leg plucking obsession

Hey, I’ve got a really nasty obssesion with plucking my leg hairs. I shave my legs but then I pluck out all of the ones that I’ve missed. Sometimes I don’t shave, I just pluck. As you can imagine, my legs look horrible. Nasty red sploches and sores all over them. I’ve tried to stop but, it’s a bad obsession that I have. I actualy get enjoyment from plucking them out, or digging our the ingrown ones. Please help. I would like to know if anyone else out there is as weird as I am. Is there any help or cure? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

hey pp, i dont have this obsession on my legs, but i had the obsession on my chin/face, so you can imagine the dark pigmentation, ingrowns, redness and pimples in the area because of this obsession. what made me stop is electrolysis. knowing that if i keep plucking will prolong my electrolysis treatment, i stopped cold turkey!.. you might not be interested in electrolysis, but why dont you try letting the hair grow for two weeks or so and wax or sugar. that way you are hair free for 3 weeks or so and that can give you some time of relief to get over your obsession. good luck! and you are not alone!

why don’t you try rotary epilators, like silk epil braun? they easily and with relatively very little pain remove hair from the root and it lasts for several weeks. i am very satisfied by my silk epil. the first day, your legs will look red, but that lasts only one day or less. after that your legs will be smooth for a month with no need to shave.

Try Tend Skin for the bumps. Are you clearing large areas by plucking? I would think that would take forever.


Read this page on Trichotillomania: http://www.nmha.org/infoctr/factsheets/92.cfm. I also used to have this problem but I scarecely do it anymore.
I second the suggestion of using a rotary epilator. At least you won’t be scarring your legs this way and the results will be more lasting so you won’t have to think about it that often.
Just know that you are not alone.

YES! I have it very, very much so. So bad in fact that I have already thrown away two pairs of tweezers just to go out and buy more. That’s why I shave daily early in the morning, so there will be nothing to pluck. This helps because then I can forget about it. Even at work when in the restroom I look down at my legs and try gripping onto hairs with my fingernails. I know where you’re coming from, it turms into a real obsession and it scars up your legs. I’ve became better at just leaving them alone.

As for the rotary epilators. I have three and used them for years. I would advise against it. Why? because they increase that gratification feeling of plucking. It’s like it gets you to like the plucking feeling more, and makes you think about it more. Plus, they can cause hair follicals to split and grow two hairs, you get more ingrowns, and you get hyperpigmentation spots if you have dark hair. Just shave, it’s better in terms of exfoliation anyway. Your skin will be a lot healthier as opposed to epilating.

Thank you so much. I don’t feel so alone now. I also am getting better. I used to pull out the tiny tweezers that I had on my keychain pocket knife and pluck while I was in the restroom at work. So, I know your pain. I also feel that shaving is the best.

Thanks again!

Yes, I am clearing large areas, and yes it does take forever.

In Elizabeth Wurtzel’s book, More, Now, Again, she describes an extended bout with compulsive leg-tweezing.

Are you still plucking? I do every time I take a bath and also late at night when my daughter is asleep. Her dad serves on a submarine, so he has no idea what is going on. I spend hours and hours tweezing my legs. My daughter (two years old) has already gotten ahold of a pair of my tweezers ( I probably have about tweny pairs), and she acts out my tweezing. She doesn’t actually do it because it hurts, but I’m scared for her to pick up this habit. Have you gotten any help? Jenn

You really are not alone! I had the problem of plucking my chin and eyebrows (to the point of where I had holes in them!) I finally sought out help for it and it really is a problem that goes well beyond just hair. It is an obsession which I deal with on a everyday basis. I see a therapist and she has started me on anti-depressant medicine to control my compulsions. I have noticed a huge difference. Although I know this is a hair forum and not an OCD one, I just wanted to let you know that I too know what you are feeling and probably A LOT more do too!

