One of the compulsions often associated with body-focused repetitive behaviors is dermatophagia. This is more commonly known as compulsive skin-biting. When an individual perceives something is wrong with their skin, they may feel a compulsion to bite it. Clearly, this can cause a great deal of damage, especially if they continue to bite the same spot. Similarly to when a dog bites at their skin to remove a flea, an individual injures their skin when they perceive a flaw with it. The compulsion is likely linked to a belief that by biting the area, they can remove the flaw. However, instead, they can cause themselves a great deal of skin damage. The germs in their mouth might also end up infecting the wound they made, which could cause even more of a problem to arise. One method to deal with compulsive skin-biting is therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to remove the bad habit and replace it with one less damaging to the body instead.
Learn about the next body-focused repetitive behavior now.