What can I do to stop picking at my skin

Hi everyone. Glad to know I am not alone. Sorry to hear that more people suffer as I do. I am 37 and have picked since I was about 15. 22 years of this. Now I am a mother and I come to tears to hear my children talk about mommy's many many boo-boos. If I wasn't embarassed enough for myself, now I am embarrassed for my children. I try to stop, I think I have stopped, and then I look down at my arms and it looks like I have chicken poxs. I don't even remember picking!!!! What can I do to end this? What has worked for you guys?

I'm 26 years old and have been picking my entire life! As long as I can remember I've had super short nails because I bite them off, then when those are gone I pick at the skin around my nails to have something to keep picking and I do the same with my toes. When I was younger I used to bite off my toenails if they were too tough to pull. I will sometimes spend hours sitting in the bathroom picking blackheads (or even if there are none) on my face just to have something to pick at and will sometimes do it till it bleeds. I also tend to pick the skin around my fingers layers at a time even though it hurts SO badly! This past summer I had a water bubble on my toe and picked that off and kept picking a little each day until it was red from such exposed skin and bleeding to where I had to wear open toed shoes because they hurt so badly. Once the weather got colder, I started wearing socks all the time and let it heal without thinking about it. Now, for the first time in my life I have real fingernails and I am SO proud of myself...BUT the skin around my nails has never looked SO bad! I also play guitar and to make chords with my left hand is the most horrible pain! I have to face it that I have a problem. I've been doing it forever and just accepted that is me but I know this is not normal. I can't help it. I am SOOOO addicted! I will even sit and take tweezers and try to find hairs that have folded over under the skin to be pulled out (like after shaving). Something is seriously wrong with me! What do people do to fix this disgusting habit that I feel like a prisoner with? HELP!
I am a 20 year old female and I dont really know when I started picking... I know that it just started with certain parts of my face, then i would irritate my skin so much that i would move on to other parts and eventually started getting acne all over my face, which of course was horrible but also a god sent... I as well can spend waaay too much time in front of a mirror... It gets real bad when I crawl right onto the counter and get really close to the mirror. In the last year or so, my obsession has spread to literally my entire body besides my back, and that is only because i cant reach it... Oh and I suppose not my feet, but im sure i would if i could. I pick at my nails, the skin around my nails, my scalp, my face, my neck, my chest, my friggen boobs and nipples for goodness sakes, my legs and my private areas... I saw someone say that they have keratosis pilaris which is something that probably spurs part of the obsession, well, i have something sort of like it, its called folliculitis and its basically the same thing except i get really sore spots that scream at me to be relieved... I even get them on my butt.... I agree, it is really embarrassing, and i have been doing it for so long... in addition to chewing on the insides of my cheeks... I always feel like its some sort of sick self mutilation, but I have an extremely hard time stopping because basically, if i go in the bathroom, im doomed... if im bored, im doomed, if i cant sleep... well, im really screwed. I really love having clear skin and am amazed that I actually have fairly nice skin, but pretty much the only reason i break out or have noticeable issues, is because of me. Im so friggen tired of causing my own skin problems, besides the folliculitis. Unfortunately I cant cover my mirrors because i live with other people that have no idea about my problem... So i think im going to try wearing a rubber band around my wrist and every time i catch myself start picking, i will snap that sucker real hard and teach myself a lesson.... I wish all you guys luck... I know how it is... it sucks real hard... wish me luck too...
I am so glad I am not alone with this! I am 33 and have been picking my face and arms since I was a teenager. It is such a horrible habit that I wish I could break instantly, but its extremely difficult for me, but I am so glad I found this site for mutual support. I can spend hours in front of the mirror looking for a spot on my face, or when I'm reading or relaxing I find myself rubbing my arms with my finger tips searching for something to pick at. When I am finished picking, I feel depressed and guilty that I practically demolished my face and arms. The only thing that has helped me out recently that I can share with you guys is to spend less time in front of the mirror ( I know this is very hard for us girls!). For example, when I'm brushing my teeth, I avoid looking at my overall face in the mirror. When I wash my face, I take a quick glance in the mirror at a distance and walk away. However, when I use the mirror to put my makeup on, I don't get the urge to pick. I realize the type of urges underlying this problem is individualized, but for me, the mirror is my weakness- I get right up close to the mirror to search for any spots before bed or first thing in the morning. Another trick I recently tried is when I do give in to the mirror to pick, I try to limit myself to 'two picks' only-- I know this may sound silly and strange, but instead of messing up my entire face and arms from picking at every little spot, I tell myself 'okay, I have the urge to pick, BUT I can only allow myself two spots to target and that's it, no more!' That way you satisfy the urge (unfortunately) to a certain degree and your face/arms don't look as bad as before! With this trick, I don't feel as guilty, I actually feel slightly stronger because I managed not to go crazy on my face/arms and I had the strength to only pick twice-- For me, it's a step in the right direction (baby steps lol), but its still very difficult to avoid my usual full-fledged picking. Hopefully one day, I can go from picking two spots to one, then none. Like I said, I know its hard to stop picking and my tricks may not be beneficial to some or most, I am just sharing what has helped me so far.
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Really interesting reading the comments... describing it as trance-like sums it up. Has anyone here 'recovered' from this? Or currently trying? I'm 22 female and have mainly been an arm picker (same symptoms as people mentioned here) my face usually has a scab or 3 and sometimes get infected but its slowly progressing to my chest and elsewhere. When I was 16 I went to the doctors about it and there's a name for it, sorry it was two words with 5 syllables each, but the main thing I took from it was that it's a form of acne, kind of mild in comparison, he said I could either take acne pills (a bit extreme in his opinion) or a creme called duac. He asked 'could you stop picking if you wanted to' I replies honestly 'yes', 'do you think you're going to?', 'um don't think so'. The cream worked quite well but it needs constant maintainance, being a teenager I either forgot or couldnt spare the 30mins of application time, and like most of you here, I enjoy it... The cream kept it localised I guess. Anyway, I've finally decided to man-up with the willpower to stop. Cut my nails (short as possible!), wearing long sleeves, avoiding looking at my arms when exposed, changing my pillowcase every other day at least, drinking water, washing my face twice a day and sometimes steam it. I've done this for a week now and I'm nearly healed... Ive always healed quite fast but never have clear skin for more than a day, I know it's going to be a constant thing and take effort to do this every single day, but in the end i'll feel so much better than scab-zilla. I nearly slipped up in the bathroom by looking in the mirror too closely..... I picked the one that needed it then washed my face and found this forum. We're getting there.
