How To Stop Picking Your Lips, Straight From An Expert

There are tons of so-called “bad” magnificence habits on the market, like nail-biting, pimple-popping, and lip-picking, to call just some. It could be laborious to withstand squeezing an ugly whitehead (particularly if it’s in a very unlucky spot), chewing in your nails out of boredom or nervousness, or peeling useless pores and skin off your lips, which could be all of the extra noticeable with lipstick on. It’s when these behaviors turn out to be compulsive that it veers into totally different terrain. Lip-picking, particularly, is usually a kind of a bigger skin-picking dysfunction — and it’s vital to grasp the distinction between often ridding your pout of a pesky flake of pores and skin and succumbing to a steady cycle of choosing and peeling that leaves you asking, “Why do I pick my lips?”

“While skin-picking is a fairly common phenomenon from time to time in all people, skin-picking disorder is a body-focused, repetitive behavioral problem,” Dr. Evan Rieder, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist, tells Bustle over e mail. “It describes compulsive picking of the skin — and can include the lip — and may co-occur with nail-picking disorder, trichotillomania, and other obsessive-compulsive disorder spectrum diseases.” He provides that it’s characterised by repeated makes an attempt to cease the habits with out success — and accompanying misery.

Whether you’re an occasional lip-chewer or an all-day picker, learn on for every thing you have to find out about lip-picking, together with the indicators and signs, the explanations behind it, and find out how to cease choosing your lips.

Who Deals With Lip-Picking?

The quick answer: Anyone. However, it’s most typical in individuals with pre-existing dermatitis (aka irritation) of the lips, explains Rieder. This can happen “from repeated lip-licking or other eczematous dermatitides where the skin barrier is broken and the skin is left red, scaly, and irritated or itchy.” Additionally, he says, individuals who decide their lips might also take care of different body-focused repetitive behavioral problems (like skin-picking, hair-pulling, nail-biting, or OCD).

Why Do I Pick My Lips?

There could be a number of inside and exterior triggers that may make you need to decide your lips, Rieder says, like breaks within the texture of your lip, itching or irritation, dry pores and skin, and psychological stress. Visibly dry or chapped lips can sign variety of issues — from a yeast an infection to a vitamin deficiency — and a few lip merchandise comprise elements that contribute to chapping and dryness, which means it’s value addressing these underlying points as you’re employed to cease choosing your lips.

Psychologically, chances are you’ll be inclined to select your lips due to genetics. “There are some family studies which indicate that there may be a genetic component to these behaviors as well,” Rieder says. “Of course, environmental factors, temperament, and stress play a role in who develops such conditions.”

How To Stop Picking Your Lips

There are a number of simple way of life adjustments could make it tougher so that you can decide your lips, in response to the TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors, a non-profit that gives assist for individuals dwelling with skin-picking problems. First off, strive preserving your fingers occupied in an effort to’t idly decide your lips. Knitting, portray, and even flossing can assist redirect nervous or anxious vitality. Also, upping your vitamin and water consumption can even assist preserve pores and skin wholesome and hydrated, decreasing the possibilities of chapped lips which can be so simple to select at. Another hack? Keeping observe of your triggers. Try to note if you decide: What have been you pondering or doing on the time? Was there one thing that made you nervous, anxious, or involved? Documenting your urges can assist you study when to interact in different coping mechanisms, like respiratory workout routines or journaling.

If you end up unable to cease choosing your lips, remedy may also assist. “During behavioral therapy, people learn to identify and predict their triggers for picking and eventually are able to substitute skin-manipulative behaviors for more productive ones that both extinguish destructive habits and allow the skin to heal,” says Rieder.

If attainable, take into account telling an in depth good friend or member of the family that you simply need to cease choosing your lips. Whether it is simply by way of listening or actively stopping you if you’re about to select, assist from somebody you belief can assist. Your pout will thanks.


Monzani, B et al. (2012). Prevalence and heritability of pores and skin choosing in an grownup neighborhood pattern: a twin examine. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet.


Dr. Evan Rieder, MD, FAAD, a board-certified psychiatrist and dermatologist at NYU Langone Health

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