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Rebecca , 24 Apr 2011

A Lifetime of Picking

I can remember picking the skin off my hands and feet until they hurt to touch when I was a very, very young child. I stopped doing it, but I don't know how. When I was in 4th or 5th grade I remember showing my upper arms to my Mom asking what the bumps were, and what I should do about it. She took my arm and popped a few of them (it wasn't acne, it is something called Keratosis). After that I started to squeeze them myself. And then in junior high the acne on my face and upper chest started. I soon began to pick at those too. And then I noticed acne on my back. I started picking that as well. I also started picking at the bumps on my upper thighs sometime in highschool. I would not go out because my skin looked so terrible from the picking. There have been many, many nights when my arms, chest, and face were on fire from picking. I had problems sleeping due to the pain. After college my acne started to fade, so I started to just pick at my skin. I have even picked at my skin on my breasts. I became very good at sleeping very still so that the lotions and neosporin I would smear on myself every night wouldn't rub off. I've been to a psychologist, but she wasn't a huge help. She told me to buy a few books on co-dependency and on how to say "no". They helped, but not with this problem. I've tried exercise, taking down my mirrors, wrapping my fingers in bandaids, but nothing has helped. I am now 26 and I have it more under control then I used to. But I still pick my skin and I think I've permamently damaged some of it from my picking. I've also slightly weakened my wrists, and I think my lower back too from twisting around trying to pick at my back. I really want to stop but I don't know how. Sometimes I will pick my skin and an hour will go by without me even noticing... I am just so tired of this problem. But I am happy to have found this website.

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