Progress Report with Photos


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September 04, 2012

Day 2: Today is the morning of day 2 and I feel obligated to admit that I picked last night. :( I need to remain accountable. I don't know what on earth compelled me. I wish I could get to the bottom of why I do it, but today is a different day and it will only get better from here. Starting today I won't be plucking for a week. If I can get through wednesday - friday, I have a 3 day weekend to allow myself to fully heal. I'm hoping my skin will look better by next week. Anyways, I'll post again at the end of today to let you know how I've been holding up. We all just have to stay strong!
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September 05, 2012

So throughout day 2 I've definitely run in to some troubles. I'm going to flat out admit that I picked today. It didn't just end after last night, but I am telling myself that I have to stop. I'm going to my nursing classes tomorrow, and a huge part of me is dreading it, but the other half of me wants to see all of the people I've missed during the summer. I really don't know how I will react once I get there. A lot will depend on how my makeup works tomorrow. I'd rather be camouflaged then walk into school looking the way I do now. It's a horrible thought knowing everyone will see me, but on a good note, my boyfriend won't be home until the 17th, so that gives me roughly 13 days to get my act together and have pretty skin for when he comes home. :) I think I'm going to pick up some polysporin cream to help with the healing, and then after all of my scabs are gone I'll start applying bio oil to even out the skin tone around my eyes. I've had troubled with my skin drying out a lot even after I think everything has healed, so the bio oil will help with that too. And what does everyone think about this? What if I stop plucking completely, and then after my skin integrity comes back, I go and get my eyebrows waxed? I'm really concerned about my skin coming off with the wax because of how many years I've been messing with the skin in that area. That's something I will bring up with the lady doing them so she has a better understanding of what my skin is like. Wish me luck tomorrow guys. I am feeling like a nervous wreck, but sometimes you just have to do the things you don't want to. I think I'm going to start increasing my water intake too. I have been really bad lately and have to start treating my body more like a temple. Here is my photo for day 2 http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb121/sarah-108/Dermatillomania/DSCF4497.jpg I want you all to know my one eye looks a bit funny because it's really swollen. I have 3 hair follicles that got infected and they've left 3 cyst-like hard bumps. They'll die down in a week or so, but they're really annoying. I also have a spot on my nose and 2 on my chin that I know better than to pick, but I have been. I don't get pimples as often on my chin anymore, so it's more of a rare occurrence for me to be picking scabs like these. I'm not hiding who I am, so I am showing you my whole face. I want to be able to document my progress along the way, so I can look back and see how far I've come. :)
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September 04, 2012

you have beautiful eyelashes ! (:
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September 04, 2012

Awe, thanks :) Today is one of those days that I'm really struggling to see beauty, but you managed to get a smile out of me.
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September 04, 2012

I'm inspired by you, Sarah, I am going to stop picking my cuticles and face. Sometimes I don't even know that I am doing it until it starts bleeding! I guess tomorrow will be day one since I already completely messed up today!
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September 05, 2012

Awe, I'm glad. :) I know today is day 2 for me and I honestly haven't been doing good. I have to go to my classes tomorrow, so this has got to be the end of my picking. If I see one imperfection I have to fix it by picking at it and that only makes it worse. It's almost as if I think the mark will disappear if I just take the scab off. I only pick when I'm in the mirror, but once I start I can be in the bathroom for hours. I know this is hard for both of us, so feel free to let me know how you're doing. I'd love to hear about your progress. =)
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September 06, 2012

