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Psychosomatics. 2000 May-Jun;41(3):210-5.

Repetitive skin-picking in a student population and comparison with a sample of self-injurious skin-pickers.

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  • 1OCD Clinic and Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital-East, Charlestown 02129, USA.


The prevalence of skin-picking and its associated characteristics were documented in a nonclinical sample of 105 college students. Subjects completed a self-report skin-picking inventory and several paper-and-pencil scales. Students who endorsed skin-picking were compared to a clinical sample of self-injurious skin-pickers (n = 31) reported on previously. Of the student subjects, 78.1% (n = 82) endorsed some degree of skin-picking and four subjects satisfied criteria for severe, self-injurious picking. Student subjects significantly differed from the clinical sample-of self-injurious skin-pickers in the duration, focus, and extent of picking, techniques used, reasons for picking, associated emotions, and picking sequelae.

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