Clinical Classification of Excoriation Disorder (skin picking disorder)

a picture of the front cover of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)

When working with patients, health professionals often refer to clinical diagnostic manuals to better understand the patient’s illness and potential treatment.

There are two main recognised diagnostic manuals commonly used around the world today. These are the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (the latest of which is pictured).  Whilst both manuals generally tend to complement each other, there are differences in the descriptions they use.

You can read a summary of both the ICD and DSM on our clinical classification of OCD page. On this page we will summarise what both diagnostic manuals say about Excoriation Disorder (skin picking).


Until recently the original International Classification of Diseases (ICD) did not have a specific listing for Excoriation Disorder (skin picking) in ICD-10, it was sometimes coded under
Factitial dermatitis (Neurotic excoriation) – (Code: 98.1). However since the latest DSM-5 on the 1st October 2017, the World Health Organisation added Excoriation Disorder (skin picking) as a new category under OCD (Code: 42.4).

The ICD-11 due to be published in 2018, will categorise Excoriation Disorder under Body-focused repetitive behaviour disorders which sits under Obsessive-compulsive or related disorders.


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