"Since working with Dr. April, my teenage son has experienced rapid change and has made great strides in self-confidence. Dr. April is gifted in his work and is an inspiration to those fortunate to connect with him."

- Julia
Consultant, CoeurAlign Design

Dermatillomania Treatment Center

We understand the challenges associated with this skin picking syndrome and the courage it takes to seek help. Within The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles, we have a special Dermatillomania Treatment Center specializing in skin picking disorder therapy. Our program offers individual therapy focused on providing only scientifically-proven strategies designed to make dramatic progress. There is no need to suffer with symptoms of chronic and compulsive skin picking. This condition is treatable!

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What is Dermatillomania?

Dermatillomania is both a compulsive and chronic skin picking problem, meaning that one has a difficulty stopping themselves from picking their skin. It is a repetitive pattern that occurs over a long period of time, often with a focus on removing some skin imperfection as one sees it. 

Dermatillomania is classified as a body focused repetitive behavior (BFRB), which is diagnosed as an OCD related disorder. Sometimes, OCD symptoms can coincide with this syndrome. Because our Dermatillomania Treatment Center is housed within The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management, Dr. Craig April and staff apply their anxiety treatment expertise when this issue and need arises. 

Dermatillomania used to be called an impulse control disorder. 

The outbreak of Dermatillomania often, though not always, begins in adolescence with acne or other skin ailments. Although grooming and an overfocus on one's appearance is natural at this stage of development, those with Dermatillomania tend to be hyperfocused to an unhealthy degree. Their grooming habits, when it comes to their skin, tend to be extreme. This is one aspect of chronic skin picking that we address at our Dermatillomania Treatment Center with our program designed to change this hyperfocus and self-defeating compulsive behavior. 

Dermatillomania also often coincides with stressful life events and, though destructive, can become a habitual way of coping. This is yet another aspect of change we help people effect at our Dermatillomania Treartment Center. 

In addition to the label of Dermatillomania, this skin picking syndrome is known by several other names, such as:

  • Skin Picking Disorder
  • Excoriation Disorder
  • Chronic Skin Picking
  • Compulsive Skin Picking
  • Acne Excoriee
  • Psychogenic Excoriation
  • Pathological Skin PIcking
  • Neurotic Excoriation

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Do I have Dermatillomania?

It is easy to guess what the main symptom of skin picking disorder must be based on this label alone.  But Dermatillomania symptoms are more involved than one might think. For most that struggle with this issue, symptoms include:

  • Repetitive, frequent and intense skin picking that tends to create skin lesions. Skin picking behaviors often include: digging, popping, scratching, touching, squeezing and picking at skin with the goal of fixing what one sees as a flaw. However, some engage in this behavior to correct what they see on their skin as problematic, wrong or unwelcome. And others just engage in skin picking patterns of behavior as a compulsion alone.
  • Frequent attempts to stop or resist the urge to pick at skin, though unable to curtail the behavior over time.
  • Stress, tension or anxiety often preceding the skin picking session, though the individual isn't often aware they feel stressed or anxious before doing so.  
  • Scars, discoloration, tissue damage and skin trauma like scabs, sores, scrapes, wounds and cuts on the skin, face and fingers. Stress, embarrassment and pain often follow.
  • Avoidance of relationships, social activities and life events due to embarassment. Sometimes social anxiety accompanies these symptoms.
  • Tendency to feel as if caught in a trance while engaging in skin picking behavior, often resulting in the loss of a lot of time. This lost time can interfere with the completion of work assignments, errands, life tasks and more.  
  • Some feel skin picking is pleasurable at the time. Others describe experiences where focusing on skin picking is relaxing and stress relieving. And yet some find the act of compulsive skin picking exciting or to be a cure for boredom and anxiety in the moment. 


Call The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management  

Dermatillomania Treatment Center

Main Office Phone: 310 - 429 - 1024

Learn how to stop skin picking now and get your life back!


Most Common Areas Affected by Skin Picking

  • The face - most often picking at pimples, blotches and other perceived abnormalities.
  • The fingers - most often picking at cuticles and the skin around the nails, sometimes until raw and bleeding
  • The arms
  • Scabs - Often picking at scabs until they're bleeding. Sometimes this creates a larger and deeper scar. 
  • Acne
  • Moles
  • Freckles

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When to Seek Treatment for Skin Picking. How Much is Too much?

There are some simple ways to tell if you should seek specialized therapy for chronic skin picking at our Dermatillomania Treatment Center.

Here is a Self Administered Skin PIcking Disorder Test to determine if it's time to get help! This dermatillomania test is not meant to replace the need for an office evaluation to determine diagnosis. It is simply meant to act as a guide for skin picking treatment.

Though answering "Yes" to any of the items below would suggest you can benefit from specialized skin picking therapy treatment, it's clear that some suggest a real urgency:

- It bothers me that I pick my skin and can't seem to stop.

- It causes me physical pain.

- I realize it's causing me skin damage, rather than improving it.

- I feel embarrassed and fear people will notice and comment on my skin.

- I feel it's difficult for me to mange stress in a healthy manner.

- I frequently feel anxious.

- I experience OCD symptoms.

- I'm too focused on my apperance and care too much about what others think.

- I have social anxiety.

- I hide skin damage caused by my skin picking under clothing or makeup.

- I have scars from picking.

- I avoid certain environments where clothing that shows more skin is expected, such as the beach and the gym.

- It causes me emotional upset.


Chronic Skin Picking Disorder Therapy at The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management Los Angeles' special Dermatillomania Treatment Center

We treat Dermatillomania with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, which is the only scientifically proven method for treating skin picking disorder. The main techniques we teach and provide include:

Habit Reversal Training: This is a specific technique using movement and breathing that has proven to stop the skin picking urge and behavior in its tracks, if turned to as a practice. 

Behavior Modification: We help modify skin picking rituals and destructive behavior patterns that have become habitual.  It can often be helpful to look at Dermatillomania as an addiction or a bad habit. There are both conscious and unconscious behaviors that skin pickers engage in frequently that have solidified over time.  These need to be changed to learn new ways of coping while stopping the skin picking habit cycle. One behavior modification strategy we assign is the use of habit blockers. These are methods designed to block the habit of skin picking by adopting more constructive behaviors associated with one's hands - especially associated with typical picking times and locations. 

Cognitive Therapy:  How those with Dermatillomania handle stress and life's challenges has a lot to do with their perspective and beliefs that guide their behavior. It's vital to modify beliefs and perspectives that contribute to poor stress management and anxiety, in order to disrupt and correct the poor coping strategy of skin picking. 


Call The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management  

Main Office Phone: 310 - 429 - 1024

Learn how to overcome skin picking now to feel confident and in control again!





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