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PenguinExplosions , 29 Jun 2011

New Here - My Story + some tips

Hey there. I just joined a minute ago after reading some of the threads here.... it's eerie uet comforting reading posts from real people who are total strangers, describing the exact things I try to describe to my friends and family who care about me. I hope maybe some of you can begin a discussion off this, and I'll let you know which things I have tried in order to get this under control. The impulse control disorder type behaviors started when I was a young child, in the form of some trichotillomania (obsessive hair-pulling) habits. Those seemed to wear off soon enough as I aged, but once I began to hit puberty at the age of 10 or 11, the normal ocassional zit-popping became an obsession. It didn't help that I quickly began to experience acne on my shoulders and back. I remember being 12 years old, changing in the gym stalls in middle school because I was ashamed of my back. As time went on, the picking would ebb and flow. There would be times in my life where it was merely an afterthought, certainly not affecting my life beyond a very mild and passing inconvenience. However, a couple of years ago I was in a very difficult situation for quite some time and I relapsed with a very bad experience with trichotillomania, as well as being a peak time in my life of the skinpicking. The hairpulling has gotten very bad at points, when I began to notice my hair thinning in spots. But one big reason I did it was to divert the activity from my skin and onto my hair. Because, for me at least, an intensive trancelike hour of skinpicking is going to look a lot worse afterwards than an hour of hairpulling. I havr found a way to help stop the trichatillomania (hairspray: makes the texture of the hair funny to the touch so I cant discern the rough kinked flyaways I liked to pick). But the dermatillomania.... I have a hard time not being miserable. My lack of self confidence from this has pretty much kept me from having any romantic involvement. It has interefered with my work on days that I was required to wear short sleeves.... my manager was concerned I had some kind of contagious skin condition. I live in Florida and it is not uncommon for me to wear a jacket out in the middle of summer, both to hide my arms from others and from myself, and to resist the temptation to pick. I often even sleep fully clothed and in long sleeves. I hate showers because i hate to see all the bumps, especially in the mirror. Despite this disgust, I also can hardly resist picking all that skin I see. Sorry for my long story there. I have never been able to get all of this out in the open with anyone who understands. I hope some of you can relate. But what I would really like to do is share with you all some things I have learned through the years of struggling with this condition. These things help me so that at least it is more bearable. 1. I've learned that when I am actively treating my skin and the areas I pick, the urge eases up a little bit, at least temporarily. It's like I am focusing on and fixing, the "problem" that I would otherwise solve by picking. So!.... 2. Lotions and moisturizers alone do not help me, since in my experience they plump up the skin with moisture and make any bumps more soft and poppable. 3. First and foremost, I try to dry out the bumps and tighten the skin, flattening and shrinking any bumps. The best way I have found to do this is with calcium bentonite clay. I buy the dry clay powder and I mix it with equal parts (pure) lemon juice and purified water. I have found that when I use it thin and runny, and apply a thin layer, not only does it dry quicker, it also find that it is less irritating and it seems to aid in healing and inflammation better than a thick mask. I personally don't wait for it to dry completely. I have found this helps heal bumps (although I wouldn't suggest it on any open sores) and any hyperpigmentation after the bump itself has peeled. Just be careful since lemon juice, although it does help with excess melanin production, it is also photosensitizing so if you are using it on an area that will be exposed to sun, make sure you use a sunscreen. I have used this mask on my body daily for a while with no adverse effects. You should notice that your skin is smoother and more even after the first use. 4. African black soap. It is fabulous. It is the best soap I have found for my skin, which is very reactive and breaks out easily. Another one that somehow helps heal up bumps quick, this soap is the only type that had ever made my skin feel so clean, and yet not irritated. I use the brand Out of Africa, there are some cheaper ripoffs calling themselves African Black soap that are simply a bar of soap dyed black. African black soap should actually be a dark brown color, and shea butter is a key ingredient, as well as plantain skins and sometimes a type of ash. 5. This might sound silly, but sleeping with the least amount of clothes on, while washing your sheets frequently, will help keep your bumps from becoming more inflamed and infected, and both of those things delay healing. 6. Derma roller. Look it up if you haven't hearf of it. I just started using one for the ice pick scars on my cheeks from picking at acne as a teenager. I hear a lot of good things about these in terms of minimizing scars. I got mine with 0.75mm needles on ebay for under $20. I know for me, my picking target is pre existing small bumps and clogged/enlarged pores. I have found that these things not only help heal existing bumps, they also help my skin overall so that I have less to pick at. Hppe somebody found this helpful... I know it is a lot to read! Skimming is fine though! Ha.
1 Answer
June 29, 2011
Thanks for all those helpful tips! I'm going to definitely try all of those methods considering I have just stuck to traditional soaps that either didn't clean the oil from my sin or took it all away causing more breakouts. I've never even heard about the derma roller, that really excites me to try it out. I'll keep you updated :D.

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