Ah, so, this is what it is called and likely to be why I do it. Finger/nail walls. Acne on my face. Hairs on my chin. Dermatitis on my forehead and also behind and inside my ears. I consciously think that I am doing it because these things itch occasionally but and that may be one of the triggers but, as they say in the article;
skin-picking is a conditioned response to specific situations and events, and that the individual with dermatillomania is frequently unaware of these triggersskin-picking is a conditioned response to specific situations and events, and that the individual with dermatillomania is frequently unaware of these triggers
I used to bite my fingernails really badly and non-stop as a child/tween but decided one day at the age of thirteen that I would not do it any more and quit it cold turkey. I now have to keep cutting my fingernails when they get too long to type any more (about 1 cm long) because they grow long and very strong and I can injure myself (and others) with them!
That is probably, in hindsight, when I switched to picking at my skin instead. Yet another thing that knitting stops. Some people see it as self-harming like cutting. Oh yay, a 43 year old emo kid. I wonder if I should ask the GP for referral for HRT (Habit Reversal Training, not Hormone Replacement Therapy!) or even if it is available in the UK. Meanwhile, more knitting!
Treating Dermatillomania, A Skin Picking Disorder With a Cure