Are You Harming Yourself By Popping Your Pimples?


Before I start this article, I need to ask a very important question: How many times have you seen a pimple on your face and had a horrible urge to pop it? Think about it. If your answer scares you, then this article is for you. ‘Why?’ you ask.  It’s because in this article, I’ll talk about how popping pimples ( skin picking) is, indeed, a form of unintentional self-harm.

According to National Health Services UK, self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It's usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress.The habit of excessive skin picking is known as Dermatillomania or Excoriation disorder.

According to Wikipedia, Excoriation disorder is an obsessive-compulsive spectrum mental disorder that is characterized by the repeated urge to pick at one's own skin to the extent that either psychological or physical damage is caused. So chances are that you might be harming yourself without your knowledge. In order for you to get a better understanding of Dermatillomania, here’s a list of signs and symptoms associated with the condition.

  1. The act of skin picking often associated or triggered by tension, anxiety, stress or depression.
  2. The most commonly used tool to pick the skin is the hands. However, in some extreme cases, people use tools like tweezers, needles, etc.
  3. The most common site of skin picking is the face. The other sites include- arms, back, gums, neck, legs, shoulders, scalp, abdomen, chest, fingernails, toenails and cuticles.
  4. When picking, a person might experience a sense of satisfaction which is then followed by guilt or sadness.
  5. Sometimes, a person might participate in the act of skin picking multiple times in a day and some skin picking sessions can last for multiple hours.
  6. Skin picking is often used as a coping mechanism to deal with negative emotions and situations.
  7. A person who picks the skin will have multiple scars from skin picking, some of them being extremely severe.
  8. Skin picking can get in the way of a person’s social and professional life due to the embarrassment of the scars being revealed.

Do these symptoms sound familiar? You can talk to a Dermatologist in order to get a better understanding of the signs, symptoms and treatment options for skin picking.

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