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Who picks their skin?

  • A study conducted by Sabine Wilhelm and her colleagues in 1998 sought to describe people who pick their skin. These researchers found a majority of their subjects to be female (87%), almost half were married, while 19% were divorced and 29% were single. Most of their subjects were well educated (39% had finished college and 35% had graduate degrees). The average age of onset for skin picking was 15 years, the course of the behavior tended to be chronic (lasting over time), although the behavior tended to wax and wane over the years.
  • In this study, 39% of the subjects reported having a dermatologic illness (mostly acne) when the behavior first began. Almost half of the subjects had close relatives (parents or siblings) who also picked their skin, again supporting the notion that skin picking may have a biological basis.

Learn more about...

What is self-injurious skin picking or "SISP"?
How many people have SISP?
What causes SISP?
Who picks their skin?
When is SISP a problem?
How do we treat SISP?
A Dermatologist's Perspective
Readiness for Change

About Skin Picking...  

Severe skin picking appears to be a way for some people to increase their activity levels when they are bored, or to control their emotions when they are anxious, tense, or upset.


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