What can I do to stop picking at my skin

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July 29, 2009

I am in the same boat as you. I'm 38 and have picked since I was 13. And I pick my arms ALL the time. I actually wouldn't have had bad skin if I didn't scan it all the time. I reach down the back of my shirt while driving scanning for something to pick. I too have stopped when I cut my nails down or when I had the fake nails, but the nagging constant urge is still there. I know what you mean about your kids talking about the boo boos. I actually have cancelled beach dates, park dates, pool dates because my arms were so bad and couldn't wear a short sleeve shirt. Nobody besides everybody here can even imagine what it feels like to be so controlled by this behavior. My husband always says, why don't you just stop? My 16 year old son CONSTANTLY bites the skin off his fingers. It drives me nuts to see him do it. One thing I just started doing around the house (which is where I always pick) is I started wrapping my arms up in ace bandages so I just wouldn't do it. It has been working, but about five minutes ago, I didn't have them on and I was right back to picking. I wish you luck. I am going to talk to my doctor about medication to see if that might help.
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July 29, 2009

Yes, I too am always scanning for new ones to pick. Anywhere I can reach, whether I can see it or not. My clothes have blood stains (especially on the upper back of my shirt) from picking. Anywhere I think a new one might be hiding, I have to check. And once I know it is there, it just has to be dealt with. I fight the urge at the time, but always give in sooner or later. I am finding that this happens most when I have time to sit still, such as in the car (like you), on the couch, or even on the toilet. Legs, back, stomach, chest, arms, tail, face, neck. You name it and I have been there and left my mark. Looks like the worst case of chicken pox you have ever seen from head to toe. Shameful and embarrassing. I hate going out to the store or businesses, pleople always manage to notice and look at me like I am some kind of freak. But when they can't relate or don't understand the impulse, it is impossible for them to comprehend. I honestly feel like putting my hands in hand-cuffs to try to stop the madness! Never thought of bandages. I tried wearing long sleeves once for days, but where the sleeves rubbed my arms - guess what . . . more bumps to pick. UGGGGG! My husband always pats me on the arm and says "quit that" but I either get mad at him and do it anyway or find it again later when he isn't there to stop me. Affection is out of the question. Can you imagine running your hand down the arm of the one you love and feeling all that? Feels like an alligator's hide with all the scabs, scars, and callusing. Not to mention all the fresh oosing. Nasty, it's a wonder he can even still love me. My 3 year old always offers to kiss them and make them go away. I wish to God that she could!
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August 02, 2009

I'm new here, but so glad to hear that I'm not alone. I'm a 30yo mother of two and can't stop picking at my arms. The picking started when I was a teen (nails, scabs, etc.) but was never this bad. I've been under so much stress over the last 2 years and it has literally taken over my life. I used to love the summer, being outside, running, rollerblading, going to the pool, etc. Now, I'm wearing long sleeves all day and avoiding any playdates or outings that involve the pool. My husband tells me to "just stop" or "quit that" when he sees me picking, but it doesn't help at all. No one understands that the problem is in my head and I desperately need help. My therapist referred me to another doctor who has put me on various medications and now I'm up to 4 prescriptions. I've also had OCD since I was a child and the scarring on my arms just leads to more depression and anxiety. I'm hopeful that it will get better, but don't expect it to be anytime soon.
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August 02, 2009

i agree the scars are the worst. unlike nailbiting or twirling hair the scars will allways be there. I tell people i used to be a professional porcupine wrestler or that they've allways been there, don't you have any? but those are on the days i feel strong.
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August 02, 2009

I know what you mean. My mother was in the doctor's office the other day and she saw one of those posters with the people who are on meth, you know, the before and after pictures. And if you have ever seen one, the after pictures show them with all the scabs from head to toe. Well, the next time we got into an argument she accused me of being on meth. I said WHAT? And her answer was that my skin looked like those in the poster. I could not believe that my own mother would think that. And if she could think that, then that is probably what other people think too. So now I have even more anxiety that people are thinking I am a meth addict instead of just a picker. The other day I was talking to a local police officer and I noticed him looking at my arms. He tried not too, but I could tell that he was just drawn to it and couldn't stop looking. And after the fight with my mom, I knew exactly what that cop was probably thinking. Of course you cant just scream out that you don't do meth, cause then they think you really do. No one understands this disease . . . except other pickers.
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October 25, 2009

