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okaythatsenough , 29 Aug 2011

Okay, I'm new and I have a problem.

I'm a 21 year old female who has been picking her face since she was 7. I can't help it. I've picked and I've picked and scratched and scratched. It has ruined my complexion, my skin, and my confidence. To make matters worse, I've gone into a career field that relies on beauty for sales. I'm a cosmetologist. Your looks are everything. I never really put much thought into what I was doing. I pick when I'm bored, nervous, angry, sad. It is my solution to everything. I lose myself for hours in a mirror, straining my back and muscles to twist and turn my head in directions to get a better view of the little spots I'm trying to vanquish. But, it doesn't stop there. I don't only do it to myself, I do it to others around me. My husband, my 5 year old on occasion, my little brother I've had crying for me to stop, and I just can't. I've even done it to a complete stranger sitting in front of me on a bus. I scratch at my back. Leaving brown scars I don't realize I'm doing it half the time. I often catch myself running my fingers over my shoulders feeling for anything that is even remotely raised so I can pick at it. I scratch at my scalp as well. I've always done that. That goes back as far as I can remember. I put myself to sleep most nights scratching my scalp. I've never mentioned this before either, but I eat everything I get out of a pore that I'm picking at. Even the skin that comes off or the stuff under my nails from my scalp. I don't know what is wrong with me. I just stumbled across this site after looking to see if I have a disease. My five year old told me, "You're scabby momma, but I love you anyway," about an hour ago, and I cried because I never realized it was this bad. I need to stop this. But, my self control isn't exactly up to par. What is it that is wrong with me, and how can I stop it? Please, someone help :/
4 Answers
August 29, 2011
I also pick at my breasts. No idea why, but this a a recent development. I've been doing it maybe 3 years.
August 30, 2011
I remember picking early on in my childhood too. And like you, I have not been able to stop myself. My skin is scarred, with deep scarring and dark spots, and my confidence has definitely been affected. I can't imagine what you must be going through having a career in the beauty industry. I would be so stressed out. It's amazing that yu have this problem, and that you are a cosmetologist. I already feel like my looks are everything, and I don't even have to work in public. :/ I really love to pick when I'm bored. But I also pick when I'm nervous, angry, sad etc. I know what it's like to pick for hours, and I have had many mornings where I've woken up with my whole body aching from the previous nights picking session. I actually just got done picking on my husband's back for a good ten minutes. I also like to pick on my pets, it's pretty gross. It's nice to know we are not alone. I believe that when we reach out for help, that is the first step for us, I have no control over this thing, but even as I type this, I feel like my hands are being used for something healing and constructive, rather than destructive. There is a website I really like called I think it gives good insight into what is going on with us. I plan on posting on here more often. I think we need the support.
August 31, 2011

In reply to by ConnieR

I love my career field. I've become a master at hiding my spots. Whether it be with makeup or how I style my hair. I think that's the only reason i have gotten away with doing it this long. Unfortunately, I always know what's underneath. I know as soon as I wash my face what will appear. Then I go into a bit of a frenzy. Sitting in my sink, legs and feet asleep, digging into my face. I'm trying to be strong. I don't want my little girl picking this up. She's absolutely beautiful. Confident, strong, and independent. I know what this has done to my self esteem, the last thing I want is for her to ruin hers. It's getting hard to hide it from her, and all i want to do is set a good example.
August 31, 2011
Your comment, "I lose myself for hours in a mirror, straining my back and muscles to twist and turn my head in directions to get a better view of the little spots I'm trying to vanquish." describes exactly what I do. My boyfriend (whom I live with) has started to notice the time I spend in the bathroom and the red spots on my face when I emerge. It has almost gotten to the point where I don't care if he knows I am skin picking. It is almost worth it....... This statement, "My five year old told me, "You're scabby momma, but I love you anyway." made me sad, yet happy. Sad because I understand how you feel and understand the sadness, but happy because you have the love of your child. As hard as it is to believe, we do have many people that love us for who and how we are. The pain we feel internally may not be reality. People see us totally different than we see ourselves. Even as I type this and offer up my optimism, I cannot accept that for myself. lol

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