Skin Picking Therapy in San Jose/Saratoga

At the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley, we offer cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for Dermatillomania/Chronic Skin Picking. Our approach is practical, goal-oriented, compassionate, and scientifically-based while focusing on your individual needs. We are located in Saratoga on the border of San Jose and Saratoga just 1/2 mile from Hwy 85 and serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Cupertino, Campbell.

Teen looking in purple mirrorWhat is Dermatillomania/Chronic Skin Picking?

Dermatillomania/Chronic Skin Picking is the repetitive picking of one’s skin to the point where there is notable damage to the skin, such as scabs and scars.  You may pick your skin on your face, neck or other parts of your body. You are probably distressed by your skin picking behavior or the problems it is causing in your daily life such as conflict with family, embarrassment with friends, avoidance of wearing certain clothes, needing to cover up certain parts of your body and/or wearing makeup to hide scars or damage.

Symptoms of Dermatillomania/Chronic Skin Picking

  • Repetitive picking resulting in scars or skin damage.
  • Tension and difficulty resisting the urge to pick your skin.
  • Feeling relief or satisfaction after skin picking.
  • Problems in daily life  related to your skin picking.

Cognitive Behavioral Model of Dermatillomania/Chronic Skin Picking

According to the CBT model, skin picking is maintained by a combination of environmental, emotional and/or cognitive factors that either trigger or reinforce skin picking episodes. Skin picking can be triggered by specific settings (e.g. touching your skin, bathroom mirror) or activities such as driving or watching television where skin picking may be more unconscious. Certain emotions, such as anxiety, tension, and boredom can also trigger skin picking episodes, as well as irrational beliefs about physical appearance (e.g. need to pop or pick a pimple so it will look better). Skin picking is then reinforced by the sensation of picking, a sense of relief or satisfaction, or the belief that your physical appearance is improved. Skin picking may also temporarily distract you from negative and uncomfortable emotions.

Cognitive Behavior Treatment of Dermatillomania/Chronic Skin Picking

The goal of cognitive behavior therapy for skin picking is help you become more aware of your skin picking behavior and the environmental, emotional, and cognitive factors that trigger it and to teach you alternate behaviors to reduce skin picking episodes. During the assessment phase, you will keep track of your skin picking episodes, along with the associated triggers, consequences, emotions and thoughts. You will learn will learn self-management strategies to prevent skin picking episodes and to stop the episodes once they begin, as well as learn to tolerate the uncomfortable urges, sensations and emotions that lead to skin picking.

Click here to see tools your child could use to distract themselves from hair skin picking: Skin Picking Tools for Kids.

How to Get Help for Dermatillomania/Chronic Skin Picking

We are located in Saratoga on the border of San Jose and Saratoga just 1/2 mile from Highway 85. With our convenient location near highway 85, we serve the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Cupertino and Campbell, CA. Contact us at (408) 384-8404 for more information on how we can help you manage your Dermatillomania/Chronic Skin Picking.

Serving the Silicon Valley communities of San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Campbell, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, CA

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