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alex56 , 10 May 2012

Its starting to get really bad, please i need advice

i pick at and pop everything on my body, from my scalp to my legs. if i go without picking my face a few days, it looks alot better, but now i see all the scars all over my forehead, and cheeks. just holes everywhere. some big some little, but just all over. my back, i go a few days without picking, cant even notice the difference because i have dark scars covering my whole upper back. everythings just getting bad, ive been doing it for too many years. im only 17 and my skin shouldnt look like this im so ashamed. my mom took me to a dermatologist, she put me on antibiotics and birth control. i will say it helps stop my cystic acne from developing, but everything else is still bad. my mom doesnt want to admit its more of a head condition rather than my actual skin, and we dont have money for a psychologist to help me. and im constantly itching EVERYTHING. every part of my body i wont be able to sleep cuz i itch everything or ill wake up and itch. and when im itchy i go in the bathroom and try to pop any little bump tht could be causing the itch. and my butt right now, i have this rash all over it. no idea what from. im trying caladryl on it, it helped it before, but its not going away this time. im just ready to give up trying this is ridiculous its been so long. is all of the itchy feelings in my head? am i causing all of this? i know i didnt cause the rash on my butt, so where does that come from? and does anyone have any advice to stop the itching feeling? or maybe something to soothe my skin, idk please help me i have no idea when ill be able to get help from a psychologist.
5 Answers
May 12, 2012
I have had a similar experience to yours, except that I haven't had the balls to admit to my parents or a doctor the problems I'm having. I have normal teenaged skin, so the odd spot now and then (and quite a few blackheads) is probably what my skin would be like if I didn't have the compulsion to pick and squeeze. Like you, I'll do it anywhere on my body, but especially my face, and I have scars in most places because of it. I don't know what the pyschological cause of my disorder is, so all I can do is tell you what I try and do to stop myself from falling prey to temptation, although obviously it doesn't work most of the time as I still stuffer from this problem. When I get up in the morning, I keep my eyes closed until I get in the shower, and then I stare straight ahead, I don't let myself look at my skin at all. I cleanse my face and body, and when I step out of the shower I wrap myself up in my dressing goen straight away and apply an opaque face mask so that I don't get distracted and pick at my face when I'm brushing my teeth. I avoid mirrors, cause they're my main trigger, although sometimes I do find myself picking at scabs absentmindedly. I keep my makeup on as long as I can every day, as if it were my real skin, in order to lessen the temptation to pick at spots or scabs or blackheads if I catch sight of myself in a mirror. Unfortunately, I've not been having much luck with this recently, as I'm doing a lot of absent-minded picking and also sometimes this strong compulsion comes over me to just get everything "foreign" out of my body. I'll squeeze spots which are basically invisible to the eye, every inch of my facial skin, my shoulders, my back, my legs, my décolletage. It's like the chemical release from squeezing one spot just rushes through me and totally destroys my will-power. I don't feel like myself when I do this, it's like a frenzy, a huge domino-effect that leaves me red and sore, with open wounds that I'll go on to pick when they become scabs, they'll get re-infected, I'll squeeze them again, etc. I'd do anything just to have clear skin with no scars. My mum is totally insensitive; the other day I'd been doing quite well and had only absentmindedly picked in the last couple of days, no frenzies, and my skin was starting to heal a bit. I was feeling quite good about myself. But then she caught me on the way to the shower and said, "Oh, your poor skin! I didn't realise it was so bad. Just goes to show you how good your makeup is. Don't worry, it'll pass. Oh, have I upset you?" At least you're on the way to getting your mum to admit that it isn't really your skin that's the problem, it's your psyche. I'm terrified that if I get up the nerve to go to the doctor about it then he/she'll either just laugh and tell me I don't have acne (I've got some pretty hardcore makeup), or they'll treat me for acne and not the real root of the issue, which is my compulsion to pick. Do you have any advice for me? My tactic is basically to stay covered up with robes, clothes and makeup and to avoid mirrors; what's yours? As for itching, I find it helps to just slather yourself in Sudocrem, which helps with itching and soothes, but also physically covers up whatever it is you want to dig or pick or squeeze, which helps for me.
May 15, 2012

