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jama , 31 Mar 2011

I cant stand it but cant stop (very detailed)

IRrm 32, female never had a problem with acne, rarely got a pimple now I have scars from self inflicted sores. I have never actually admitted the extensiveness of how much I pick at my skin. I have contemplated over this for quite awhile now. when it began, how it gradually got worse, if there is really something there or is it my imagination then picking at it creates something there then I pick at that.. I have seen a dermatologist and of course he told me to just stop this horrible habit. Even as I sit here and explain this now I still am convinced there ix something wrong with my skin. I really dont believe I just "think" I see something. But regardless if there is something on my skin to begin with or not, I am now uncontrollably ripping into my skin. It is consuming me. I can spend hours at a time deeply concentrated at one tiny pore and by the time im done I have a huge wound or multiple ones just going from one to the next. It has takenm time away from my family, job, ive even let the rest of myself go bc I cant stand what I have done to my face and body. Im always having to find clothes that will hide where I have sores from picking or red marked scars or just scares. And constantly buying different makeup trying to hide the damage ive done on my face. Ig have even become overweight now just letting myself go. I think partly because I feel like crap about myself but also because im always wearing clothes to hide everything and because I rarely go anywhere unless I have to or I know where im going people wont ask me anything. I can usually expect someone will stare of ask me something along the terms about the sores. No matter how much u try to hide it, its still very visible. I am always telling myself as soon as I get it all.healed I am never doing it again. But I never even get to that anymore. .i create more mess before others heal or repick open the almost healed sores. It gets on my nerves even explaining it. So let me try to explain what im picking at and maybe someone out there can give me some clarity. Well first I remember about 2 years ago I was doing my normal washing my face and thought I would try something a girl I knew had,told me. She said when u see blackheads u cant squeeze them but all u have to do is take a small straight pen and they come out. So I went in my sew box got the pins sanitized the.m and tried it did work so instantly I was hooked I couldnt stop. Everynight it became part,of my face plan was to do little parts at a time BUT once I started spending that much time n the mirror I started looking closer at my skin. Then I came across what I am still not exactly sure what it was. I thought it looked like a very deep blackhead it was on my chin but more in the middle between my bottom lip and chin. As I kept digging it just kept looking bigger and so was the hole I was creating now with tweezers I could feel something as I was trying to pull so I got real frustrated but also almost excited like have discovered something great. I get it tweezers so I got the "tweezer cutters" and whatever I began to pull shot blood everywhere out of reflex I let go and grabbed a hand towel yelled for my fiance and he kept trying to make it stop but blood was literally just running out of this whole. we,did get it to eventually stop and would think it would have scared me and taught me a lesson real quick but all I could think of was,that whatever it was it was still in there. Not that I had a bloody bathroom or now a hole in my face. And that is how that began but then followed what has become my pronlem still 2years later. I see these bumps/knots sometimes I can pull hair out of them but other times its like once I get this tiny bump open it like very hard micro pieces and sometimes it looks like a wirey hair in there as well so idk if its real or I created a sore and am now picking the sore. But I know thd little bump was there,to begin with. And like I said from my face to my feet I will pick. I will not b able to even fully concentrate or at all if I know there is something I need to go look in the mirror and get out. The only thing I can say now is I have on serious occasion stopped myself before I wanted to stop but I was thinking about it until I could get back to it. I have gone to the store and ended up in the parking lot for an hour picking and realized how much better I can see outside and no one is bothering me needing the bathroom or making sure I wasnt picking. So then I started leaving and would sit in my car and do it. It has consumed me, changed me and not for the good. I hate who I have become.
2 Answers
April 04, 2011
