21-Day Challenge


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September 20, 2010

Oh, yeah, just to clarify: this is a "quit cold turkey" challenge for 21 days. NO picking allowed. If you have a huge zit or something that needs urgent attention, you may squeeze it under supervision (that is, get someone in the room with you to watch you...) and ONLY get that one thing and you have to report it to this topic. If you've got trich, this goes for eyebrow shaping as well. These exceptions are only for seriously urgent conditions, not a loophole in the challenge. If someone else can do the thing for you, whatever it is, even better. Together we can be stronger...
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September 21, 2010

Hey - so great to see someone being so positive and motivational. I'm in too. I really believe in positive visualisation, so I'm going to visualise everyone here writing about how they've finally found a way to stop - FOREVER : D
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September 22, 2010

Hi Everyone, Yesterday I did great no picking ;o) So far today I've been 50/50 not bothering my face but itching at my back ( another problem area for me). I actually went to take to a therapist this afternoon about options and I'm going to attend a support group next Monday. I'm pretty terrified to sit down in front of people and talk about this but it might be the only way I stop. I'll keep you all informed as to how it goes. If any one else is in the Seattle area you should come! It's a big step for me as I think it would be for many of us. Stay strong!
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September 24, 2010

so happy I found this! I tried last week to start a non-pick but within a day I found myself pulling at dried flakey skin...then scabs...then a couple little baby pimples and whaddaya know, now my face broke out again from being messed with all week. I've toyed with the idea of talking to a friend about this but I just can't get up the courage to do so, hence I've joined this site. So today is day one! I find that having some sort of mask on, egg white or aspirin helps to keep me from touching when I'm just sitting at home. But then I have to wash it off eventually...anyway. Hope everyone is having success so far!
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September 25, 2010

I like the mask idea. It will also help to get a healthier skin. Hmmm... definately worth looking into... Oh, and use an exfoliator in the flaky-skin-phase. It gets rid of the flakiness (it may take a few days of exfoliating) without picking and it's good for you. But try to get a "peeling" exfoliator with fruit acids or something instead of the scrubs. A scrub may work, but sometimes it can spread germs to new pores and create new breakouts, especially when you have (diagnosed) acne. Good luck on the challenge!
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September 20, 2010

Good luck! I wish you all the success in the world with this. I want so badly to stop picking but I am unable to control my urges. I've been doing it for 7 years and no matter how much I want to stop and tell myself that I will I never can stop. It almost seems to control me and it has ruined my life and I can never forgive myself for what I have done to myself. Good luck again, I hope you succeed, I fear I am beyond help.
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September 20, 2010

No-one is beyond help. I've been picking for 22 years, since I was about 5 years old. This is the only life I know. Everyone is unique, so what works for one may not even make a difference another. This technique is not for you, but I'm sure you will find something someday that will help you out of this deep hole we all share! Thanks for the wishes of success! I will keep my fingers crossed for you and don't lose hope! Good luck to you as well.
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September 20, 2010

I just joined this site and need some inspiration so I'm going to try the 21 day challenge also. It's going to be hard but I really want to do it!! Now I need to go buy some post it notes and picture how great I'll look when I finally stop picking. Do you reckon if we succeed we'll have much better skin in three weeks time?
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September 20, 2010

Because so much of our skin problems are caused by our constantly touching our faces (and everywhere else), spreading germs to fresh wounds, I'd think our skins would look a lot better in a few weeks. Many of our spots are actually caused by inflammation because of picking and not actually acne, although it may look like it. Let's be strong and give it a try!
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September 20, 2010

Ok Im in! I missed the last one so Im glad you posted another. Its always better to be doing this stuff with others. Id be interested in IM-ing or emailing people who want to try it.(or just anyone who wants a buddy) In the past I've found that having a one-on -one connection really helps. I just created a new account flwrpwr2011. email me peeps!
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September 20, 2010

I'd love to stay in touch with somoene who will kick my butt if I give up. Is your email a gmail account?
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September 20, 2010

yeah gmail :P
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September 24, 2010

sunshine2u check your email!
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September 24, 2010

sunshine2u check your email!
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September 20, 2010

I'm so glad you guys are in! Yes, lets get together one-on-one as well, so we can check each other up. I have a gmail address, contact me there and we can hold each others hands: skinpickanon@gmail.com
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September 20, 2010

