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dead_oceans , 29 Dec 2010

Major Realization

I am new here - this is my first post. Just two days ago I realized for the first time in my life that my experiences of skin and scalp picking are not unique - that other people experience similar things too. It has been colossally hard to admit my condition - even to myself - so I feel sharing my story with the community here would be therapeutic. I am a 20-year old male, and I have been picking for as long as I can remember. My parents said that I came out of the womb itching and clawing at myself, and that from an extremely early age I was forced to wear mittens and socks at all times to protect young self. Add to my compulsion a laundry list of skin-affecting food allergies and eczema, and you have a cocktail made for skin catastrophe. The eczema itches like mad, and even just to rub the legions feels like ecstasy. The feeling is short-lived, obviously, the open sores on my forearms, back, behind my knees, neck and scalp crust over and dry out immediately. The crusting and scabbing are nearly unbearable to look at without the temptation to pick and itch. The only way to fix my skin is to shower and wash, but when water comes into contact with my destroyed scalp, the pain is crushingly intense. Just last week I almost passed out from the pain of water on scalp/skin. When I walk into the bathroom and see myself in the mirror, I feel like I HAVE to get close and examine my face for imperfections. Any dead skin, pimples, newly healed pimples or past problem areas attract an insatiable desire for me to pick. My preferred tools of torture are a nailclipper and tweezers both of which I use to consciously dig out any imperfections. After an episode, I stand back and look at my disfigured and bloody face, and my soul sinks to the depths of the universe. Destroying and sabotaging myself is the last thing I want, but it has been an unavoidable aspect of everyday life for too long. Luckily I have an amazing network of support from certain family members, who upon learning of my condition have offered anything they can possibly do to help. However, nothing can help the feelings of dread and aloneness when I lay motionless and in agony on the bathroom floor, silently sobbing in a pool of self-mutilation and broken self-esteem. I'm currently seeking spiritual, mental and physical treatment, but I am still getting used to the idea that other people on this Earth experience this same compulsion - that I am not alone. I have an incredibly bright future ahead of me in the world of music, and my skin picking and itching compulsiveness is the only thing holding me back from ultimate success professionally. To anyone that reads this, thanks for reading this...
2 Answers
January 03, 2011
Hi i'm also new here tooo. Well today is my first time posting, and i have to say that just last year I realized how bad my compulsive picking at my legs and scalp was effacting my life of living. I'm known as the "GIRL THAT WORRY", but its true im scard of what is coming up nexts its hard to have fun with people that love me when sooo much is on my mined. So when i'm worrying about stuff im picking at my self, staying up late, and wishing i could stop. I feel lonely after school i go to the bathroom picking my self until dinner then i would go back to picking until bed time. Soo I end up not going to sleep to do home work, but i have wasted hours and hours on picking as well as worrying. And I realize now that I should do something about it. You are not alone and im glad that i can share my symptom with poeple that i can trust THANK YOU :)
January 03, 2011
My picking is also a a result of is very itchy and leads to nasty looking scabs. It started on my scalp when I was a teenager. I used Neutrogena T-Gel 2-in-1 shampoo and that cleared it up. But my eczema moved to my face, which that shampoo is too harsh for your face, so it's taken me years to get to the point that I am at where my skin is almost clear. They have had me on minocycline oral antibiotic for 3 months and want me on it for 3 more months, Nicazel oral supplement that you can only get through prescription, Metrogel for my rosecea and an anti-fungal cream for the eczema spots to help with the itching. Eczema is a very hard condition to deal with and is on-going and stress only makes it worse, but I hope this helps...ask your dermatologist about these shampoos and creams and see if it works for you. Although, everyone is different.

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