Day 3: I want to let everyone know that despite not feeling comfortable leaving the house this morning, I actually had a good day. My afternoon class was cancelled, so after my class in the morning a friend convinced me to go trail running. All I could think was "oh no" because I don't like to exercise when my face looks bad, but it was actually really fun. We went for 7-8km and it relieved me of all of my stress and anxiety. I'm also starting to drink my water again and eating a lot healthier. I had a long nap this afternoon though. I don't know why, but I began feeling nauseated later in the afternoon and was throwing up. It was a good thing I hadn't eaten a whole bunch (some tomatoes, garden carrots, and some apple slices), but it still sucked. :( I'm feeling a lot better now and trying to get all of the hydration I lost. I did pick today, but only a bit. I had some funny huge scabs form from putting my makeup on, but believe it or not it looks better now than it did before. I did not pluck today, so I've succeeded my first of 7 days. I felt so lost this summer with not much to do, but with school in session again, I'm seeing more people and I feel like I have a purpose again. Weird, I know, but I'm still happy about it. So again, today was not a pick free day, but it was not a bad picking day. It was only the one eyebrow I touched. The other I have left alone for 2 days, so that must count for something! Day 3 PHOTOS: 1 - http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb121/sarah-108/Dermatillomania/DSCF4519.jpg 2 -http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb121/sarah-108/Dermatillomania/DSCF4543.jpg
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September 06, 2012

i like your freckles (:
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September 06, 2012

Thanks! You're such a sweetie. :)
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September 06, 2012

i try (: im freckled too and i think they are just the cutest ! haha
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September 07, 2012

Day 4: I don't have a lot of time to post an update tonight, but I wish I was doing better. :( My one eyebrow area is okay (dry, but not red and pretty much healed). The other I can't stop picking at! I have to go to class again tomorrow and I'm dreading it. I can't wait for my 3 day weekend because if I include tomorrow, that'll give my skin 4 days to heal. I'm hoping that'll be enough time for a scab to form and fall off naturally since my picking is pretty superficial. Why does this have to be so hard? I wish my skin looked like everyone else's, but it doesn't, and I'm stuck with this mess until I can let it heal.
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September 08, 2012

Day 5: I know it's already the start of day 6, but I just wanted to let you all know that day 5 went okay. I'm starting to feel a bit better now, but I am still struggling. I have to start over with my 7 day no plucking goal, but I have to be honest, I didn't expect my skin picking issues to go away just like that. It's a process and a journey. I have to remind myself that I am not a failure when I take one step back because I am consciously making an effort to beat this. Every day I am moving one step closer towards success. This has gotten the best of me for 11 years and I can't let this take over my life any longer. I am growing tired. Dealing with this has taken so much energy and spirit from me over the years. I know I have not posted any photos for the past 2 days, but I will make sure I upload one tonight. I just started my second year of nursing school on Wednesday and have been constantly busy ever since. It's kind of ironic... the girl going to school to become a nurse has a skin picking disorder... The last thing I want is for my patients to ask what is wrong with my face. I want to be able to go to work care free, with makeup, or no makeup. I shouldn't have to hide anymore. I can't believe I am actually tearing up right now, but for those of you who are going through what I am, I'm sure you understand. This has been such an emotional issue for me over the years and it makes me happy and scared to finally be putting up a fight. It's not like I haven't tried to quit in the past (or attempt not to pick every day for that matter), but this is the first time I've tried journaling about my process, or really tried to figure out the underlying issues. I hope everyone is doing well and I will post again in the evening. :)
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September 17, 2012

