Addressing Excoriation Disorder in Substance Abuse Treatment

Start your journey to overcoming excoriation disorder and addiction at Mind Body Optimization.
Table of Contents

Our Approach to Your Healing

Struggling with both excoriation disorder and addiction can feel like an uphill battle. The conditions are often intertwined, worsening each other and making recovery more challenging.

At Mind Body Optimization (MBO), we dedicate ourselves to equipping people with tools, knowledge, and support needed for sustainable recovery.

Our approach integrates physical, emotional, and spiritual health for a whole-person recovery experience. We stress this connection — because neglecting one aspect can impede progress elsewhere.

We delve into the root causes of behaviors, provide tailored therapies, and strive to break the cycle of compulsion and addiction. This paves the path for healing and self-discovery.

Excoriation Disorder and Addiction

Understanding Excoriation Disorder and Addiction

Excoriation disorder is also known as skin-picking disorder. It’s a condition where a person repeatedly picks at their skin, causing wounds.
This behavior goes beyond occasional picking at a hangnail or scab. It’s a compulsive action that leads to significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.

How Excoriation Disorder Can Lead to Addictive Behaviors

Excoriation disorder and addiction are linked through their shared cycle of compulsion and relief. Initially, skin picking might start as a way to relieve stress or discomfort. Over time, the act becomes a compulsive habit.

Just as with substance abuse, someone might find themselves picking at their skin more often or intensely to achieve the same level of relief or satisfaction. This cycle can lead to physical harm and emotional distress, further entrenching the behavior.

The Cycle of Co-Occurring Excoriation Disorder and Addiction

Substance use disorder (SUD) often co-occurs with excoriation disorder. People might turn to substances as a way to cope with the discomfort and embarrassment caused by skin picking.

The substances could increase impulsivity, making it harder to resist picking. This forms a cycle where substance use and skin picking worsen each other, creating addiction and compulsive behavior.

Why Seek Treatment for Excoriation Disorder and Addiction?

When someone finds themselves in a cycle of excoriation disorder and addiction, it can affect various areas of life, including:

Mental Health

Struggling with excoriation disorder and addiction can lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment, and isolation.

People might avoid social situations or activities they once enjoyed because of the visible marks on the skin or the fear of being judged. This withdrawal can fuel feelings of depression and anxiety, making it harder to break the addictive behavior.


Self-esteem can take a significant hit. The constant focus on perceived imperfections and the ongoing battle with the urge to pick can lead to a critical self-image. People might start to see themselves in a negative light, which only adds to the emotional burden.
This negative self-perception can make it difficult to engage in self-care or seek help, further worsening both conditions.

Daily Functioning

From personal relationships to work or school, excoriation disorder and addiction can significantly impact daily functioning. The compulsion to pick at one’s skin can consume a considerable amount of time and interfere with responsibilities and obligations.
Relationships can suffer as people might withdraw from friends and family, either due to the time consumed by the disorder or from feelings of shame.

Physical Consequences

Excoriation disorder can result in open wounds, scarring, and infections. These physical consequences can be painful and lead to further distress. Additionally, substance abuse can worsen these effects by suppressing the immune system and increasing impulsive behaviors.

Our Approach to Treating Excoriation Disorder and Addiction

Here’s how our methodology can help people heal and regain control of their lives:

Holistic View of Mental Health

At MBO, we focus on all aspects of health, such as physical, mental, and social factors, not just the absence of disease.
Our comprehensive treatment approach focuses on the connection between mind, body, and spirit. This means we look at how factors like emotional stress, physical health, and lifestyle choices can impact well-being.
We believe that healing one aspect of yourself can positively affect the others, leading to a more balanced and healthy life.

Individualized Wellness Plans Tailored for Excoriation Disorder and Addiction

Every person is unique and has different needs. That’s why we develop personalized wellness plans to address each client’s specific struggles with excoriation disorder and addiction.
Our team of experts will work closely with clients to create a treatment plan that targets the root causes of both disorders and provides the tools to overcome it.

Integration of Evidence-Based Practices and Alternative Therapies

We combine the best of evidence-based practices with alternative therapies to provide a well-rounded treatment experience. This integration allows us to address excoriation disorder and addiction from multiple angles.
If one approach doesn’t work, we have other options to try. This flexibility ensures that our treatment is tailored to each person’s needs and preferences.

Techniques and Therapies Offered for Excoriation Disorder and Addiction

We offer various effective techniques and therapies to provide a comprehensive recovery experience for treating excoriation disorder and addiction.
These include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

At Mind Body Optimization, we use CBT as a key part of our treatment program for people struggling with excoriation disorder and addiction. CBT is a type of therapy that helps people understand how thoughts and feelings affect behaviors.1

It’s great for compulsive behaviors, as it targets and changes negative thought patterns that drive skin picking. In sessions, clients work with a therapist to uncover triggers for skin-picking. Together, they create coping strategies.

