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I posted a reply to mdmadre when I thought I was posting to the forum (sorry mdmadre). This my first web communication venture besides private e-mail. You can read my response to mdmadre. I am a 25 year veteran with scars to show for it, although if you met me on the street you would never know. I suffer with depression and what I call OCD (actually CSP). I realize that my skin picking is tied up in my mental health issues that likely stem from genes as well as my childhood environment. I am currently in therapy and on meds. I have been taking meds for many years. My therapy does not focus on the picking. I believe it is helping with factors related to it. Addressing the picking specifically is something I have never done-at least not with help. I've tried some advice and self mandated tricks (getting ready for bed in the dark) to no avail. Nothing lasts long. My only true reprieve was my last bout of severe depression when i had no desire for anything. I picked some, but not much. I did not feel compelled to do so like I do now. However, severe depression and the risk of suicide is not a treatment option that I would like to repeat. Today, I picked for about four hours. I ended with red welts everywhere. I have oily skin so I am amazed I do not have more scars. I have some larger scars on my neck (near my hairline) and my back where I had staph infection. My wounds had to be cut, drained and packed. I felt so sick the first time it happened and did not have insurance. The doctor fixed me up in his office. He knew i could not afford to go anywhere else. He was an older gentleman. I will never forget, however, how non-judgmental he was about it. Either he had seen it before in his many years of practice or he was truly a compassionate person. Staph hasn't happened in a long time. I think I am more careful. I use a sterilized needle instead of my fingers for larger acne. I will let my husband know when i "need surgery" (ie the needle). Scary. I can't believe I'm telling you all this! Whoever reads it I guess. Anyway, I've been doing this for too long. If I don't take it seriously, I will never stop. How long can my skin hold out? The older I get, the more ashamed I am. Even my daughters see me do it. I have hurt their feelings by picking and not paying attention to them. To me, that is the worst result. Now that I have a teen, with acne, I hope this won't happen to her. She has always pulled at her eyebrows (not to the point of pulling the hair out) and she seems to leave her acne to itself so far (with mild exceptions). I just hope that it will not happen to her. Maybe their disdain for my habit will help them. Wow. Thanks for listening!