Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test
I thought I was the only one...
Hello everyone. I can't tell you how alone I've felt up until now. I've been picking my face for 7 years now. It started when I was in secondary school and it has got progressively worse over the past few years. I have been in full time classical ballet training since I was 3 years old, therefore I have spent most of my life in front of a mirror. Last year I graduated from dance school and decided to focus on other career options. I also suffer from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and I thought after graduation everything would ease up. However everything took a turn for the worse and I spiraled into depression. With help I am slowly getting better, however my skin picking has become out of control. I spend hours in front of the mirror constantly looking for imperfections. I use tweezers, toothpicks, pins, anything sharp I can get my hands on to pick deeper. I think that I am making my skin better. But after I have completely destroyed my face and the satisfying feeling has quickly worn off, I'm left feeling ashamed, embarrassed and empty. I then don't leave the house for days and if I'm forced to I don't dare look up or make eye contact with anyone. And the thought of bumping into anyone that I would like to look confident and happy in front of sends my anxiety through the roof, making it near impossible to leave the house even if I have something important on. At the moment I am trying to work through my anxieties and in a couple of weeks I am starting a group therapy course. I'm making progress in other parts of my life but before now I haven't told anyone or admitted that I need help with my skin picking. So please, please can you help me? Any useful tips or suggestions to help me beat this. Just knowing there are other people out there who are going through the same thing has helped me hugely already. I no longer feel alone. I want to beat this as I know I would feel free if I didn't have this constantly hanging over me. I know the first step to getting better is admitting your problem. I've finally done that so now I want to keep moving forward. It's really comforting to know that the people who will be reading this know EXACTLY how I am feeling. It would be great to hear from you.
May 24, 2012
I too just started using this site yesterday. It is a huge relief for me to hear about people who are similar to myself -- have families, lives, jobs -- but who are hugely affected by skin picking issues. I've had depression for most of my life, along with an eating disorder, and now this. I kicked the eating disorder, which makes me feel like there is hope for kicking the skin picking. I tried counseling earlier this year, and it was successful, mostly because I hated going and wanted to be dismissed. I don't go to counseling anymore. I am in my mid-twenties, I am a teacher who is married; I have a dog and a house and a baby on the way in October. I am actually learning the gender of my baby this morning, but have felt so miserable this week (not wanting to leave the house), that I'm not even excited for my appointment -- it makes me feel extremely guilty and sad. The thing that is getting me through right now is knowing that there are other people out there like me, and I know there have to be people who have beat the skin picking issue. I really want to be one of them, I just haven't figured out how yet.
May 25, 2012
It is relieving to talk to people who have similar issues. I used to pick my entire face, but now I am more limited to the area below my eyebrows. I don't know why it became my new fascination 3 years ago after getting a single scab from plucking. It was like there was no return and it just got worse from there. I find this to be even more challenging than dealing with my whole face because your eyebrows are something you need to tend to. It's just hard when you have a bunch of scabs underneath them! For me, eye contact is the worst. Your eyes are what people focus on when you're talking to them and mine are ruined. I'm trying so hard to get this under control. I don't want to hide inside anymore. I use tweezers because I am a perfectionist and sometimes I can stand in front of the mirror for hours without even noticing the time going by. It is hard, but you can make it through this! I am getting my boyfriend to take away all 3 pairs of my tweezers tomorrow because I know that enough is enough. I don't use my fingers to pick so that shouldn't be an issue. I am worried to see how dry my skin will get though. That is a huge trigger for me to pick. I know if I just let my skin heal fully and don't have tweezers around, I have the chance of overcoming this. This forum is highly motivating. I wish you all the best and make sure to keep us updated!
May 25, 2012
I,m new here too. But not at face picking. ...don t be like me. Twenty years of destruction. After ten years I realized that what I was getting at were hairs, which are black till they grow out blonde. They grow back. Give up now.get microdermabrasion if possible . They can t see your skin from the the orchestra. I know, easier said than done to give up such a .soothing.?... exercise. Me too. Bt we must ry, one day at a tiime. I am in my sixties.... Do you want that? On the other hand, who am I to give advice? Good luck to us all.
May 28, 2012
Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my post. I felt so comforted reading your replies and knowing that we are all in this together. No matter who or how old we are. After I wrote my post I spent time reading about other people and their stories. I decided that that night would be the start of my recovery period. My face on Wednesday 23rd was completely destroyed. It was so infected it was painful to smile. But I found some useful tips on here and I found a cream that really helped heal my skin but keeping it moisturized at the same time. USEFUL TIP = At night when you're brushing your teeth, turn the light off but keep the door open just enough to let a little light in. That way you have just enough light to see your toothbrush but not enough to see your face in the mirror. That is when I struggle but I found that really helped me. THINK = Scabs are good! That means your skin is healing. I'm terrible when it comes to leaving scabs alone. But I just told myself that in a few days they will fall off and my skin will be healed. CREAM = Aqueous Calamine Cream. This is amazing. If you have really gone for your skin use this and only this. Wash your face with it (or the body part that you have picked) then rinse off with warm water. Then splash your face with cold water. Pat dry with a nice fluffy towel. Then apply a thin layer to your face and really rub it in. Try and leave your skin to breath during the day but every night do this and your skin will heal so quickly but wont become dry. I haven't been wearing any make up and that has been extremely difficult as I've had to leave the house quite a few times after I started my recovery. But the fresh air and a little sun really helped the healing process. I drank lots of water and just the thought of my skin healing kept me going. When the sores started turning into scabs I got excited and when the scabs started falling off I started to walk with my head up. These past few days have not been easy though. My anxiety and depression was terrible on Friday and I took a real turn for the worse. But for the first time I didn't attack my face. And that's because I thought of you guys. I heard you in my head saying 'DON'T DO IT!' And that's what you need to think when you feel like picking. Just remember we are all here and we are all wishing every one of us to beat this. We are all behind each other. It's now Monday 28th, my skin has now healed and all the scabs have fallen off. I honestly can't believe it. My task now is not to attack the tiniest imperfection that might appear on my face. I've promised myself that I'm not going to end up like I did last week. I promise you, you can beat this. We can beat this. We have the strength we just lack the faith that we can do it. But I have faith in each and every one of us. We deserve the confidence to walk down the road with our heads held high. That's what you have to tell yourself when you feel like you want to pick. Clear skin isn't the be all and end all. Even though I have healed my skin I still have issues in my life to deal with. But my God I feel free. I feel like I can just go out for a walk or for a coffee in town. I feel like I can face people and I'm no longer afraid if I bump into someone I know. As I'm no longer worrying so much about my skin, I'm able to focus more on recovering from my anxiety and depression. But fighting this has given me strength to fight my other problems. Really, letting your skin heal gives you strength. It would be great to know how you are all doing and I hope some of my tips will help you as they have helped me. I will always be here. I'm not going anywhere. None of us are alone.