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Skin Care

How To Know You Have Acne Excoriée (The Skin Picking Condition)

If you’ve never heard of it, acne excoriée is a skin condition “when one compulsively is picking, scratching, or squeezing acne or pimples,” leaving scabs, scars, and pigmentation, says board-certified multi-specialist physician, Dr. Azza Halim, MD. More common in adolescent females than males, the condition is usually associated with depression, anxiety, OCD, body dysmorphia, or emotional triggers.

“Pickers’ acne,” as it’s sometimes called, is more common than you might believe. That’s because of underreported data, and also because it’s not a well-understood concept, says Dr. Halim. A 2020 Journal of Psychiatric Research study of a population representative of the US revealed that 3.1 percent of females identified as having a lifetime skin-picking disorder. Savanna Boda, owner of Savanna Boda Aesthetics agrees: “Many people suffer in silence,” she adds.

How To Know You Have Acne Excoriée

According to Womenshealth, acne excoriée developed over time by “repetitive picking at the skin,” says Boda. “People are not born with acne excoriée.” Dr. Halim adds that it's born out of habit. “Trait disorders, learned behaviors, life stressors, all can be contributing factors,” she says.

Of course, it’s pretty common to pick at your acne, so it can be hard to know when it crosses a line into potentially unhealthy territory. Just remember that it’s never good for your skin, since, according to Dr. Halim, it can lead to infections and scars.

“It is completely normal to pop your pimples once in a while,” explains Boda. “It becomes excoriée when you cannot stop and it becomes an addiction. There is a difference between popping one or two pimples from time to time and spending hours in the mirror picking at your skin and every imperfection.”

If you feel that your skin-picking is getting out of hand, both experts recommend that you seek the help of a medical professional or esthetician who knows the ins and outs of dermatologic skin conditions, not just the basics.

One should do their research as well as get multiple consultations," Dr. Halim says. "I have seen many patients go unrecognized, but with a trained eye one can be diagnosed quickly. Once I say to the patient, ‘looks like you have been picking’ they immediately admit to it and agree it’s a habit.”

Content created and supplied by: Kwajaffa (via Opera News )

Azza Halim MD. OCD


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