How very true - NO-ONE understands our problem except the pickers themselves and when we hear "stop it" or "look at the state of your arms" it just makes us worse and they never realise that - it makes me more stressed which means more picking!!!
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January 30, 2012

Hello! it is so wonderful to have found this website to know that I am not alone!! I have been picking at my skin in some way or another since I can remember, but I noticed that it got much worse when I moved away from my comfort zone, and didn't know anyone, and was a having really tough time with life! It got so bad that my boyfriend threatened to break up with me several times. He couldn't understand how hard it was for me to "just Stop". Anyways I finally found a solution for me, and I couldn't be happier ! Although it hasn't completely stopped it has 95% of the time, and I will take that! I noticed it happened more when I was really stressed or bored! So I decided to do something about my anxiety! and I started working out a lot, and really concentrating my anxiety into my workouts, and it made me feel so much better! It wasn't right away but after six months I noticed a drastic difference! my scars are healing up, and IM NOT picking my face anymore, and my boyfriend compliments now it feels great! Im not saying work out necessarily, but find something you can loose yourself in, and do it everyday! something that makes u feel peaceful, and just really good about, and I promise it will help! thanks for listening, and I really mean all this I have been looking for something to help me for forever and this really worked for me! it doesn't hurt to try, and I promise it will help what helps what hurts all of us!
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August 02, 2009

Hi Sweetie. No you are not alone. It feels like you are I know. It still amazes me to hear people talk about doing the same thing I do, I surely thought I was the only person in the world who suffered with this. I hate it for myself and I hate it for all of you. Something that has helped me though, and I thought I might share it with you if it would offer one ounce of hope. Statisitcs say that only 1 % of us will successfully end this nightmare and I pray we are that 1 %. Here's what is working for me today. I was reading over info here on this site and saw where it was talking about the severity of pickers, whether you pick once a day or three to four times a day. Well, I got curious, I said to myself I wonder exactly how many times a day I do pick (probably hundreds, I said to myself). SOOOO, I started counting. Yes, counting. I wrote down every time I saw myself start picking and where the blemish was that I attempted to pick. Well, the first day I documented three picks (but remembered later picking 2 more). But still ONLY 5 times, boy was I impressed with myself. The next day, only three picks documented and none that I remembered later. Well that was 3 days ago. And yesterday I picked 3 bumps. So I said to myself, boy if I can limit myself to only 3 picks a day then that is a great start. So I did just that. Now today I picked one as soon as I woke up, and now I only have 2 picks left for the day. I found that documenting what I picked helped draw my attention to the fact that I was picking. And honestly, in only these 3 days (today being the 4th) I have seen a vast improvement in the way my arms look. I mean think about it, when we eat too much (i am overweight too) they say to write down when you eat (keeping a journal of it, is the term they use) and what you eat so that you learn what you are doing wrong and when you are the weakest. Well, it seems that could work here for us as well. By documenting, we are making ourselves aware of what we are doing and when we are doing it. I have already learned that I pick when I am sitting still, in the car, on the couch, and on the toilet. Oh, speaking of toilet. I found myself starting to pick a bump on the toilet yesterday (which would have been pick number 4) but I turned the light out and finished doing my business in the dark and well, I never did pick that bump. So I guess that worked too. Going from hundreds of picks a day to only 3 has given me a great sense of confidence that I can beat this thing. Try it and see if it works for you. Get a pencil and paper and anytime you find yourself picking or starting to pick then write it down. You might be pleasantly surprised just as I am. Still only one pick today and I am saving my other two picks for a really good bump. :) Let me know if this works for you!
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January 11, 2012

I know what it's like to pick you arms an finding it impossible to stop. But in my case, arms are the easiest to stop. I picked my arms for years. I've stopped now. But unfortunately my arms are not smooth anymore an I have white marks. But ive stopped. I don't know if this would help but in order to stop picking your arms, you have to try to think about it less and less an get a new habit. I never think about picking my arms... But my new habit was picking front,back and face. Don't do what I did. I know it's hard. But if you can change your habit into something other than picking your arms: you will be 3 steps ahead of me.... Or maybe four.. I doubt I'll ever get a bf with this habit XD. Hope that helped abit. Sorry if it didn't
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September 16, 2010