I am 24 year old woman and have been picking my skin for about 10 years now. It runs in the family, my mother used to do it but grew out of it in her thirties, my sister also has it but nowhere near as bad as me. For us it starts with a skin condition 'Keratosis Pilaris' which is when hair follicule is trapped under the skin making a raised rash like surface on my skin with mini pimples with white stuff inside. I usually pick for about an hour or two a day and only late at night in bed unless in the weekends and will pick at random. I go into a daze like state and time just seems to fly by. I think, I'll just get that bad one then all of a sudden it's been an hour or two. It really cuts into my sleeping time. I enjoy the calming effect it has on me but feel guilty as soon as I stop and I'm sore, have drawn blood and super tired because it's 3am and I have work at 9am. I am a really out-going person and wear stockings and tops that cover up the scars and bumps. I get self conious with guys when they touch me because I know my skin is rough. I showed my doctor and I also told him how I get anxiety and gut aches and about my picking for hours and he wanted me to take anti-depressants, but I don't feel sad I just worry about stuff a lot, I thought I don't want to take medication for the next two years or more because of bad skin and a sore tummy! I also went to a dermatologist but the creams didn't work for me and my skin is too sore to exfoliate. I feel stuck in a rut, I managed to leave my skin alone for my sisters wedding but couldn't wait to start picking it again, it just takes so much self control to not do it and I get pleasure from doing it which is embarrassing. I even get a kick out of squeezing other people's pimples. I'm a sick one! I love the idea of a quick fix, like getting hypnotized or something, has anyone tried that? Reading everyone's stories is really comforting. Maybe it's time I took responsibility for my actions and find the will-power to stop by avoiding triggers and start keeping a pick diary. I think I can do it with out medication but may have it as my back up plan. Hopefully the urge will fade away completely in a year or two. Today can be the last day of picking myself to pieces, and maybe yours too. Eye on the prize!
Hi everybody. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has this issue. I started picking my arms soon after my parents divorce. They would always tell me to stop and I would but only for a day or two, and it continued to where I would pick my face and legs as well. I keep telling myself that " I'll stop tomorrow" but it never happens. Sometimes I sit in the bathroom for an hour or two ( I'm exaggerating a little ) but still and I'll walk out and look like I have hives. i think it's like a stress reliever to me, when I pick it feels like theres nothing going on, or there's nothing to stress out about. I get so embarrassed when people ask me what happenend to my arms and I say I have a rash as an excuse. Im hoping that writing this will kind of help relieve some stress from picking. I found it helps to keep myself busy so I don't stare at my arms like an animal staring at a raw piece of meat. Good luck to everyone
I'm 20 years old and have a horribly habit of picking my arms face legs and anything that looks pickable. I have always liked picking zits when I was younger but never this bad. I noticed it took a complete turn for the worst when I started doing drugs. I started using injecting heroin daily at age 18 and when I was high I would completely zone out for hours in front of a mirror and pick at every pore on my body. I would be in the bathroom for hours and not even realize how long I was in there. It started with my face then progressed to my arms and I've started on my legs recently. I did a little bit of crack/cocaine and thought that it was the reason I started but now that I've been off heroin and cocaine the picking still continues. I noticed that if I take any type of opiate such as Lortab, Oxycontin, Opana's or even Suboxone (helps you get off heroin) I will go into these picking rages and just go crazy on my arms but when I'm completely sober I find myself just picking at the big scabs or white heads and not notice I'm doing it. I feel absolutely hideous with these quarter sized open wounds on my face arms and legs and it doesn't help that I have to wear long sleeve shirts to work in 100 degree weather. I went to a dermatologist who gave me some cream and an antibiotic which didn't really help because he doesn't realize that my skin will never heal if I don't stop picking at it. No amount of medicine will make me stop picking. My Dr. prescribed my hydroxyz for anxiety but I refuse to take them because they make me tired and I hate it. Glad to know that there are other pickers out there besides me because people in public, my family, guys that I date, they all look at me like I'm some walking disease and it kills me. I would do anything to make it stop. I just recently got dumped and I honestly think that my arms are a big reason it happened. I know that it's not appealing and that people stare but should I have to hide my body and stay at home for something that I have no control over? My brother and dad always ask why I can't just tell myself to not pick. It's absolutely impossible. They don't understand. I have horrible anxiety. OCD depression drug addiction, I'm a mother and have been since I was sixteen I've been through hell and back and I know this is a big factor in my picking but I will forever have a memory of what I've been through with these scars on my face arms and legs. Feels great to not be alone in this.
I'm 18 now, and ever since i can remember, I've had bloody spots all over my arms. Within the past few years, this has moved down to my legs and my private region. It seems like this is a comfort thing for me, and i don't even know that I'm doing it. I'm relieved that I'm not the only one... I remember when I was in elementary school...the school often called my house and asked my mom if I had chicken pox (which I have never had). I was so ashamed to tell people that I would squeeze the skin on my arms so much that i would break the skin and start to bleed, that i told them that all of the scabs were because my cats constantly scratched me. I've said this so much that I actually started believing it at one point. When I got my school picture taken one year, all I could see was all of the scabs all over my arms, so I secretly got my picture retaken, and it isn't much better. I'm leaving for college soon and I really don't feel like being known as the girl with scabs everywhere. It has even gotten to the point that my boyfriend makes remarks about it. I know he's trying to be funny about it so it doesn't hurt me, but it still does. I am so ashamed and disgusted about this "habit" of mine. I just want to stop it. There are points when my arms and legs START to clear up, but then in about a week, they're back to being covered in dry blood, I hate this so much =(
i had no idea this was such a prevalent issue or even a thing, but i am quite happy to have found a group of my compulsively self spelunkers. i am 29, soon to be 30, and have been picking since i could look into the mirror that was mounted to the wall next to the window in the bathroom in the house i grew up in. it didn't start off this bad. it used to be that if i had a pimple on my face, i would get what was in there out so i wouldn't have a big ole bump on my face and then i could easily claim "bug bite" or some other cop-out. if i didn't come out of the bathroom in a certain amount of time, my mom would knock on the door and tell me to hurry up and get out. i just kind of let her assume that i was doing what most young teenage boys do with any amount of time behind closed doors. when i got to high school, it kind of tapered off a bit. then when i graduated and got thrown by the waist of my pants into the real world, that is when it steadily began to get worse. it moved from the "necessity" of smoothing out the random blemish on my face to tweaking out on my elbows. then my chest. then down to my nether regions. i am now married and trying to deal with this insane compulsion that i have. i try to keep my fingernails cut to the wick to try and "de-claw" myself, which works for about a day. i still get sucked into excavating my skin on a regular basis. i will systematically hunt down every smallest bump, real or imagined, and turn it into a bloody crater. i have to regularly clean the build-up of dried blood from my fingers so my wife doesn't freak out on me. during the worst times, usually the wee hours of the morning battling insomnia, i can go into the bathroom, sit on the floor mat, and when all of the new injuries finally stop juicing and i go back to bed, two freaking hours have managed to go by. my chest and what i can reach of my back look like i've took both barrels of a 12 gauge loaded with bird-shot from 15 feet. my wife has gastrointestinal problems related to stress which prevents us from romping in the sheets enough as it is, with out me being forced to "opt out" because two days prior, i got it into my head that my dick would look a hell of a lot better with a pea-size chunk of flesh missing from the lower right-hand shaft surrounded by smaller indecencies to keep it company. i know damn well that i like sex a whole lot more than i do picking, so why in god's green earth would i let my picking habits prevent me from having it??? i try to stop and think about what i am doing, but as i am trying to convince myself that a small tiny, not-even-a-pimple, bump is exponentially better looking/ feeling than a big honking gaping wound, my fingers are slowly moving over my skin hunting for the next perceived insult. the one thing that i have found works sometimes is closing my eyes. unfortunately, mirrors are all over the damn house, and i swear that one of these days i'm just going to straight up tape paper over all of them, leaving only a little bit open on top so i can brush my hair when i need to get fancy, or stand tip-toe to see my face when i need to shave. this was a good purge and i heartily thank those who make this website possible. if anything else, the time spent typing this out was not time spent picking and that endears you to me. thank you. ~Josh Roberts
I'm 16, and I have been picking my face, scalp, and around my nails since I was 13. The reason I decided to make this account is because lately it has escalated to the point where I have to wear a bandaid on 7 fingers because the skin is so severely picked and bloody. I have permanent scarring all around my nails, I often pick my face and scalp, but not nearly as violently. When I'm doing it I just zone out and forget everything, it's like a trance, and I can't stop until there's no loose skin or scans left on my hands. It started when I was 12 and go acne, and my mother would always pop and pick my face, and I just kind of started following suit. This is humiliating but I have a twin brother, and sometimes I even pick and pop at his acne or sunburn (though it drives him nuts and we often fight about it) but when I see anything that can be picked I just feel like I have to get it. Even if it's a complete stranger in the lunch line, I have to fight the urge to pop his zit or scratch his skin, it's sick. I think what would be helpful is therapy, because I've always felt inadequate next to my older sister who is a beautiful dancer/model, and my other has always puts on various diets for as long as I can remember (though I'm not overweight). Just based on this I can guess it stems from some kind of emotional feelings of inadequacy, but knowing that doesn't really do me any good. I am absolutely ashamed of my fingers, and hide my hands whenever possible because people are always asking "why do you have all those bandaids?" or "what happened to your hands?" and I just can't answer them. My mom occasionally notices it and yells at me for it, and my father rarely notices but just tells me to stop. I don't know what to do because I have tried to stop, I think therapy would be very helpful but I don't want to ask my parents because they believe I can stop if I try hard enough. I'm so glad I found this supportive community and if anyone would like to email me at ariel_rose@aol.com I'm always willing to talk.
