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Sarah-108 , 25 May 2012

This is Ruining my Life...

I have never reached out for help or posted on one of these forums before, but I am at my whits end. I will start from the beginning.... When I was younger I suffered from acne that was moderate in severity. It lasted for years until I finally went to the dermatologist and got accutane. Usually, most of my acne could be found on my chin and nose. When I suffered with acne I would constantly pick at it and make it worse. It didn't matter how bad I felt afterwards, it was relieving. I hated the way I looked for years. I found that even after my acne had calmed down and became a lot milder I would still pick at the small spots, and then make them into bigger spots, and then of course I had to pick the scabs continuously for weeks (or months) until I would finally let the spot heal. Once I got control of my picking my face healed up. It wasn't until then that I developed a new compulsion. 3 years ago I developed an issue plucking my eyebrows. At first it was okay, but them my perfectionistic personality kicked in. I couldn't stand the smallest hair out of place. If I could see it I would try to pluck it even if it had just barely emerged through the skin. Due to this obsession I began to get ingrown hairs and I would make my skin bleed. Once I had a scab I would have to pick it and of course this created a bigger scab. I now sit hear writing this with the skin below my eyebrows dry as can be with big red scabs. I don't know why, but I felt the need to pick them today. It is impossible to cover up my problem with makeup anymore although I try. I had a woman in a management course Im taking ask what was wrong with my eye last night. I made a joke and laughed it off. Rarely do people ask me, but I know they can all see it. I am in nursing school and want to be able to feel confident around my patients. I can barely look at my boyfriend, so I'm not sure how this is possible. My boyfriend supports me, but I have almost lost him once over this. In all honesty, a part of me wishes I were alone because then I wouldn't have to worry every week about him seeing me like this. I have decided that enough is enough. For me this is a serious disorder. It has prevented me from looking for a second job this summer, I have turned down shifts offered to me at the job I have now, and I have missed a couple days because I couldn't get out of bed. I have missed classes or been very stand-offish on days I have gone to class when I feel self-conscious about the issue. I have also backed out of public/family events, and if I do not get this under control I risk losing my boyfriend. I want to cry when I take off my makeup in front of him because I don't want him to see how ugly I am. I have missed spending nights with him just because I didn't feel comfortable doing so. It doesn't matter how much I miss him, this disorder always wins. As of tomorrow I am going to my brothers grad and I am reluctant. I will also be forcing myself to spend the evening with my boyfriend after a family dinner. I have told him that this has got to come to a stop. I don't care how hard it is he is taking all 3 pairs of my tweezers away from me tomorrow. I am scared because I know once my skin gets to dry I won't be able to cover it up. I know I shouldn't anyways because that is creating half of the problem. I'm taking a bartending course all week next week with a small group of people and I am thinking I might just make up a story about having a bad waxing experience. I don't want to have to explain why my eyes look the way they do. Another huge concern I have is that I have fairly course/dark eyebrow hairs and a lot of them grow out of place in between my eye line. I know if I don't have tweezers I can't do anything about them, but they are going to drive me crazy. :( I want to get them waxed if I can get the skin to fully heal, but I don't know how long that will take. I have to make an oath not to use tweezers again because I know they are the root cause of my problem. I don't pick my skin with my fingers, so I don't really have to worry about that. It is time that I get my life back and face this once and for all. I am worried about what my face will look like and how dry the skin above my eyes will get before it heals, but this is something I need to do to get my life and healthy relationship back no matter how hard it seems right now. I am hoping I can find someone who is just as troubled with skin picking as I am. I know there is a trichotillomania aspect to my problem as well, but I just need to talk to someone who knows how I'm feeling. I've never had something control my life like this before. It sounds silly, but it is very real for me. Sarah
4 Answers
May 25, 2012
As hard as this is I want to show you all my problem. This is a photo I took to give you a better idea of what I'm dealing with. I don't know if the direct link is password protected, but if it is the password is skinpick. I am hoping to keep a journal of my progress because I know this needs to come to an end and I need to clear up my face.
May 25, 2012
Hi Sarah. I read through your posting and can totally relate to how you are feeling. This issue can be extremely perplexing and can you force you to be somebody that you're typically not. Over the years, I have destroyed my face over and over again. That has caused relationship and job issues along with missing several important events. Along with a good combination of skincare products and the practice of yoga/meditation, I have been better able to better manage my skin picking. Look at tomorrow as a new day and treat yourself lovingly and gently. After a few days of not picking or tweezing you will likely see a big improvement. The fact that your boyfriend is aware and willing to take your tweezers away is a good first step. Allow yourself to heal and then why not treat yourself to a professional eyebrow waxing? That way, you will not feel the urge to tweeze as you can leave it up to a professional. I wish you the very best of luck!
May 25, 2012

In reply to by MysteriousSunshine

It means so much to finally hear from someone who has gone through the same thing. As much as my boyfriend supports me, I know he will never be able to fully understand the underlying issues. We don't pick because we want to. I don't know about you, but I can stand in front of the mirror for hours not realizing the time that is going by. I am always left feeling depressed and ashamed after the ordeal. I have a feeling there is only so much my boyfriend can take before he just gives up. I know I am not the type of person that likes sitting inside the house avoiding people. I like going out and having fun, but I can't do that without getting this under control first. I have never had my eyebrows waxed, so I am hoping and praying I can control my urges to pluck and pick at my skin until most of the hairs have grown in. I know if I let them they will all grow in at the same time after I get them waxed instead of popping up sporadically every day.
Courtney Tucker
July 02, 2012
i have the same kind of issue, but its with my skin, being dry and my acne getting bad, ive turned depressed never want anyone to see me, i constantly smother my face in creams, beacause i cant walk round my house, even my own house without worrying, i cant even look at myself in the mirror without filling up with tears, im only 15, and ive had bad skin, for about 4 years, and i cant handle it anymore, no one understands why im so depressed and why i hate people looking at me, and id rather hide away in my room for the rest of my life than walk out of my house without makeup on, i cant handle it anymore, its ruining my life, i just want to be out enjoying my life, but instead i stay in i even skip school as much as i can, because the only thing i can focus on at school is my skin, and how awful it looks, keep up with not using your tweezers beacause your skin will heal, and your confidence will be back in no time.

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