I do the same thing. I ask my husband to help me and then I get mad at him !!! Then I start the beatinbg myself up for doing this thing.! I so understand!
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August 09, 2009

You are NOT alone! I have recieved help and encouragement beyond my wildest dreams through phone meetings of Skin Pickers Anonymous. I started at six and I'm 30 years old and I pick everywhere on my body. I pick anywhere I can reach, sometimes for hours, and I pull my hair from my legs, chest, stomach, pubic area, and anywhere else I see "imperfections" I also pick my scalp and have had several very bad infections. I tried EVERYTHING to stop and over the years it's only gotten worse. I've tried cog behavior therapy, habit reversal therapy, talk therapy, blockers, abstinence, group therapy, online programs (not free) and every SSRI on the market. However, I recently found a 12 step group for skin pickers and now have HOPE and people I can reach out to for support. I have experienced repreive from my picking as I never have before! Today, I'm not facing this devistating illness alone and I no longer have to "figure it out." It's a HUGE relief and I have seen MIRACLES of healing and recovery. Please call in if you need support. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. SKIN PICKERS ANONYMOUS PHONE MEETING - Sundays at 7PM EST. Call in #: 1-270-696-2525 / Access Code: 12128
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October 25, 2009

I'm 16 years old and i know exactly what your going through. I've been picking at my arms since i was 8. My family has done everything they could to get me to stop but there hasn't been much luck. I get really motivated to stop and I might last a day, maybe two. But there isn't any success. People always ask me "whats wrong with your arms?!" or "OMG! what happened?!" and it just makes me feel TERRIBLE!! I feel awful because my little sister saw me doing it and she started too. I NEED to stop for both me and for my little sister. I just signed up so hopefully we can find something to help and cure our problem together. :] best of wishes -alicia
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October 26, 2009

I am the mother of a little girl who picks. I made her wear socks on her hands so she could not use her fingers/fingernails to pick. At first it was all day. Then, I would put them on her only if she attempted to pick. She did not like it, of course. But, it has now been a week or more and she is not picking! Her legs and arms are healed for the first time in months!! And she made the decision to stop because she wanted her hands free. I know this is harder to consider with being an adult and having to do all that adults do...but maybe you could cover your hands/nails in situations where it is the worst....like in your car wear driving gloves or put socks on your hands when at home if you pick when bored or watching TV? It's just a suggestion...it worked for us.
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November 09, 2009

hi, i've picked my skin for the last couple of years and i actually can't take it anymore, i really can't, i hate it. i didn't even know it was any sort of condition until i just decided to try and google it. i target my legs to the point where i can't wear shorts and my bikini area so i won't go swimming. i joke it off as achne, the only person who suspects is my boyfriend but i'm strangely good at hiding it from him, or he knowns and doesn't know what to say to me. i've read people talking about medication but i definatly will not take any tables as im not depressed. anyway, i'd just like to know of anyone has anything similar to what i do as i feel like the only person in the world who does this ridiculous thing.. i squeeze fair follicles on my legs like they're blackheads and i dig until i find ingrowning hairs or blood comes out. i've noticed i always seem to do it just before i jump into the shower or i'll do it during my bath. i would really like to book an appointment with a doctor, but i honestly feel like they won't understand and just think im depressed and palm me off with that crap. i'd appreciate it if anyone had any straight up advice. thanks.
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August 07, 2010

Hi, I know your post is sort of old, so I hope you still check this forum...I do the same thing as you, with squeezing the hair follicles on my legs because they're similar to blackheads. I also dig around for ingrown hairs, which is terrible because when I find one I use a needle to remove it, which just leaves a bigger thing to pick at. I'm so glad I googled this today, because I thought I was the only one who did that! Have you had any success with stopping? The only thing I've done thats helped at all is using fake nails, but they only prevent me from digging at my legs for a few days before I overcome how strange they feel, then I'm back to picking. I can never wear shorts because my legs are too covered with cuts and scars that I can't pretend are mosquito bites anymore:( But god I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this! You're not alone.
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May 01, 2011

i do the same thing! i wasn't sure how common picking the hair follicles are. ive been picking my face chest arms and legs for the past few years now, and just recently ive noticed all the little blackish blue dots under my skin on my legs. oh my gosh, i went crazy. for the past month ive had scabs covering my legs and already developed bad scars. ive tried the fake nails, but it doesnt work for me, so instead i file my nails so short to the point where it hurts my fingers badly when i push against my skin. also, ive notcied, shaving and especially waxing really causes all of the weird hair follicles and ingrowns, so ive decided to stop shaving. and i tried using the hair remover Nair, which oddly as sensative as my skin is, it works very well for me and doesnt cause ingrowns. im so happy to know im not the only one who does this!
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August 08, 2010

