What is the prevalence of excoriation (skin-picking) disorder?

Updated: Jul 10, 2018
  • Author: Roxanne Graham, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Skin-picking is more common than expected, and thought to be underreported, with prevalence ranging between 1.4% and 5.4%. [1]  The rate of neurotic excoriations among patients at dermatologic clinics is 2%. The rate of neurotic excoriations in patients with pruritus is 9%. Most studies have found the mean patient age at onset to be in the range of 30–45 years although onset often occurs during adolescence. [8]  There is variability among studies regarding gender prevalence; one study found nearly equal gender distribution in those with excoriation (skin-picking) disorder with women perceiving themselves as less attractive and men having more alcohol consumption. [9]

In other studies, 52–92% of patients with neurotic excoriations have been female. [2]  Excoriation (skin-picking) disorder is more commonly found in individuals with first-degree relatives who have the disorder or in individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Studies have found that trichotillomania and excoriation disorder co-occur more often than expected. Both disorders have substantial similarities in clinical characteristics and overlapping risk factors. [1]

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