Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Amma A. AgyemangEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_9180


Dermatotillomania; Skin-picking disorder


Excoriation or skin-picking disorder refers to an obsessive-compulsive related disorder in which there is recurrent picking, rubbing, squeezing, lancing, or biting of one’s own skin that causes skin lesions, despite repeated attempts to decrease or stop the behavior. Excoriation disorder must be differentiated from skin picking that occurs in substance use (e.g., cocaine), medical conditions (e.g., scabies), and other psychiatric diagnoses including delusions or tactile hallucinations, contamination obsessions in OCD, stereotypic movement disorder, self-injurious behavior, and factitious disorder.


Excoriation disorder is classified with the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association 2013).

Current Knowledge

Development and Course

It is estimated that excoriation disorder occurs in 1.4–5.4% of the US...

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References and Readings

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5 ®). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bain, M. A., & Vincent, J. (2016). Management of a complex excoriation disorder–induced wound with a viable cryopreserved placental membrane. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery–Global Open, 4(12), e1132.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Grant, J. E., Odlaug, B. L., Chamberlain, S. R., Keuthen, N. J., Lochner, C., & Stein, D. J. (2012). Skin picking disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169(11), 1143–1149.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Grant, J. E., Chamberlain, S. R., Redden, S. A., Leppink, E. W., Odlaug, B. L., & Kim, S. W. (2016). N-acetylcysteine in the treatment of excoriation disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 73(5), 490–496.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Stargell, N. A., Kress, V. E., Paylo, M. J., & Zins, A. (2016). Excoriation disorder: Assessment, diagnosis and treatment. The Professional Counselor, 6(1), 50–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationVirginia Commonwealth University Medical CenterRichmondUSA