Hello, yes I too am glad I am not alone. I have been picking since I was around nine years old, I am 40 now. I am a victim of childhood sexual abuse and torture/neglect for over five solid daily years, which has caused mine. You have to get to the root of your problem to stop this insanity, and I too struggle STILL with the picking. I JUST told my therapist about it THIS year, and busted out crying. I tried to hide it from my husband and did for a long time but I finally showed him. My mom just feels so guilty for not being there for me as a child going through what she could have prevented, and makes her so sad to see this. I have one GIANT part of my body that I have picked for around 2 years now, it looks wretched. I get it all healed up, mostly then something will upset me, or go wrong, etc., and I will rip it all back open and the blood will make me so upset and mad at myself for doing it. So good luck to you all, this is such a horrible disorder and I wish I too could stop. I pray on it, but most time I do it not even thinking about it. THEN I will get a handful of blood and away I go to the bathroom. I have spent so much money on bandages, Neosporin and such, I dunno folks. Bad stuff, I too wish I could be free of this...someday....
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September 15, 2010

Wow and hello everyone! Just found this website as I am at wits end, as they say. I have been picking for years and now that I am hitting the menopause stage, I think it is getting worse. My doctor says it is an anxiety thing and I think she is right. I did pay attention to when I pick and many times I do it unconsciously when I am focused on something else like working at the computer or in bed reading. I like the idea of wearing a sock or a glove but I think I would have to wear it all the time since I am "having the urge" quite frequently. I also started on anti-depressants to see if that would help my "anxiety" but going to give them a few more weeks to see if they are really helping or not. I pray, meditate, exercise and do yoga, and counseling so don't know what else to do. I think if we all put our heads together we can overcome this thing, There has got to be a common denominator causing us to do this hurtful and embarrasing behavior. I am starting to wonder if it is a self-esteem issue perhaps in some way? I am not giving up though and I believe we can beat this thing! Hang in there everybody and let's keep supporting each other. God still loves us no matter what.
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September 16, 2010

This is my first time to face and verbalize to anyone else that I have a problem. I recently got off of hormone replacement therapy ( yes, I am that old) and my face went crazy! So after one month I finally gave up and got back on HRT. My face is awful. Not only do I mess with it, but I get the twizzers and a magnifying mirror and make it worse. I have prayed, I have tried to will myself to quit, and nothing works. I work as a decorator and have to be in close proximity ( up close and personal) with my clients. It is debilitating and humiliating to have this problem. I haven't figured out why that I always seem to sabotage myself when my face is almost well. I will find a small place and mess with it. My dermatologists has not confronted me about this issue. He just keeps treating the acne. I am very good at covering up with make up, so few people know just how bad it is. Please tell me there are some people out there that have overcome this and that there is hope! I feel like becoming a recluse but I can't!!! I have a job, a wonderful caring husband and 7 grandchildren that love me boo boos and all.
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November 23, 2010

I'm only 20 and I've been picking since 12 and it just seems to get worse. It started with my face then went to my arms, chest, back, legs. It kills me that I used to be tan, loved to swim and had nice skin. I refuse to wear a bathing suit or go swimming unless its at night. I try to stay inside most the summer and can't wait till it gets cold so I have an excuse to wear so much clothing. People always catch me reaching in my clothes to pick at something and they always ask what I'm doing and I play it off as an itch. I hate this and the more I give in and let myself do it the worse it gets. Now I'm scarred for life and even if I got over this I would still be embarred to wear A tank top or shorts outside and everyone always stares at my scars. Theres to many now to make up excuses for. I have times where I let everything clear up and then have an episode where I go all out. I try to always keep myself around people and busy.I do it a lot more when I'm alone. I'm really glad to hear there are others out there and it would be nice to have someone to talk to who has the same problem.
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March 15, 2011

