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AngelSkin , 15 Jan 2012

The little things that help...

Blimey. I have been doing this CSP pretty severely for over 14 years, and always felt like it was some form of self-harm or OCD, but didn't have the name for it. I'm 27 and SO OVER IT. It's long past time to stop. I can never stop for more than a day, and can honestly say that there has never in the last 14 years been more than 24 hours when I haven't attacked my face. There has definitely never been a spot, bump or wide pore that has been allowed to run it's natural course and heal itself without me hassling it. I am not unhappy or stressed, or really have any of the causes that this site or others suggest lead to this behaviour. I have a wonderful man, an exciting job, and a brilliant family. In fact, the ridiculous picking is more the cause of any anxiety I have, not the result of it. In any case, I hate it about myself. I'd like to share the little, but very specific, things I have done that have helped. Sorry for naming brands, I dont work for any of these companies. What little steps do you take that help? **************** KNOW WHAT SKIN PRODUCT SUIT YOU (and splash out on quality) - If I dont have spots I (usually) dont squeeze them. Near-aggressive exfoliation (an apricot scrub morning and night) works amazingly for me, as does good - but gentle - antiseptics like tea-trea oil. - A good toner will really help clear up wide pores that are otherwise too tempting. - I splash out on moisturiser (Clinique Dramatically Different) which stops dry skin and patchiness, and makes the unscabby parts of my face feel bloody amazing. - If you're in England, LUSH natural facemasks are brilliant. They have a good one for healing, one for cleansing, everything. They are made up of mostly food! Honestly, you feel and SEE such a difference after one pack you will go back and do it again. Could be a great reward for a few days of better / less / no picking. - If you have bad ingrown hairs or razor bumps, try to find a product with 'salicylic acid' in it. Tend Skin do a great lotion, I swear by it. BUT it is a very strong product so be warned - don't use on heavily inflamed, infected or broken skin cos it will just burn the top off and make it worse. - A skin healing cream like those for nappy rash left on over night can help the healing process for scabby or infected skin. - despite all these suggestions, don't throw a hundred things at your face at once - try a couple at a time. The less you attack it with your hands, products, make up, etc, the calmer (and cleaner) it will be. BASIC MEDITATION - has two short downloads that I used to listen to once or twice a day - 'Stop Skin Picking' and 'Stop Popping Zits'. A few quid each but really help tame the urges, if I was disciplined enough to listen every day. - When I remember, I sit with my morning tea, take some deep breaths, close my eyes, and imagine myself NOT picking all day. - Other calming meditation tapes may help, but remember I am no expert. You could well be suppressing or ignoring real issues through some less professional hypnosis, so be wise about this. LITTLE TRICKS - Hide ALL the mirrors (difficult when you live with others). Destroy magnifying mirrors. - Buy a crappy plastic mirror or a foggy one, because really you can't see anything in detail and therefore cant squeeze. Immediately you have this soft-focus You who already looks clear-skinned and romantic. - Entrust a friend to encourage or gently scold you. It doesn't have to be a desperately plea for help, it can just be a 'man, I have this ridiculous habit I need your help with!' - put on some good suncream and spend half a day with your face in the nice sunshine. - come to terms with the fact that even when you dont EVER pick, you will have some spots. A FEW SPOTS OR BUMPS LOOKS WAY BETTER THAN SEVERAL SCABS, SCARS AND CRUSTY LUMPS. - Put someone else in charge - if you will have spots that do need to be squeezed (they do exist) let your mum decide when and how, and make her do it (bit gross but secretly mums love it). - If you are going to squeeze, for gods sake: WASH your hands before and after - otherwise you're just spreading the nightmare ONLY squeeze each one once ALWAYS use tissue paper over your nails to reduce the nail damage to your skin STOP SQUEEZING if theres blood or clear / liquid fluid coming out REMEMBER to apply a little antiseptic after. - Alternately splashing with cold water and hot water helps stop blood flowing. - When you are feeling better about your skin, go without make up. Tie your hair back. Flaunt it! - Inspiration: it doesn't help me to obsess about people with great skin, but maybe it will help you to find pictures of beautiful people who inspire you. Thing is, even with all of the above I still pick and hassle, but without these it would definitely be SO MUCH worse. These just reduce the impact of my picking, but it is a long and sometimes expensive list. I always have at least two major scabs on my face, and I can't always hide them with make up, hair, glasses. God, this turned out to be a mega-rant. I am so sorry for the excessively long preaching. I do hope the specificity of this has give a few of you ideas, and I would love to hear the little things that you all do...
4 Answers
January 15, 2012
I apologise that this is one block text and the paragraphs havent broken. It should be a list, I hope you can wade through it, if you can be bothered. Do though - theres some good advice in there.
February 01, 2012

