Complusions are physical or mental repetitive behaviors that are used to relief some anxiety caused by an obsession. There is control found in doing little actions in a very precise manner that seems to contrast the chaos that the obsessions are creating in one's mind. All behaviors or mentals acts are meant to try and prevent or reduce anxiety levels or to prevent a dreaded event or situation. Many complusions involve touching or tapping, hoarding, repeatings, arranging or collecting. But some complusions are skin related. A person suffering from skin complusion may not even be aware they are doing it. Some are and just cannot stop this behavior while some are doing it out of sheer boredom.
I can admit that I have had a part in some of these and have successfully stopped one of them. But even though I had stopped, it did cause damage. I used to obsessively pluck my eyebrows. If i saw a tiny little stray hair I would frantically look for the tweezers. This started when I was around 13 years old. I once had such thick eyebrows and now they are very thin and even though I have quit plucking them altogther my eyebrows will not grow back in. So remember if you have a little skin tick whether it be picking, scratching, or plucking it can and most likely will have long term damage.
Skin picking is a lot like an OCD tick. Many know they are doing it, they know it can be painful and self-defeating. The tragic and rather confusing aspect of skin picking is that the person finds comfort or an emotional release in the act. While knowing that this behavior needs to be stopped or avoided the person will continue the behavior. Some may do it just out of boredom. Skin picking can bring alot of shame and embarassment for the person because they may not think it is common or want others to see. This little tick can cause many unwanted scars, infections, tissue damage, and septicemia. Damage from severe picking can require skin grafts or cause epidural abscesses. One example i found was a 48 year old woman who picked a clean hole right through the bridge of her nose which required surgery to fix. It can cause disfigurement as well.
This disorder affects 4% of the population and women are four times more likely to be affected with this. hiar is usually plucked around the eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair. Some tend to pull or break the hair along the scalp leaving round patches. This can cause an uneven apperance. Symptoms inclues bare patches or all around loss of hair, bowel blockage or obstruction if the person is eating the hair after it is pulled out, constant tugging or pulling. The hair regrowth will start to feel like stubble in the bare spots.
Hand washing is something we were taught as little kids. But many people wash their hands up to 50 times a day. People with contamination obsessions can never be too clean. One washing is never enough because that worry of missing a critical spot. This person may repeatedly wash their cans until the soap is gone. But washing is rarely confined to just the hands. Some individuals may bathe and shower numerous times a day. Serious cases have been reported of individuals bathing in bleach to kill any unwanted germs. People suffering from contamination obsessions may not touch bruised fruits, doorknobs, grocery carts, or garden because of the fear of germs. Excessive washing can lead to severe skin chapping, cracking or bleeding.