I have the same problem, I am embarrassed to wear short sleeves or shorts and summer is right around the corner. I would also love to talk to someone with the same problem, my husband does not understand, just tells me to stop it but I can't.
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November 25, 2010

found this forum a couple hours ago, This is the first compulsion since that time to scratch. Initially stopped myself from scratching my arm, then my hands went to my scalp, i pulled away again, then felt the bump on my face and rubbed it. went for a chest bump and stopped myself again Now I feel compulsions throughout my body, arms, legs, eyelid, nose, ears..How do you deal with this overwhelming message from your body to scratch. I ate lunch 30 mins ago. I had sheperds pie, salad ,butter tart and water. I am feeling sleepy and bored and restless. I am drinking water and typing to you in here to try to distract the feeling. Anyone else have advice on how to get through the compulsion phase
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December 10, 2010

Hi, I have been picking at my arms and legs for the last 2 years and i have scabs every where on my arms and i hope this will help me find a soulotion. :)
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March 10, 2011

I thought i was all along. I really get so sad when spring get closer and the thought of summer and the sleeves shirt. I cry so often when i look down at my arms. Looking for help ! how do I stop picking !
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March 12, 2011

What I do to stop picking is to put actual physical barriers between me and my skin. At times when I KNOW I'm prone to picking (Before falling asleep, driving in the car, watching tv, etc.) I have a set of cotton gloves that I wear. This keeps me from picking not only because it's physically impossible, but also, when I wear the gloves, it makes me realize the damage I've done and the measures that must be taken now. It's a little wake-up call and it puts me in the mind-set to really want to stop. Also, I apply neosporin and band-aids to my picked areas. not only does this keep me from picking, but it also allows the scabs to heal faster than they normally would. Also, I keep my nails short in order to minimize any damage I do. Of course, the best way to stop picking is to mentally overcome the urge. I did this for two months. Didn't pick at all. However, I fell off the wagon a few months ago. Good thing is I KNOW for a fact now that I can stop. Every day is a new day to quit. Don't give up!
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March 15, 2011

I am also 37 and have been picking since I don't even remember when. I find myself watching T.v. feel around my scalp and start picking, then my legs, arms, back, I want to stop so badly and I don't know how. Is it not enough to make me stop when I think about how it looks to me or my husband, or other people, obviously not. I would like some help on how to stop this, I have so many scars and scabs on my arms and legs, and summer is coming up soon, I do not want to wear short sleeves or shorts. :(
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March 17, 2011

i am 20. ive been picking at my skin for the last 2 years or more. when it started it wasnt a big problem. it started with my face then my arms back and entire body. i will stand in the mirror for hours at aa time and pick at every little flaw. i have tried so hard to stop. recently i've been pretty sick and found out i've had a thyroid problem that caused me to have severe depression and anxiety. not only that but a few years ago (around the time this all started) i had something pretty traumatic happen to me. i think all of this made my picking get worse and worse. now i have scars eveywhere, people used to compliment me on my skin all of the time, and now i have a hard time leaving my appartment. i am so afraid i will never be able to truly be happy with myself or be able to stop picking at my skin but these comments have made me feel SO much better. i am not alone and that is a bittersweet feeling. i have been beating myself up for the last year trying to stop doing this to myself but everyday i fail. i want to stop but im scared that even if i do i will still be scarred for life and me or anyone else will ever think im pretty again. it really hurts knowing ive done this to myself and i dont know how to deal with that aspect of this. i know im not going to give up and im going to keep trying to beat this and learn to be comfortable in my own skin. and i just want to say that everyone that has openly talked about this is really brave because for so long i was really embarrassed and ashamed.
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April 11, 2011

Hi everyone I have picked for as long as I can rember. However I had made some progress just this year. I Found a online chat support group that helps. And for a while I even watched those really gross zit popping vidios on you tube some times they take the edge off as weird as it sounds. I also dont allow myself to wear tank tops or short sleaves when home as that is most of uspick. I also started keeping my nails really short it reminds me of my problom. Sometimes I don't even know i am doing it so the long sleves seem to help. But it is very easy to relaps. Also neosprin helps as it heals its also greasy and cant really pick with it on. But as much as I hate the long sleaves It helps the most. I hope this help someone eles.
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April 12, 2011

