The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library

Human Skin in Jar

About This Item

Title

Human Skin in Jar

Subject

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
dermatillomania

Description

This jar of dried skin, donated to the Mütter Museum in 2009, belonged to a 23-year-old Caucasian woman who not only picked the skin on her feet but meticulously saved each piece.

This specimen, however, is not just a jar of human skin: it is a visual representation of a mental disorder. Dermatillomania, also known as skin picking disorder (SPD), is the compulsive need to pick at the skin, causing damage. It is grouped with other BFRBs (Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors) and is classified as an excoriation disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition. The majority of afflicted individuals are women. Recent studies have estimated that between 2-3% of the general population has this disorder.

While there are both behavioral and pharmacological methods of treating dermatillomania, many individuals do not seek out treatment.

Publisher

Digitized by the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Date

2009

Type

StillImage

Identifier

2009.61.1

Coverage

21st Century

Original Format

Human skin, glass jar

Citation

“Human Skin in Jar,” The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library, accessed May 16, 2021, https://www.cppdigitallibrary.org/items/show/2611.