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Tessa , 15 Sep 2011

New....any advice?

Hello. I'm 26 and very new to this, I have been searching the internet for a couple of hours tonight to try and figure out if i have a problem or if i'm just being a bit silly. The last couple of weeks and I have come to relise my arms are a mess and need to do something now before they get any worse. I think everyone pops the odd the spot here and there and I always have but i've just started to relise that lately it's becoming a problem for me. I sometimes sit for ages in the bath scouting my arms for something to pick and if theres nothing new to pick I go back to previous picked spots and squeeze, pick and sometimes even dig until something comes out. Its usually in when i get up or go to bed, but sometimes when im watching tv or even when im out with friends, i kind of go into my own world and focus on my arms. If i get bored of my arms i will check my face, and pluck eyebrow hairs that in my opinion don't 'look' right. I sometimes even squeeze the hair folicals around my nipples. I have red patches scabs and scars, and Its got to the point that i have to put make-up and concealer on my arms so its not too obvious. I have tried puting fake tan on because then if i pick i get patches in the tan, but as soon as its rubs off or fades i just start all over again. I've tried speaking to my friends about it but they kind of look at me as if im mad and being stupid, but speaking to my bf last night I'm wondering if it is more than just picking spots. This is first time i have gone into this much detail about it. If feels good just getting it out in the open and speaking about it. If anyone could give me any advice that would be great. I really want to nip this in bud before it gets any worse. Thankyou for reading. =)
3 Answers
September 16, 2011
I'm very confident you'll be able to connect with a lot of people on this forum because your story sounds very similar to mine. I'll pick at freckles or tiny red dots that look like a tiny popped blood vessel but i feel as if it must come out. I'm gone as far as using a pocket knife to carve a bump on my skin out and using tweezers to take off scabs. I also squeeze the hair follicles on my nipples(didn't think anybody else did that so I've been a little embarrassed about that). I've had this problem for about 10 years and most of my body is completely scarred and there's no way I can get rid of some of them. And they're very noticeable especially on my arms. I use spinner rings( or if you're interested). They give me something to do with my fingers. For the deep cuts I try and keep a bandage on it so I don't see it and have the urge to pick but take it off when you sleep so it can air out and heal. I use lotion because sometimes when scabs itch I just want to take them off and this will cause them not to itch as much keeping the skin softer. I usually don't tell anybody about this problem because it causes permanent damage and I know people look at me and think I'm disturbed. So I hope you read more and find people with similar stories. I've found it to be very helpful. I go into a trance when I'm picking that's how I realized it's more than just "picking spots". I'll stand in front of a mirror for hours examining my body FOR something to pick. I'll even make cuts or bite my hand so later I will have something to pick at for a while. I stay away from activities like swimming, and I don't wear tanktops and prefer longsleeves because I'm so embarrassed. So when it affects your daily life I'd say it's more than just picking spots. But over the years I've gotten better so it is possible to lessen the impulse. Also as soon as I get out of the shower I put on clothes because I know that's when I'm most prone to picking. Good luck!
September 28, 2011
I understand what you're going through. I haven't recently gone as far as to actually cut myself to produce a place to pick, but whenever I get a little scrape I'm relieved because it's a new spot, especially if I've healed up completely and it's the first one. I don't know what advice I can give you, all I can really do is let you know you're not alone. I'm struggling too, and I'm lost as in what to do in this point. All I can hope for is that we can eventually overcome this. :)
October 04, 2011
I have had a LOT of luck with the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine, which is sometimes sold as N-acetyl L-cysteine, for my 11-year-old daughter who severely picks her skin (arms and legs). I'm hoping that everyone on this group will check it out. We started out at 1200mg each day, 600mg in the morning and 600mg in the evening. Then we worked up to 2400mg, 1200 mg in the morning and 1200 mg in the evening, within about 3 or 4 weeks. The study that was done in 2009 showed the best results were after 9 weeks of continuous treatment with this amino acid, also just known as NAC. We saw great results after 6 weeks. Please consider trying it. I am not a doctor, so please weigh out the risks for yourself. It has truly been a godsend. My daughter used to pick to the point of staph infections. She has scars all over her body. It works by regulating the URGE to pick. You can download the summary text of the 2009 study on this website - The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.

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