You look over at your daughter and she is pulling her hair out one by one. Your son picks his scabs until they bleed. How are you supposed to stop a child who pulls hair or picks skin? You can’t be with them twenty-four hours a day. You’ve tried every approach, and nothing is working. Join the club. Hair pulling (Trichotillomania) and skin picking (Excoriation Disorder) are two very difficult Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs) that are hard to stop.
Your daughter comes home from school and half her eyebrows are gone. You are giving your son a bath and you notice a patch of hair missing from the back of his head. Your teenager picks at her skin until she creates scabs. This behavior can freak parents out! I know – it freaked me out. When scabs started showing up on my daughter’s forehead I didn’t know what to think. Why does she keep getting scabs in that one area? Then one day I saw her little hand digging deep into her skin. My heart sank. “What?”She said staring at me with big eyes. “I like to pick.” She said simply. She is not alone. Many of us have a child who pulls hair or picks skin. And many of us feel desperate to make them stop.