This involves:

  • Recognizing picking cues
  • Finding other activities to replace picking
  • Using relaxation for stress
CBT aims to give people control over compulsive behaviors by changing their thoughts and responses.

Mindfulness and Meditation Practices

These practices boost self-awareness and cultivate calmness, benefiting those dealing with excoriation disorder and addiction.

Guided meditation and mindfulness exercises help people learn how to observe thoughts and feelings without acting on them. This can be particularly helpful for controlling the urge to pick at the skin.

Mindfulness practices also teach people how to deal with stress and anxiety in a more constructive way. This reduces the likelihood of turning to skin picking or substance use as a coping mechanism.


Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to promote mental and physical well-being. It not only helps with stress reduction but also increases body awareness.2

Through yoga, people can become more in tune with their body and its needs, recognizing when tension builds up and learning how to release it.

This can be beneficial for those struggling with excoriation disorder and addiction as they often use negative coping mechanisms to deal with uncomfortable feelings in the body.

Movement Therapies

Movement therapies cater to each person’s unique needs and abilities. They encompass activities like gentle stretching and dynamic exercises. They encourage people to engage with their body in a positive and mindful way, helping to break the cycle of compulsive skin picking.
The goal is to improve a person’s sense of body awareness and to develop a healthier relationship with the physical self.

Nutritional Counseling (Coming Soon)

Working with a nutritionist can help people understand how specific foods and diets affect their mood and behavior. This includes influencing the urge to engage in skin picking or substance use.
Our nutritional counseling services aim to help clients develop healthy eating habits to support their recovery and long-term health goals.
We help identify and include foods that can:
  • Stabilize mood
  • Boost energy levels
  • Enhance cognitive function
We also address any nutritional deficiencies that may be impacting a person’s condition.

Support Groups and Community Engagement

Taking part in support groups allows people to share experiences and strategies with others who understand the challenges of living with excoriation disorder and addiction.
These groups offer a secure, encouraging space to:
  • Express emotions
  • Celebrate achievements
  • Gain insights from others’ experiences
Community engagement activities help rebuild social connections and involve in meaningful activities beyond treatment. People can engage in volunteer work or recreational outings to practice new coping strategies in real-world settings and foster a sense of belonging and purpose.3

The Journey to Recovery from Excoriation Disorder and Addiction

The road to recovery is not linear and comes with its own set of obstacles. Recognizing these challenges is the first step toward addressing excoriation disorder and addiction effectively.

Dual Diagnosis Complexity

People struggling with both excoriation disorder and addiction deal with a dual diagnosis, which complicates treatment. Each condition can worsen the other. Research indicates that people with a dual diagnosis need specialized, integrated treatment plans for effective recovery.

At MBO, we tailor our approach to meet these complex needs, ensuring that both conditions are treated at the same time with a cohesive strategy.

Social Stigma and Isolation

Sadly, only half of Americans with any mental illness (AMI) receive treatment.4
Many people with excoriation disorder and addiction don’t seek help because they might not see their behavior as an issue or they feel too embarrassed to discuss it. Similarly, admitting to substance abuse requires confronting denial—a common obstacle in the journey to recovery.
At MBO, we understand the impact of social stigma and work to create a judgment-free environment where people feel comfortable seeking help and support. Our goal is to break down barriers and encourage open discussions about mental health and addiction.


The next challenge is dealing with urges and relapses. The urge to pick at one’s skin or use substances can be overwhelming, particularly in times of stress or emotional turmoil.
If you experience a relapse, know that it’s common and doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Statistics show that relapse rates for substance use disorders are estimated to be between 40% and 60%.5
At MBO, we offer a relapse prevention plan. We give you tools and skills to identify early warning signs of relapse and use effective coping strategies.

The Pillars of Long-Term Wellness

The initial treatment phase is just the start. To maintain recovery and prevent relapse, you need continuous support and a dedication to self-care.

Ongoing Support for Sustained Healing

Continued participation in support groups or therapy sessions significantly reduces the risk of relapse. When you share your struggles with others, it helps reduce feelings of shame and isolation.
Support groups also provide a sense of community and accountability, reminding you that you are not alone in your journey towards wellness.
At Mind Body Optimization, we encourage continued engagement with support networks, including:
  • Therapy sessions: Regular check-ins with a therapist can help address any emerging issues, reinforce coping strategies, and provide professional guidance.
  • Mentoring programs: Having a mentor who has successfully maintained long-term recovery can offer invaluable support and guidance. They can share their experiences and provide practical tips for navigating challenges.
  • Family and friends: Surround yourself with a positive support system of loved ones who understand your journey and are there to help you when times get tough. At MBO, we also have family therapy programs to equip your loved ones with the tools and knowledge to support you in your recovery process.
  • Online support groups: Virtual support groups offer convenience and access to a wide range of people sharing similar experiences. You can participate from the comfort of your own home and connect with others who understand what you’re going through.