I've also started a blog to use as a journal during this challenge and to inspire all of you who are going to do this with me. Please go to the blog and follow it or at least comment on the days as we go along. http://skinpickanon.blogspot.com/
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November 21, 2010

I've tried to go to your blogspot bt it says the blog i was looking for was not found... are you still doing this?
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September 21, 2010

Hi Everyone, just found you... I've been struggling with skin picking more an more over the last few years and it's become a painful hold on my life. I've tried the sticky note thing before but never with others I really hope we can help each other with this, there's really nothing like it. Thanks for being out there!
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September 21, 2010

DAY 1: I was keeping busy most of the day and had little time to pick, which was good. I spent quite some time on my computer when I noticed that my hand automatically go to my face and scalp very often, which can start a picking expedition. I refrained form picking entirely, which I am very proud of! ............................................................................................................................... The hardest part of the day was getting ready for my bath and the huge mirror displayed every little imperfection which says to my mind: "Get rid of it! Spots are ugly!" It was so hard not to inspect them from nearer by and pick at them. I am now off to bed and I am very pleased with how day 1 turned out to be. ............................................................................................................................... Please visit my blog for my full journal of my days and also post your experiences there: skinpickanon.blogspot.com .......................... This is a place for us to take hands and share and heal! Thanks for joining me!
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September 21, 2010

Wow good for you bottervliegie! So far I've been doing good. I touched my face while looking in the mirror/ a few other times today but did NOT PICK! Ive been chatting with people all day trying to keep my goal in mind and remember I am not alone in this. Its helping. As I've mentioned before, night is hardest for me, but I am going to make it! I have faith in the power of the group. There are so many people on here who are FIGHTING so hard every day to get healthy. You guys are inspiring me to keep tackling this thing. Alone I can't do it, but with other pickers support I feel I can. Thanks for being here. Im sending all of you love.
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September 21, 2010

This is great! My goal is to get a hold of this by the time I'm 30! 21 day challenge! Email me please!! :) Thanks all.
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September 21, 2010

hey to30 whats your email?
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September 23, 2010

to30andmore@gmail.com Thank you!
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September 22, 2010

DAY 2: My day was just so hectic, there wasn't any time to think or worry about picking. Which is good! I am dead tired, though. I went to the city and did some shopping and was ripped off by Israelis in the mall (I was never good at saying NO... they make it impossible!) Who spends $400 on cosmetics??? I don't know how I did it - maybe I was brain-washed... .................................................................................................................................. Anyway, I felt horrible about my purchases and those guys are smiling all the way to the bank with my money! That was my worst grievance of the day. That and, of course, telling my husband about it... He took it quite well, though. ................................................................................................................................... I heated up `n frozen pizza for dinner and had a glass of wine with my hubby to unwind. And now I'm off to bed. No picking, no worrying about picking... I guess it's a good thing from the challenge's point of view. My hands still want to fidgit around my face, neck and scalp, but there was no picking. I hope I'll have some more substance to talk about on tomorrow's review. How was your second day? Spill the beans! :)
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September 22, 2010

Glad you had a good day 2 Bottervliegie! I didn't pick either so today was a success! I wanted to tonight when I went to wash my face and I had some "shame moments" today where I just felt so bad about the damage I've done, but I didn't pick over it. Im realizing I don't have to pick, no matter what happens. I have to keep telling myself that I will make it through difficult times and be ok without picking. In fact picking always makes things so much worse. Not only is there the physical recovery, there is the mental/emotional side. Im tired of being set back when it comes to that part of my recovery. I've found, too, that I can handle how my face looks better when I don't pick and I generally feel better about myself. No matter what my skin does, even if it doesn't get much better (I have a lot of scarring), I would like to learn to like myself and feel better about myself on a daily basis. The way I see it, the longer I go without picking the more of a chance I have at achieving this. Anyway Im glad I have the forum. I am so grateful for it. The challenge and all of you are what are keeping me going. love you all!
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September 22, 2010

