Online Test

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

Mathias123 , 16 Jun 2011

My Personal Confession

I have a serious problem with picking at my skin... It looks absolutely horrid. It started about a year ago when I was 14, summer of freshman year. Though what I do now is somewhat different, it all started when I began to squeeze the acne on my shoulders. I was intrigued that virtually no matter small the blemish was, when I pinched it with my fingernails, something came out. Explaining it, even for me, sounds rather disgusting. Yet for some reason, when I am in the act of doing it, it doesn't seem to phase me whatsoever. When I first started picking, I would convince myself subconsciously that once the marks caused by the pinching were healed, my arms would look better than before, free of acne. But of course, this was not the case. It would only cause even more acne to appear due to the infection that the nails digging into the skin brought on. It did not help that whenever this would happen, I would only continue squeezing the acne that was brought on by my previous squeezing. Slowly, my arms began to from into essentially one giant scab from all of the pinch marks. This is the condition that they remain in now... nevertheless, I continue to pick. In the condition that both of my arms are in, the skin is too destroyed for actually acne to form, but within the carnage of my self-mutilated skin, I find slight depressions in the skin that when I squeeze, stuff still comes out as if it were normal acne. Most of the time it is a clear liquid, while less commonly it is the same white puss that comes out of acne. Every strand of my conscious willpower wants to stop doing it. I know that if anyone were to see the effected area, they would most likely cringe at the very sight and immediately assume that I am lacking in any sort of sanity. But despite this, I still cannot stop because it almost seems as if something stronger that my willpower is driving me to do this. When I pick, I am completely aware that I am doing it, and I try to fight to fight it, but I always end up loosing the battle. Giving in to relieve the stress that comes with fighting my urge to do it. But the fight must go on. I will try to stop no matter what it takes. In order to help me with my struggle, I have began to keep a log of days where I “failed” and “succeeded” in my attempt not to pick. I have also been trying to keep my hands busy doing other things whenever I feel the urge swell up inside of me. Lastly, I have wrote this to help me become more self aware of what I am doing, and get this so closely guarded secret off of my chest... I hope with all my might that this endeavor will eventually pay off.
2 Answers
June 20, 2011
Hi Mathias, I'm new to this site but I completely understand where you're coming from. I've likewise always had a total fascination with squeezing my skin, zits etc. I'm fortunate that I never had much acne in high school. It wasn't until I was almost out of college that I noticed I started to get acne more frequently. From age 22 to now... 10 years later.... its gotten steadily worse. I've always messed with my zits and picked somewhat, but over the last three years I find myself losing a half hour in front of the mirror squeezing and picking. I become so focused on getting that little black spot out of my skin, or that bump, or getting the zit to pop. Everything else fades away and that is my only goal. I used to have this feeling that if i had a zit that (no matter what everyone says) the sooner the pus is out of your skin the sooner it can start to heal. But I make such a mess of my face that when I'm done I'm quite horrified. I use tweezers and I've even (more than once) actually used an x-acto knife.... ON MY FACE! I feel like I'm completely crazy. I'm miserable about my skin.... I've been on every single acne medication other than accutane (which freaks me out). Its not that my acne is even that bad.... its all the picking I do. I know that. In my heart I know it. In my head I know it. My doctor and my mum both tell me the same thing. So why can't I stop?? As soon as I come home from work I go in the bathroom and inspect. I do the same thing when I get up in the morning. I don't understand what's wrong with me. I was recently put on ritalin for ADHD which has helped in every other area of my life but, somehow, it makes me even more hyper-focused when it comes to my face. I'm like... manic about it. I'm here to get help and to learn from others and share my story, as you are. My desperation has lead me to seek outside the field of dermatology and start addressing the psychological reasons behind my picking. I have suffered from depression since I was twelve years old, and have also been a cutter. I attempted suicide when I was 20. Since then I have been on Prozac which has helped my depression enormously. A few years later is when the acne started up and a few years after that came the progressively more obsessive skin picking. Mathias - you have my complete and utter compassion and understanding. I know exactly what you're going through. I have no advice for you, but I hope that together on this site, sharing our stories we will both learn more about ourselves and the illness that drives us to do this to our bodies. I fervently hope that, with the help of others like us, we will beat this thing and rebuild our self-confidence and psychological well-being. I hope that with all my heart. Good luck with your fight.
June 20, 2011

In reply to by Rachel-Annemarie

I started picking at my scabs in grade 3 when i got the chicken pox. I remember during my years of elementary school I would go to the washroom and spend hours picking at them. They left scars on my face and over time they faded. But then something happened to me where I started pulling hair from my scalp. I had this sudden urge to pick and pick and pick and one day I pulled really hard from the roots that it scabbed up. I picked at that scab - never giving it the opportunity to heal. Until it left me a bald spot at the front of my scalp. The baldness kept getting bigger and bigger. Then during high school i stopped pulling my hair because I started liking boys and I wanted my hair to be nice. Luckily my hair grew back but a little bit of baldness is still there as I find myself having trouble parting my hair. I turned to picking every single pimple. pimples between my eyebrows, on my face, inner elbow, ingrown hairs, everything. I can never let things go. I tried going few days without picking and I would leave a scab alone but then on the fourth day I give in and pick at it really fast. I have a problem as this is taking over my life. i have no confidence to be with a guy. My scars from picking are really dark - to the point where my scabs are on my most feminine parts such as my breasts near my nipple area. and i got a huge scar on my nose. i am disgusted and ashamed at myself....I do not know what to do anymore. I do not want any meds, as i am happy with my life but I do not understand why i do this, and i can not talk to anyone about this because i am super embarrassed and no one understands.

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