Self-Care for Sustainable Recovery

For those in recovery from excoriation disorder and addiction, this means making self-care a top priority.
This includes taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being in the following ways:
  • Physical self-care: Engage in regular exercise, eat balanced meals, and get enough sleep to promote health and reduce stress.
  • Mental self-care: Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga to manage anxiety and cope with triggers.
  • Emotional self-care: Develop healthy coping mechanisms and set boundaries to manage emotional stress. Seek support from a therapist or support group when needed.
  • Avoiding high-risk situations: Identify and avoid situations that may trigger urges to engage in addictive behaviors. It’s important to be aware of your personal triggers and develop strategies for managing them.
  • Healthy hobbies and activities: Engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy and satisfaction. This can include anything from painting to hiking, as long as it promotes positive self-expression and relaxation.

Getting Started with Excoriation Disorder and Addiction Treatment at Mind Body Optimization

Starting recovery from excoriation disorder and addiction may feel overwhelming. At Mind Body Optimization, we aim to support you every step of the way. Here’s how you can reach out for a consultation or appointment, marking the start of your journey to wellness.
You can initiate contact with MBO through several convenient channels, including:

Contacting Us Directly

The simplest way to start your recovery journey is to contact us directly. You can do this by phone, email, or through our website.
Our dedicated team is available to:
  • Answer your questions
  • Provide information about our services
  • Guide you through the process of scheduling your first appointment

Online Inquiry

If you prefer digital communication, fill out the inquiry form on our website. Provide as much or as little information as you feel comfortable sharing. A member of our team will reach out to you promptly to discuss your needs and how we can help.

Visit Us

You are welcome to visit our facility. Seeing the environment and meeting some of our staff can help ease any apprehensions. During your visit, you can schedule a consultation to discuss your situation in more detail and explore potential treatment options.

What to Expect During Your First Consultation

During your initial consultation, you will meet with one of our specialists who will listen to your concerns, assess your needs, and provide a preliminary overview of how we can help.
This session is an opportunity for you to:
  • Ask questions
  • Express any fears or reservations
  • Get a sense of what your treatment plan might look like

Privacy and Confidentiality

We understand the importance of privacy and confidentiality in the treatment process. All communications and consultations are conducted with the utmost respect for your privacy. You can rest assured that your information and discussions will be handled with care and discretion.

Next Steps

Following your consultation, we will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This plan will outline the recommended therapies and support structures to help you on your path to recovery.
We will also discuss scheduling, payment options, and any other logistical details to ensure a smooth start to your treatment.


We accept a wide range of insurance plans to ensure that our services are accessible to those in need. Our goal is to minimize financial barriers to treatment for excoriation disorder and addiction.
To help you understand your coverage, we offer a benefits verification service. This means we will directly contact your insurance provider on your behalf to verify your benefits for treatment at our facility.
We will inform you of any copays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket expenses associated with your plan, so there are no surprises.

Mission and Values

We base our approach to excoriation disorder and addiction on core values.

These values guide all our work and include:

  • Integrity: We commit to honesty and ethical practice in all our interactions. Trust is the foundation of effective treatment, and we strive to build that trust from your first contact with us.
  • Autonomy: We respect your autonomy and right to choose. Our treatment plans are collaborative, ensuring that you have a voice in your care and recovery journey.
  • Community: We believe in the power of shared experiences and support, offering a network of care that extends beyond our walls.
  • Validation: Your feelings and experiences are valid. We provide a validating environment where you can express yourself freely and be heard without judgment.
  • Bravery (Humility): We recognize the courage it takes to seek help and the humility it takes to grow. 
  • Empowerment: Through education, support, and personalized care, we aim to equip you with the tools and confidence needed for lasting recovery.
Excoriation Disorder and Addiction

The Path to Holistic Recovery

Excoriation disorder and addiction affect every part of a person’s life. At Mind Body Optimization, we acknowledge these challenges and aim to provide a recovery path that exceeds standard treatments.

The MBO Difference

At MBO, we believe true healing needs a holistic approach. We view each client as a whole person, recognizing that recovery combines:
  • Physical health
  • Emotional resilience
  • Mental clarity

Our team at Mind Body Optimization creates a personalized healing journey for you, addressing the underlying causes and empowering you towards lasting recovery.

Start Your Journey Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with excoriation disorder and addiction, know that there is hope for healing. At MBO, we are committed to providing ethical and effective treatment in a safe and supportive environment.

Take the first step toward holistic recovery and contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs for excoriation disorder and addiction.