Stop Skin Picking with Hypnosis


Would you love to stop picking your skin or squeezing spots? You may have compulsive Skin Picking (CSP) or dermatillomania. This is the repetitive picking of your own skin. I have helped many people reduce and stop skin picking with hypnosis at my London office. This problem can vary in severity. So, you might just have a bad habit. But it can also be similar to OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). If you would like to find out how hypnosis can help you, get in touch today.


Stop skin picking with hypnosis in London


Stop skin picking with hypnosis in London


Skin picking at its worst will cause pain, injury and permanent scarring. It also requires a large amount of time and attention. This is hugely disruptive to your life. Do you stand for far too long in front of the mirror? Is your picking stopping you from living life to the full?

Hypnosis helps both the bad habit of skin picking and the more severe OCD form. I treat this habit in the same way I use hypnosis for nail biting and other repetitive behaviours, weight loss, or to stop smoking. It is about looking to see what is driving this habit and how it functions in your life. This is frequently a way to ‘self soothe’ or deal with anxieties.


More severe skin picking and hypnosis


At my London office I treat the more severe compulsion by helping you overcome underlying anxieties and stress. You may also struggle with perfectionism and body confidence. If so, I’ll help with this too. Hypnosis and other tools I use are particularly useful when your skin picking is a symptom of OCD . Skin picking is more common in women than in men, and it is thought to affect about 2% of people who see a dermatologist.


Help to stop skin picking, anxiety and OCD


You might pick your skin because it provides a temporary relief from anxiety, stress or boredom. Or maybe it distracts you from emotional problems or other worries. Many people start skin picking to make their skin as ‘perfect’ as possible. Even though the results are scars. You pick your skin to remove (real or imaginary) spots, scabs, blemishes. You want perfectly smooth skin, not lumps and bumps.

Of course, the more you pick, the worse the imperfections appear. This leads to a vicious circle of further skin picking. More severe cases of compulsive skin picking have obsessive compulsive aspects that are similar to OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and compulsive hair pulling (or trichotillomania – TTM).

Skin picking becomes ritualistic, compulsive, repetitive. It is often used to temporarily relieve stress, anxiety and tension. However it is ultimately unhelpful or even self-destructive. Around a quarter of people diagnosed with OCD or BDD also pick their skin.


Stop OCD based skin picking with hypnosis


If your skin picking is more severe and is part of OCD, I can help with this also. Although you feel the compulsion to pick your skin (or whatever your own compulsion is), you stop yourself from doing it, for a given period of time. This period of time gradually gets longer. So rather than relieving the anxiety you feel by skin picking, you learn to live with the feeling of anxiety.

Usually, if you do suffer with OCD, you don’t allow yourself to remain feeling uncomfortable or anxious for long enough to realise that, even if you don’t carry out your compulsion, the anxiety will subside on its own. Instead the way of being is to focus on feeling better in the short term.


What are the symptoms of compulsive skin picking?


The most commonly affected areas are the face, gums, lips, back, shoulders, and arms. Many sufferers will also pick their scalp, stomach, and chest or pull hairs. Finger and toe nails (and cuticles) are also often affected. This in turn causes pain, scarring or bleeding.

Most sufferers of skin picking disorder experience some form of stress or tension before picking, which is decreased by skin picking. If your skin picking is merely a habit, then you may not even be aware that you are doing it, since it goes on beneath the level of consciousness. You just later realise it happened.

Your skin picking can cause you further problems. These include a dislike of being looked at, self-consciousness, even your relationships going badly because of it. You may dislike the way you look, and even stop going out because it takes you so long to get ready. If you pick your skin, you may feel the need to camouflage your scars of blemishes with make-up. Or you cover up affected areas with clothing, even in summer.


Stop skin picking with hypnosis London


Stop skin picking with hypnosis and social anxiety


Compulsive skin picking can cause or worsen social anxiety, making you feel self-conscious, perhaps leading you to stay at home and avoid your friends. Or maybe you’re constantly late as your skin picking and subsequent camouflaging routine takes up so much time. Skin picking interferes with your everyday life.

When skin picking is in its milder form, it is really best described as just a bad habit. Habits come in all shapes and sizes, and stop skin picking hypnosis is a very effective and powerful treatment for any habit. Often you simply don’t consciously go through a thought process of telling yourself to do it. You may not even notice that you’re picking your skin until someone tells you you’re doing it or notice that you have been at the mirror for too long.

Similarly, if you have a nail biting habit, you suddenly find that you are biting your nails without having thought “I should put my hand towards my mouth now”. Or you find yourself twisting or pulling your hair, seemingly unaware of what you are doing until you have actually pulled the hair out or made it snap. It just seems to happen without you really noticing, until it’s too late. This is where hypnosis can step in and interrupt that automatic thinking.

Hypnosis is very effective in the treatment of compulsive skin picking. It can be used alone or in conjunction with either or both medication and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).


Stop skin picking with hypnosis by addressing its causes


Skin picking usually starts in childhood or adolescence, but can start any time. In common with many habits, skin picking is more likely to happen when you are feeling anxious or stressed, restless, tired, or stressed at work. You pick your skin to distract yourself, to take a moment out. You’re trying to make yourself feel better.

Chances are that back when it started, you got something out of your bad habit. It probably DID make you feel better for a while. The first time you bite your nails, or pull your hair, it succeeds in distracting you from whatever is you stressed or anxious. Grinding your teeth probably made you feel stronger, in control, more determined to beat whatever problem was bothering you. But as you repeat the habit which made you feel better when you first tried it, it brings its own problems.

Skin picking doesn’t make you feel one bit better in the long run. In fact you feel worse, because it’s painful, it takes up increasing amounts of time, your appearance suffers and you feel that you cannot control what is happening. But you CAN control your actions, stop skin picking, stop nail biting, or stop hair and this is where hypnosis can be so effective.


How does hypnosis for skin picking work?


Hypnosis speaks directly to your subconscious mind and makes you more aware of what you are doing when you pick your skin. Rather than subconsciously, in an unthinking way indulge your habit, hypnosis helps you become very mindful of what you’re doing. This means you more easily notice your hand reaching towards your skin, rather than just automatically doing it.

Since this habit is subconscious, it can therefore feel hard to control it. Hypnosis helps you become aware of what you are doing. One of the hypnosis techniques used to stop skin picking is a suggestion that whenever you want to pick your skin, you must turn your hand upside down to do it; there are many variations on this. This technique is known as habit reversal training.


Stop skin picking with hypnosis in London


As one of London’s hypnotherapists, I have years of expertise and training and can really help you stop skin picking in just a few sessions. I also specialise in the causes of skin picking such as anxiety and stress. If you are looking for hypnosis in London, get in touch today.


author avatar
Jason Demant Clinical Hypnotherapist
London hypnotherapist. Seeing clients in King's Cross and online. Diploma in clinical hypnotherapy, counselling and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) from Life Matters Training College, based on Harley Street, London. Fully insured and a validated practitioner of the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council and member of the General Hypnotherapy Register.