What is Excoriation Skin Picking Disorder?

What is Excoriation Skin Picking Disorder?

Almost everyone picks at their skin or scabs at some point. However, some people have a serious condition known as excoriation, or skin picking disorder, that goes above and beyond occasional picking of scabs. People with the disorder can pick at their skin, especially around the nails, or any scabs to such an extent that it causes sores, bleeding and scars. Skin picking disorder can be a serious mental health condition requiring treatment in order to overcome, and is associated with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

What are the Symptoms?

Some people develop this disorder as a way to remove a perceived imperfection on the skin. They will scratch and pick at their skin until it causes injury and a wound. Other people develop the disorder due to a nervous habit of picking at their skin, although for some people this nervous habit does not cause problems. To be diagnosed with the condition, the skin picking must be disruptive to a person’s life, either personally or professionally. Some people with the disorder avoid places because of the scars or wounds, or they spend a significant amount of time covering up the sores or scars before going out. They also feel upset about how often they pick at their skin.

How Does the Disorder Develop?

Excoriation can develop in a few different ways, but it can happen to anyone at any age. For some people, it begins when they get a rash, small injury or skin infection that causes a scab. The person picks at the scab or rash, which then causes more injury and leads to a continual cycle of picking and continued injury. It can also develop during stressful times, becoming a stress relief habit. This habit can become a compulsive behavior, which is why it is classified as a disorder related to OCD.

How Can it Cause Scarring?

Skin picking disorder can cause scarring because of the repeated injury to the skin. When the skin undergoes trauma, it acts quickly to heal itself. The rapid growth of new skin cells can cause scarring, as can the damaged cells. When the skin is repeatedly injured through being picked, it does not have the chance to heal appropriately. The continual damage to the skin cells causes the area to appear differently and increases the risk of scarring.

How Can it be Treated?

Skin picking disorder is typically treated with therapy – especially cognitive behavioral therapy – and possibly medication, typically SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The two main types of psychotherapy used on this disorder are habit reversal training and stimulus control. Habit reversal training helps a person understand the triggers for the skin picking and then provides the person with alternative, healthier habits. Stimulus control prevents skin picking by altering the environment to avoid skin picking. This could be wearing gloves, wearing band-aids, or covering mirrors.

If you believe that you or someone you know might have skin picking disorder, it is best to seek help from a professional to work on the underlying issues that contribute to the condition. Even if you do not have the disorder, you should be very careful not to pick your skin, as this can lead to further damage and scarring.

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5 Foods That Moisturize Skin

5 Foods That Moisturize Skin

You already know that moisturizing regularly is the best way to soothe and hydrate dry skin, as well as provide the hydration necessary for proper scar healing. But did you know that you can also choose foods that have moisturizing properties? It’s true!

Here are five types of foods that help add much needed moisture to your skin:

1. Salmon

The barrier that holds moisture in your skin is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and other fatty fish like tuna and trout. If seafood isn’t your thing, you can also get plenty of omega-3 from nuts, whole grains, and avocado.

2. Orange and Yellow Veggies

Select vegetables and fruits whose bright colors remind you of the sun for a moisturizing boost. Sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, red peppers, and mangoes all contain plenty of beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps fight dry skin. These types of veggies are also high in vitamin C, which helps produce the collagen vital to scar healing .

3. Celery and Cucumber

In addition to adding crunch to your salad, this vegetables both pack plenty of silica. This is a compound that helps boost your skin’s moisture and elasticity. And as a bonus, they both taste great raw, making an easy, portable snack.

4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cooking with this healthy fat rather than butter gives you a big dose of vitamin E, which helps give your skin additional moisture. In addition, using olive oil is part of the Mediterranean diet, which is said to cut calories and reduce the incidence of heart disease.

5. Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale have plenty of health benefits, not the least of which is providing vitamin A that helps to soothe and moisturize dry skin. In addition to packing your plate with greens, you can also try other vitamin A rich foods like carrots and squash.

Healthy eating helps to keep your skin at its best and promotes scar healing, so avoid junk food, too much sugar, and fatty, deep-fried dishes.

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4 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

4 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

Lunchtime at work can get boring and mundane. The same old PB&J sandwiches, microwavable gas station burrito, and the potato chips from the vending machine in the lobby. Add to that yesterday’s discounted pastry, and you’re on your way to Cardiac-Havoc Haven and Diabetes Central.

It’s not difficult to adopt a healthier lunch routine, especially one that is beneficial to scar healing:

1) Turkey Chili

The perfect dinners are the ones that still taste delicious as leftovers, and turkey chili takes the number one spot on this list. Ground turkey is high in protein, copper, and zinc. Loading the chili with vitamin A and C-rich vegetables like squash and bell peppers, then adding some cilantro makes for a super-healthy and tasty lunch.

