What is Dermatophagia and How to treat it

What is dermatophagia

As we have seen, dermatophagia is a psychological disorder that consists of compulsive biting of the skin. It is a condition that has peculiarities of three classes of disorders: anxious, obsessive-compulsive, and impulse control, which is why people who suffer from dermatophagia are usually very nervous.

Causes of dermatophagia

Although each case is different, the person who suffers from this disorder feels a reassuring pleasure when biting the skin, since doing so releases tension. This pleasure is precisely what reinforces the action and the one that leads these people to repeat the behavior, thus entering a vicious circle that is very difficult to break.


Extreme stress can trigger disorders such as dermatophagia since in these cases the affected person tends to bite the skin to release tension.

Anxiety and nervousness

Very nervous people are more likely to develop some OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), so they use repetitive and compulsive actions to channel their nervousness, which would explain dermatophagia.



Boredom is a feeling of demotivation that is more related to depression than we think. Although it sounds extreme, resorting to biting your skin out of boredom is a form of nervousness linked to stress and apathy.

Consequences of dermatophagia

We have already seen what the main causes of dermatophagia are, however, to better understand this disorder it is essential to see what its consequences may be:

How to treat dermatophagia

Being obsessive-compulsive behavior, it is very difficult to stop biting on your own. Therefore, experts always recommend going to a specialist to receive the appropriate treatment. Keep in mind that only good psychological care will help you treat the root problem and can offer you the most appropriate solutions for your case.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Muhammad Usman Babar

Muhammad Usman Babar


Hi, My name is Muhammad Usman Babar and I am a blog writer. I love to write about Health, Fitness, and Education. Recently I am writing at www.kidsrush.com.