In reply to by kati

Thanks for the advice, ive tried so much to stop myself. and my mom does the same thing to me! she is usually very aware of the picking i do, probably because my sister has picked her fingers her whole life, and my mom actually used to pick her fingers too so i guess shes aware of the habit of picking although she does not seem to understand my motives though, which are nothing. but on a day that im feeling kind of good about myself my mom always decides to comment on my face and how bad it looks, which just brings my mood wayy down.ill tell you the things that ive tried, they dont work for me but everyones got a different approach. not all of them are necessarily healthy. i also use an opaque mask to cover my face so when i look in the mirror i cant see anything. i used to cover my mirror with a sheet so i couldnt use it. ive tried wearing gloves on my hands, but i cant stand that feeling. i also pick my scalp, so wearing a hat would sometimes help. i remember this one body scrub i used to use which had like oils in it, it would make my skin kinda slippery. so when i got out of the shower my fingers would slip if i tried to pick. the same would happen with some lotions. i tried fake nails, but i would still pick with them and it would scab more. i started clipping my nails really short, then filing them as short as i can until it hurts, this did help some, but my finger tips started bruising cuz i would push so hard trying to pick with them. that did help alot though! my mom tells me to use the extractor to pop zits, which i will use sometimes, it does make less marks that fingernails but because i push so hard with it i will still make scabs, i dont use it properly. when i got a job i needed to see people alot so i just naturally didnt pick my face as bad, but instead my body got really bad. i wear clothes that cover my chest, back and shoulders so its not easy to get to. at night in bed, i get itchy and pick scabs alot, so sometimes before bed taking something to make me drowsy and sleepy would help because id be so tired i wouldnt have the energy to pick. but i dont like making a habit of that. i tried taking something called 'inositol' . its something you can buy at vitamin stores and stuff, its suppose to help with obsessive compulsive symptoms, along with depression and many other things, BUT only if taken in large doses. i never got to that point, i only started with 500mg a day (i think) when i guess to treat those symptoms you need alot more than that. which i would have done, but it can make your metabolism faster and it did for me, which in my case was not good so i stopped those. honestly, theres so much you can try besides getting prescribed something by a psychologist but probably the only thing that will work is just will power. dont let yourself get distracted, when im in the mirror i start telling myself stories just making random stuff up ini my head . if you start spacing out like that just tell yourself to stop in your head and try to snap out of it and just walk out of the bathroom or cover that part of your body. right now, ive been drinking lots of water to help clear up zits, and it is helping the zits. i try not to look at myself and when i catch myself doing it i just tell myself to stop. its hard but im really hoping one day ill stop hoping its not something that will be with me forever. i hope i helped a little!
Demo femme
May 26, 2012

In reply to by alex56

As for the itchiness get a spray for sunburn with lidocaine in it. It stops pain and itchiness. You could use bactine too, or burn lotion. Anything with lidocaine or benzocaine will bring you relief Benadryl cream helps too. S does cortisone 10 if you take a benedryl pill , it will also help, more slowly of course. And it will help you sleep. As for a shrink. You need us. You have given me strength. I,m gonna beat this damn thing.
May 26, 2012

In reply to by kati

I just wanted to comment and say that it is amazing to me how close your story is to mine. I currently posses gloves that I sleep with to keep me from picking at night, I have sheets over the mirrors in my rooms and bathrooms and I use face masks all the time to help me still feel that I am 'cleaning'' my skin. As you can probably guess I also compulsively skin pick. Finally I also have a mother who I don't feel I can talk to about my condition. She makes me put on makeup when I don't want to and keeps wanting to call a doctor or dermatologist instead of a psychologist. I feel like I'm talking at a wall when I talk to her because she still thinks this is something I can "Just stop" at anytime. I'm new to this forum and have only recently acknowledged this as a disorder. It is comforting in an odd way to know that I am not uniquely crazy. So thank you for sharing your story and I hope you have success in beating this!
May 26, 2012
Do you wash your skin a lot? Creme's won't help if after every session you use soap and water especially if this is multiple times a day. Try to take showers down to once every two days especially if you live somewhere dry or windy or cold. I don't know how else to help your itchiness but when I don't pick I feel very antsy and like my whole skin in crawling. If you feel like that then I always find exercise helps me, even just going for a walk can really calm me down.

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