Scarring Or Skin Discoloration
Constant and continuing gnawing at the skin can cause scarring or skin discoloration. This would mean even if dermatophagia is treated and the patient discontinues chewing on the skin, it may not heal to the point damage is not seen. It can cause permanent skin discoloration, which can still be embarrassing. It can also cause calluses and scarring that make the fingers look unattractive and damaged. The longer dermatophagia goes untreated, the more damage that can be inflicted on different areas of the body. Just like having actively chewed on the skin can cause an individual to isolate themselves, so can the resulting scarring and skin discoloration. Having to hide one’s hands from others is difficult because many individuals use their hands when they speak and greet others by shaking hands. It is uncomfortable for patients with dermatophagia to put their disorder on display by engaging in these activities.
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