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Aargh , 14 Oct 2010

What do you say?

What do some of you tell people when they ask, "What happened to you?" My sores and scars are on my face and neck, so it is really hard to hide them. I am so sick of people asking me about what is going on. I guess I understand their curiousity--especially when I've been wearing band-aids in the same spot for months and even years. But still, it irritates me when people ask. One time I lost it--I'd already had a couple of people ask that day, then a kid said, "Eww, what happened to your face?" Later that day when a cashier at the local grocery pulled the same stunt, I snapped. I looked at her with great solemnity and calmly said, "Skin cancer. It's serious." God forgive me for that one, but it did shut her up! Of course, karma will now probably swing around and give me melanoma for telling such a horrible lie, but honestly, I'd just had ENOUGH. So I'm curious--how do you guys respond to rude questions about your bandages and/or scars?
17 Answers
October 14, 2010
With children I just laugh it off or say I have acne and they'd better behave or they'll get it too when they're older. The acne card usually works with older people as well or I say it's a bug bite ("I don't know, something must have bit me. It really itches..."). If it's a really bad sore, you can always say it's an abcess (which it probably is, even if it is picking induced). Work some Bio Oil into your scars to help them go away faster (it still takes long, though, but it does help). I find that a good Aloe Vera Gel also helps with the wounds, big or small. It just heals faster. Try to keep the band-aid on as long as possible (even wear it in the shower) and when you take it of, cleanse the wound, put aloe vera or ointment on and redress immediately. I KNOW IT'S HARD, but it will help to reduce scarring. And, by the way, people who ask don't have any tact and it doesn't have anything to do with them anyway!
October 15, 2010

In reply to by bottervliegie

So true, but it still hurts when they ask or stare. Or both. I actually have very little acne right now. Most of my damage is from picking at old wounds that emerged almost a year ago when I was battling deep, cystic bumps on my neck and jawline (aging hormones). I NEVER go out with an open wound. Everything is neatly (if not inconspicuously) covered with a bandage of some sort. Therein lies the problem. People see my clear skin and multiple bandages and wonder what's up. I follow a regimen like you--I swear I'm considering buying stock in Band Aid and Polysporin. Just wondered how other people dealt with the stares and questions. Thanks!
October 19, 2010

In reply to by Aargh

One evening, on a break from a 12 step meeting I was attending, I got asked the question of,"why do you have so many sores on your legs? The woman asking me was a sweet older lady named Lila, and I truly liked her. The question could have upset me or made me feel angry at her "rude" question, but instead I answered, "Im a picker". She looked a little confused at the answer, yet left it alone and never quwstioned me again. Lol. I have rarely been asked about my scars or sores, yet I am self consious about then. I often wonder if people are wondering about them and just too polite to comment. Sometimes if I notice someone looking at a freshly picked scab or 2 ,I feel like blurting out, the same answer I gave Lila, 'Im a picker!". What can they say to that? Most people would be satisfied and leave it at that. If they were someone I felt comfortable with I would maybe go a little deeper into it. Depends. My husband, sisters, sons and a few close friends I have been open and honest with as I tend to be a bit of an open book. LOl
October 20, 2010

