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laubie88 , 31 Aug 2008

'Buddy system' anyone?

Like many before I am both relieved and terrified to find that this thing I've been doing for most of my life has a name. It feels good to know you're not alone, but admitting you have a problem is the first step towards quitting it and just thinking about not being able to pick at my skin makes me anxious. I am 20 years old and picking my skin for over 10 years has certainly left its marks. My upper arms are always covered in red spot and little scabs. My chest looks pretty bad as well. About a year ago I began doing it to my legs as well and it has now reached a point where I can't wear shorts or skirts anymore, because it just looks too bad. The worst time for me is going to bed, because that's when I start, every day, to pick and don't stop for hours. It's severely affecting my life, not only because of my reluctance to form relationships or do anything that involves exposing skin, but also because I pick instead of sleeping. As a result I get only a couple hours of sleep at times and miss important classes. I am so done with this, but have found that trying to quit by myself isn't gonna work for me. Is there someone out there that feels the same way and would like to support me and be supported by me in this battle? I really hope so. Laura
56 Answers
April 29, 2009

In reply to by laubie88

Hi I am not sure if you still check in on this forum but I would love to be part of the buddy system. My email is Today is day #4 without picking.... but the urge is real strong tonight. Hopefully we can all do this together. I would love to see a 12 step program started for this monsterous addiction we all seem to suffer from. I am a member of another 12 step program and it has worked amazingly.... I have not used drugs in over two years now. I am thinking about how I would be able to start one though since poeple are very shy and reluctant to come out about it. Any suggestions?
November 13, 2008
Hi guys, I'm so glad I finally googled this. My family and friends don't understand although they have tried to get me to stop and are concerned. I'm eighteen and having been picking at my arms, face, and recently legs for probably five years or so. Hearing you guys' stories about when you get older is a real wake-up call for me, since I don't want to have to wear long sleeves like I do now for the rest of my life and now go swimming etc. I'm glad you all are out there. I think a buddy system would be perfect; getting to know people who have the same problem and maybe similar reasons might give us enough perspective on our problem to convince ourselves to stop. I live in montreal and would like to hear from anyone nearby or just anyone who's up or wants to talk... Anyways, lots of love and strength to us in stopping this, elisabeth
November 13, 2008
P.S. My email is and I would be glad to hear from anyone who wants a friend and some support. <3, Elisabeth
November 20, 2008
I know you posted this ages ago but I just came across this site today and I can totally relate. I would love to have a buddy system of sorts to stay motivated to stop picking. I am so devestated by this disorder and want to make changes. If you are still looking for a buddy let me know.
November 21, 2008
Hi my name is Maria and my email address is i would love to hear from any of you who need support for i need some too/.
November 24, 2008
I'm 35, and can't remember when this pattern started, but I know it was going on in college if not before. I have keratosis pilaris, so the little bumps all over my arms and thighs were my first targets, as well as the breakouts on my face, but in the past few years, I've mostly switched to attacking my scalp - it doesn't show, so I suppose that's less anxiety-provoking than seeing the red marks on my face / arms / legs. The behavior is definitely worse when I'm tired and / or stressed, and I get into a trancelike state usually. It usually doesn't itch before I start scratching, so I'm not doing this because of itching. I feel like, by removing the bumps and irregular patches, somehow I'm improving the skin there, even though I know better. Using a 2% beta hydroxy acid product on the bumpy skin areas to help smooth it out has helped me stay away from my arms / legs (Paula's Choice has several great products (no, I don't sell it, I just have seen how well it works). I've tried special shampoos with salicylic acid, sulfur (head & shoulders - type), and Scalpicin with salicylic acid, but my scalp is still always bumpy. I'm desparate enough to try tar shampoo, but I just HATE the smell. I'm on Prozac and Wellbutrin, but I don't think it makes a difference. I'd like a buddy system. I can't access the site from work, but I'll check it out from home. I'd be happy to talk with anyone / everyone. My email is if you want to send a message - we could get forum-type help going if people just "reply all."
