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teen_01 , 26 Aug 2019

How do I stop myself?!

I have self-diagnosed myself with dermatillomania recently and I couldn’t be more ashamed. I’ve only been struggling with this for a few years now but every day I want to scream and cry and punch myself all at the same time. When I stand in a mirror I try so damn hard not to get sucked into my reflection. But then I notice one infinitesimal imperfection and I lean closer and I only pull away hours later. When I’m picking it’s like I’m in some sort of trance where I understand that what I’m doing is bad and that I should stop but no matter how much I try I never stop. I’m a teenager and every morning I wake up, look in the mirror, and see my disgusting face, arms and legs. I’m terrified of going out in public and my life has barely even begun! I can’t afford a therapist and I’m too embarrassed to ask for a dermatologist so I just don’t know what to do! I haven’t told my friends, my family, anyone. They all just think I have bad skin. I need a way to stop doing this to myself because right now I’m crying while typing as every inch of my face burns from the abuse it endured and will continue to endure. Please help me if you know how.

3 Answers
September 02, 2019

Hello, I am new here. I found this forum and your topic on the internet and I'am glad to have the chance to try to talk about dermatillomania. I've also recently found out about this and I understand now that I'm dealing with this for a long time ! I thought I had bad skin like everyone could rationally think, it's more profound and I feel so ashamed to even try to talk to someone. I've done so research about the origin of dermatillomania and most of the time it has to do with stress, anxiety, the desire of perfection in everything, low self-esteem, shame, guilt, repressed anger, loneliness, etc. In my country dermatillomania is not very well known yet, but a few professional pointed it out and they made a profil of people who suffer from it and it's about those feelings. I can totally recognize myself and in this profile (and again, I still recognize me in it), it is also said that in majority, a person with dermatillomania has strong difficulties to confide, express feelings, ask for help, or just talk. That's why I'm here trying to share my feelings with people who can understand and that I won't fear to tell everything about this because they're living it too.
Sorry for this introduction to respond to your message ! I don't think I have THE solution to help you yet because I am struggling myself but maybe we can share tips about things that can help to avoid the skin picking. This week, I'm going to hide my mirrors at home ^^ I may be less tempting to see imperfections (even if I don't have one!) and prevent me from slaughter my face ! I'll also try to do at least 5 minutes of meditation per day, it's not a lot but it can help gradually with stress (and as stress is really increasing the problem I think that dealing with stress is a great way to avoid the strange trance that you can experience while piking your skin). Let me know if you have other ideas to deal with it !
I wish you good luck, we're not alone :)

September 14, 2019

I've been using calamine lotion on my arms and legs ... It helps with not wanting to face on the other hand is a battle... I've been using tea tree oil and those moisturizing face masks to help refrain from picking...calamine on my face always seems to end up worse sometimes depending on the lesions and sores I've made from picking.....

April 27, 2022

In reply to by Living.dead.girl

I’m curious, how does the Calamine lotion help?  I have noticed that the incessant burning/ itching that causes me to pick is greatly reduced my the application of body lotion, but would Calamine help even more?  I mean like, will it help the already-picked 1,000 times scabs heal faster?  Because that would honestly be the best thing ever for me!  Thank you!!!

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