Hello everyone, I'm 19 and I finally stumbled onto this page after 4 years of searching the internet for answers as to why I had scabs and cuts all over my face. I figured this would be another forum that suggested moisturizers or some kind of clinical treatment, but as I read some of your posts, I was overwhelmed. I realized that I had been reading for over an hour and was in complete tears. I thought I was alone and have felt that way for a very long time. I've never had the money for a professional examination so I wasted the majority of my late teenage years picking at my skin, then cooking up some crazy home remedy to try and make the skin heal faster. My home is my haven. Here no one can stare at me, treat me differently or ask the stupid question I'm sure all of you have heard, "what happened to your skin?!" Over the last few years I lost everything from my family to my job and this "skin condition" (or habit) was the final straw for my depression. With all that said, thank you and good luck to every single post on this site because for the first time in years I'll be going to sleep knowing that I have identified my problem and tomorrow will be the first day I work towards putting this behind me. No more picking.
It's really about time that I looked into one of these forums, and I'm glad I finally did. I am 22, and I'm going to be having a son soon. I don't want him to be embarrassed when he introduces me to his friends, but I'm more afraid of passing along my nasty obsessions to him. I've had obsessive habits since I was a child. When I was 8 I would have these nasty looking scabs on my arms. I also would pick my cuticles and nails down to a stub, and they very often hurt and bled. My family would tell me to stop, but I couldn't. This continued on into jr. high, except now it was right on my face because I had really bad skin. I'd also pluck the middle of my eyebrows too much, but thankfully not the whole thing like my mother did (she plucked all of hers away). There was a period where I had pretty good skin and was able to stop, but once my skin broke out again, that was it. That period was when I was 16, and lasted for maybe 6 months. Since then I've been picking, picking, picking on pretty much anything from my lips, to my neck. I've been reading about BPD, and think I may have it. I'm very interested in anything that could help me stop. I was thinking that hypnosis might be a viable option, though I tried looking it up and couldn't find anything.
I PICK MY SORES I DON,T KNIW I AM DOING IT
I think for me it stems from anxiety. I'm naturally anxious, and often times pick when I'm especially stressed. It's different for everyone though. Do you get anxious at all?
I'm 40 and for as long as I remember I have picked on my scabs, messed around with my hair, pulled skin of my feet and picked on my nails and the skin around then. I damaged some of my fingers so the nails just don't attach to the skin anymore. My hair gets uneven because I break the strands since I constantly mess with my hair. I have soars on my body that I had for 2 years since I always pick on them. I don't think other people know about this, but i got some comments about my soars: "you should check so it's not cancer" and about the hair thing. I'm really sickened by my own behavior, but I just can't stop. As I was reading your posts I was picking. It's really OCD and I just can't stop. Not even for 10 minutes. I'm a recovering addict and alcoholic and big nicotine user and obsessive in many other fields. I have a lot of anxiety issues and when I read another lady's post here something clicked. I finally understand why I'm doing this. Because when I do it, I zoom out. I'm numb, my mind is still, I don't feel anymore. Skin picking truly is a drug. I have to quit. I'm writing here to be accountable.
I'm 15 and have been picking at my skin as long as I can remember. Ever since I was little, I would pick at scabs and peel them off. It wasn't usually of too much concern, lots of kids picked at scabs. But when I got older and started getting acne, it only got worse. Growing up, I had a lot of problems with my mom and trying to win her over. I never felt worthy of her acceptance and always tried so hard to win her approval. My younger sister was the angel of the family with all excelled classes, a private school entry, and good behavior for someone so young. I always felt like I was competing with her. I hated the acne because I felt like they were just more imperfections for me to deal with. I began picking at it because every time I popped them or picked them away, it felt like I was getting rid of an imperfection when, in reality, I was just scarring and ruining my face. I want so badly to stop but every time I pass a mirror, I sit there and pick for at least 10 minutes. I scream in my head, "Stop!" but I never can. I want help and I think I probably have some sort of anxiety disorder for anxiety runs in my family and what with all my mother-daughter issues, it seems logical. I want to tell my family, but I'm so afraid of disappointing my mother yet again, that I just don't have the heart to do it. I didn't tell anyone about it until now and only recently came to terms with it, since I have begun to pick the skin around my fingernails, off my lips, and the in-grown hairs on my legs. I don't know how to tell my family without them just laughing it off as me being over-dramatic. I'm thinking of telling my friends first because they'd probably be very understanding of my situation.
Hey Dinah I recognize myself in your story. My mother and twin sister have a connection, that I can not seem to get. I'm 23 now and I live most of time in foreign countries. I started to work abroad since 1 year. It changed my picking behavior. Not only being away from my family but from the hole society does me really good. Although I still pick a lot. I come from Belgium (sorry for my bad English writing), a country that is based on looks, image and money. I only have, or had, the looks. That I destroyed partly because off skinpicking, hairpulling, nailbiting... When a was little I never felt a part of anything. I always felt like an outsider. Until now I feel that way. I think that's the reason why I started doing that. Sometimes I don't know who I am. Sometimes I don't pick for 3 or 4 days and then I feel very confident, I can even get arrogant, because I know I look so good. And then I start picking and get very unconfined, I don't even dare to show my face to anyone. People who don't know me very well, only know the first Alexandra. People who know me well know the both. You don't have to tell your family or friends. My mother also doesn't understand, she thinks I am weak because I can not stop with it. There's no point in convincing this people, because they don't WANT to understand. And you really have to know something: you can not disappoint your mother. This has nothing to do with her. What I think while reading your story is that your mother is a person who thinks the whole world revolves around her. She needs to understand that this picking is not a personal attack on her. You don't do this to get attention from her. If you keep this in mind. You can just tell your mother but try to tell without emotions. I stopped being emotional about this. I told myself that I try not to pick, but if I do, cover it up and don't have bad feelings about it. Now I just think: "I hope it gets away soon, try not to do it anymore, it looks like shit" And than I move on. Your state of mind determinate how you feel, not the way your skin looks.