Day 14: I know I haven't posted in awhile, but I wanted to let you all know that I have not given up. Things have been hectic since I went back to school for my second year of nursing. I think my biggest struggle for the past week or so since I last posted has been getting out of bed to go to class. When I feel like my skin looks for crap I don't want to go out, but school is something I don't have a choice with. There are some labs I can fail if I miss a class and that would set me behind a whole year. I would much rather suck it up even when I don't want to. On a good note though, I have managed to do some healing. I think going out to our family cabin for the weekend helped. It's on a small remote lake with only 4 other cabins, so I don't really have to see other people, but having my family around helps keep me in check. The biggest motivation for me lately though has been my boyfriend. He's coming home tomorrow after being out at camp for 3 weeks and I would like to look good for him. It's hard to feel sexy with wounds and scabs all over your face. I am super excited to spend some time with him though. :) Our relationship has had bumps in the road these past couple months, but I'm learning the biggest thing I have to learn is trust. There was a point in July where I feel he was second guessing whether we should be together, and since then I've always been more wary and had my guard up. It doesn't help that my friends, as well as step dad and father have stories about guys when they're out at camp. I guess a part of me feels insecure and I've always wondered if he would cheat on me out there. I think it's a deeper routed issue than that. I've always been completely honest with him and sometimes I think I've opened up too much in the past. We've been together for over a year now and he's seen me at my absolute lowest. I know this may be a whole separate issue, but I don't know how to give someone 100% of my trust anymore. I think my relationship insecurities cause me to pick sometimes because of the stress. Recently I got quite upset because when he goes out for weeks he doesn't like using the phone. He told me he's too tired and just hates the phone. I don't know what to think of that. He did redeem himself by calling me a couple days ago, but I think he saw how upset I was after not hearing from him for 17 days (except for the odd text usually in the evening). A 10 min call once a week is enough for me, so I guess we'll see if he can do that for me next time he goes out. On another note, I am posting photos today so you can actually see how I am doing. I have a couple little spots on my face, but my eyebrows are looking better. I think the combination of plucking and picking has destroyed them for life, but I'd much rather them be an odd shape than have red sore scabs and bumps above my eyes. If I can let them grow out enough I'll get them plucked. I hate how fast my hair grows. =/ That's a big part of the problem too. I'll try to post a little more often, but if you don't hear from me for a few days, don't be too concerned. I will always check in at some point. :) Photo 1: http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb121/sarah-108/Dermatillomania/DSCF4568.jpg Photo 2: http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb121/sarah-108/Dermatillomania/DSCF4592.jpg
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September 17, 2012

Your eyebrows look amazing hun!! Keep up the AMAZING work!!
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September 17, 2012

Aww thanks :) I can see a real improvement now. I'm just hoping I can keep it up and not fall back into my old ways.
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September 19, 2012

Im sure you will do fine, print wallet size pictures or your results and before you go to pick, look at how beautiful they are.. it will help you not tear them apart :)
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September 20, 2012

That's not a bad idea! :)
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September 20, 2012

I use that technique with my nutrition plan, I keep picture in my wallet of how I want to look and when I think about eating bad foods i whip them out, have a look and go for a bowl of Veggies or similar, its GREAT, works a treat!
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September 17, 2012

you look so healed and beautiful!!!!!! (: (: (: i can totally relate to the trust thing in a romantic relationship and in any relationship at all ! me and my boyfriend have been together for a little over 2 and a half years and i cant bring myself to tell him i love him. i have in the past, but im just not comfortable with it at this point. im a very insecure person, and even though he tells me he loves me and i know that he really does.. its hard for me to emotionally give myself over to him like that. he works third shift and this morning when he came home he was excited about something and couldnt sleep. so we put in a movie and just cuddled in bed and then he looked at me and said "do you love me yet ?" i said no, even though i think i do, i just cant say it yet. and then he went on to tell me that i should, because whatever happens to either of us from now on, good or bad, its something that we are going to go through together. its sweet to me when he talks like that because he is expressing to me that he has already decided that we will be together forever, and for the most part i believe it.. but there is this part of me that is so doubtful, i think to myself that i can never be sure of how someone else will deal with something because im not them. i think it goes back to my childhood and family relationships, but reguardless, i need to learn how to trust him because he deserves it !
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September 18, 2012

It sounds like you have a very good guy on your hands. :) I believe he loves you very much. It's hard for me because I have been cheated on before, and now that I'm with my current bf, I can't seem to give myself to him fully. Before me, he's never had a long lasting relationship, so I know some things are new to him (he's 23). I'm the first woman he's said he's loved and I believe I love him, but lately I have been thinking more about what those words mean to me. We don't live together and sometimes I wish he was more affectionate. I'm not talking about the big things, just the little ones. They're things I miss about our relationship. And you're lucky your man is so verbal about how he feels. With my guy it's like pulling teeth. Back when I mentioned that time in July, he wasn't honest about his feelings. It caught me by surprise because I had asked him a month earlier how he felt things were and he said they were good and not to worry. A month after that he admitted he'd been feeling different for 2 months. He asked me where I saw us in 5 years and I told him. I asked him where he saw us and he couldn't give me an answer. He went away to camp for 3 weeks after that and I thought long and hard about what I should do. I had planned to break things off until he figured out what he wanted, but a few days before he came back, he was very forward about wanting things to work between us. Before this I had told him that I wasn't going to be the girl that was only there for when he came home and that I wasn't going to feel used. I told him if he would be happier without us together, then that was what I wanted. The problem is that I've had a hard time trusting him since this incident. I don't want to fully let him in just yet. When I'm unsure I distance myself, because the more I have invested, the more I hurt. I've been trying to tell myself that whatever happens happens. People have been telling me my relationship is more one-sided and that he should be calling more and doing things for us. I'm still not sure if that's true or if I'm in denial. I don't think I am, but I have a life to live that I can't put on hold. I haven't checked yet, but I hope that job worked out for you! I have to start applying for a job, but I have been waiting for my skin to look nice so I feel more confident. I'm so busy with my nursing, but we do what we have to to make it work.
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September 18, 2012

