Can’t STOP Picking My Scalp - Anxiety and Depre...

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Can’t STOP Picking My Scalp

MariaLove123 profile image

I’ve written about this before. I stopped for a short while but for weeks, I pick and pick all day; even throughout the night. Last week it lead to my forehead. I literally ripped it apart. I looked like a monster. I put A&D on it and it healed pretty fast. Luckily it was too soar to keep picking. But my scalp never gets soar enough. I pick the top, the sides and really bad in the back. I CANNOT stop! I pick while I’m sitting down, doing stuff around the house and even while driving. I put A&D on it but I just start picking a minute later. Does anyone have advice? I can’t let it heal because I feel scabs and NEED to pick them. And the oil gets on my hands and touching my face has led to a breakout. I feel so disgusting and ugly 😥🙁

27 Replies

I do the same thing picking at my skin. More so when I’m stressed. It makes me feel ugly too. ☹️

MariaLove123 profile image
MariaLove123 in reply to

Yeah it definitely does not help with self esteem, that’s for sure. Have you found a way to pick less? I can’t take this anymore. It’s constant!

in reply to MariaLove123

I tried hypnosis once and it worked for a little while. I try to focus on one spot so it’s not bad everywhere. But alas no I haven’t found something that helps. Do you take medicine for depression or anxiety? Do you think it’s a symptom of that?

MariaLove123 profile image
MariaLove123 in reply to

I’ve been taking Zoloft for a while now. I should totally see if that’s a symptom. It did start up again around that time! Thank you! And I’m trying to pick just one spot too. It’s hard though! BTW I love hypnosis. I did it years ago and went every week for months. I actually got certified that’s how much I loved it. I should get back into that! You’re the best thank you 🙏🏼🤗❤️

eli_32 profile image
eli_32 in reply to MariaLove123

Did you try the hypnosis for that specific issue? I've been considering it for panic attacks. One of my less noticeable symptoms is pulling eyelashes. I just get fakes if I go too far.

Hi marialove, the scalp picking is a coping skill for you so in order to stop that habit, something needs to take its place. Maybe think about other healthy things you could do instead and try and do them instead of picking. It will take time and effort for this to change but it can happen if you focus on it. Thinking of you💖

You are lovable, just the way you are. At this moment. You are ok, you are enough.

Omg! I am so sorry that you're going through this! I've had a problem where I would pick at my face like my nose pores & I would have a big ole scab on my nose for like a week! I felt like Rudolph! :( I've just been trying to LEAVE MY NOSE ALONE! I clean it properly every morning & night, put my makeup on my face, & LEAVE MY FACE ALONE! It's easier said than done, but I get it! I hope you get this worked out!!!! <3

MariaLove123 profile image
MariaLove123 in reply to

Thanks girlie :))) I know it’s easier said than done but it really is the only way. I’m going to try to not pick just hour by hour. Xo!

i do this too esp behind my ears make it sore but esp at night cant stop it

I also do this. Really embarrassing when I need my hair cut. Have been to GP but didn't fess up to picking. Just said it was insect bites which were itchy. He gave me antibiotics and now have shampoo to help. But anxiety is me making it worse. Told CPN, psychiatrist and psychologist but no one takes it seriously. Anxiety bad just now. Off work and trying to get back but HR putting obstacles in my way and telling me that my imminent return is causing others distress. Trying to put me into another role but I truly love my job and am afraid I will never be allowed back to it. Only off now because I fessed up to my line manager that a prior absence was due to depression. She waited till I was off one afternoon then stepped down as my LM, saying she couldn't cope with me. I was and still am devastated. She was also a friend who I had helped through many bad times. Never tell anyone about your anxiety or depression at work if you don't have to. That is now my motto. Any tips re stopping picking, gratefully received. What is A&D?

I’m glad I’m not alone. My dr recommended a shampoo too but it didn’t work. I can’t stop! Vitamin A&D gel is good. But even if it heals I pick over it. God help us!

I understand...I pick at the skin on my thumbs and find myself doing it without being conscious that I’m doing it! I put bandaids on them but they fall off pretty quickly. It’s a nervous/OCD type of issue. I think you should seek help from your Psychiatrist or therapist. I believe I can stop when I decide to, that just hasn’t happened yet!

Thanks. I actually do but it’s a compulsion to wanna pick. At least the head and shoulders helps when I wash the hair.

I used to pick my scalp and my fingers. I just stopped myself cold turkey. I had to keep myself preoccupied but now I'm always on my phone lol. I wish I had better advice.

MariaLove123 profile image
MariaLove123 in reply to

No wait, that’s actually a good idea. I like playing on my phone. I only stop when my fiancé comes home so we can watch tv together. That’s when I go crazy picking. But like right now, I’m on my phone and haven’t picked once. Thank you! You opened up my eyes 🤗

in reply to MariaLove123

You're very welcome! Happy I could help!

I do this too! My mom used to buy me stickers to peel instead when I’d start picking and peeling at scabs, which was good distraction. Something more drastic I’ve done; if you get acrylics (not the pointy kind the round kind) in my experience you can’t pick scabs because the nails won’t allow you to. I’m not a huge fan of them, but it helps you stop for a few weeks and in that time you get used to not picking for awhile, so I’m usually good for a bit even after I take the nails off

Thank you! I’ll look into it!

Omg,this is first time i have know someoneelse who does this,i do it too,my scalp is a mess,my haur falling out,my face now has constant breakouts,yet i cant stop.....

Yeah it’s crazy right? I thought I was the only one until I looked it up. It’s a form of self harming. I’m addicted. My scalp is so soar.

That makes sense,yes mine whole scalp and around my face are painful...I need help.

I know, my face is getting a few breakouts and I’m picking at them. I never thought of this but my fiancé said it was probably caused by the oils from our scalps getting on our hands and then touching our faces. We should wash our hands a lot. I’m starting to put A&D on my face which is helping. I can’t stop picking my scalp though 😕

What is A and D?

Sorry I didn't see this sooner. Had same problem. Scalp cells are supposed to lay flat. Once you pick at it, the cells misalign, which in my case lead to more picking because I could feel the jagged cells. I got a prescription for Fluocinonide topical solution. It's oily! But when I was tempted to pick, I put a few drops on and rubbed it in. The solution helped bc it's a steroid, but what really helped was replacing the picking with rubbing. Also, like another person, I pick at other areas and try not to focus on one particular area.

Ooh gosh you poor thing ☹️ seems like a way to deal with anxiety... seems to soothe you I suppose x

Hopefully with dealing with the anxiety that will help calm

The picking down x

I do it too! I don’t realize I’m doing it until I feel blood on my nail. Whenever my sister would ask about it when she did my hair, I would just say it was because of dandruff. After a while she noticed I don’t have dandruff and that I do it when I’m stressed. I stopped, but then she noticed I was picking at my eyebrows and forehead instead. So I guess we do need to find another coping strategy because even when I’ve tried to stop, I end up just switching areas but still picking at skin.

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