January 10, 2009
hi my name is sandy, don't worry,trust on god sandi ______________________ [url=]Drug Intervention Mississippi[/url]-Drug Intervention Mississippi
January 10, 2009
Laura if it will help me and my problem of course I would be willing to support this. I am now 55 years old and really am sick and tired of the sores, scares and embarassment the picking and scratching have caused me. It has caused me a lot of grief and pain. Every day I keep thinking if I can just go through one more day. Try to take it one day at a time. Try not to look at the big picture but your everyday life. Try wearing gloves at night, I know that is when I do most of my picking. Also try taking a over the counter sleep aid. When you want to scratch or pick use a lotion and rub really hard it seems to help. We just have to take it one thing at a time. Good luck, lets hope for the best for both of us!
January 23, 2009
I think that this buddy system will work, I just found a friend that I can email with and I am verrrrry happy! If you would like to talk my email is -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Stay Strong! Hope is not the closing of your eyes to the difficulty, the risk, or the failure. It is trust that- If I fail now - I shall not fail forever; and if I am hurt, I shall be healed . It is trust that Life is good. love
January 27, 2009
Hi, I'm new here, but am so, so, so relieved and amazed to find people like myself. Picking is such an unbelievably personal thing, (I hate when friends and family rebuke me for it, which causes snappy denial and defense), and I was surprised that it is so felt like my own little dirty secret. So, how do we do the buddy thing? Anyone have ideas? Should we even take it to a photographic level so that there's no cheating? Also, sharing ideas on healing damaged skin would be extremely beneficial, worthy of a new thread...
January 28, 2009
Wow. Why didn't I google sooner? I'm glad you guys are here. I've been gouging my lower legs since junior high (I'm 42 male financial professional now) and pick other random sores constantly too but not as aggressively if they are visible. I have many sores in different stages of healing and skin/scar discoloration. It looks like a Cheetah's spotted coat. I have deep pot marks from the early days in junior high school, mostly hidden by leg hair. I trim my nails to the quick, which makes it worse cause I'll just use my ring fingernail and dig even deeper. Sometimes I think I like the brief intense pain, an OCD substituting psych issues? The worst place is at my computer at work, I'll gouge and not even really realize it. Sometimes I gouge so deep that the blood drips onto the floor. Another bad place is sitting on the jon since my legs are exposed and there they are just waiting for me. When I first wake up is bad too. My sheets have blood spots all over the place, as well as the inside of my dress pants and jeans. I just counted 16 sores on my left leg below the knee, mostly in front, sizes from 1/4" to nickel size, which of course are very deep. I live in Florida and I don't remember the last time I wore shorts. I recently bought knee high Nike soccer socks to prevent picking, but no difference. I've used cover makeup to hide the red/black scabs and spots from a distance. I have thought about getting tattoos to hide the scarring, but there are never few enough sores to not be embarassed or even get the tattoos. I like that there seems to be vitamin supplement recommendations here, which is what I was searching for that led me here. I too am relieved I'm not the only one. I too am concerned about healing and then craving the obsessive twisted satisfaction of it all. This is my addiction I guess. Thanks to you all for being here. I'm going to try the B-3 gels, and maybe the organic honey. Better the mess than this endless self mutilation. I am seeing my high school sweetheart in a month, the love of my life, and I don't want to have to wear those f'n socks! So I'm motivated...
January 29, 2009

In reply to by heal4life

You go! It's great that you have the motivation to get yourself healing! Keep it up! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Stay Strong! Hope is not the closing of your eyes to the difficulty, the risk, or the failure. It is trust that- If I fail now - I shall not fail forever; and if I am hurt, I shall be healed . It is trust that Life is good. love
April 29, 2009

