What is BFRBs and Why can it permanently ruin your skin?
Why do some frequently pick at their own skin? There are those that feel compelled to touch their face every so often because they are plagued with acne, however, there are some cases that are much more severe and chronic.
This chronic skin picking can result in over touching, rubbing, scratching, or constant digging at the skin. These can be perceived imperfections that someone may continue to believe are there and can result in facial disfigurement. The name used for chronic skin picking is called, Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs). Other BFRBs can also be habits of nail biting, lip picking, and biting of the inside of the cheeks.
Why do BFRBs happen?
BFRBs can be triggered by feelings of anxiety, fear, boredom, or nervousness. Some people may not even realize they are doing this half the time as it is starts to become second nature. Face touching can be anywhere on the spectrum of a small impulse to a severe horrid habit and sometimes even symptomatic of a mental illness. The physical aspect of such behavior isn’t so much affected as the mental aspect. Those who chronically pick their skin can do so for several hours a day, interfering with their social lives, work and other relationships. Certain mental illnesses that can be linked to BFRBs can be anywhere between, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), and substance abuse disorders such as withdrawing from opiates.
Who is at risk of picking their skin?
Being under stress is usually the first reason as to why someone starts picking at their face. This is why it is not uncommon for college students to pick their skin, whether it is a temporary act or much more chronic. The main reason someone will become affected by such behavior is because overtime, it can cause tissue damage and substantial difference in one’s appearance. This can cause quite the amount of emotional distress. However, skin picking is still seen as an emotional crutch to those chronic sufferers who continue to pick away anyways.
What are the risks of BFRBs?
The only risk that is associated with chronically picking skin is the result of infection and damage to the tissue. When the skin heals, it can cause scarring and discoloration which can result in a permanent imperfection.