It is awefull. I also pluck for hours. I enjoy plucking out each hair. When I dig out the ingrown ones, then I get big bloody scabs on my legs. I usually use a pin and tweezers for that. Because of the plucking, it looks like I have chicken pox all over my legs, from the knee down. I’m getting married soon and I want to stop. No one knows about this. I get better and then start again. It’s hard to shave because of all of the bumps and scabs.

Ohmigosh. I do this too. I thought I was the only one! In my case, it’s probably part OCD, and I’ve been doing it since I was very young (I’m 40 now). I really only pluck from my legs between ankle & knee, and just “love” to dig those ingrown hairs out. Then I feel horrible after I’ve done it because I know I’ll just have yet another scar. But it is definitely an obsession. Needless to say, I hate summer, hate wearing shorts in public and wish I could wear dark panty hose thru the entire summer. During the hot weather, I have to put makeup on my legs (coverup) because my legs are so badly scarred. Does anybody know of anything that helps fade the scarring? I’ve gone to a hair removal clinic and spoke with one of the ladies there about the scars, and she said there wasn’t much to do. The scars are a bunch of brownish & reddish dots, and apparently due to my mediterranean background, I have hyperpigmentation, which accentuates the scars. I always look at other’s women’s bare legs and wish I had flawless skin on my legs, and wish I had never started doing this. Sigh. I’m so glad I found this forum.

It is truly sad. My wife and I both read Wurtzel’s book, and when I was doing electrolysis on her legs, she commented that for all the time spent and pain endured with tweezing, you could be getting permanent hair removal with electrolysis.

raises hand slowly

I am in the club, too, apparently.

I seriously thought I was the ONLY one. I had no idea this was a disorder.

I have black coarse hairs coming out of my chin, neck, chest…I don’t see my plucking as being a disorder, the black hairs are the problem. Yes, the scar tissue looks like hickies but that is better than the hair. I know I need to do laser or go back to electrolysis.


I used to pluck my wrists and hands which became an obsession. It takes a lot of time outof your day and if you have a partner it will drive them to kill mode!

It was recommended that rather than being killed for being annoying that I should get them lasered. So I started that, stopped the plucking and it seems to be working. I really could not stand the dark hairs showing, and this has thinned them out considerably.


When i was a little kid (11), I’d pluck my leg hairs simply because I didn’t want to shave and supposedly “make them grow back THICKER!!” I wouldn’t say it was an obsession - 'twas fun, though! A clean pluck with no sound is the BEST, isn’t it? I hated it when the hairs would literally snap. Haven’t done it in ages although i did it a few weeks ago on my kneecaps because they’re hard to shave. Hope you find help. Try waxing - then you can’t do it for weeks at a time!

Wow. I was just doing an online search about Tend Skin when I came across this forum. I did some reading and joined because I absolutely HAD to reply to this. I used to do the EXACT same thing to my legs. I would spend hours contorted with my leg up next to a lamp and pluck. (The knee area was the most satisfying.) Then I started shaving/waxing my pubic area and found a whole other place to pluck! So much easier to reach! I do it every time I go to the bathroom. It leaves me with huge red bumps and I’m sure it just makes the ingrowns worse (but I secretly like the ingrowns because I want to dig them out…)

I am positive that I have OCD as far as picking/plucking is concerned. (I used to have acne, so I also have scarring from the picking I did on my face.)

I just needed to share. You are not at all alone.

Thanks all of you… you have made me feel normal. I pluck with sewing needles; I have started shaving all over just to get some hairs to pluck. It really soothes me; sometimes I spend an hour looking for hairs to pluck. I even think about it when I go to sleep. I think that if there was a profession for pulling out ingrown hairs, I would be the woman. I still feel weird writing this. When I start looking at my legs and arms for ingrown hairs in public, and someone asks me what I’m doing, I have to make excuses like, “Oh, I missed a spot shaving,” or “I think I got bit by a bug.”
I think we should all keep in touch and create some sort of support group!
Thanks again!!!