The Nosology of Compulsive Skin Picking

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Letter to the Editor

Sir: Arnold and colleagues have made an important contribution by providing detailed information about the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with compulsive skin picking. Despite the apparently high prevalence and associated morbidity of compulsive skin picking, there has to date been relatively little empirical research on its phenomenology or treatment. Interest in this disorder might be further encouraged if the field were to agree on an appropriate diagnostic category and name for a behavior that has previously been characterized in many different ways (psychogenic excoriation, neurotic excoriation, dermatotillomania, pathological skin picking).

J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60(9):618 [letter]