Endless Makeup

It is not uncommon for me to hear someone tell me that they never take off their makeup when they are in the presence of others. Depending on your social habits, this can create a situation where the amount of time spent wearing makeup is significant. The consequence can be a gradual shift to a lifestyle that is dependent on …

Adult Acne

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. In my experience, there are few common skin conditions that diminish self-esteem more than adult acne. Acne is difficult at any age, but adults in particular are vulnerable to gradually allowing the condition to take over their emotional lives. Adults who experience …

Why Does Pimple Popping Feel So Good?

Everyone at some point in time has popped a pimple, and some feel the need to pop others’ pimples as well. I believe the root of the pleasure most people have about popping pimples is multifactorial. For many people, pimple popping comes from a compulsion to ensure that their skin looks and feels smooth. They view any irregular patch or …

Understanding Depression

My mother used to ask me, is it depression with a small “d” or a capital “D?” She’s a psychologist who has spent over 35 years working with people suffering from depression. I remember hearing this distinction before I was a psychologist and feeling a little bewildered. What does she mean small “d” or capital “D?” After working with many …

Skin Picking and Hair Pulling Log to Better Understand the Behavior

It’s difficult to control a behavior when you don’t always realize when or why it happens. Skin picking and hair pulling are often habitual, and can happen both consciously and unconsciously. People often tell me that they have been picking or pulling for so long they do it without even thinking about it. Many describe a trance-like state in which …

Overcoming Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety is an important survival mechanism. It can prevent us from literally walking into the lion’s den. But what happens when we fear something that is not an actual threat to our survival? Anyone familiar with anxiety is aware of the uncomfortable feelings that can include a racing heartbeat, tight muscles, excessive sweating, difficulty swallowing, dizziness and shortness of breath. …

Treating Skin Picking

When treating skin picking, also known as excoriation or dermatillomania, it’s important to recognize that it can be both a behavioral problem and an emotional problem, and both need to be treated. In my experience it works best to use a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy, habit reversal training, mindfulness, and psychodynamic therapy. We want to address both the act …

Psychological and Emotional Aspects of Skin Conditions

The skin is the largest organ in the body and an important barrier between the internal and external environment. The experience of a skin condition is subjective, not objective. Three different people with the same skin condition may well report three completely different experiences. The clients I work with have vastly different experiences with their skin conditions depending on their …