i dont know if i got the job yet ! they said they had a few people to interview before they chose, but i hope (: you should think about your relationship from an objective place and see if it still seems one sided ! people can give you their opinions about how it is all they want but no one knows exactly how it is except for you and him ! and if you decide he doesnt treat you right, or appreciate you enough then you should do something about it. i know sometimes i personally feel like niko doesnt do somethings for me that he should, but when i step back and re evaluate, usually it turns out that im just being silly and insecure, and i think most girls do from time to time. the only thing that really really bothers me is how he is always on his phone. i know hes busy though because he works a full time job and also runs a recording studio in his FREE time.. so i try to remember that i shouldnt be offended when he seems to be spending more time on his phone than paying attention to me. you should never let a man use you or take advantage of you, though. if you arent happy you should remind yourself that there is someone out there who will treat you better than him and then go out and find him ! (:
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September 18, 2012

I am happy with Ben as a boyfriend, but since he started working out of town again at the end of May (he used to do the same thing a few years ago), I'm not sure that's what I want. He's not sure when he'll stop working out of town and I find it pretty hard on our relationship. After I'm done school, and have my career started, I'd like to start a family. I've always told myself that I don't want to feel like a single mom when I'm in a relationship. I want to be with a man who is a present father to his children and doesn't miss those special moments. That means I couldn't have a family with a man who works out at camp for weeks at a time surveying. I keep telling myself that I'll wait and see where things go, but the truth is, I could honestly see him still doing the same thing in 4 years. I just don't know what to do anymore. I think you can have feelings for someone even if your lives are on different paths, and if that is the case I know where things will end, but I'm not sure I'm mentally strong enough to lose that part of my life right now. Oh well... I must say though, I can see why I pick. I drag myself constantly through an abundance of stress and that is how I deal with it. I have ocd tendencies and I'm a bit of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to school. I also fought with eating disorders growing up (ednos). I would binge, purge, not eat... I was a mess and I still struggle not to go back to that. There was a point I went to an out patient eating disorder clinic, but I found the bigger deal people made of it the worse things got. I can't remember a time when I was happy with my body or myself. Maybe that's part of my problem. =/
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September 18, 2012

i struggled with eating disorders all through middle and highschool too ! for me it was linked to body dysmorphic disorder but im healthy with my eating habits now ! i am a vegan and also stay away from gluten, refined sugar, vegetable oils, and soy. but i eat a lot and am at a very healthy weight and i think i am lucky to have the body that i have. occasionally though i will treat myself to some ice cream or something and i freak out about it afterwards and it generally leads to a serious picking relapse. i have always been a self sabotager. my brother and my mom have substance abuse problems since i can remember. in highschool i started to experiment with alcohol and drugs myself and it became a big part of my life. thankfully i have overcome both of those things ! but the picking is still hard for me.. i think for most of us skin picking is an issue which is deeply rooted and even if we can identify the roots, there are some things that cant ever be resolved. its like when we pick at a pimple or an ingrown hair we are trying to pick our emotional problems out ! haha. i know we can stop picking though, even if right now it seems a little out of reach.
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September 20, 2012

