"What happened to your face?!"


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June 26, 2012

about a year ago my face was the worst it had ever been. i remember going back to school for my senior year in highschool. there was this girl who i talked to in school, but never really had more than that kind of a friendship and she asked me the same thing. i looked at her with an expression that was probably the saddest thing in the world and was speechless for a few seconds. then i said "um.. i dont know". and then i went to the bathroom and cried. a couple months later (halloween time) i was at some thing with my boyfriend, i had been picking less, and feeling much much better about my face. this boy who i BARELY knew came up to me and was like "hey, can i ask you something" and when i said sure he was like "what happened to your face?" i looked at him, this time just fuming with anger and i said "no, you cant ask me that" and then i broke down in tears on the spot and have not acknowledged him since. he tried a few times to apologize but i blew him off. who would ask that ? especially, what kind of boy would ask that to a girl? i dont know why i got so mad but i can honestly say, that incident set me back for MONTHS. i picked like crazy for the longest time just because one stupid person asked me one stupid question. so dont let it get to you, anyone who would ask that is not worth your time. dont dwell. dont even think about it. you are so beautiful no matter how your skin looks. i promise
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June 26, 2012

That is the worst. I have been in that situation before and it is crushing, but you can't let it get the best of you. I had been doing really great with not picking for the last few months and my skin was really clearing up but last week I relapsed and picked really bad...stress triggered. Well, I am taking summer classes and I am usually so conversational with the girls in my class and we typically walk out to our cars together. Not today....I went in and acted as if nothing was wrong and I looked just as normal as ever....they all avoided me like the plague. And one girl actually said "Oh my god, what happened to her face?" To someone else in our class....I was not out of earshot. Seriously? I am 24, and one of the oldest girls in the class but I really did not expect that kind of immaturity and disrespect from 20 something's. I felt horrible and the whole way home I just wanted to get back to my house and sit in front of my mirror and pick....instead I put some bandaids and aloe on my face to keep my fingers away and reminded myself that I am beautiful and that those girls are not my friends and their opinions don't matter. So, tell yourself that because I am sure its true! :)
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June 27, 2012

Hi Linzi...I want to reach out and give you a BIG HUG as I can totally relate to your feelings right now. People can be extremely thoughtless at times. I would just a mark it up as stupidity in this woman's case. The exact same thing happened to me at a former workplace. One of my co-workers actually reached out and started touching my face and asking what was wrong. I was absolutely mortified by it. But, you can't let this kind of thing get to you. Just let it slide. It's not worth dwelling over. The reason that we're all here is for support and to improve all of our skin situations. Tomorrow is a new day! Wishing you a bright and happy one.
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June 27, 2012

Thank you everyone for your encouragement . I guess this woman doesn't realize how much words can hurt....Normally something like that would trigger another picking episode but that night I never even picked before going to bed. But I felt a flood of emotions come over me ask I was brushing my teeth in front of the mirror and I had a good cry. It felt good to release all those built up emotions. I know I am beautiful and I feel God's love over me. I know it pains God's heart to see me struggle like this but he is giving me strength through this and I believe I can overcome with God by my side. :)
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June 30, 2012

Geez, Linzi. I am SO sorry about that. Actually, this happens to me ALL THE TIME. I've decided most people are just stupid and thoughtless. For 2 years now I have had disfiguring scarring on my neck, so I am constantly wearing turtlenecks and scarves to hide the damage (there is also a small place there that I am still picking at--still! Aargh!). Since the scarring is so severe, it actually pulls at that side of my face--which means that I am often unconsciously tilting my head or shrugging my shoulder to alleviate the skin tension. At least ONCE A WEEK (truly!)I have someone say, "Hey, what happened to your neck?" Inevitably, I offer some lame response and then walk away quickly where I burst into tears because it is yet ANOTHER reminder of how freakish I must look. Just two weeks ago, I was at the pharmacy waiting on a prescription, and the assistant manager was back there, too. He said, "Aww, are you sick?" I replied no, to which he then said, "Well, I was just wondering because you are wearing a scarf like you have a cold or something." I quietly and quickly replied that I had scarring on my neck, thinking that would shut him up. But nooooo, he then asked me how I got it, if I'd had surgery or something. He wasn't trying to be mean but seriously?? I just held up a hand to stop him from talking and said, "That's enough." He stammered an apology, and we were both embarrassed. I had to quickly check out because I was starting to cry. Poor girl at the register had no idea what was going on. All this to say, Linzi, that people are clueless and rude. Most often the queries have been by male co-workers who just have no idea how insensitve they are being. I am constantly amazed at their tactlessness. All those questions do is just eat away at what little self esteem we have left. I am waiting to get the courage one day to face them when they say "What happened to your neck?" and reply with "I don't know. What happened to your manners?" One day.... :) Hang in there, Linzi!! Try to just shrug it off. Don't let their rude questions and comments damage you further than you're already damaging yourself. You can beat this!!
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July 01, 2012

