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Skin Picking Specialist

Compulsion Control

Ilisa Kaufman, Psy.D

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Specialist located in Miami, FL

Skin picking may start as a habit during a period of stress or boredom but can sometimes develop into a chronic problem where you frequently have open wounds and scars on your skin. If your skin picking habit is out of control, clinical psychologist Ilisa Kaufman, PsyD, of Compulsion Control in Miami, Florida, can help using her RIP-R program. Dr. Kaufman's unique approach uses groundbreaking techniques that divert your energies away from the obsession with skin picking. Find out more by calling Compulsion Control or book an appointment online today.

Skin Picking Q & A

What is skin picking?

Skin picking is a type of body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) in which you continually pick and pull at irregularities in the skin such as scabs, pimples, blisters, and calluses. You might also pick at your healthy skin, causing bleeding and scarring.

You might pick at your skin because you want to remove the imperfections, but in most cases, skin picking is a habit or a response to stress or boredom. It's a similar problem to hair pulling, and many people do both.

Skin picking is often a compulsion that affects people with OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder).

What problems can skin picking cause?

It may sound like a minor issue, but you could suffer from complications if you have a severe skin picking problem.

If you can't stop picking a certain area, such as a scab, you might develop a persistent skin lesion or an open sore. Infection and scarring might result from these wounds, and the inability to control the picking compulsion can cause considerable psychological distress.

What treatments can help with skin picking?

Treatments like ERP (exposure response prevention) and CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) can be helpful for many people who are struggling with compulsive skin picking.

These therapies enable you to modify your thinking and behavior, so you regain control. You also learn coping strategies that give you practical tools to use when facing a trigger for your skin-picking compulsions.

Although ERP is an effective treatment for many people, it doesn't work for everyone. Dr. Kaufman found that it lacked any analysis of the patient's motivation, which can be a fundamental driver for change in people affected by compulsive behaviors.

Dr. Kaufman developed RIP-R after undergoing ERP for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which shares many characteristics with skin picking.

How does RIP-R help with skin picking?

Dr. Kaufman's RIP-R program consists of different stages that take you from the lowest point, which she calls your personal rock-bottom. The second stage is interruption, where you learn to reduce or interrupt your skin picking.

That stage is followed by practice. Dr. Kaufman shows you 10 unique cognitive manipulations or techniques that help you overcome the need to pick your skin, which you then practice repeatedly. 

Finally, you reach replacement, where your skin picking compulsion no longer controls you. After completing the RIP-R program, instead of skin picking, you're able to turn your energies into more pleasurable and productive activities.

To find out more about RIP-R and how Dr. Kaufman can help you break the skin picking addiction, call Compulsion Control today or book an appointment online.