So I made it through the night again! Yay! My fingers were roaming and there were a bunch of times I had to catch myself. I just kept telling myself "if you keep feeling your skin you WILL pick" . Once I start touching my skin its only a matter of time. I know this on a deep level, but the addicted part of me will go into denial and tell me I can and that Im in control. Really I think its because part of me still wants to and will make up any excuse. Anyway its interesting to watch the process. This morning was okay, accept I rubbed off some dead skin after washing off a mask. For me picking is always about timing. I don't think it a coincidence that I did. I had just gotten off the phone with someone that brings up strong feelings in me. They were trying to get me to decide about something(a big life decision) and I have anxiety around it. Whenever an internal battle gets shaken up in me I tend to make it external. I also realized that in order for me to succeed I have to continually set intentions for myself. Like every time I go into the bathroom I have to set the intention that Im not going to get too close to the mirror or pick. Its best if I go on the forum right before and after. It keeps me focused and reminds me that its a big deal every time I pick. So anyway I guess Im starting at day 1 again. Part of me wants to downplay it and claim day 3(bc I didn't pop or go after anything), but I think I need to have higher standards. Its such a slippery slope, the only thing thats gonna work for me is a zero tolerance policy. Dead skin sucks! haha. Anyway this is the first time where it doesn't feel awful to start over. It doesn't feel like failure either(well maybe a little bit), but its good for me to be honest. Im still in it to win it! Im still gonna keep posting and using this site. Im not giving up and Im not gonna wallow in how hard it is because its only gonna take away energy from tackling the problem. Hope you are all doing ok.
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September 23, 2010

I'd like to join the 21 day challenge too. Thanks for starting the group challenge, B---. Group support seems like a great help online. I'll start Day 1 w my post it notes tonight. I'm also looking for a spinner ring to help focus and retrain my hands when feeling anxious and compulsive. Wish me well! Thanks, Igby
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September 23, 2010

Hello B.V. and others, I've been searching for a information about skin picking and finally found this website (I first searched in Dutch). It's 'good' to know there are many others out there who're batteling the same every day. I'm going to join the 21-day challenge, my boyfriend once said he would give me 1000 dollar if I didn't pick my skin for a month, and I lasted only 2 hours.. so 21 days without any picking sounds to good to be true! (Also caught myself picking in my sleep..how am I going to battle that?!) But, I've to trust that I CAN do it, so I'm going to read some more about skinpicking on this forum and I'm starting NOW! (and ending it on Thursday the 14th of October) Ps. The Post-its are a great tip! And I'll try to cut my nails even shorter then they allready are.. Good luck everyone!
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September 23, 2010

go on then im up for this challenge aswell day 1 today. i think i can do this. i will not pick!!!!
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September 23, 2010

Hey guys. Its nice people are starting at different times. That means I'll have people I can start over with. I got rid of dead skin AGAIN today. I knew what I was doing, and knew id have to start again, but I was just too overwhelmed. I had a job interview today and just couldn't bear to do it with stuff hanging off my face. Im desperate for money right now so it felt like a crucial first impression. I know Im making excuses, but its hard to go out into the work world with this issue. Anyway I am willing to try again. Day 1
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September 24, 2010

You are very courageous and I admire you for going strong and not giving up! That is an accomplishment in its own, so good on you! And how was the interview??
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September 23, 2010

This is my second day. I had a bit of difficulty while washing my face this morning and exfoliating skin patches, but I'm definitely going to carry on. Since this is OCD, I'm thinking that if I stop myself immediately when the compulsion with my hands unconsciously starts I will still count that day as ON rather than starting over. I also found an inexpensive spinner ring last night at the mall. Everytime I look at it or spin the ring it reminds me that I'm committed to being free of this awful habit! It definitely helps being able to actually communicate with others about it in this online forum. Thanks for reading my comments and best of luck to everyone else who's struggling in this group to join B-- on the 21 day challenge. Igby
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September 24, 2010

Hey guys! Welcome to all the new challengers! I'm so glad that you are all ready to take control of your lives, even though it is extremely hard! I think it's great that everyone start at their own time and continue at your own pace. I'm at DAY 4 now and I have 3 tiny little zits that are like 3 huge cartoons on my face whenever I look in the mirror: "Pick me! Pick me!" Argh! .................................................................................................................................. Well, what would a challenge be if it was easy? Okay, so having those little creatures torturing me makes it really hard and my fingers automatically navigate toward them whenever I'm not physically busy. It will be so easy to just "fix" them, but that would defy the point. Even though they're small, they might still get infected and it will still scab a little, so I AM RESISTING!! .................................................................................................................................. Other than that I am trying to take care of my skin with a non-abbrasive exfoliator and Bio Oil to moisturize and treat scars. No real difference yet, but give it time. I will also dab those three spots with some acne cream and hope they go away on their own ASAP! Okay, so I'm off to bed. Keep posting your progress and please visit my blog to view my progress and post your own (you can post anonymously, no username required). skinpickanon.blogspot.com
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September 24, 2010

