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newperspective , 01 Mar 2012

My NEW obsession to help beat my OLD habit

Hello! I posted my story on this site about a year ago under an old user name. A year later, I still continue to pick but not nearly as often. I used to pick using my nails, tweezers, and sometimes I'd even cut pieces of my skin off using scissors. When I first learned that I was a sufferer of a condition that we all now know as dermatillomania, I had very mixed emotions. On the one hand, I wasn't alone in this picking obsession and there were other people out there just like me suffering from the same disorder. On the other hand, there WAS something wrong with me and it was a disorder that needed treatment (counseling, therapy, medication, and will power). I had been suffering from this for 7 years before I learned that it was a real disorder. The first thing I did in my healing process was to immediiately cut my nails as short as I could, I threw away my tweezers and scissors. Of course the picking didn't stop there but the wounds and lesions weren't as deep and they became easier to conceal with makeup. Little by little, old scars that I had left alone began to fill in and lighten and my picking sessions gradually went from 4 hours in front of the mirror to 2 hours, then 1 hour, until my picking sessions lasted only minutes at a time before I would stop myself and walk away. It's been a very long hard struggle to get where I am today and I still continue to struggle. I've gone to counseling and therapy sessions, I was prescribed prozac and took that for awhile to help with my anxiety and OCD and I even went as far as covering every mirror in my house with newspaper. At the end of the day, it's been my will power that has gotten me through each day. I've had to learn to form new habits as well. I ONLY wash my face in the shower where there is no mirror because the less time I spend in front of the mirror the better. I put my facial moisturizer and makeup on as soon as possible so that I can't pick because I don't want to mess up my makeup. Also, I've stopped looking at my reflection in the mirror so closely. When you think about it, how many people do we know or see examine their skin and face so intently as we often do? Today, I've decided that instead of obsessing over PICKING at my imperfections, I'm going to start obsessing over TREATING my imperfections. I'm going to treat my breakouts instead of picking at them. I'm going to treat my already existing wounds from my last picking session (I have 2, one on my forehead and one on my chin). And I'm going to treat my scars and hyperpigmentation caused by my picking. After a lot of research, I stumbled across calamine lotion. It's been used for all 3 of these issues listed. It's been used in the treatment and healing of wounds, drying out acne breakouts, and in lightening skin discolorations such as scarring and hyperpigmentation. I've been using it for 3 days now and I'm already seeing results. My skin isn't perfect by any means but my existing wounds are already 75-80% healed. Since I've been using this as a night mask, I haven't experienced any new breakouts either. Although my scarring and hyperpigmentation have not yet disappeared, I can see a difference in the color already. Instead of looking bright red and inflamed, the calamine lotion has calmed my skin and the discolorations are now a light pink color. Research shows that it will take at least 30 days of continued use before you will see drastic results in the lightening of your scars and at least a week of continued use to make acne breakouts disappear or subside. I'm so excited to give this a try. I can't just stop picking, so I've decided to replace it with something productive and hopefully beneficial for my skin so that I can relpace this OLD habit with a NEW one. Wish me luck! :)

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