Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

Mary_A , 20 Apr 2011


Hello everyone I'm new here. I just discovered this site, and hope it can help me with getting over my skin-picking problem. I think the focus on my skin has a lot to do with the fact that I started getting acne when I was only eleven, which was difficult because the other children didn't understand what acne was. I was so ashamed. My mom took me to a dermatologist, who told me to stop picking, and prescribed Roacutane, a very aggressive medicine. It worked. My skin got clear again, and I was able to leave it alone. Since a few years (I'm now 22) that changed. I don't have so much acne anymore, but I'm not able to stop the picking. Especially the last three years have been bad. It's such a shame; I'm young, I go to college, ... This time of my life could (have been) unforgettable, but I ruined it myself by demolishing my skin and therefore hiding all the time for people. Like most of you guys I was very surprised (and also relieved) when I discovered that a lot of people do the same destructive thing to their skin as me. For years I thought I was crazy! I didn't understand what was wrong with me, and couldn't look it up anywhere, because I didn't know it had a name. My language (Dutch) doesn't even have a word for this problem! But last summer I found the term by accident in an article about BDD: compulsive skin picking. Finally I knew what it was, and most importantly, what it was called. Now I could talk to (a few) people about it, and ask for help. So I went to a psychologist. He recognized my problem and thought that 5 sessions would be enough to stop it. It did help a little. I learned what the cause of the problem is, and why I do it (being insecure, avoiding-behaviour). He gave me some assignments, like don't look into any mirrors, stop hiding,... I tried all that, but the picking didn't go. The last session he said to me that there has to come a moment where I make an agreement with myself: 'from now on I just stop, STOP'. Since then I said that to myself every day, but up until now I was never strong enough, to really mean it I guess. But today I made the decision: I will quit doing it! The most important thing my psychologist taught me was to concentrate on the real values in life. For me that is drawing, my boyfriend, family, my dream of working in a film studio one day... Obsessing about the way I look all the time is of course not valuable. So... tomorrow I'll start with the '30 days challenge'! I'll try to take care of my skin in a gentle way (cleansing, moisturise), avoid mirrors, and to keep myself busy with schoolwork. I really think that writing all of this down here, can help me keep up. I only hope it's not too boring :) Good luck to all of you! Mary
4 Answers
April 20, 2011
Hey Mary! Welcome to the site :) After reading your post I had to smile b/c I can absolutely relate to everything you wrote. There is so much to look forward to in life and to focus on than constantly overanalyzing and obsessing over every minor little detail of our outward appearances. I wish I had never developed this habit b/c I probably could've enjoyed life so much more the past 7 years. It makes me sick to think about how many hours I spent/wasted sitting in front of countless mirrors just picking at my skin and causing so much damage. It has destroyed my self-esteem/confidence and has even, at times, sent me spiraling into a dark place deep within where I never wanted to be. I'm in the process of pulling myself out of that dark place and creating a happier, healthier me from the inside out! :) I want to congradulate you on your decision to just STOP :) It isn't easy, but with each passing day, the look of your skin healing and gradually looking better, makes it all worth it! Stay strong and I'll be on here posting everyday if you ever need someone to talk to, or even just a little extra encouragement :) Good luck and take care!
April 21, 2011

In reply to by PazzoBella

Hi, thank you! It’s nice to feel understood, especially because for years I strongly believed that I was the only one who did this. Our problem really is a vicious circle: low self-esteem – feeling tensed – picking to make the anxiety go away – feeling even worse – hiding – more tension - ... I think if we’re able to break the circle, we can, like you said, pull ourselves out of that dark place. It’s true that we wasted a lot of time, and probably missed many happy moments because of our mirror-problem. But there’s still a big part of our life left :). For example, you are getting married, isn’t it? Then this is just the beginning! I will try everything to make the part that has to come better. And I hope that in the end I can feel happy about myself, imperfections included. Good luck!
April 21, 2011
Good luck Mary! I am not strong enough to commit to the 30 days.. but I feel I will get there soon with the help of you guys! I relate to everything you have said. I was on accutane when I was in highschool, and my dermatologist gave up on me because I wouldn't stop picking. My face has been a red mess ever since then. I can cover it up pretty well with make-up... but today for the first time I was able to go to work without makeup because I didn't have any red blotches!!! I made it all day feeling great but when I got home I did it again.. :( Oh well at least I went like 12 hrs without picking. That is a miracle for me!!! Good luck to you!!!
April 21, 2011

In reply to by virgolikesyou

Hi, thank you so much for your comment. Great that you went to work without make-up! That is a challenge for me too. The last 6 years I never went out without covering every little thing, even when I go running :). Thinking about how it must be to go out the door without having to spend half an hour making up every day... it must feel liberating. Last summer I went to India for three weeks, it was a group travel. I didn’t have any mirrors there, was surrounded by my fellow travelers all the time, and it was useless to put on make-up because of the heat (you’d sweat it right off). So for three weeks I couldn’t pick and was forced to face people without being able to hide. Sometimes it was difficult, but it also felt great, and I look good on most of the pictures that were taken! So for a short time I experienced what it was like not to have to hide my face every second. Unfortunately, when I got home it just started all over again. Well, since going to India every time I feel the urge to pick isn’t an option, we’ll have to find an other way :). Good luck to you! You’re doing great!

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now