I am ready to try the 21 day challenge, except I will have to start it tomorrow Sept. 25th ( already blew it today!) I am more driven than ever before, but also more aware of the underlying reasons for picking. ( ordered the book and have been reading and trying to dissect my specific causes) My daughter that lives in another state will soon be giving birth to my grandson. He has hydrocephalus and spina bifida. He will require surgery/ surguries as soon as he is born. She will have a C-section. She has a 7 yr old and a 4 yr old that will be at home. She really needs her Mom to be there and able to react quickly whenever and wherever needed! Hospital with daughter, other hospital with grandson or at her house tending to her 4 and 7 yr. old. What she does not need is a Mom that takes a long time to get ready due to "hiding" the damage I have done. I have never been so actively trying to overcome!!! Any tips would be appreciated. I have tried blue light therapy ( expensive) red light therapy and accutane, etc. I will start today but count tomorrow as my start date. Praying this works. Thanks for all of the encouragement!
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October 05, 2010

you are great! thank you so much for being so positive. I'm trying to stop and I can totally empathize with you. 21 day challenge starts tomorrow, thanks again for being so courageous and articulate ti your struggle. wish me luck!!
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September 26, 2010

I'm 2 days into the challenge! My skin is looking better already =)
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September 26, 2010

I had to start over. Today is day 1 for me :(
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September 26, 2010

awwwww, its ok! don't worry about the past, think about the future, you can make it, just take it one day at a time, and avoid the mirrors!
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September 27, 2010

Bad skin is just something I've learned to accept. For me its as sure as the sun rise. But what I've recently learned, from accident rather than intent, is that when I simply don't pay attention to it anymore I looks so much better (obviously, I know). A friend of mine once told me "the hardest person to change is yourself." Once you do, the feeling is incredible. Its like the weight of the world (that we call self-consciousness) is suddenly lifted and you're given a second chance at first impressions. You're yourself - the real you inside - the one who wants to shine and not just tell but show the world everything that you are without fear or timidity. This last month for me was one such month. Whether consciously or subconsciously, I simply stopped picking. Whenever I needed to be by the mirror, I refrained from leaning in and "inspecting." My skin didn't become perfect - at least not by my standards - but with the help of a daily exfoliator and night time acne cream (Differin), my skin became much better and every morning felt like just that - a brand new day. So why am I on here? I went to the gym one day, had a great workout, and didn't shower afterwards for another 6 hours. Gross, I know. With pores clogged, I just got frustrated and kind of just "had at it" with my face and his sidekick, the mirror. But after a great month prior, I yearn for the feeling of freedom again. And so begins my 21 day adventure. I'm a "glass is half full" kind of person, so cheers to everyone! And best of luck to all of you.
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September 27, 2010

Hi everyone! This is one of the best and worst journeys I've ever taken. On the one hand, after 7 days of no picking, my skin looks better than ever. Scabs have disappeared by themselves, spots have disappeared by themselves, my skin is softer, almost blemish free. I've learned that the skin is a living thing that gets rid of impurities by itself, without my help. That doesn't stop me from yearning to get my fingers on any spot. I find myself longing for the next 14 days to go away so that I can "clear" my skin again. Why is that? I know better and yet I long to pick? I'm hoping this feeling goes away in the next week so that I don't feel the need to pick anymore. Mind you, I don't want to go on a full-out picking spree - I just want to get rid of the few (very few) tiny spots that are torturing me. But somewhere in my brain I know that I'm better off leaving them to go away by themselves, which they will. I hope that message spreads to the rest of my brain as well, especially the illogical part that's mocking me.
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September 27, 2010

I can relate to your post as im doing this challenge because i want to go out on the 23rd oct and not have to worry about hiding my skin. i too have managed to resist a full blown picking binge but have had a few spots that i really couldnt leave alone, i didnt dig at them like i would usually i just pressed them once and then forced myself to leave them alone to heal on their own. i dont know if should start all over again for doing that or i should just give myself the benefit of the doubt just this once. the way i see it is ive been picking for 11+ years its unrealistic for me to trust myself to completely resist every blemish i see, im not going to beat myself up and start all over again for squeezing a couple of kp bumps i would lose interest and self belief if i did that. if i cave in and binge on more than 5 bumps then its day 1 again. dont be too hard on yourself, its true they will heal better on their own but we all understand how hard it is to just stop completely. hang in there everyone !!!!
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September 29, 2010

