Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

sjb11 , 15 Apr 2012

Can't stop

I've always picked at my face, chest and back, probably since the age of 12 when I first started getting pimples. I get such oily skin, that of course I'm going to get breakouts and of course I'm going to pick at them. I'm 21, almost 22, and I don't really know how it started or why but I can't stop.I remember being about 11 when my Mum first popped a pimple on my face and later on my back and I guess it sort of started from there and slowly progressed. At first it was only my face, then I started on my back and my chest, and now I just can't stop myself. I also have been through stages of pulling out the hairs that frame my face and my forehead, plucking my leg hairs and even scratching and picking at my scalp. I was teased in school and called a pizza face, which briefly stopped my picking, and pulling and I've tried so many different products to clear up my skin and prevent break outs yet they keep coming back. I do realise my picking is a major contributor to this, but I am just so tired of feeling ugly and like my whole face is just one big pimple and it is SO HARD TO STOP. I can't explain to anyone - my boyfriend, my friends, my family how I just can't control it, it's not even an urge, I just see my face in the mirror or in a reflection and see my imperfections and pick. It is sickening. I feel almost a thousand times worse than I did with the small bumps on my face, but there is something that feels so disgustingly good about picking at them. I've found it somewhat therapeutic to read through other peoples posts and I feel comforted that I'm not alone in doing this to myself, but I'm also sad that so many other people do it too and that there is no real help or encouragement for us to stop, just yet. I plan on seeing a Skin Clinic/Dermatologist in the next week and working out some kind of treatment for my face and see where I can go from there about my picking problems. Hopefully the future is looking a lot clearer and brighter for myself... and for fellow skin pickers out there. We are beautiful, no matter what.
4 Answers
April 16, 2012
Hi there! I totally understand the difficulty to stop the cycle of picking. Several times, I have literally said to myself STOP PICKING - but, it's almost like my body takes over and destroys every little lump and bump. For some reason, PMS symptoms make it even more difficult. Plus, once I start picking - I don't stop until there 's some sense of satisfaction. It doesn't matter how torn up my face is getting even! But...after a recent session, I said to myself that "tomorrow is a new day." Don't beat yourself up about it. Just move on and make an effort not to pick. I have found that yoga and meditation have helped with controlling the amount of picking sessions. Good luck. I am here if you need any support.
April 22, 2012

In reply to by MysteriousSunshine

Thank you very much for your response :) I also find that during PMS my skin is generally at its worst and it further exacerbates my urges to pick at it and destroy the pimples. I've taken on your approach of "tomorrow is a new day", and I remind myself of this every morning when I get up and attempt to ignore myself walking past the mirror! I am now blogging my experiences as I have undertaken a 21 day "quit it" challenge, and one of the things I am trying to do in this challenge apart from reducing and eventually quiting how much I pick at my face, is also learning to better love myself and the skin I'm in. Thank you again for your reply :) and if you have any interest in reading my blog/journal/whatever you wish to call it, I've linked it below. Essie
April 16, 2012
Hey. I hear you - Ive been doing this nearly 15 years, its been a bain throughout my 20s and Id really like to JUST GET OVER IT. Its getting better, but Ive realised its ALL I think about, and what a huge waste of my wonderful energy and time thats been. About three weeks ago I had an accidental heart to heart with my mum over Skype about it (I live abroad) and she said she has been holding back on saying anything for fear of offending me, or me telling her to piss off. You know what? I wish I had approached her about it after 15 weeks, not 15 years!! I cried so hard after we hung up, it was crazy. So, find yourself a friend who you can talk to about it, who can help you out and encourage you, and most of all laugh about it with you, because after all, what is more riduculous than pulling your own skin to shreds? It makes no sense!! And, if you are really worried about it, invest time and money in finding a way to stop. Honestly, if I had put £2,000 towards therapy, hypnosis, or skin treatments by my 20th birthday maybe it would never have got so bad. listen to your dermatologist, if you trust him, and STICK WITH IT. good luck, let us know how it goes!
April 22, 2012

In reply to by AngelSkin

Thank you so much for your reply post! I know it is awful but it is also quite nice to know someone else goes through the same daily battle you do to not pick at your skin. I wasn't able to get in to see a dermatologist for weeks!!!!! Very frustrating so I instead I looked to the forums and peoples suggests most of who suggested keeping my hands busy, focusing on my uni work, changing my diet, etc. Nothing really too quick fix. Though I did also find recommendations of blogging or writing a journal which I am now doing, and I find it also helps with the keeping my hands busy and sticking to my new healthier diet, etc. My blog is if you are interested at all in checking it out :) Thanks again for the reply. Essie

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now