In reply to by pugmama3

I don't get asked but have to tell about my little great grandaughter she was maby 21/2 or maby 3 she heard family members saying don't pick Bam so every time she see me picking she would say don't pick Bam, First i would say no i am just rubbing then she would say don't pick rub she is just to cute she is to this day very alert and when she catches me which she always do she will still say don't pick Bam ..
October 17, 2010
since i started high school its been a really big question at the beginning i would try and ignore it or change the subject. it really upsets me when someone asks it like i have some disease, so my friends and i came up with a game. we make a some unbelievable story like i was at the beach one day and spilled a bag of chips and seagulls attacked me. i do just straight out tell some people the actual problem but only when i feel like they deserve to know.
October 18, 2010
When I was younger (in middle school) and kids would ask why my eye brows looked so raw and misshapen, I would tell them "I scratched at them," (Whatever that meant). This answer would be enough for them and they'd move on. Nowadays, my eyebrows are fine and it's my back that looks bad. No one has ever asked me directly what's wrong with my back but they ask why I don't want to wear a backless dress or bathing suit. I find it's best to just straight out tell them "I pick at my back a lot and I have some scars." Everyone has always been understanding of it and even try to help. My roommate use to call me out whenever she saw me picking. This annoyed me but I appreciated it at the same time because she was looking out for me. Whenever I got the nerve to wear a bathing suit, my roommates would say things like "You're back is looking good" or "Rachel, you're picking again." If people know what going on and know the problem, they can actually be really great supporters and it makes me feel better to be able to talk to people about it.
October 27, 2010
OMG. I just had the most embarrassing thing happen. I was shopping with some friends today and as I walked to the dressing room to try on some clothes, the sales lady looked at me from about 10 feet away and said loudly, "Did you pick your face?" I was absolutely mortified. REALLY??? I mean, who says that?? I glared at her and snapped, "No, I have an abcess." (thanks for your suggestion, botterviegie!) As I strolled past her, she said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked." No shit, Sherlock. I heard her muttering something about offering me a Band Aid. My friends pretended not to hear, but I'm sure they did and were embarrassed for me....which in turn makes me even more humiliated. I've had people ask questions before (including a guy at the grocery store two days ago) but never anyone as rude and pointed as this woman was. She appeared to be in her late 60s so you think she'd know better. I cannot believe that people are so callous and insensitive to ask about a problem that is obviously sensitive, painful, and embarrassing. You would think that this recurring situation would inspire me to renounce my harmful ways, but noooooo. I came home and immediately picked those scabs/scar tissue for two hours (when I should have been working). I am fed up with myself, my habit, my lack of control, and every rude SOB that has no regard for my feelings. Where do people get the idea that it is okay to ask about this?? Any of you have similar experiences?
October 27, 2010
When I was in grade school I would get asked about the scars n my forehead which look like i was shoot in the head with a bebe gun or whatever. I'd get asked if i was shot in the head. I'd get asked by fellow classmates but its not surprising since kids that age dont know any better than to ask anything. I can't remember ever being asked about my scars besides that. I know people have probably noticed but thankfully I've been lucky enough that they've kept their mouths shut.
October 29, 2010
I work with animals so half of my things are easily covered up with "I got bit" or "I got scratched". I've also used "psoriasis", "excema" (sp?), "I burnt myself on...", and "skin allergy" just depending on where they are and how bad they look. The hardest ones for me to excuse are my cuticles because they don't look like any sort of accident and it's not just one finger. Any suggestions on that one?
November 10, 2010

In reply to by bloodyfingers

Could you say that due to working with animals you have to wash your hands a lot and it dries them out and affects your skin? Or maybe some chemicals that you've come into contact with through your job that have irritated your skin and made it itchy and sore? I have to wash my hands frequently at work and my skin often gets dry and I end up picking the skin around my thumbnails sometimes until it bleeds so it would probably sound plausible.
November 10, 2010

In reply to by purplebunny

Thanks, that's a great suggestion and very true. I notice when i've been wearing surgical gloves for a long time the powder dries out my hands beyond belief and makes me want to rip at them.
November 11, 2010

In reply to by bloodyfingers

Maybe you should ask your employer if they can provide some powder free gloves. Plenty of people are allergic to the powder in them. I used to pick around my thumbnails really badly, until they bled, and found that using cotton gloves overnight after I'd put on loads of handcream really helped- they would often look so much better in the morning.
October 29, 2010
I got asked AGAIN yesterday--the third time this week! I didn't think it was so terribly obvious but damn, I must look hideous. I'm still baffled as to why people think it's okay to ask about my scars and bandage. Yesterday this girl asked me the dreaded "What happened?" question and then proceeded to ask me several more questions about it until I finally changed the subject. It makes me feel depressed, angry, and helpless. I'm caught in a cycle that I can't seem to control and it just keeps getting worse. Everything hurts/itches/pulls and is driving me crazy. Aargh! I am so sick of this!!
Pick and Peel
October 30, 2010
I'll say, "Huh? What? I'm bleeding? Oh, crap, I must've hit that wall harder than I thought..." That always makes my friends laugh, and then they'll drop it. Or I'll say, "Oh, my dog jumped on me again and scratched me." I just wish I could tell them the truth.
November 04, 2010
This is a very good question!! I just got done telling my therapist that I cant keep with the: "I just had another biopsy" anymore. You're right...SO RIGHT in that I too, just want to explode when someone asks "What's going on with your face?" Or even worse, My 12 y.o.son's friend saw the area on my cheek and asked what happened.I dont even know where "My cat clawed at my face" came from. It came out so quickly. Then he said "Ewwww, thats nasty" Of course he didnt realize how sensitive I am about the situation. But from then on I just keep it covered.
November 11, 2010
Hello all, I have been having a look through this site and am so glad to have found it. I have been doing some reading on the subject and it's still a bit of an oddity to me. I have found myself needing to make excuses for the awful state of my fingers, particularly my thumbs. When I started my new job about 2 yrs ago, I said it was a stir-fry accident but obviously after a while that fades a bit! That's when I started to wear plasters occasionally and my colleagues learned not to ask though would still glance at my hands sometimes. I would and still will be asked questions like " are you alright?" occasionally after they've had their glance but I am lucky. I work in a psych department and have recently told my closest colleagues that I have found the name of my "problem" and started to try not to pick. We are a little down the ladder so still learning and so far I am so pleased to say that they have all been very supportice and in fact I have found out that someone else who works there also has the same bad habit. Lovely to see other like minded bad habitted people-thank you all for so much honesty, it really has helped.

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