Great advice at the end. I am a twin too. Mine has perfect skin whilst i am made a joke out of from my family who fail to understand that this IS a disorder and not merely my failure to listen to them when they shout 'stop picking, what the hell are you doing to yourself'.
im 16 and im a female. i started noticing that i get little bumps on my arms and shoulders and chest and face. sometimes they are sits and sometimes they arent. i became obsessed with popping them and then noticed that i can squeeze (what i assume is puss) white crap out of them most the time. then i noticed different little things that arent bumps but look like my poors or hair folicals or what ever you call them go in and i started squeezing them to. no i squeeze like every poor or what ev there called on my face arms chest ect. i cant stop no matter how hard i try. i know im scaring my body up and it gets really embarrassing. my arms are the things im worse at and now ive noticed that under the skin it looks a little darker and when i squeeze them, instead of white stuff sometimes i get blood and sometimes i get this black crap sometimes i get a mixture of them all. i dont know what is coming out of the poors and it freeks me out. i also dont know how to stop but my ex hated me without a shirt on because of it... what do i do and what is this colored crap??
Hi, I have had the same problems with those bumps - obviously, I don't know if you would still pick if you didn't have them, but if the bumps start the problem I discovered Neutrogena Body Clear scrubs, soaps and even sprays. I used to just scratch my leg like a "normal" person with just a regular itch and I would have broken bumps up and down my legs, which, of course, would send me into a spiral where I had to dig them all up. I don't know if this would help, I don't know your situation, but as a regular scab picker I know that the last thing in the entire world that I need is to have a condition where I can get more scabs to pick. If you have anything like I have it's referred to as a form of body acne, because it doesn't "explode" like acne on your face it's not often addressed, but it is a form of acne, which would explain why you can get puss or blood from the pores. You can get a bottle of Neutrogena Body Clear scrub or soap for about $5 -6 and it lasts a long time. You don't have to "over dose" with it, just use it like you would any soap. I don't know if this will help you, but I thought I would mention it. Wishing you the very best of luck - Jaeden
I'm sorry to hear about your problem. I have a similar problem. I'm 29 now and have been squeezing those little white bumps on my arms for about 10 years now. Like you, I moved from my arms to my chest to my face to anywhere I had a raised pore. It started out because I hated the way the white bumps looked, but then it became a habit and the marks that the picking leaves is even worse than what the bumps looked like to begin with! I went to the doctor about 8 years ago and was told that what I have is called keratosis polaris or kp. It sounds like what you are describing. He said that these bumps are the result of dry skin (even though I really never thought I had dry skin). He explained that my dry skin would start to flake and clog my pores. The natural oil in your skin is then trapped and forms a little bump. I was advised to exfoliate my arms daily and then apply a good, fragrance-free, alcohol-free moisturizer. I went to a cosmetic store in the mall and they had a special line of products specifically for kp. It was expensive, but it helped. The bumps never completely go away for me, though. As far as breaking the habit for picking at my face or chest, it has been extremely difficult as I do it without realizing it. I finally had to talk to my husband about it and ask for help. Now, he brings it to my attention whenever I'm doing it. At first, I'd get a little angry with him when he would tell me because I felt like I needed to finish, but that eventually got better. To keep me from getting upset, he started taking my hands and kissing them or wrapping them around him in a hug or something sweet so that I could take a moment, a deep breath and realize that he was trying to help me. My picking habit has significantly reduced. I would suggest an exfoliant and moisturizer to help reduce the bumps (and hopefully, also the urge to pick) and also talking with a close friend, boyfriend or family member that can help distract you whenever you start picking. P.s. I had a friend who tried wearing gloves for a couple weeks. She dropped her picking habit quickly. It depends on the person. The important thing is that you don't give up trying. You don't have to have scarred up skin.
Hello :) I'm very thankful that I found this site. Joining and posting is part of my effort to stop picking at my nails. I'm 21 years old, super busy, and a little obsessive about hygiene. I think the root of my problem began when I was very young. Like most girls, I wanted to be just gorgeous. I come from a family who is very "natural". My beautiful mother never wore make-up and her skin looked fabulous no matter what. Since she was so natural, she didn't groom all of the hair on her face or legs regularly. I remember thinking that I wanted to be beautiful like her, but groomed to perfection. I became utterly obsessed with skincare and hair plucking. I gouged at my face to get hair root specks out. It was bad and made me look awful. Eventually, I got away from that, but I've moved to my nails. I don't bite my nails, but I pick at the skin underneath my nails in an effort to get out all of the crap. I pick at my cuticles and the sides of my nails. They bleed, hurt, swell, and look bad. I do the same to my toes. I think this habit started with an ingrown toenail I got that had to be removed. After that procedure, I began picking at my nails trying to get anything on the sides out and off. It leads to severe infections even though I sanitize all of my "tools" beforehand. Now it's summer and I'm embarrassed to show my feet... again. This is my second summer hiding my feet. I just need to let them heal and allow the nails to grow in. Stress definitely triggers my picking. Somehow, I think that if I'm clean and hygienic, everything else will fall into place. But I'm no doctor and I keep injuring myself. I think part of the reason I've struggled to stop picking is that I've told myself that once I heal, I'll be happy and pretty. But that kind of thinking is why I picked at my skin in the first place!!! I just want to stop and I hope posting here will keep me accountable. Thanks for your support. I really appreciate this website.
