Is NAC Good for Skin Picking?
Is NAC Good for skin picking? Skin picking is not a much common skin disease. As a result of which people do not pay much attention to it. However, with the advances in medical sciences, now people want to know about the effective treatment for skin picking. One of the names that are commonly and frequently mentioned for skin picking is NAC. Therefore, here we will try to answer whether it is NAC for skin picking or not.
Skin Picking Disorder
Skin picking or excoriation disorder is a severe condition that is mistaken commonly. It is somewhat similar to the hair-pulling or severe nail-biting disorder, among other body-focused repetitive behaviors in patients. In this disease, the patient causes harm to themselves or their appearance. It is not a simple cosmetic issue because it contains features like repetitive touching, rubbing, picking, and scratching their skin. As a result of which it can cause severe damage to the tissues, disfigurement, and in some cases, it might cause infections.
Almost 4 percent of the population is suffering from skin picking disorder. But the really sad thing is the lack of established pharmacological options for its treatment can worsen the situation leading to serious consequences in patients. Factors like fear, embarrassment, or feeling alone that they are only one is suffering from skin picking disorder makes the situation worse.
With advancements in the medical field, there are a number of treatments for this issue, including psychiatric intervention and cognitive behavior therapy. Common issues patients of skin picking faces are a psychosocial problem that reduces the quality of life, and medical issues like infections are common. However, the critical point is that there is not much information and knowledge regarding the severity of this issue.
Symptoms of Skin Picking Disorder
Skin picking has some specific symptoms that define whether a person has this issue or not. Moreover, there is no exact distinction when the mild symptoms of skin picking like a nervous habit change to severe problems. The common symptoms include:
- Repeatedly picking skin which can lead to skin lesions
- Continuously trying to stop this behavior
- Picking of skin is not a result of substance, medical or dermatological condition
- Sometimes these symptoms might result in significant distress or impairment
- Its symptoms are somewhat similar to other psychiatric disorders
Moreover, you also need to ask a certain question to confirm your condition as skin picking. These are:
- Do you pick up your skin for most of the day?
- Is there any guilt or upset feeling when you think about how much you pick skin?
- Are there any visible scars due to skin picking?
- Do you feel like picking up your skin comes in your way of social and professional life like you are avoiding the beach or gym due to your scars? Or have you spent a lot of time covering your blemishes before an event?
How Does Skin Picking Disorder Develop?
Both children and adults are equally prone to skin picking disorder, and most importantly, it can develop at any age. However, most commonly, there are two ways in which it grows. These are:
After Rash, Skin Infection or Injury:
In some cases, when a person picks or scrubs the rash, it can result in more serious injury to the skin. Moreover, it can prevent the skin from healing. As a result of which more itching leads to more picking and scrubbing, and the cycle will continue.
During Time of Stress:
Sometimes a person may unconsciously pick or scrubs the skin around nails and find this repetitive cycle fun to relieve stress. So, later on, this becomes a habit.
NAC for Skin Picking
Are you also a part of the 4 percent population suffering from skin picking disorder? Then don't worry because I have some excellent news for you. However, before listening to the good news, keep in mind that you are not alone. Most of the skin picking disorder patients, which leads to disfigurement and dangerous infections, believe that they are the only ones suffering from this disease. However, this is not true. There are many other people out in the world suffering just like you.
Now let's go to the good news, and that is antioxidants may be able to help you. When I say antioxidants, the first thing that comes to mind is the NAC. NAC is a really good and effective antioxidant that provides numerous health benefits. Thus, there are high chances that it can also help with the skin picking disorder. We will discuss NAC's role in skin picking disorder in light of the numerous researches and studies.
Apart from human skin picking disorder is also common in animals like laboratory mice. Moreover, one of the leading causes of death in these animals is the skin picking disorder. According to the results of a study at the University of North Carolina, when NAC is given to the skin picking disorder patients, it has effectively helped them. However, its course of action is slow, and it typically requires 6 to 8 weeks to show its results.
NAC is a powerful nutrient that is famous for its ability to be beneficial in numerous mental disorders. Several studies have indicated that NAC can help with nicotine addiction, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, hair pulling, and bipolar disorder. Moreover, those who are injected with glutathione, a powerful natural antioxidant, show results quickly. NAC plays a vital role in the production of glutathione in the body.
Therefore, it clearly indicates that NAC plays a vital role in the improvement of skin picking disorder. It can either affect directly or increase the amount of glutathione in the body. In both cases, NAC is beneficial for skin picking patients. NAC helps to fight against the oxidative stress in the brain, thus helping with SPD.
Recently we have seen an increased interest in the use of glutamatergic agents to treat OCD, TTM, and other OCRD diseases. One of the vital excitatory neurotransmitters of the central nervous system is glutamate. Therefore, the glutamatergic system gets triggered for pharmacologic manipulation in OCRDs. Thus, NAC is an excellent nutraceutical agent, which can modulate the glutamatergic and neuroinflammatory systems. The important benefit of NAC is that it can significantly reduce the symptoms of skin picking. Moreover, it becomes evident that NAC is more effective than a placebo. Besides, there is also evidence showing the effectiveness of glutamate-modulating agent riluzole in skin picking disorder.
In this section, we will discuss the effectiveness of the NAC for skin picking disorder in light of clinical researches. Till now, it becomes evident that NAC is a precursor of amino acid cysteine that is a modulator of the glutamatergic system. Therefore, NAC is useful for numerous mental issues, as we have already mentioned above. Here we will have a look at the successful case of the treatment of skin picking disorder. Therefore, let’s discuss three cases of skin picking. These are:
Case 1: An older woman of 45 years was diagnosed with skin picking, depressive episode, and hair-pulling disorder. She was first diagnosed with diseases at the age of 4. According to prescription, she has to use sertraline up to 100 mg per day. However, it shows no result for the skin picking disorder. Later she changes her medication to venlafaxine. However, at the same time, she started to use NAC 1200 mg per day. It shows a considerable result in her mood and skin picking disorder. And after some time it resolved completely. After this, she stopped taking medicines. As a result of which her condition worsen. Then again, she started using NAC, which ease out her symptoms of skin picking.
Case 2: This is the case of a 40-year-old lady showing symptoms of pressured speech, excessive buying and irritability, inflated self-esteem, and inadequate behavior. She has no history of alcohol or illicit drug use. When she started using lithium, she developed the symptoms of skin picking. Therefore she has prescribed 1200 mg of NAC per day. Consequently, within a few days, there was a great improvement in the skin picking issue.
Case 3: This last case is 31 years old, a woman who is under treatment for skin picking, moderate depressive episode, internet addiction, and pathological jealousy. She was using fluoxetine 20 mg per day and 1200 mg of NAC. There is a considerable improvement in her skin picking disorder.
Patients in all of these cases suffer from skin picking disorder. And the most important thing is all of them have used NAC 1200 mg per day, which shows significant improvements in the condition. Moreover, another thing we have noticed is that discontinuation in NAC's use is linked with the worsening of the condition. Therefore, there is a strong correlation between skin picking and NAC therapy.
In this article, we have focused on the question is NAC for skin picking. Due to its antioxidant properties, NAC is effective for the treatment of skin picking. Therefore, start with the daily dose of 1500 mg NAC to treat skin picking disorder.