Read: Three Ways to Get Zinc Into Your Diet

2) Chicken Salad Wrap

Trade in the high-calorie slices of bread for a lower calorie, whole-wheat pita sleeve and stuff it with a healthy, delicious chicken salad. Chicken is high in protein, copper, and zinc. Use hummus in place of mayo, and mix some zinc-rich pumpkin and squash seeds in. Add spinach, which is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and zinc, and throw in some sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts.

3) The Green Smoothie

Try this if you work in a place where you can keep a small blender in the break room. Throw in some copper-rich foods like kale, avocado, and seeds; add some vitamin-loaded spinach; some blueberries and Greek yogurt. This is a healthy, energy-boosting smoothie. Pre-pack smoothie packages with the ingredients and freeze. Any time you want a smoothie, just pull a package out of the freezer, add yogurt, water or almond milk and blend.

4) The Brown Bag AB&J

If you loved your PB&J’s, then the almond butter and jelly sandwich should do the trick. Pair with watermelon, which is rich in vitamin A and C, and some cashews which are high in copper to snack on.

In the fast-paced and high-stressed world we live in, throwing together a homemade lunch may be an inconvenience that is too time-consuming. Making the effort to put a healthy lunch together can make all the difference between quality health and a great tasting, much anticipated lunch date with yourself.

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3 Ways to Get Zinc into Your Diet

3 Ways to Get Zinc into Your Diet

The healthy human body is a fusion of metabolic processes delivering energy to limbs and the brain. We need to process certain minerals and metallic compounds to keep that process moving along at peak efficiency. Zinc is one of the more crucial elements in that miraculous organic process, aiding in supporting a healthy immune system,which promotes scar healing, and ensuring every part of the body is sound, and bursting with energy.

Here are three naturally occurring sources of zinc to check out:

1. Pumpkin Seeds

The World Health Organization is one of many branches of science quick to recommend the pumpkin seeds for maximizing zinc intake. While the shell doesn’t contain significant amounts of zinc, unshelled bags of pumpkin seeds provide an excellent source of the mineral, protecting the immune system and enhancing protein synthesis.

2. Garlic

Found across a wide spectrum of world cuisine, in pasta and salad, pizza and meat dishes, the pungent garlic bulb is host to many healthy minerals. The high amount of zinc in the bulb aids in improving liver function, combining with the antioxidant properties of garlic to promote a healthier metabolism, detoxing the body. Garlic is a powerful addition to a zinc specific diet as well as a tasty treat in any meal.

3. The Virtues of Meat

The above choices come more from a vegan or vegetarian emphasized dietary perspective, but meat has to be a consideration in adding a zinc rich food, especially since pork, beef, salmon and other animal products have high concentrations of the mineral in every bite. Of course, practice awareness of portions when consuming meat. Health is the goal here, and we don’t wish to compromise that target by greedily devouring chunks of meat full of cholesterol and nasty fat.

As with most other minerals, the easiest and best way to deliver zinc into a healthy diet is to turn to naturally occurring sources and organic food full of nutrients. A salad or sandwich filled with lean cuts of meat and pumpkin seed is one option, or a pasta cooked in extra-virgin olive oil and plenty of onions, scallions and tasty garlic.

Do you have a question about your scars? Leave a comment and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Bing Cherry Recipes

Bing Cherry Recipes

Summer is here and cherry season is at its peak. One of the most popular among the cherry clan is the sweetly delectable Bing cherry. Cherries are packed with Vitamin C, which helps to fade and minimize the appearance of your scar. It’s to your benefit to eat this delicious fruit!

Here’s some recipes to get you started!

Bing Cherry Salad


  • 1 fifteen ounce can of Bing cherries
  • 2 eight ounce cans of crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 six ounce package of cherry-flavored gelatin
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • Garnishes: poppy seeds or arugula leaves


  1. Drain cherries and pineapple, reserving 1 ½ cups of fruit juice in a saucepan.
  2. (If necessary, add water to equal 1½ cups.)
  3. Bring juice mixture to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Stir in gelatin, and cook for two minutes, while continuing constant stirring, or until gelatin dissolves.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of cold water.
  6. Chill until it reaches a consistency of unbeaten egg whites (about one and a half hours.)
  7. Once the desired consistency is reached, gently stir in drained cherries and pineapple.
  8. Pour the mixture into an eight inch square baking dish.
  9. Cover and chill for eight hours or until firm.
  10. Once completely chilled, garnish if desired.

Read: How to Optimize Scar Healing with Nutrition

Double Chocolate Covered Cherry Muffins


  • 1½  cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of fresh Bing cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together the milk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Gradually stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture, until combined.
  5. Stir in the Bing cherries and chocolate chips until batter is thick.
  6. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin filling each compartment about three fourths full.
  7. Bake for eighteen to twenty-three minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Allow cooling time in the pan for five minutes before removing. Makes one dozen muffins.

Enjoy the sweetness of the summer rays against the skin and the sweetness of cherries on the tongue all rolled together into one with these delicious Bing cherry delights!

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