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When I was an infant and sucked my thumb, I also used to pick at my right nipple. Apparently. it was a form of comfort and self-care. After moving beyond the thumb-sucking stage, I continued the picking. My parents tried to stop me from doing this, but they only added to my shame: I couldn't stop. (In fact, this behavior continued fairly regularly until I was about 30 years old.) Even as an elementary school student, the nipple had already become scarred, enlarged, and disfigured. I was ashamed to be seen in locker rooms without a shirt on. Consequently, I always wore a shirt -- even at the beach.

As I continued the picking over the years, the nipple would bleed, scab over, etc. That didn't stop me. I received both pleasure from the picking sensation as well as pain. I found myself doing it when bored, anxious, or stressed and needing to focus. I also began doing the behavior (discreetly) while in public. I couldn't seem to stop this compulsion. I suffered enormous shame from this behavior and its ugly results throughout my life. As a side note, at around age 30, I entered into recovery for addiction. The steps gave me a new avenue to seek and find God. I worked step 6 and 7, which involve asking God to remove defects. I was so ready to be done picking! I asked (begged is more like it). Although I daily feel the temptation to pick, I have not done so since that prayer -- about 9 years now. However, I have noticed that when experiencing boredom, anxiety, or stress, I will pull at the hairs around my nipple.

In my own research, I just recently learned that contrary to my lifelong belief that I am a freak, I must have a Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior, such as hair pulling and chronic skin picking. I've read a number of articles in the professional literature about these two examples of Impulse Control Disorders. However, nowhere have I seen a reference to nipple-picking as characteristic of this disorder. Does anyone else out there have a similar problem? Do you of anyone who has a similar problem? I've read a few entries here by female posters that are similar to my story, but there seems to be a different issue for the ladies. Thanks.

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Hi there,

I have the exact same problem as you. I have always been a nail biter and ever since I was about 14 years old I started picking at my nipples. I am 31 years old and they are now disfigured and ugly, one more than the other. I also like to pop pimples on my upper arms and face. I have not worn a tank top in over 3 years and am embarrased to no end. I always thought I would never find anyone with the same problem so I am very happy that I found your post. I am trying very hard not to pick and I apply BioOil to the affected areas after I shower. I also have purchased a skin lightening cream that didn't really help but costed a lot of money. I really hope that the scars go away. Since it has been so long since you stopped picking please tell me if the scars went away for you. I am really interested in knowing.

Thanks :-)
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Thanks so much for your reply. God bless you in your struggle. In answer to your question, I have found that the disfigured appearance has lessened a great deal over the past 9 years. However, the enlarged size of the nipple is still the same. At this point, it just looks like I have one nipple that is quite a bit larger than the other. If your picking seems to be a chronic problem over which you have little or no control, you might consider seeing a counselor who specializes in impulse control disorders (if you have not already done so). Also check out the following link to a good website about chronic hairpulling and skin picking:

Thanks again for taking time to reply. Peace to you.

***edited by moderator*** web addresses not allowed
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Be_at_peace I cried when I read this. I pick my nipple too! I have done ever since I can remember. My mum says it's started when I was a toddler and I had a cut near my nipple, I picked the scab and ever since I've picked my nipple. I've read numerous arrivals about people picking the skin around the nipple or the hairs but nothing like this! As you said it's like a constant itch, the pain from picking brings pleasure and I can't stop myself. I do it mainly when I'm tired but often in public places and I'm trying to hide it. I even had my nipple pierced to try and disguise the odd look of it but it still itches constantly. The doctors when I was younger didn't understand and non of there Medicans worked. For so long I've thought I was the only person in the world who picked 1 nipple. I need to know how to stop. Does it ever heal and look like a normal nipple ever again? How can I stop the urges ?! Nobody understands and I've been embarrassingly caught out a few times and I've always used the excuse "sorry I had an itch" but it's not an itch, it doesn't tickle nor does it hurt, I just can't stop picking at it, trying to create more dry skin on it to peel off. Please help, my whole life it's been like this and I've always thought I was the only one
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Hello, I also use to pick at my left nipple when I was younger. I also use to chew my hair and suck my thumb. But my cause was (SPD) sensory prossesing disorder. I was under productive with my senses and it left me craving to do things and when I couldent do what I wanted I would start to pick and my left nipple or chew my hair or suck my thumb. But however of a year or so of proper medical, school and friends help I was able to stop by the end of 6th grade.
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