Hi there: This problem has developed slowly over time for me as well. I am now 38. I have had pretty nice skin most of the time, but as a teen I had really bad acne. I never picked at it though. Then in my twenties I would sometimes get these tiny bumps that seemed more like a rash. They looked like teeny pimples. But I didn't pick at them and they went away after a couple of weeks although they still crop up occasionally. But in my 30's my skin changed. See it used to be that when I got a real "zit" I could just pop it or if nothing came out I could wait a couple of days and then sort of scratch it and the pimple would come out. Might leave a little tiny hole but no blood and the h ole would heel. So from maybe high school up until my mid-30's I had what some would call really pretty skin. I got compliments. Never wore make-up. But my body is changing and so is my skin. I have break outs, especially when stressed and these pimples seem to be "hardier" and "deeper" . They actually hurt and I can feel a bump deep in my skin. I just had one the other day. I worked on it for a few days (squeezing, poking with a needle, etc.) Eventually I did remove a pimple but of course the area is now raw and bruise.d This NEVER used to happen. My theory is that, honestly, we are getting older. Skin changes. It doesn't regenerate as quickly and repair itself the way it used to. I also have fine hair on my face so I've occasionally had to deal with an ingrown hair and bumps around the hair follicles that are like little pimples. They seem to get worse when I wax. I inherited folliculitis from my Dad I think. Anyway, the point is, I think your skin is changing. It's a consequence of getting older. You get weird moles, hair grows in weird places and gets darker and more noticeable and anywhere there is a hair there is a pore with potential to get infected and turn into a pimple. Occasionally in my 20's I would find a black head or something I had somehow missed. I would squeeze it and go about my business. Now there are things that I don't recognize all over my body, bumps, moles, dark spots. I try to squeeze them but nothing happens. So I get frustrated and keep trying. Sometimes after a couple of days I'll express a huge pimple. Other times, nothing happens and I end up with a scar from picking at it. You are not alone. I've always been a "pimple popper" I pop OTHER people's zits! Can't stand to see a big poppable zit on anyone, including myself! My husband fights me off, but when he's sleeping I scratch tiny white heads out of his back and pop errant pimples. He's fine. They come right out. So, it's not necessarily abnormal to want to remove acne. But it's time to do something different. Here's what I have learned. Since our skin isn't shedding and "turning over" as fast, we have to do it artificially. Products with benzoyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid will speed up the process, cause you to peel and expose new layers of skin. For the moment just try not to pop anything. Just gets some acne meds. Clean and Clear has a 10% benzoyl peroxide that is like 5 bucks. It will start healing those skin blemishes fast. If that's to strong try and fine one that is 2.5 percent. Acne free is a good brand and Wal-Mart has store brand acne treatment that is JUST THE SAME as original proactive. It's called the "Equate Acne Treatment System". You can get it for 11 bucks as opposed to 30 plus shipping from Proactiv (watch out. It will bleach your towels and anything else if it's not totally dry). A prescription anti-biotic called Mupirocin can help heel your scars in a matter of days. 20 bucks at Costco Pharmacy without membership, $14 if you are a member. When you start on any acne medication, you HAVE TO wear sunscreen even if it's cloudy out. Even if you have a dark complexion. You skin will become photo sensitive and the spots and scars will darken and look worse. Starting at SPF 30 is recommended. Get something that says "non-comogenic" if you go with a face moisturizer (which you should because the acne meds are drying). Non-comogenic means it won't clog your pores and make more pimples. I think neutrogena has one. I get the Equate brand at Wal-Mart that is SPF 35. Works great and is cheap. Finally, once you've finally started seeing results, fewer blemished, etc. to get rid of ugly dark spots and scars go to and order an at-home skin peel. They have different strengths, but 30% is a good starting range. Go on YouTube to learn how to apply them. Do this one time per week to get rid of the scars and spots and also keep acne at bay. I've also be tweezering out hairs on my face where I am tending to get acne. So before you blame yourself and think you are abnormal, try some of my suggestions. Those skins peels will also prevent and lessen wrinkles. Isn't it funny how something we would normally find really painful, tweezering deep into our skin to extract a hair or a pimple, has no effect as we pick away. You just want the damn thing gone! I know how you feel. Stop picking and get yourself healed then do some regular peels to keep your skin radiant. It'll be OK
April 04, 2011
omg exactly the same -- It has also consumed me, changed me-hate it! . I get fixated on little bumps, perieved blackheads, clogged pores. A wound is usually resulted! Im trying to realise that its normal to have skin like this--the tiny bumps etc-because not all your pores can be completly clean all the time and the body will sort those out. Im trying not to focus on the tiny things but only see the actual things that have come to a head. And I know that I cant keep going in a circle--destroying my face over and over again to make sure it all out". That im going to HAVE to leave it for longer periods of time because I know I cant spend a lifetime checking and worrying about it everyday. I have red marks everywhere and this is making me worry a lot. I really relate when you say you concentrate on one tiny pore for ages. Im going to see this doctor tomorow-mental helath lady who visits my local clinic once a week- got an appointment so Ill post what she said to me. Try and stay away from mirror--avoid scanning face for bumps etc--XX

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