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white bumps - keratosis pilaris
I am 28 (woman) and have been picking for roughly 15 years. It started on the backs of my arms and my main areas are arms, face, back, legs and chest. The main things I pick are acne and my keratosis pilaris. After reading several posts here I think this may be what a lot of us have. It is a skin disorder where your skin cannot shed its cells correctly and/or produces excess protein and then they both pile up in the hair follicle causing white plugs. They can range from hard cyst/ball like formations to soft white and sebum-like. The problem for pickers is that they seem to be fairly easy to pick and satisfy our "good-one" urges. There is information available online including images on keratosispilaris.org, wikipedia and mayoclinic.org. I've found that exfoliation, moisturizing and leaving my skin alone works best. I personally use the DermaDoctor line, Eucerin AHA/BHA lotion and a combination of salacylic acid and benzol peroxide and retinol on my face. I also have started using Ambi for the fading of the picking scars. I'm trying to stay away from mirrors, cover my skin as much as possible (better now that its winter) and when I find myself picking - trance or not - I just need to stop, take a deep breath, leave the area (bathroom usually) and find something to occupy my hands. I've heard that rubbing your earlobe can help (?). Either way the most important thing for me (and maybe you) to remember is that after I've left an area alone...even for a few days...it gets better! I looks better and I have a desire to keep it that way. Picking is what makes things worse - white plugs be damned. So, I'm hoping to finally beat this thing and be proud of myself. Good luck!
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