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Aargh , 06 Oct 2010

Disfiguring scars

Has anyone picked at themselves to the point of needing plastic surgery to repair the damage? I have picked and picked and picked a few places on my face so much that I have actually disfigured my face. How crazy is that? I'm not picking on new places, but rather digging at an old wound that can't heal because of my habit that began years ago. I've picked at this one place so long (months) that I know I'm just digging at scar tissue, but at times I can't help it because it (and a few other scars) are lumpy and itchy and I want them gone. I just want to dig everything out--aargh! Now I have a few hypertrophic scars on my face that have actually altered the profile of my jawline! Places where I have just literally carved out scar tissue and other junk are now hyperinflated with those scars...which itch and make me want to dig even more. I must be certifiably insane to keep doing this. My dermatologist has helped me get my hormonal acne (peri-menopause) under control, but my scars are making me crazy. He has injected a few of facial scars with some sort of cortisone, but they are still hard, red, raised, and itchy. I have an appt with him next week, and he will kill me when he sees the damage I've done. Has anyone had a similar experience? If so, how are you treating it? I'm trying to use silicone patches as night, but I tend to pull them off in my sleep. There's also a brush-on gel I use, but nothing really seems to be working. Any suggestions?
9 Answers
October 08, 2010
I have too, you definitely aren't alone. I would guess there are a lot of us on here that have picked to the point where we have caused real disfigurement. I have raised scars on my face too. You are NOT insane! Well I don't know you, you could be :) (jk jk! its just sometimes i think if we dont laugh about this stuff we would just spend all our time crying ). But, seriously having an addiction doesn't mean we are insane. We may have some insane thinking, or clouded thinking when it comes to picking, but I still see that as just a part of the addiction. Anyway mine itch too. I don't pick them so much, as the rest of my acne. With the scarring I mostly just feel depressed, because even if I can stop picking completely the scars will still be there. I realize I am just going to have to make peace with it. If I can, I know it will help me grow. I fight reality a lot and having these scars is a situation where I really can't. I have this story in my head of what I "was supposed to look like" and "what I am supposed to look like" / "the life I should have had"(w/beautiful skin/a perfect body etc)... and it is just not that way. Im trying to re-write the story to include who I am and what I look like now and be ok with it. This is a weird example, but I often think of great leaders or people in history and the struggles they go through, eg. Nelson Mandela. If he had spent his time in prison feeling sorry for himself all the time and thinking his life was over/ or regretting those lost years once he got out I don't think he would have gone on to do what he did, or be such an inspiration. Idk bad example? Anyway I will stop rambling. I don't have very many practical suggestions, I dont know what to do about my scars either! All I know is that picking won't make them go away! I wish you luck with your dermatologist. I hope he won't actually be super hard on you.
October 14, 2010

In reply to by cherrycolalola

Thanks, cherrycolalola. Actually, I rescheduled my appt for 2 more weeks--partly because of a work conflict and partly to give my face more time to heal. I do this all the time, though. And I just finished "working on" the same place that has been an open sore for months now. I feel like I'll never let it heal. The irony of it is that I used to have gorgeous skin. Even my old dermatologist (now retired) used to compliment me on my clear, smooth skin. And I inherited my mother's agelessness. When most of my friends now are fighting crow's feet, I have few, if any, wrinkles. BUT, then pre-menopause hormones kicked in and I became a mess. Now my clear, smooth skin is scarred and irritated. It looks like I've aged 10 years in only 2. This, of course, makes me mad at myself which only aggravates the problem. Sigh. You can't compare yourself to someone like Mandela, though. Our emotional issues are real, even if they seem trivial in comparison to real-world problems. If they weren't real and significant, we wouldn't do what we do. I'm trying to learn to be easier/kinder to myself but that's hard to do--esp. when you are a self-mutilator, no? Good luck in your struggle, too! Thanks for responding! It's so reassuring to know that people aren't just ignoring me. I appreciate your thoughts.
October 14, 2010

In reply to by Aargh

Hey np, thats what we are are here for. Ive aged myself too. Im younger than you, but I look like I had a drug problem or something. My skin looks much much older than that of your average 20 year old. Hope you are having a good day.
October 26, 2010
LOL I have a picking area on my right breast and left breast I have had for three + years, still picking at the same scars and scabs, and yes, now one of my breasts looks "indented"...damn it.
October 26, 2010
I had the same thing on my arm. I noticed that when my arm is soaking wet in a tub or something that scabs rub off without making furthur damage and doing this every day helped mine heal overtime without driving me batshit crazy.
October 27, 2010
I have a few indented scars in the middle of my forehead, basically its a few circles and looks like I was shot in the head by a gun lol. These were actually some of the first scars I gave myself. They were mosquito bites originally, I have no idea how they became so indented like they are considering they were my first scars before I got into skin picking obsessively. Well I've had these most of my life and am so use to them I probably wouldn't get surgery and remove them. When I look at them I sometimes think they're a secret map of a chain of islands where a treasure is buried lol. That was actually part of a childrens book I use to have which had a cat in it where its spots and tail are the treasure map, anyways its something fun to think about instead of getting depressed when looking at them.
November 04, 2010
I read somewere about how kelo-cote is suppose to be the only thing that actually works for helping to reduce the appearance of scars and that oils and things like that dont really work, i dont kow if you can use it on open wounds though, and im from the uk, so i don't know whether you can get it in the US, but i hope this helps x
May 03, 2013
I recently dug a TRENCH in between my eyes so deep I need p,attic surgery to reinjure and sew because I waited too long. I look like a total freak and cannot even go to work and wear sunglasses as much as possible. It is so mortifying and embarrassing and heartbreaking - I went into almost a psychotic episode and truly believed I was removing sebaceous cyst material . I've had picking issues all my life but they got severe over the last few years I think due to my highly stressful job. I have depression, anxiety, PTSD, am an amputee and yes have OCD but could not get disability because I didn't work the system my whole life and tried to overcome my illnesses (the accident leaving me an amputee did me in tho). I really should not be working and just being a parent 2 my 7 yr old son who I live for and adore and am actually a very good mum but the declining ability to handle stress is killing one understands the picking thing but those like us and it is just like addiction, w the same judgement and lack of compassion.
July 29, 2015

I can relate to a lot stated here. I too struggle with a scar that I keep picking at and try to scratch, rub, and squeeze scar tissue out of it. It's located on my cheek on the left side of my face, which looks indented now. I also feel scar tissue spread around my face from all the rubbing and poking on that area. It's incredibly frustrating and triggering to feel that scar tissue under my skin, I swear I can feel it crawling under there and it drives me up the wall! I feel terrible shame and guilt from the condition my skin is in and the fact that it was done by my own hand is what kills me. I am definitely considering cosmetic surgery -scar excision surgery to be specific, along with laser treatments after. It's what the cosmetic dermatologist suggested after looking at my skin. It's comforting to know I'm not alone because this addiction has truly affected my life in very negative ways. I wish you all hope and healing. ✌

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