Reading these stories make me feel not quite as alone. I grew up with OCD. Over the years, my obsessions have changed from control issues, germ fears, rituals, you name it, there was probably a period of time that I went through it. At the age of 35, I still struggle with addictive behaviors, mainly medications and skin picking. The skin picking started about 7 years ago. I had a bad sunburn while on vacation. Once it healed, and began peeling, I noticed how much I enjoyed pulling the peeling skin off. Once healed, this behavior turned to picking at clogged pore, black and white heads on my face, arms, shoulders, back, pretty much anywhere I can find them. On my face, I get caught in a terrible cycle. I pick until it bleeds, allow it to scab, remove the scab to hide what I have done and try to cover with make up and over dry the area with medications, hoping to remove the pimple faster. I suffer from physical and emotional pain, embarrassment and most of all shame. My arms are full of white marks where I have picked them in the past. My legs have scabs. I spend countless hours picking at my skin and I have noticed that this increases both at night and when I am under stress. It does relieve stress in some strange way. I don't think that I am trying to punish myself. I think I just enjoy the stress relief. I want desperately to stop. To not have to hide under makeup, to be able to swim with my kids with out being afraid of what I will look like with out makeup. I even wear makeup to bed in an attempt to hide my face from my own husband. he hates it too
I know exactly how you feel. I am at the end of my tether with this habit and want to beat it. I am 33 and have always been a bit of a scab, spot picker, intrigued by engrown hairs and all that. But since I have had a baby (1 year ago) I have noticed it is almost constant when my hands arent busy doing something, that could be driving, watching my baby playing on the floor or studying, anytime a hand is free it is feretting around looking for a bump. I developed keratin polaris, which are little bumps on your upper arms after being pregnant and just am obsessed by picking at them which makes my arms really ugly and I stop and my arm looks reasonable normal and then do it again and catch a reflection of myself in the mirror and feel terrible and vow never to do it again. But I ended up in the same cycle. I have tried cutting my nails right back so there is no nail to grip the skin. The only think that has worked is out acrylic nails on, but that was a temporary thing for a Christmas party. I have thought about hypnotherapy because you can have that for nail biting and I am sure this is the same. I had an exam this week and I noticed the increase in my scratching and doing about so I think it must be stress and boredom related. I feel the same as you guys, embarrassed, want to stop - but how? Has anyone tried anything to stop, has anything worked?
I don't know what it is but I am constantly picking at my face or ny shoulders or my chest or knuckles or my nails. I do it without noticing and it is tearing my skin apart. My knuckles are callised and I barely have any akin around my fingernails any more. My shoulders have scars all over them from me constantly picking. :( any help??;
Hi I stumbled upon this page whilst looking for an explanation to the scabs I have had on my arms since I was 5 or 6 (then later on my face and back and occasionally on my chest). I am now 26 and have been to see 3 (rubbish) doctors over the 20 odd year period. When I was taken by my mother as a child I was told that "I had sweet blood and the marks on my arms were gnat bites!!!!! I can assure you there not as I get them all year round and after believing this for many years I avoided going anywhere where I may get bitten. I then went to a doctor who assured me they weren’t bites but I was on my own to get rid of them as he didn’t know what it was. The third doctor told me it was my own fault as I picked and prescribed me "something to stop me picking!" brilliant i thought until I discovered it was E45 cream!!!! (Like I haven’t tried every over the counter cream available in the last 20 years. If your like me you feel ugly and embarrassed and when you met people for the first time and they ask you that question"whats that on your arms??" and you know what they really mean "whats that can I catch it?" and I don’t know if anyone else feels the absolute DREAD of summer coming and the whole "why you wearing a cardigan in this weather!" Over the years I have had a mixture of friends, family, work colleagues who have given me a diagnosis (cuz everybody's an expert) according to a few there caused by chocolate, washing powder, coke and at that point I tell them that I'm allergic to the bullshit there telling me and that what causes them (seriously if you didn’t go to medical school or haven’t experienced it don’t start a sentence with "I think it could be...." I have sort of come to terms with it now I hate it and there are some days that I could cry because the guilt and embarrassment is just too much but it makes me.. well me and if people don’t like or love me with them then they will never get the opportunity if I ever do get rid of these bloody stupid scabs!!! I’ve had a few boyfriends and all I can say is for the majority I have just been honest and to be fair it’s never been an issue in the relationship. Cheer up peeps we may have ugly skin but were all bloody stunners inside (lol) ")
Thank you for this - I know exactly what you mean...I lived in Dallas, Texas, out in 100 degree weather I was dressed in sweat pants and long sleeved shirts. Unlike you, I've spent my life making up lie after lie for my behavior. My Mom thought she had all the answers, and if it kept me from getting "busted" then so be it...believe what you want. Relationships - I couldn't be honest. I lied until I couldn't think of another lie, and to make it worse I have almost no support in my ankles so I was always falling down. Just what I need...a scab or a nice long line of them. My ex-boyfriend...Mr. Prince Charming himself seriously planned to make me a foam box that I was supposed to wear, or, basically carry around with me so that if my ankles gave out I would fall on foam because he was so disgusted by me. I admire your courage - honesty is something that I never could find the strength to have. I would rather listen to how clumbsy or klutsy I was and how disgusting I looked than to admit that I was making it worse. I suffer from a major depressive disorder so I am there with you completely on the crying over it, but if I may say it, you sound like someone that is a heck of a lot more than your scabs and, frankly, anyone who you wanted to date would be lucky to have you - scabs or no. ~Jaeden
Love this post and thank you for writing it. I'm equally sick of "expert" advice from the people around me. We pick, we try not to, but we do. Just like an alcoholic tries not to drink, we know we shouldn't but it is, to varying degrees, out of our control. The main reason I want to thank you (nicola badger) is because I forget the importance of this attitude and approach to dealing with these know-it-alls. People lay into us and it takes quite a lot to stand up to them. You reminded me that I must and should. Don't feel guilty and don't feel embarrassed... you just gave me a heap of strength and you should feel it too. I say let's wear beautiful dresses this summer...
I know the feeling of people who talk like they're experts. Their excuse? They have a clear complexion. But to me it's as stupid and pointless as a non-drinker forcing naive advice to an alcoholic on how they can definately kick the habit. Annoying lay people.
Hi everyone, I'm 19 and have been picking since I was 12. It started just a little on my arms and then my shoulders, and then anywhere on my upper body that looked like it could be picked. I use cover up and can avoid picking usually in public, but every time I'm alone I just start picking at little spots in my skin. I'm finally comfortable with my body, but not with my skin. I've been seeing a therapist for a year and a half and we keep trying to get to the source but nothing seems to work. Today she told me that I might have OCD and that this could be a symptom of it. She wants me to talk to my doctor about taking medication for it and see if that helps, but I'm worried that I'll start taking it and that won't be the case. I'm ashamed of my back, my arms, my shoulders, and my chest. My face is usually pretty clear but it's getting harder and harder to cover my marks, and I'm getting more and more scars. I really want to zone in on whats wrong, but don't know what to do or how to figure it out. Do any of you have any advice? Also, there's a guy I like who I might get physical with soon. How do I explain what the spots are? Thanks!