I have had this ailment for as long as I can remember. I really like this idea of a 21 day challenge. Today is not day one for me. I do have one recommendation that helps me realize that I am going to pick. I bought several pairs of lightweight cotton gloves (ebay - used for covering your hands after putting lotion on). If I have them on I cannot damage my skin any further. I have managed to go 24-48 hours without picking but I always fail to continue. I think this group will be a huge help. Only two people know I do this. I was seeing a psych doc and told her in several visits and showed her what I was doing to myself and she blew it off. I have a new doc I am seeing for the first time on the 13th and recognizing this disease is what will tell me if I will continue seeing her. There are NO therapists on the list in the state of Oregon where I live. :( Good luck fellow sufferers.
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September 29, 2010

DAY 9: The weirdest thing happened today: I never wanted to pick! I never even tought about it during the day! I don't know why, but I just didn't feel the need. My theory is that writing down everything that I feel, things I could never have said out loud before, is helping me let go of whatever I am clinging on to so closely. My deepest, darkest secret is out, my pain and burden is shared and my shoulders are lighter. It may have just been a fluke, but I really hope it lasts!
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September 29, 2010

Tonight has been hell. Since I already acknowledged that Day 1 is a bust... I was unable to resist picking ALL of the scabs off my boobs and butt. It was like I was subconsciously thinking that the day was already blown... make the best of the opportunity. I hope the next 24 hours will be a success. I wish I could wrap my body in plastic wrap so I can't touch it. I keep putting the gloves on and then, when I have to take them off to do something, if I don't put them back on I start my bad habit. FORTUNATELY... I have a wonderful supportive husband. He loves me scars or no scars. He is concerned about me, not my scars. I am glad I am not in the dating world or working world where I would have to wear long sleeves and pants or long skirts to hide my shame...
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September 30, 2010

Botervliegie, great that you reached 9 days allready! WoW! I'm starting over again, after day 7. Day 2 and 3 I allowed myself to ONLY get rid of the dead skin hanging from my face..but as you know.. one thing leads to another and well lets say day 4,5,6 and today, 7, my face looks awful. But my, my face looked great after day 2! From now on, I'm not going to touch my face, also no dead skin! Good luck everyone!
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September 30, 2010

Hey Sbell Im in the same boat. It started with dead skin, but has moved on to a few episodes. Im just super stressed. Im starting school again and its bringing up a lot of feelings/anxiety. I've been out of school for a while, but when I did go I did the worst of my picking(this was in high school). I feel myself getting more anxious and picking more and its scary to me because those years were hell. I don't want to go back to picking and failing at school. Anyway this transition is going to be difficult. I am hoping I can move through it and not resort back to picking to relieve the stress. Anyway I'm starting over with you :)
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October 01, 2010

'have to go back to Day 1 again. What I've learned in the past week: checking in w this forum helps whether good day or bad day, keeping my spinner ring on helps -- got into trouble after misplacing it for 2 days (!), have recommitted to more daily exercise and am wearing a pedometer to motivate me, and last but not least -- The less I look at myself when washing up or putting on skincare products the better. I'm back on board and glad to be back!
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October 01, 2010

Just finished day 1. I have had slight urges but I was motivated enough to avoid picking today. I am starting with a 3 day challenge, and if that works I will try your 21 day challenge. I have picked since I was in high school and I'm 28 now. It has gotten worse lately and I have been picking more areas more viciously, so I feel it's time to make a change. I hope this discussion continues--it really helps to hear that other people are going through the same thing, as corny as that sounds.
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October 01, 2010

oh dear its day 1 for me, i binge picked my arms last night. i think it happened because i went out for a drink and alcohol stops my medication from working properly. i know for certain this is why i picked because i binge picked before when i had a drink. at least i know what happened this time so i can avoid it in the future. im trying a 23 day challenge as from today. as im going out on the 23rd
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October 01, 2010

Okay, I'm back to Day 1. I've got a hold on my active picking, but the unconscious picking is still a problem, which is why I'm in trouble! I caught myself picking and biting my cuticles (not disfiguring at all, but it's still an offence) as well as biting peeling skin on my lips. Also, scratching my scalp is a problem. So now, a fresh start after 11 days and now I'm going to do it right! I'm not discouraged, I actually feel like I've learned a lot during the past 11 days and that I have a better chance of getting to day 21 this time around. Good luck to you too!

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