul. 23, 2013

  • DS used to pick at himself.
    Scalp, legs, arms, nose etc. Getting him diagnosed with ADD and then addressing that problem resolved the picking.
    Have you considered a tranquilizer?

    Answer by feralxat at 10:00 PM on Jul. 23, 2013

  • I should say "stress related" in my case, not everyone's.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 10:30 PM on Jul. 23, 2013

  • Kinda. I don't literally pick or scratch like until it bleeds or anything but I often run my fingers through my hair and rub off the little dandruff thingies at my roots. It's satisfying for some reason.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 11:24 PM on Jul. 23, 2013

  • I do it too, and I know it's stress related for me.

    Answer by PandaGwen at 11:24 AM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • I do have an OCD type disorder where I pull my hair out but I don't pick with my scalp but theres tons of things outthere.

    Answer by mlmsm928 at 11:31 AM on Jul. 24, 2013