this is how i am. exactly. i dont know how to help you with the source as im still trying to figure that out for myself but i can help you with the guy problem. i avoid getting physical in the light and if i am physical in the light most guys dont ask about it but for the ones that have ive made up stupid little things about fleas or rashes from my laundry detergent and such. if i really think a relationship will last i tell them the truth. anymore i dont even get with a guy if i cant trust him enough to tell him that
I would say that I found this site by accident but that would not be true. I found this site when I was looking for information about skin picking. I began picking my skin three years ago. I Did not realize that my behavior was destructive and it became more and more gratifying . After I read many of these comments And lurking outside this site for quite sometime I thought very long and hard at what my life became because of skin picking. I thought long and hard about adding my name to this site as I realized that many many of you have horrible serious injuries to your skin your body and that my issues were certainly not as serious as some of these I've read about. I have, with help, beat this disorder but I have to stay vigilant. The way I can do that is to offer help if I can and at the same time be reminded that I don't want to go back there again. The fact that we are all looking for answers and have made comments on this site is a sign that we've taken the first step... which is to recognize and admit there is a problem. some of you may disagree with me but it is my experience r that Dermotillamania is a symptom of a greater disorder or problem or underlying issue. Bear with me as I tell my story. Three years ago I was in a severe car crash. I developed massive infection from the surgeries. During the recovery. I lost mom business. I lost my house. My mom became terminally ill and I lost her also. One year to the day that I suffered the car crash I was attempting to celebrate a partial recovery here at home and I did a stupid thing .I stood on a chair to reach for some pasta and literally fell over into a huge pot ofboiling water. As i fell the back of my neck hit the oven door. My face and body were spared but I suffered second and third degree burns on both arms. I spent the next four months going back and forth to a burn center for surgeries. And while this story sounds like something that someone might make up for a movie or book one year to the day of my burn accident I was moving some things in my kitchen. I I dropped a tray of glasses. The glasses were broken jagged. I slipped on the spilled liquid andI fell on top of them. My face was not Injured but left arm was severely cut. I am left handed. II am sharing this for a reason . After having survived all of that... after having survived the surgeries..endured. the depression...the helples feeling being in leg and arm casts..being connected to I've for weeks,. Enduring pain like i have never Experienced...I was stopped in my tracks...so paralyzed that I could live a normal productive quality life...By a destructive obsessive behavior. I know the exact date and time that I started picking at my skin on my chin. I was sitting in the middle of the floor of my business waiting for the movers to come get of my belongings to storage. I was also packing at home with limited physical ability that I had at that time to move out of our home of 30 years. While I sat there I rubbed my chin and felt a little bump ...nothing significant. AsI began to rub the area and pick the skin I actually zoned out for a little while. It felt good. My mind went somewhere else and for the first time in months I was not anxious. . As I began to wrestle with more rehabilitation I also wrestled with tremendous guilt. I blamed myself for the loss of on home. I blamed myself for the loss of the business. I blamed myself for not being able to be with my mother as much as I wanted to be .I. Blamed myself for gaining weight after my injuries. blamed myself for everything wrong that happened in my life at that time. I am going to say something here that I don't readily share with others. Two times during that time. We were without power and water and sometimes there was just not enough food. My husband never once opened his mouth in complaint. He worked and worked very hard and tried to take care of me. He never blamed me for one thing that happened. He was steadfast and hopeful. I began to feel more and more guilty that I had brought this upoOn him. I Began to escape these feelings by picking like.mad. It took me away from guilt and shame. He noticed my picking behavior. There were days when I would go to bed with just medium-sized areas on my chin and when he saw me the next morning I wouldo have literally clawed the skin until all skin was gone. When picking was at its worst he expressed concern about my behavior. During a really bad episode of picking I decided to video myself. I had looked around at my house and I was amazed and ashamed at the time I had lost that I can never get back by engaging in misbehavior him that I had a problem and I needed help. The video absolutely horrified and disgusted me. I did not realize until watching myself what I had done to myself. I saw , as if another person were across the room looking at me picking and clawing How ironic that a behavior so destructive could feel so good. I found I did not have to think about what had happened in the past or my feelings of guilt or shame or anxiety. As long as I was engaged in misbehavior I was in another zone...on another plane. I was simply stunned at the lack of production that had taken place in my new home. I made an appointment with my GP hit is just a wonderful young woman, very sharp,very knowledgeable. She was also very tough. Without going into all of the issues my GP diagnosed me as having post dramatic stress anxiety of course and Depression. I went through habit reversal training some cognitive therapy and my doctor used SSRISt to help with the anxiety and the depression and the obsessive-compulsive behavior. I am a very strong person but this disorder completely debilitated me. Having been a master teacher and a business owner I like to think that I am an intelligent person but this disorder had me confused. II would have liketo think that at 58 years of age I would have known better than to do this to myself but this disorder affects all ages . I like to think I'm an independent person but this disorder showed me that I could not get through this alone. I had minor surgery to repair the damage that had been done to my chin.. My skin has healed. I have replace the skin picking with productive needed projects. When the urge to pick comes over me I look at the phone video. The urge quickly goes away. Having shared the part of the story regarding getting outside help I would like to address an issue Brought up on this site. many people on this site and else where cannot afford outside help from professionals. I was fortunate enough to have health insurance. I was fortunate enough to have resources. It is easy for me to give others the steps for getting outside help but it's hard when they do not have the resources. I would like to suggest to the owners of the site that they put links to free resources and free medical help free psychological help out there for those who need it. Not having money or insurance to pay for services is itself a cause of more severe stress. In closing this comment I would encourage you to talk to someone who can give you support can be there for you guiding you through the recovery process. This is a real, debilitating disorder. To any young person out there who is suffering from this disorder whose parents might tend to believe they are faking I would say to the parents if you have even the idea that your youngster is faking something this serious then that is a red flag that there is a problem Whether the problem is dermatillamania or a problem between parent and child should be taken to a professional. The general rule for symptoms of a problem is to ask the question... is my or her or his behavior affecting my or his or her ability to function normally. At 58 I guess I may have a very limited amount of time to live on this earth. I don't want to waste another minute and I encourage you to please get outside help. This site and your stories was the.beginning of my healing. I hope this.comment helps someone. God. Bless.5   Burial: Plum Branch Cemetery Plum Branch McCormick County South Carolina, USA   Created by: Ann Record added: Oct 01, 2010 Find A Grave Memorial# 59460283
Sitting here reading all these comments I cant help, but to just break down in tears. All I want to do is vent to someone about the way I feel, but it's so hard to do that when I feel there is no one in my life who truly understands what I go through on a day to day basis. I have not left my apartment in 5 days because I picked me face. I turn a small, unnoticeable zit into a scab that stays on my face for weeks. I'm ashamed, embarrassed, but most of all disgusted with myself. I don't understand why I do this. I'm 21 and this has been going on since I was 19, not consistently but often enough where I can't even stand to see my reflection. Thank god for my boyfriend who has been the so supportive. I don't know what I would do without him. When I go into the bathroom to examine my face he'll always yell "what are you doing in there"? knowing exactly what I'm doing, but at the end of the day it still isnt enough. I have figured that i probably go into the bathroom 30 times a day, praying that the redness has gone down or the skin magically grew back. I NEED HELP. I can't live my life like this anymore. I'm so young and have so much to live for but this burden is holding my back. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE someone help me.
