Readers reply: why is it so tempting to pick a scab? | Health & wellbeing

Why is it so tempting to select a scab? Our our bodies create them to assist wounds heal, but those self same our bodies make us wish to take away them. Tabitha Stubbs, Liverpool

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Haven’t a clue; haven’t seen any spherical right here. Solidarity with the strike. bricklayersoption

Good query. Is it “cleansing” behaviour? We like clean, clear pores and skin and wish to take away the dust; maybe a scab looks like encrusted “dust” we wish to take away. I bear in mind pulling layers of PVC glue off my pores and skin being virtually as a lot enjoyable. If it was actually dangerous, you’d assume it might have been developed out. user0

I don’t wish to assume an excessive amount of about it now, however Nineteen Seventies childhood sunburn that peeled off a number of days later – you’d see how large a sheet you could possibly take away with out it tearing – was fascinating. (Mother and father didn’t see the necessity for suncream.) Nivernaise

Relive that childhood: put some shorts and a short-sleeved shirt on and dive on to tough tarmac. I’d then re-enact the college nurse’s answer of taping free cotton wool over the gaping wound – requiring me to spend two hours extra in agony whereas a correct nurse pulled the bits out with tweezers. LlamaInPyjamas

As a result of they itch like loopy after they begin to heal. Virtually as if choosing the scab is the best factor to do. VirgilKane

My sister was remorselessly bullied by a horrible boy in her 12 months at college. She had an accident and fell off of a roundabout and had a number of scabs on her knees and elbows. The bully took nice pleasure in ridiculing her as soon as extra. At lunchtime, on the desk subsequent to him, she picked her scabs and put them in his gravy. Why do individuals decide scabs? Revenge is a dish finest served … Cogitoergo1

Selecting at a scab or any therapeutic wound is like pulling a hangnail out of your finger. You understand it’s fallacious, you realize it’ll greater than doubtless draw blood, however the pleasure you get from it sends the endorphins racing. There’s additionally the sensation of satisfaction you get from eradicating a scab to disclose a brand new, good, pink piece of flesh, which could end in a smaller scab forming, so you possibly can repeat the method once more. Though it’s our our bodies’ method of therapeutic and stopping infections, the Savlon and plasters are all the time at hand to assist our restoration. Andrew Cahill

I don’t know, however I’d like to know – as would, I’m certain, each different individual on the market with dermatillomania, a compulsive skin-picking dysfunction. I’m speaking about choosing the identical scab for weeks and months, and a number of ones throughout your physique. I’ve carried out it since I used to be 14 or 15, perhaps youthful, and I’m 31. It took me till my late 20s to get the braveness to inform pals and well being professionals that I did it; I discovered it excruciatingly embarrassing to speak about and tried to maintain it from everybody. I ponder if that’s the reason so little is understood about it.

Solely after I ended up in hospital with sepsis (I nonetheless don’t know the trigger, however the pores and skin choosing is a chance) did a psychiatrist on the ward perform a little research and discover on the market was a reputation for this dysfunction – she had by no means heard of it. No marvel that, at first of my keep in hospital, the A&E physician brushed apart my point out of “choosing my scabs continuous” after asking if I’d had any contaminated wounds these days. I’d been extremely anxious within the three weeks earlier than I acquired sepsis and had been choosing rather a lot, particularly on my scalp, as a result of nobody can see beneath my hair.

I discovered my lesson the onerous method and now I’m making a giant effort to not decide. Stopping is a gradual course of and I could by no means totally cease, however I’m persevering with with remedy and attempting to ease my nervous system right into a calmer place. To assist cease choosing, and do it extra safely after I do, I’ve picked up a number of habits. I strive very onerous to select solely in seen locations on my physique, in order that I or others can examine simply for an infection; if an space is repeatedly very tempting, I put a blister plaster on it; and I’ve positioned stress balls, chewing gum, fidget toys, plasters and disinfectant round my flat in locations I’m extra prone to choosing intensely or absentmindedly. For me, scab choosing goes a bit deeper – excuse the pun – than the odd decide. Matilda Sims

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