Lip Picking: How Do I Stop Picking My Lips?

Here are simple ways to stop lip picking.

We somehow face problems sometimes unknown about even if it’s a problem, its origin, its causes, and its effects.

Lip Picking: How Do I Stop Picking My Lips?
Learn to Stop Lip Picking. Shutterstock Images

Lip picking is such a problem. Most of us don’t even know it’s a problem until we face its adverse effects and if you really want to get rid of picking your lips the solution is right here as you never know when it can start chapping, and lack of restriction makes it even worse.

What is Lip Picking?

Lip picking is a very common problem and it actually is a psychological disorder as per Mental Health America study.

It is referred to as Excoriation disorder (also known as dermatillomania, skin-picking disorder, neurotic excoriation, and acne excoriate, pathologic skin picking, compulsive skin picking or psychogenic excoriation in scientific and wider terms.

It is an impulse control disorder categorized by the recurring urge to pick one’s own skin especially lips, and the problem is often to the level that harm is caused.

Incidents of lip picking are frequently headed or convoyed by tension, anxiety, and stress.

Throughout these instants, there is regularly an obsessive insist on to pick, squeeze or scratch at a façade of the body, maybe at the site of an apparent skin defect.

The area of the skin near lips is most frequently picked on the face, but other common locations comprise the arms, legs, back, gums, lips, shoulders, scalp, stomach, chest, butt cheeks and even fingernails, cuticles, and toenails.

At What Age Lip Picking Starts?

Many traumatic events together with matrimonial conflicts, the sudden or tragic loss of friends or family, and even redundant pregnancies have been some common reasons to the start of the condition.

If lip picking does not happen at some stage in youth, another common age of beginning is between the ages of 30 to 45.

In addition, many cases of lip picking disorder have even been acknowledged to start in children under the age of 10.

Traumatic childhood events may instigate behavior. Lip picking disorder is statistically more frequent in females than in males.

Causes of Lip Picking

There have been a lot of diverse theories concerning the causes of lip picking together with biological and environmental factors.

A general theory is that lip picking or other skin picking is often a surviving method to deal with high levels of havoc, provocation or stress within an individual and that that particular individual has a damaging or self hurting stress response.

Different to some neurological theories, there are many psychologists who insist that picking behavior can be a result of subdued fury felt toward dictatorial parents. A comparable hypothesis is that domineering parents can cause such behavior to grow in their children

Can Lip Picking be Treated?

Of course, it can! Information about effectual treatments for lip picking or wholesome excoriation disorder is meager in spite of the common occurrence of the condition.

There are two major categories of therapy for this particular problem: pharmacological and behavioral.

  • There are several categories of pharmacological treatment agents that have a few supports for treating lip picking disorder:
  • SSRIs
  • Opioid antagonists
  • Glutamatergic agents

In addition to these drugs, some other pharmacological products have been tested in little examinations as well and there may be some quick inventions regarding this problem in approaching times.

Can Lip Picking be Treated

Behavioural treatments include habit reversal training, cognitive-behavioural therapy, acceptance-enhanced behaviour therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.

Victims of lip picking or excoriation disorder often do not try to find treatment for their situation mainly due to feelings of awkwardness, estrangement, lack of responsiveness, or credence that the situation cannot be controlled or treated at all.

One research found out that only 45% of victims of excoriation disorder ever have looked for treatment and only 19% ever had proper treatment.

Tips to Stop Lip Picking

1. Try to Think and Understand the Reasons for Lip Picking

Is it just a tendency or say a bad habit that you believe you just can’t seem to cope with, or is it because they are peeling off and you can’t resist picking them?

Make this an intention to think of this each time you find or say catch yourself picking. It has to be deliberate with every occurrence of the action.

Try to recognize the condition and you may actually find out that you only pick lips when nervous, or thinking something strange or bewildering or may be troubling.

2. Keep Track of it

From time to time, keep ensuring and making sure you aren’t subconsciously picking your lips, especially in a troubling or a nervous condition.

Try to jot it down on a piece of paper if you find yourself picking to know your indulgence.

3. Lip Picking Exercises

Rounding or squeezing your lips quite often might just alert you of keeping yourself away from lip picking.

Keep moving your lips deliberately in order to keep yourself alert. Try to involve in other activities that involve both your hands.

Lip Picking Exercises

4. Make Simple Changes to Stop Lip Picking

Relaxing and meditating activities, some sport or rejuvenating measures, keeping yourself happy, etc are very important to get rid of lip picking.

These are some simple lifestyle changes that will help you in striving. Keep a check on your sleep cycles.

5. Find Something Else to distract Yourself

If at all you find out that it’s a nervous habit, find your hands or lips something else to do maybe like chewing a chewing gum or taking up crochet.

This is how you will find a nervous energy outlet and distract yourself from picking lips.

6. Don’t Let Lips Burn in The Sun

Chapping is a great cause that will stimulate lip picking and overexposing your lips to sun damage and flake your lip skin so try avoiding going out in sun, and if necessary, apply sunscreen or lip balm.

7. Stop Breathing out Your Mouth

It is a great tip even if you normally want to take care of your lips. Just don’t let them chap and dry like that.

Close your mouth and breathe more from the nose so that the lips don’t dry and chap.

8. Stop Drinking Too Much Soda and Alcohol

Stop Drinking

Aerated, alcoholic and carbonated drinks like sodas and other soft drinks if taken in high quantity can instigate drying of lips and tingling sensation further stimulating you to pick your lips.

So avoid the intake of sodas and alcoholic drinks.

9. Start Using Lip Balms

Keep a lip balm with yourself and train yourself to apply it as soon as your hand goes up to pick those lips. Applying lip balm will also soothe them and help them from drying leading to lesser actions of lip picking.

See also: Top 10 Homemade Lip Balm and Lip Gloss Recipes to Try in Winter

10. Start Exfoliating Lips

Exfoliation of lips with a good home-made, herbal or naturally based scrub would help you attain beautiful lips and will involve you in a beautifying action that will restrict you to pick your lips more often.


  • Remember to check for your allergies before using any kind of lip product like lip salve or petroleum jellies. Only cling to such measures once you know you are not allergic.
  • If the problem persists, remember someone elderly or responsible to know about it.
  • Don’t over agonize yourself over it at its not even that big that it can’t be treated with that huge will power of yours.

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