Hello, I'm 14 and have been picking my face for 4 years running, don't panic!! I'm at a young age and cant really call myself an expert on how to support you, but what I want you to know is that I am here for you!! Me and you have so much in common, my mum gives me suport and so do my friends, sticking by my side and helping me! Whenever I go in the bathroom and my mum hears nothing, then she knows exactly what I'm doing and marches in there stopping me from continuing to pick! I got spots at the age of 10 and after picking the heads off them for a while, this soon became a habit and now I cant stop! I always have scabs on my face that people glare at in the street or on my way to school and I feel immediatley humiliated and disgusted with the fact that I turned a harmless spot into a big noticeable scab! This is what happens to me, so I dont mean to discourage you in any way, it's just so weird to find a person on this site that has the exact same issue as me! I am supporting your boyfriend 100% for sticking by your side and helping you get through it!! Don't stay cooped up in your flat, if anyone looks at you, you stare right back, it's what you look like, tough if they don't like it or not!!! As for the bathroom, here is a neat trick I learned, to avoid picking whilst looking into the mirror, situation! Get a towel and cover the mirror up, this will make you focus on whatever you are doing and you can walk out of the bathroom, pick-free and happy, try this tonight, I am honest, it really works, just cover the mirror up with a towel and focus on what YOU need to do, whether it's taking a shower or brushing your teeth, if the mirror is not obvious, than the urge to pick your body will disappear, and you don't even need to remove the towel once you leave the bathroom, keep it up there so the urge doesn't get any ideas and makes you want to pick and honestly, your boyfriend could just go in and remove the towel for you when your done. Councelling is also a great option too, it didn't work for me, but don't let that stop you, talking with someone about everything really helps and gives you and your self-esteem a huge confidence boost!! Also the imformation at the end of every session is kept confidential and is just between you and the counsellor, no one else! Good Luck and I hope you have full filling days in your future soon, I still cant believe how what you do is EXACTLY the same as me!! Good Luck! I know you can do this!! Chloe :D xxx
Hello, I'm 14 and have been picking my face for 4 years running, don't panic!! I'm at a young age and cant really call myself an expert on how to support you, but what I want you to know is that I am here for you!! Me and you have so much in common, my mum gives me suport and so do my friends, sticking by my side and helping me! Whenever I go in the bathroom and my mum hears nothing, then she knows exactly what I'm doing and marches in there stopping me from continuing to pick! I got spots at the age of 10 and after picking the heads off them for a while, this soon became a habit and now I cant stop! I always have scabs on my face that people glare at in the street or on my way to school and I feel immediatley humiliated and disgusted with the fact that I turned a harmless spot into a big noticeable scab! This is what happens to me, so I dont mean to discourage you in any way, it's just so weird to find a person on this site that has the exact same issue as me! I am supporting your boyfriend 100% for sticking by your side and helping you get through it!! Don't stay cooped up in your flat, if anyone looks at you, you stare right back, it's what you look like, tough if they don't like it or not!!! As for the bathroom, here is a neat trick I learned, to avoid picking whilst looking into the mirror, situation! Get a towel and cover the mirror up, this will make you focus on whatever you are doing and you can walk out of the bathroom, pick-free and happy, try this tonight, I am honest, it really works, just cover the mirror up with a towel and focus on what YOU need to do, whether it's taking a shower or brushing your teeth, if the mirror is not obvious, than the urge to pick your body will disappear, and you don't even need to remove the towel once you leave the bathroom, keep it up there so the urge doesn't get any ideas and makes you want to pick and honestly, your boyfriend could just go in and remove the towel for you when your done. Councelling is also a great option too, it didn't work for me, but don't let that stop you, talking with someone about everything really helps and gives you and your self-esteem a huge confidence boost!! Also the imformation at the end of every session is kept confidential and is just between you and the counsellor, no one else! Good Luck and I hope you have full filling days in your future soon, I still cant believe how what you do is EXACTLY the same as me!! Good Luck! I know you can do this!! Chloe :D xxx
Hello, I'm 14 and have been picking my face for 4 years running, don't panic!! I'm at a young age and cant really call myself an expert on how to support you, but what I want you to know is that I am here for you!! Me and you have so much in common, my mum gives me suport and so do my friends, sticking by my side and helping me! Whenever I go in the bathroom and my mum hears nothing, then she knows exactly what I'm doing and marches in there stopping me from continuing to pick! I got spots at the age of 10 and after picking the heads off them for a while, this soon became a habit and now I cant stop! I always have scabs on my face that people glare at in the street or on my way to school and I feel immediatley humiliated and disgusted with the fact that I turned a harmless spot into a big noticeable scab! This is what happens to me, so I dont mean to discourage you in any way, it's just so weird to find a person on this site that has the exact same issue as me! I am supporting your boyfriend 100% for sticking by your side and helping you get through it!! Don't stay cooped up in your flat, if anyone looks at you, you stare right back, it's what you look like, tough if they don't like it or not!!! As for the bathroom, here is a neat trick I learned, to avoid picking whilst looking into the mirror, situation! Get a towel and cover the mirror up, this will make you focus on whatever you are doing and you can walk out of the bathroom, pick-free and happy, try this tonight, I am honest, it really works, just cover the mirror up with a towel and focus on what YOU need to do, whether it's taking a shower or brushing your teeth, if the mirror is not obvious, than the urge to pick your body will disappear, and you don't even need to remove the towel once you leave the bathroom, keep it up there so the urge doesn't get any ideas and makes you want to pick and honestly, your boyfriend could just go in and remove the towel for you when your done. Councelling is also a great option too, it didn't work for me, but don't let that stop you, talking with someone about everything really helps and gives you and your self-esteem a huge confidence boost!! Also the imformation at the end of every session is kept confidential and is just between you and the counsellor, no one else! Good Luck and I hope you have full filling days in your future soon, I still cant believe how what you do is EXACTLY the same as me!! Good Luck! I know you can do this!! Chloe :D xxx
Hey, u can talk to me! I'm 27 and I've been picking since I was 14. It's scaring me to think its gone on so long and it may never stop. I can't bare to think what damage ive done for life. I live in England and I don't think there's any recognition of this disorder like there is in U.S. So if u want to talk we could always swap emails or something?
Hello everyone I just found this site. I've picking for a long time now. I am 30 and ready to stop. I notice I do it when I am stress or have a lot on my mind. I know its a learn behavior but I need to unlearn it :) Any suggestions of how to go about stopping?
Hi guys. Wow. I never thought there were so many that struggled in the same way that I do... I'm a 16 year old who's picked since she was 10. I started as a scalp picker and then moved onto my arms, chest, and back. I use it to 'punish' myself and will continue til I start to bleed. Only just recently have I been able to wear my hair up or wear tank tops. I really dedicate that victory to God who's helped me to battle this. I know that I have a long way to go for all my scars to heal but It's definitely somewhat of a comfort to hear I'm not alone in picking. God bless.
I'm here for you. I need help to stop to.
Guys I am so glad I found this. I have been picking for 6 years now and im 22 years old. For years I would pick my face so bad I would hibernate in my room and turn my phone off and lost a lot of friends because of it . It got worse and worse and I tried every product, every strategy , hypnosis, anti biotics, every topical cream. Nothing worked be used my picking is the demon that haunts me every day. I cleared it for about 3 months and my skin was looking great with only some scarring, could finally take off my shirt in summer and wear cut offs and wife beaters( for years I only wore long sleeve shirts because I picked all over my arms. It gets bettr then it gets worse. I try to make charts and tell myself COME ON DON'T PICK LOOK AT WHAT YOU'VE DONE! And I still can't fight the urge. I can't stop. The worst part is what is a little bump on my skin turns into a huge mark and scar. It's easy to destroy, yet really hard to fix. Seconds to destroy, months and months to heal. I have scars all Over my body(chest is brutal because I can't stop picking it) also I am a bodybuilder and I wish to compete but I can't because of my skin. It's ruInging my life . My back and face are clear now thank god, but my chest and shoulders and a little on arms are a mess. I hope we can get through this. I want my old life back when I never even thought about skin. IT'S JUST SKIN!!! People are dying of cancer and I'm fuckin picking my skin, I'm so ashamed.
