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Excoriation Disorder

Excoriation Disorder is more commonly known as a skin-picking disorder. Its onset varies from person to person but most often begins during early adolescence or in the ages of 30-45 years old (Grant, et al. 2021). Other characteristic symptoms include skin-picking which results in skin lesions in an attempt to alleviate experiences of anxiety, distress, and impulsivity. It also includes efforts to stop skin-picking itself.

The treatment for Excoriation Disorder mostly includes evidence-based approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and habit reversal training along with medications that address anxiety symptoms (Capprioti, et al. 2015, Kress & Paylo, 2015).

There are possible ways that an individual can reduce anxiety even in 10 seconds. The following are considered coping strategies/grounding techniques for people who experience anxiety symptoms and skin-picking which mainly focuses on the:

  • Things you can see

  • Things you can feel

  • Things you can hear

  • Things you can taste

  • Things you can smell

Being mindful on the things you experience in the moment can help to alleviate these experiences.


Capriotti, M. R., Ely, L. J., Snorrason, I., & Woods, D. W. (2015). Acceptance-enhanced behavior therapy for excoriation (skin-picking) disorder in adults: A clinical case series. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 22(2), 230-239

Grant, J. E., Odlaug, B. L., Chamberlain, S. R., Keuthen, N. J., Lochner, C., & Stein, D. J. (2012). Skin picking disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 1143–1149.

Stargell, N., Kress, V., Paylo, M. & Zins, A. (2016) Excoriation Disorder: Assessment, Diagnosis and Treatment. The Professional Counselor Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 50–60


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