In reply to by AngelSkin

Great advice! You've given me hope to looking and feeling better about myself A few tips I have learned: - I have a "personal incentives program." Sometime's it's a guilty pleasure (like allowing myself to start a season I haven't seen of a favorite T.V. show). And sometime's it's a relevant reward, like a haircut if my scalp gets clear. I give myself a tally for every time I come out of the bathroom and haven't bothered my face. This helps my mindset going in (like, "I really really want this) and while I'm there I fold my hands while on the loo, don't look at myself in the mirror when I'm washing my hands, and leave happy. After 108 tally marks, I reward myself. -Think "baby steps." Our minds are so deeply engrained to go from awareness of a sore to unrest until it is taken care of (which is a cycle and never really ENDS anyway). So every time you can summon the strength to NOT pick, is a step. Even if you are delaying it, the longer the better. We just have to reform our neurological pathways, and always always always forgive ourselves.
January 17, 2012
Hi! Im 32 and ive been doing it since i was a child. Ive been to a lot of dermatologists, who treated me for various things, Ive even took Roaccutane for half a year, which now I know was unnecessary. Yesterday I found on internet about Dermatilomania and its me. Kind of relief to know what it is. Anyway, Ive heard about self-hypnosis and self-talk before. People suggest to repeat "dont pick" or "stop picking", but i think to make it work it is better to avoid word "picking" and replace it with something positive and opposite, because sometimes our brain can skip word "dont" or "stop" and focuses on the word "picking", so in the end you can end up reinforcing the habit. At least this what ive learned from the book about self hypnosis. Dont want to promote it, but i love it, it helped me when I was going through dark times. Its called "Mind Power" by Christian Godefroy, if im not mistaken. Good luck guys! Wish you all to stop this habit and life a happy, fulfilling life. Loads of love!
February 12, 2012
I just found this website and term for what I have been doing my ENTIRE LIFE. I'm 26 years old. I have always just kind of shrugged it off as a little quirk, thing that I do, but recently it has been really impacting me as I choose to stay in or avoid dates because my skin is so terrible. My handle comes from remembering my Dad constantly saying "No pick! No pick!" when I was a child. It started off with picking my arms, I get these tiny white bumps and I would just sit for hours and pick them, if I was watching tv, or just on the couch after school. I remember another time I had some mosquito bites on my scalp and I picked them forever until I had a bloody bald spot and was so embarrassed to go to school. I stopped wearing tank tops because the scarring on my arms was so bad, and as soon as high school hit and I got acne on my face, it started there too. For years now I will pick and pick and pop and then in the morning just slather coverup and concealer on my face before I can go in public. I also pluck body hair, allover, anywhere, toes, legs, eyebrows of course, tummy, if there is a hair I will pluck it. This makes things worse as it often leads to ingrown hairs which I then pick as well. The worst was in my last relationship, I felt so self conscious about it that I would keep concealer with me at all times, so even if we had just had sex, or were going to sleep, or waking up, I could keep putting it on to try and cover up all my sores/scabs. I want to be intimate with guys but I fear waking up beside them in the morning and them being in shock about what I look like once my makeup has worn off. Anyway, sorry to rant and give my entire life story - but I did have a question, I recently started using Kiehl's skincare and LUSH products, and they seem to be helping. I was wondering which facemask you recommend from them? I checked the site but don't see one that specifically says healing. Right now I'm finding it very difficult to strike a balance between too dry and over moisturized which leads to oiliness, and of course the makeup application everyday doesn't help healing/preventing blemishes either. Thanks for your advice!!

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