If anyone here is interested still I just started a new thread with a specific list of what I do to help (but unfortunately not stop) my picking. I thought it would be a good place to list ideas rather than talk about how it is affecting us (which is important but not the point of this thread). like other posts on this forum its a big chunk of text so apologies for that..! http://www.skinpick.com/node/2168
i have picked since before i can remember so i know how hard it is to stop such an ingrained habit. recently i went on a trip overseas and i found that the change in routine helped me stop. it seemed like staying distracted was a big help. if you can manage to abstain for even a few days before you pick again this is good! every day helps and can help boost your confidence. each time you try to stop say to your self " i stopped for this many days, this time i know i can stop longer". distract your self, learn your habits and figure out when and why you have picking episodes then learn to avoid situations that make you want to pick. it is very hard but you will be rewarded with clearer skin. moisturize daily for kp or another disorder. i have kp and bumps drive me crazy! dont touch! avoid situations! clasp your hands, wring them til they are tired! draw! your hands need to be kept occupied! i stopped for five months once. it is hard to stop but you can do it.
I usually thought that I was alone in this. I'm relieved that I'm not (I'm sorry.) I would think "who else would do this sort of thing to their skin?" I decided to take a step tonight and research into my bad addictive habit... I saw a site that had abit of info on this sort of habit. It said that this sort of habit is formed by stress or anxiety or traumatic experience.. I didn't have a traumatic experience.. I started picking when I was..in year 6 going into early year 7. I'm 16 and I haven't stopped. It's hard. I started on my arms. I don't know why. I think I had the goosebumbs and thought one of them was a pimple. Then the domino affect happened an it moved. The good news is that I've stopped picking my arms. But my chest, face and back still need working on. And my arms have white dots on them and they are not smooth. I can't stop. My mum has caught me after the deed has been done a few times. We have tried a lot. Banning me from things. Positive attitude. Working towards nice skin an having a goal. Showing me Internet pics of scars and saying "what if". But that didn't work. Them sorts of things didn't affect me. I really feel like a brick wall sometimes that way. My sister said it takes 21 days (I think) to break a habit. It worked once. My arms. But I can only manage to go a few days without picking. I usually find myself infront of a mirror when I pick. Unfortunately it's become a very bad habit. I pick because it's been a good day. I do it because it's been a bad one. The only time I don't feel like picking is when I have this rare feeling that says "I don't need to pick. There is no need." after the few days of not picking ends. It starts again. Saying "it sucks" sounds light-meaning an a lil selfish to me. It's more like. "even though this is bad. It's what I do." but it HAS to stop. I have to go swimming soon. I don't like to go swimming because of my skin. I can't let this problem take over my life. But it's really hard and I need to know how I can stop this. Mine is so bad that a category of my life has already started revolving around it: shopping. I hate it. There is a deeper meaning to this. It's the domino affect again: I hate shopping -> I hate it because I have to try on clothes -> I don't like trying on clothes, cause then others will see my skin -> my skin is bad because I have made it so -> I hate what I've done -> I'm ashamed. Picking has started to take over my swimming life too. It's the same thing. I have to stop this because it's going to take over my life. But it's hard and I don't have a lot of will power... I know ive said a lot but I really needed to let this out. You would know the feeling.
Wow, this is the first time I've searched about this.. Im 25 and have been picking since I was about 13 but it has gotten worse and worse over the years and for the last couple weeks I literally can't get anything done! I don't want to leave the house cause I'm ashamed and I get so mad at myself.. And then I spend so much time picking, before I know it an hours go by and I don't have time to do stuff I needed to. I know my husband knows but doesn't understand and he tries so hard to tell me how beautiful I am but I feel so disgusting! I've tried the fake nails and the lotion but I always find a way to do it anyway.. I wish I could figure out WHY I do it and how to stop but I'm scared to go to the doctor :( well anyway it kinda felt good to talk about since I never have before... Thanks for listening and sorry I'm no help!
I used to pick the skin on my fingers constantly, it was terrible, I couldnt even have my hands in water for more than a couple minutes because they would get so disgusting from all the picking. get acrylic nails! i got them once just for the heck of it and my skin healed perfectly! It's so hard to pick with the nails on because the have no feeling so you dont get that sensation that you would get with your fingers. I hope I helped. Let me know if you try it, it worked for me! and once you see your skin heal it motivates you not to want to start it all over again cause its easier to pick at the scabs than to pick at fresh skin
I keep lotion and vitamin e oil on my bed side table and by my couch where I watch movies. If, and I do mean if, I realized that I'm picking at myself I will use the lotion/ oil to rub on the scab instead.. The sensation still feels good, almost like picking, and it's helping my skin heal.
Hi everyone, I've barely scratched the surface in sharing about this [pun intended]. I have brothers and one sister that do this. I saw this done by my mother too, on the back of her neck, upper arms. Mostly overworking a blemish. It's hard to remember when this first started, probably when I was tall enough to reach and see my face in the mirror, although I remember when I would sit on the counter spending time on my face. It may have started in my early teens when my skin would break out. I remember saying to my oldest brother "Why do you pick, won't your skin take care of itself?" He yelled at me "NO!" I've gotten some great ideas from this site. I think I'll put a dim bulb over my mirror. I know that keeping my fingernails trimmed has helped. Someone mentioned acne meds are oily and make it difficult to pick. I use a petrolium jelly with aloe [to protect my blemishes by mosturizing them] and realized that it keeps me from getting leverage on my skin. I would wear long sleeve shirts because I didn't want to be found out, and realized the long sleeves kept me from picking. I have a tiny 5X mirror I find I can't part with-- this is my main problem. I shave and have to keep up on trimming my nose and ears, I can't do it without this mirror. I will move it from easy access of the medicine cabinet to under the sink, so I'll have to work harder to get it. I found it interesting the Dr. mentioned this is a type of self hypnosis, and I agree, how else can 15 minutes or half an hour go by when I perceived it was only 2 minutes? I find when I do regular mediation in the morning, I am less apt to go to the mirror. I need to be more regular with my meditating. I know when I am travelling, my skin clears up very nicely, since I have no magifying mirrors around. I'm glad I can comment. G
I hear you 100%!!!! I am 38 years old with 3 kids and have "Boo Boos" all over my legs and arms...luckily no one can't see the ones on my scalp. My kids will catch me picking and say "stop picking mom!" It is awful and embarrassing. My husband hates it too but he tries not to say very much anymore because he knows I struggle with this crazy addiction and doesn't want me to feel bad when he catches me picking. I live in Texas and have only put on shorts in my home because my legs look so bad with sores all over them! It is already reaching the 90's and a pool party is coming up next weekend. I am already making excuses to have other plans and not go so I don't have to wear shorts...much less a swimsuit, please! It's a neighborhood party we go to every year with many of my friends. My picking has really gotten worse over the winter months and I just CAN"T STOP!!!! I did really well not picking for a couple of days, but then, with all the "end of the year" school stuff going on and the stressors, I went in the bathroom and picked for an hour just now... I hate it! I am so mad at my self. I hate that you all suffer from this as well, but it is comforting to know I am not alone or crazy... Well, I might be crazy! Haha.
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