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blisster , 19 Oct 2010

Thank You - I'm done with picking.

Hello, I am new to this site/forum and will try to keep this post short. I don't like reading through messages that are pages long so will spare you all from having to do the same. First off, I am a man in my early 30's and consider myself to be successful and lucky in most ways. I am married to a wonderful wife, we have 1 son. We are not financially rich by any means but we have a very stable/comfortable life. I was blessed with a solid upbringing/normal childhood and am very happy with where I am in my life. I'm active, fit, and physically/mentally healthy by any standard. Thankfully, depression, stress, and self confidence has never been a big issue for me so there are no obvious underlying reasons that I can think of for my picking habit which I have had since my mid teens. I have never talked about this to anyone, ever. I feel uncomfortable talking about it (even here) and am honestly quite embarrassed by the whole thing, like many of you. My wife knows about my "subconscious" picking habits and has been very supportive in helping me stop whenever she sees me picking or scratching my face/scalp. Unfortunately, I don't think she understands that it's not always so subconscious and it's worse than I let on. I mostly do the picking at night and there is no hiding the damage I sometimes do. I've have friends and co-workers ask what happened to my face which is very embarrassing in a professional environment (or anywhere for that matter). I usually sum it up to a bad subconscious picking habit and try to avoid the topic. I honestly don't know why I do it other than I think (or convince myself) that I'm making things better/smoother by picking at the scabs/imperfections but that's obviously no the case. You would think that one would have figured that out after picking for so long. This morning, I was upset with myself after having picked at my face last night. Again. Out of curiosity, I did a quick search which lead me here. I had no idea this was such a common problem or that there was even a name for the disorder. I have been reading all day. I'm relieved to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. I understand that most people can't just stop picking but that is exactly what I intend on doing starting today (my first real/serious effort to permanently stop picking). I'm hopeful that I will be in the minority that is able to do so and intend on following up after a few week/months. In my case, I'm positive that knowing the odds are against me will actually help. Thank you to everyone who has posted on this forum and especially to the people responsible for creating/maintaining this site. I look forward to helping/chatting with other "Dermatillomaniacs" :)
6 Answers
October 19, 2010
Good for you! Now...trying to stop by willpower alone...and I REALLY hope you REALLY tough. I think it must be like quitting smoking. When people ask me about my face I tell them I drank milk and it made my face break out because I'm lactose intolerant. (I think milk actually does that, but milk DOESN'T dig massive holes in my face.) Sometimes I'll even start with "don't mind my face, I drank milk.." So I apologize straight up and acknowledge it, cuz I feel like it's the pink elephant in the room. Everyone always says, Oh it looks fine, or I wouldn't have noticed, ect. but I KNOW. I've often wondered how tough it must be for guys to do this, not being able to pour tons of makeup/powder into the gaping holes. Let us know how you're doing, wendy
October 26, 2010

In reply to by Dancingpopes

I really wish this forum has some type of formatting or at least recognized paragraphs and spacing...........Anyway, one week in and so far so good....... The hardest part was letting the scabs heal, especially after a couple of days when they got hard, crusty, and very itchy..... I did remove most of the dried up scabs over the weekend once they were ready to fall off.... one on my nose wasn't completely healed but there was no bleeding when it came off so in my mind, it doesn't really count as picking........... I don't know about the rest of you face-picking guys out there but I find shaving the hardest part, you have to be close in front of the mirror to shave and it's hard to resist picking the scabs/imperfections then.......... unfortunately, it will take some time before I have hair growing everywhere on my chin again (if ever) so I have to shave every day to prevent the "bald" spots from showing......... Shaving in the morning versus at night before going to bed seems to help because I am more rushed to get to work and I would never want to leave the house with fresh open wounds....... I keep reminding myself that if I am successful at stopping for good, I will be in the minority who can do so... strangely enough, that motivation factor alone is working great for me so far.... Even though I'm afraid I will be left with some permanent scars and minor disfigurement it's hard to believe how much of a difference 1 week makes in healing........ Dancingpopes (I like that name by the way, haha) thank you for your words or encouragement... hoping you are doing well at your end.
October 23, 2010
Your quick summary of your life is very similar to mine. There is nothing I can think of that is bad enough in my life to spend the amount of time I do picking my skin. I am in my mid twenties, in graduate school, in a stable relationship.... grew up in a supportive family, upper middle class family, played sports, was good at art, had lots of friends...... then why do I spend HOURS in front of the mirror making my face look like I have the chicken pox?! I too am trying the quitting cold turkey thing today after I spend most of the evening and 3 hours this morning "smoothing out" the imperfections on my face. Please let me know how you are doing!
October 26, 2010

In reply to by elias16

Hi elias16.... Thank you for your reply, it's somehow comforting to know that others also have no obvious underlying reasons to explain this behavior. The only thing I can think of, in my case, was a car accident when I was about 14 that cut my face, arms, and hands up pretty good.. No one was was seriously hurt and no stitching was required but I picked at those scabs for a long time so that might be how it all started for me (even though I now only pick at my face and neck)?....................................I really hope that you will be able to stop cold turkey too.......... One week in and so far so good here so it can be done no matter what they say the success odds are...... good luck keep us updated!! Stay focused :>)
October 31, 2010
My first post here... Blisster I registered, specifically so that I could find out how you are doing on your "quitting for good". I am dying to find out........ I just recently found out this thing we do has a name, and I would do almost anything to find a way to stop it. I am ordering and planning to start a supplement that I read about regarding OCD, which is the umbrella Dermatillomania falls under. It is supposed to be like magic for some people, it's called "Inositol Powder" I am ordering from swansons health online. I have read some amazing things about it, and I thought it might help someone here. I will update on how it goes.
November 03, 2010

In reply to by ohhmama

Hey Ohhmama... Thanks for checking...........It's been 2 weeks now without any picking sessions!!! What a huge difference 2 weeks makes!! All the scabs are gone but there are still "bald" spots on my chin and discolored areas all over my face where the scabs were but it's hardly noticeable compared to before .............. It has been very hard to not pick, especially when seeing imperfections while shaving each day (close in front of the mirror).... I keep reminding myself that it can be done, I CAN BEAT THE ODDS, and how embarrassing having open wounds all over my face can be............. I hope you are able to stop "for good" too.... I suppose it would be the same idea as a smoker to try quitting cold turkey.... It can be done, even without any supplements or therapy but it's a long road. You have to resist the urge and not give in, not even once!.........................Good luck and let me know how you are doing

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