I am sorry to hear your experiences with rude people. At least you can cover your neck with a scarf! Faces are the only part we don't cover and so since I am a face picker, when I have a bad day of picking, it's not like I can hide it. Even makeup can't cover it! I have to go into hiding on bad days....Anyway, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. It really means a lot...
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July 01, 2012

Linzi-- My current problem is now primarily my neck, but I have had problems with my face in the past. I've got 3 nasty scars around my chin and mouth now to prove it. So I totally get your horror in having to leave the house and face (pardon the pun) the stares from others. If I may, let me suggest a couple of things to help you hide the facial damage some. Get the Nexcare waterproof bandages that have the clear latex adhesive. The variety box contains several tiny bandages that work very well for facial/visible areas. As long as the surrounding skin is dry and clean, those things will stay on your skin for a long time and are far less noticeable than other bandages. I actually pat on a little Dermablend concealer on top to help it blend. Another product I recommend highly is the Duoderm wound dressing patch/bandage. Actually, I got the suggestion from someone on this forum and it was great! If you do a Google search for them, you can order them online. You want the ultra-thin type. They are made of a sheer, textured material that blends in extremely well with your skin if you are light to medium skinned. They come in big sheets so you cut a small patch to fit your wound. There is no pad--it is all adhesive--so it sticks to your wound and forms a bit of a shield that stays on a long time or until you peel it off. Sometimes the bandage seeps a bit if a lot of fluid collects underneath, but that's usually after several hours. I have used it many times on areas that are highly visible like my chin and jawline. It speeds healing and does a great job concealing. Obviously people may see it if they are close up and looking for something. But it is better than an open wound or a bandaid. These are only temporary suggestions of course, but it might help you deal with the public while you are grappling with this. Hang in there, Linzi.
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July 02, 2012

Thank you for the advice. You are very helpful! :)
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July 02, 2012

My own dermatologist said to me "Are you as concerned about your face as I am?" I made it through the appt, cried all the way home. As soon as I told my parents what they said, we found someone else. People like that are just a**holes. I found my life a lot better when I started tuning out all negative commets. Sorry you had to hear that, but it made you who you are, and you can fight it.
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July 02, 2012

So sorry to hear this! How insensitive of him! So why did you go see the dermatologist? are you interested in getting skin treatments done? The dermatologist I went to see refused to do skin treatments on me because of the fact that I am a skin picker and not because I have acne. I appreciate him honesty. He told me I need to see a behaviour therapist first and to get over my picking habit. He told me he wouldn't even treat my face until I can stop picking for at least a year or two first so that my scars have lots of time to heal.
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July 03, 2012

I saw him for acne, I had huge eruptions on my face. My parents got me proactive, I think that helped because of the routine. I'm still struggling with skin picking, but not nearly as much as when I saw the derm (that was 10 years ago). I keep my hands busy now with knitting and my husband is supportive. If I'm in the bathroom for more than a few minutes without making a noise, he shouts my name. Do you have anyone to support you?
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July 04, 2012

Yes, my husband is very supportive and understanding. We have been married for 10 years but he has gotten very stressed and withdrawn because of my picking habit. It doesn't only affect me but everyone around me...