What I find helps: • Writing notes on problem mirrors or "washing" them with something that leaves them too streaky to see your pores. • painting my nails when I get home and feel stressed so I won't risk ruining the nail polish or smearing polish on my skin • avoiding caffein because it worsens stress • making a sticker chart/ calendar and giving myself a sticker for a good day or half day • having a support buddy and not letting them down/ being a good role model for them as well • taking down mirrors • never looking in a mirror unless accompanied • putting objects in front of mirrors so you can't get too close .........can't think of any others that have worked for me
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May 26, 2011

I tried writing YOUR BEING WATCHED on a piece of paper and sticking it on my mirror then putting pictures of freaky eyes around it...It sounds freaky but it actually worked for a while... i was scared out of picking by those freaky eyes...of course it hasnt worked permanently but it did for a while. x Darn mirrors
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April 26, 2011

It's nice to find this forum. I'm 25 and have been picking at my arms, face, back and legs since I was a kid. My husband calls my arms my "graveyard", my mom has said I look like a leopard. All of it hurts my feelings, but I know it's my own fault. I just can't stop. I am CONSTANTLY picking at something, and not even realizing it. I wish there was a quick fix, but I know there's not. I have noticed that if i have my nails done, I do it less because I don't want to mess up my manicure. Maybe if I try the gloves idea like someone else had said, that may help. Especially when I'm driving or mindlessly watching tv or reading. I may seem like too much of a freak if I wear them at work, since a lot of my picking happens at my desk...but I've been trying to wear long sleeves. (I also have a sticky note that says, "DON'T PICK AT YOUR ARMS!"...it doesn't really help). I recently went on an anti-depressant that has been really helpful for a lot of other stress in my life, but hasn't really made a difference on my skin picking. Maybe a support group is the way to go.
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April 29, 2011

omg, your post almost brought me to tears...it wasnt too long ago that my very young child drew a picture of "mommy" and included spots all over the face with a big red marker--I wanted to die. I felt embarrased for myself and for her, and ashamed and mad and just a whirlwind of emotions. I knew I HAD TO get a handle on things. Have you talked to a doctor/psych about it? Perhaps medication may be the way to go if this is something you are doing unconciously. If you go to clinical trial .gov or and topic search skin pick or dermatillomania it might lead you in a direction. Docs tend to go for ssri's and ocd meds (also ssri's) but your case sounds like an impulsive behavior that occurs without your awareness ( correct? ). I found that meds for impulse control did help me even though I am a concious picker, I am not technically OCD= worry & ritual, when it comes to my dermatilliomania. If you are not comfortable with medication, they are not a permanent thing- they can help you get a handle on the behavior while doing behavioral therapy--it is hard to do therapy or gain a sense of perspective, control, and calm when if you are feeling out of control--at least that was my experience.GOOD LUCK and keep trying!!!
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May 25, 2011

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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May 26, 2011

I can totally relate to the feelings of guilt and shame. It doesn't matter who tries telling me to stop, if they catch me at it and say something I will often get angry at them when really I am just angry and ashamed with myself. I crane my neck and back crazy ways to pick at my back and back of legs etc and then for the next week i have a terrible strained back and can't walk without pain. I pick everywhere that I see a blemish, it doesn't help that I am very fair skinned so i freckle easily and will pick at these. i've lost clount of the number of staf infections and boils i've had. I would hate to know how much money I have spent on healing ointments and doctors fees. my heart goes out to you and your kids and I urge you to speak to your doctor and be completely honest with him/her. If you feel it will be too hard to speak to your doctor about it face to face why not write a letter explaining your issue. Regarding the pool party, you could wear a long skirt or long sun dress. If this is not your usual style you could say that an aunty or friend gifted it to you so you really wanted to wear it... maybe sounds silly i don't know. but find something that you will be comfortable in.
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May 01, 2012

this stuff happens to me to only my grandma is the one who always tells me to stop picking it gets really embarrassing
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May 26, 2011

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
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May 30, 2011

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.
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May 30, 2011

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
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November 17, 2011

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!
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January 11, 2012

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.
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January 13, 2012

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.
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January 15, 2012

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
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January 29, 2012

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.
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February 05, 2012

I'm here for you. I need help to stop to.
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February 11, 2012

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.
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February 15, 2012

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?
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February 28, 2012

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.
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February 28, 2012

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?
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March 14, 2012

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
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March 14, 2012

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

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