In reply to by heal4life

About the tatoos... it would be so hard because after all these years gone by the scar tissue is so tough that trying to get a needle to penetrate through the skin can be difficult. But i understand about the "cheetah spot" I have been doing this for about 37 years now and my skin is so scared that when I go ouside in the sun my skin starts to get all these white scars that show up while the rest of my skin is turning pink. So i always wear knee high black or dark blue socks dark colored pants and a long sleeve black or dark blue shirt so that the blood can't be seen by others. The longer this goes on the worse I feel about myself, which effects the rest of my relationships with my family and friends. Ashammed, enbarrased, disgusted with myself for not having more self control. But after finding this forum I realize that it effects anyone no matter if their male or female, rich or poor, well educated or not. But I have noticed one thing that seems to be pretty common; most of us do it alot at bed time. That seems to be the time when it occurs the most. has anyone else noticed this?
February 22, 2009
I'd love an invitation to the forum: debself at I don't even know if I can talk about this yet, but am working up to it. Thanks.
February 27, 2009
Hi Laura. I just tried to join as well. Here is my email address:
April 18, 2009
Hi, I'm 27 and have been picking for years, literally. Mostly face but also other parts of body. Just found out today through googleing that this is something that others also suffer with and not just me having no self-control whatsoever. Am desperate to stop, have tried stuff like throwing my small mirrors away but i have always managed to get hold of another one somehow! I also have ocd about checking things (doors/taps/oven etc) but that doesn't bother me as much as this does. Would really appreciate some support, have tried to stop myself but i now accept that maybe i can't do it alone!
April 27, 2009
Hi Laura I definitly think a buddy system is a good idea. I am amazed after finding this website how many others are going through the same thing as myself. I am taking it one day at a time. Today is a good day. I did not pick the last three night! I also seem to pick the most before bedtime. Once in a great while if I am really stressed out I will pick just a little while during they day or at work but usually it is in the same bathroom at my house when I start to get ready to go to bed. Then instead of going to bed I am picking!!!! My upper arms are also my main area. I look and feel for any bumbs and then try to squeeze them. I also go to alot of 12 step Narcotics Anonymous meetings because I have been a drug addict for several years. I have not used drugs for over a year now thank God. I apply alot of the methods and suggestions from that program to help me with my skin picking addiction. Like step one " We addmited that we were powerless over our addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable". Also I try to remember to not pick "just for today" I don't worry about not picking for the rest of my life because I think that makes me anxious and when I am anxiious I usually pick so when I get the urge to pick I just tell myself, not today, I am not going to pick, just for today. I think about how shitty I feel after I pick. I think about how beautiful and confident I am when my skin looks good. I just try to get through the day..... I think by supporting eachother we can help eachother stop picking.
April 29, 2009
Yes, I'm in. I promised myself a professional clarifying facial if I can survive 10 days without picking. Today is my first day.
May 04, 2009

In reply to by Iwant2glow

yeah! glad to see the support here : ) I am trying to start a support group in my area. I know it might take a while but I have a good feeling about it. If anyone lives in Missouri let me know if you would be interested in meeting. It would be a women's group for now. I would not feel comfortable meeting with men. We would meet in a public place and it would be a 12 step anonymous program. is my email if anyone is interested.
May 06, 2009
I have been dealing with the same thing. I am 23 and have been doing this for years. It got the worst when I was in college, and am still suffering from it now. I look back at pictures from high school and my skin was so clear. It's terrible because I feel like all my clogged pores, scars and pimples are self-inflicted, and doubt that I would have had problems if I had never began this habit. When I started picking, my skin was not bad and never even got pimples, just maybe a few blackheads on my nose. Now I have clogged pores everywhere on my face, and it breaks out regularly. It's a terrible cycle because I feel bad about myself because of my bad habit and then I pick because I feel bad which exacerbates the problem. I want to stop, but I just keep doing it. I mostly pick at my face, but I also pick at my back and chest on occasion. Someone please contact me for the buddy system. I like the idea of taking pictures or meeting locally if there is someone in ohio. Please let me know if you are interested in partnering up with me. I feel like if a stop now, there is still a chance my scars will fade and I can move on with my life. I fear if I continue this, my scars will be permanent, which may already be the case, but I hope not. If you're interested, respond to this post and we can get in contact!

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