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onesteptohappy , 01 Jul 2010

Has anyone acctually made it?

Hi everyone, I am 25 and I am a picker. I have been picking since I was about 15 years old. It is hard to admit but I started picking because of my mother. When I hit adolescence and developed the first signs of it - that is tiny blackheads on the forehead, my mother told me that it happened the same with her at her teens. So she suggested to squeeze the blackheads from time to time and they would just go away soon. But the problem was that I inherited my father's skin too - big pores, oily, problematic skin. So the whole blackhead battle developed into a never ending sessions of skin picking performed both by me or by my mother. By the time I was 17 I discovered a cream (Skinoren) that seemed to have helped my acne. But my picking problem became so severe that soon the results of the cream started fading. Now I am 25 and, as many members that write here, I noticed that my skin does not heal so quickly and that scars stay for several weeks. I have heard about the skin picking disorder before and considered myself one. But I always thought that it is easy to quit - as soon as my skin gets better, as soon as I am out of adolescence. But the problem is that my skin never gets better. It is always "bumpy" with whiteheads and blachheads, always oily and shiny. And when i pick on the whiteheads and blackheads I can see how much "dirt" comes out of them. At that moment I am dicussed, angry, depressed and... content at the same time. Content with the tought that I actually clean my skin from so much "dirt". And I think that the only reason why I keep picking is thinking that it is the only way to clean my skin. After an ordinary "successful" picking session (that is not developing inflammations) my skin is smooth for about a week. And I enjoy the feeling that my skin is clean. But after that... it is all over again. I start noticing developing bumps, uneveness that later become whiteheads and blackheads. I must emphasize that I have always used the best skin care products - washed, exfoliated, used masks, spent money on face cleaning at cosmethology salons, tried home remedies. But all of these means were always accompanied by picking. At early stages I used to pick simply with my nails, then started using paper napkins wraped around my fingers, then - metal "spoons". But it never gets better... it even gets worse... The reason why I decided to try to change something is that I simply want to be happy and the condition of my skin has always been the number one reason why I am not. And if there is something I can do - then I am gonna do it. I simply need a little help. Another reason is that I am strong-willed and moreover - at the moment I can afford to spend all my time working on me. So after a severe picking session yesterday (I caught a cold and after feeling sick and misserable for almost a week, I "calmed" myself in front of the mirror) I decided on putting myself on a serious challenge. After I noticed that whiteheads and blackheads are spreading form forehead and nose to cheeks, chin, neck, behind ears, around lips I decided that picking is far from helping getting rid of them but even makes it worse. What I am planning to do is start from simple little things that could help me keep my hands of my face. First, I started growing and painting my nails so that it would be a shame to ruin my manicure by picking. Also I decided to bring my mobile phone everytime I go to the bathroom so that I could have a time limit I spent there. Later on I am planing to cover all the mirrors while I am alone at home. However, I know that the hardests part will be watchin my skin getting "dirtier" and "dirtier". Because everybody knows that it is not that easy to clean your skin and not that easy to do it the right way. So I kindly ask you to help me go through this challenge, share your experience of how you made it - how you stopped picking and cleaned your skin without picking. Please help me find strength and motivation to go on. Keep telling me that after some time, my skin will start cleaning itself without my destructive intervention. Thank You, and wish me luck.
1 Answer
July 03, 2010
Best of luck to you! I have the same feeling...that my skin is dirty when there is a blackhead or blemish present. It feels awful and I simply have to remove it because I know it is 'dirty' and isn't supposed to be there. My mom also picked at my blackheads when I was younger! This told me 2 things. 1) There was something wrong with my skin and 2) It was okay to pick it. My mom and my grandmother were always very hyper critical of my appearance so I think this was a contributing factor for me as well. I have been picking for at least 9 years now and I just turned 22. I have tried many products; Proactiv actually helped for a while but then my skin started peeling off in big pieces; it was awful, so painful and red and I looked like I had a skin disease! So then I was back to square one. I finally tried Neutrogena Advanced Solutions products as well as Neutrogena oil-free acne stress control for the daytime. So I have been using salicylic acid in the daytime and benzoyl peroxide at night (which is part of the kit) for about 3 years now. The benzoyl peroxide is so hard on the skin though. It really dries it out and I can even see fine lines starting in a couple of places. My acne has been under control for the most part with occasional break outs. Also, I was taking birth control for a while...It helped some I think, but the last one I took (tri nessa) caused my skin to break out more. Not good...I have always picked, but in the past few months it got to the point where I was digging things out of my pores with a needle. I didn't really realize what I was doing at the time either until one day some of the pores on the left side of my nose started to look really large. I knew something was terribly wrong and I finally put two and two together. In the beginning of my picking years I only used my nails too, but it escalated to the point of using tweezers to pick scabs off and needles. The needle was originally only for big ones...just to poke the center and make it easier to pop (that sounds but I guess that one day I decided to take it to the next level and dig things out. Not good...! I don't recommend it! Leave the needles out of it! I know I made the problem so much worse because I actually stretched some of the pores which means now they can accomodate more gunk...and it's more noticable to me. So I can see how picking is really a vicious cycle now. For some of us, especially those with acne, we want to pick to clean our skin but really we are making more problems for ourselves by spreading bacteria and damaging the skin. So in the end, it is worse, but I the time it feels so much better to have the 'dirty' stuff out. I totally understand where you are coming from. Ugh! And I do have some scarring. It's not severe but I have a little bit on my chin where I tend to get break outs, a little on the cheeks and now I have the enlarged pores on my nose from my needle digging days. Very shameful. I always knew I was a picker, I just didn't understand how damaging it was to me (emotionally and physically). I still pick, but I don't do it as often and I never use the needle now. I learned that lesson at least! So...I haven't made it but I wanted to tell you I understand and offer you the best of luck. Also, there have been times when my skin was more clear and I was under less stress so I tended to pick less. For me, stress is a big trigger (both for acne and picking). Try to be sure you are as stress free as possible (I know...much easier said than done). I have found that I pick less when I have make-up on. But I know for some people, this doesn't stop them though. Find a skin care regimen that works for you, I know that none of them are perfect, but try to find one that helps to keep some of the acne under control. Stick to it, even when you are so tired that you just want to fall into bed. I was very good about sticking to my skincare regimen and I think that helped the most. Consistency is key. You could always see a dermatologist if you think it will help. They may know of a product or treatment that would be really helpful for your skin type. Mine tried to put me on Retin A but I'm not ready for all the initial break out, flaking/peeling. It sounds like you already have some good ideas about avoiding the mirror and spending too much time in the bathroom. I used to have fake nails and that seemed to help because I couldn't get a grip on the pimple or blackhead (so to speak). Hope that I helped some or at least encouraged you to continue! And yes, our skin can be clear without destructive intervention. It just takes a lot of time and patience. When my skin was clear (in the past), I was much happier. I was proud of myself for taking care of it and for not picking as much. I always feel so guilty after a pick fest (I think we all have been there way too many times!) Much love!

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