Day 16: I've been doing pretty good as far as picking goes. What's really been annoying me though is how dry the skin below my eyebrows still is. It'll be good for a couple days, but then turns hard. I have a habit of flaking it off with tweezers which I probably shouldn't do. I have however been picking at a spot on my chin. I had a spot from an old pimple that had scabbed up (which I refused to let heal) and then when I went out to the cabin it got re-infected. Another pimple formed on the same spot, which I picked... It went away and I picked it again... And guess what? It formed a pimple again! I don't know why I can't stop picking that spot! It looks like all of the inflammation has calmed down today (although I did pick it :( ), so I'm going to try my best to just leave it alone and let it heal. The more I play with it the worse it will get. On a good note though, I spent yesterday evening with my bf. He's been away at camp working for 3 weeks. He was only supposed to get 5 days off, but it looks like he might get 10. I'm happy to have him home right now. It's hard with the distance sometimes, but yesterday reminded me of why I fell for him. :)
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September 20, 2012

Your doing great Sarah, good work, that pimple on your chin will go away you just have to try extra super hard to stop picking, use an anti fungal cream on it, it works well, before bed, put it on, and in the morning put it on before your make up :) With your eyebrows try a facial crensing oil, or an eye mousteriser cream, it will help with the dry flakey skin :) Glad to hear your remembered why you fell for your man :) I love hearing that people are happy in there relationship :)
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September 21, 2012

Day 18: So I just wanted to let you guys know that I am doing good. My skin isn't perfect, but it's not bad. I still have that spot on my chin which is getting better, as well as some red pigmentation above my eyes and some dryness, but it's a lot better than it was. At the beginning of September I hit one of my all time lows and I'm glad I was able to recover from that. Some good news as well! I was feeling good about myself yesterday so I went and dropped off some resumes. I talked with one of the head managers of a big company here in town, and even though the side restaurant I wanted to waitress/bartend at wasn't hiring, he gave my resume to another section of the company and I got a call for an interview today. It's at 4:30pm. I'm hoping to get this job because as a student I would make good tips, and the job is unionized, so that would mean job security and a higher wage. I didn't realize until a couple of hours ago, but I clued in that I've actually met the woman I'm having my interview with before. We worked one of the same events a month and a half ago. Wish me luck! :)
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September 24, 2012

Sarah, How did your job interview go? its sooooo good to hear that your doing well. You seem to be very positive, which is great!! your doing so well. I really hope the interview went well! :)
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September 24, 2012

Thanks :) I try to be as positive as I can because it helps lift up my spirits. The interview went well. She said she'd be checking my references and then I should have a call back on Monday for another interview. I'm happy about that possible job opportunity, but I'm almost hoping my other interview at the pub will work out better. The one job is more sporadic and I'd just been a banquet server and occasional bartender, but at the pub I could waitress and bartend, with more hours, and have the ability to make a lot more money with tips.
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September 24, 2012

Well which ever job you get, I hope it works out, if you dont get the pub job, at least you have A job, then when there is an opening at the pub, you can always apply, my mother always says, its easier to find work, when you have work :) Its always good to stay positive :) Ive been struggling with that the past week, but Pulling myself out of it :)
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September 24, 2012

I agree, it definitely is! In the end however, I can't wait to be working as a nurse. :) All of these jobs are good for the mean time, but that's what I really want to be doing with my life. I'll update you when I know more myself.
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September 21, 2012

*Repeated Post*
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September 24, 2012

Day 20: I have been doing so well lately, although I'm starting to find myself stressing out a bit. This has led me to pick at the spot on my chin and pick at my eyebrows (but not too bad). I've mainly caused a bit of redness and a couple superficial spots at the edge of my one eyebrow. I think I would be better off if I could get over this last little bit of skin dryness. =/ I think I'm mostly stressing over the videography assignment I have due on Tuesday that I haven't started yet and some job interviews I have coming up. I am waiting for a call about a second interview on Monday and then I just got another call today for an interview at a local pub. I'm really hoping that I will hook one of these jobs! I may be a full time student, but not working has really been getting to me lately. I've mostly been doing odd jobs for the past couple months that pay well, but nothing secure, and that's what I need. Anyways, I'd better get cracking on that paper. :P
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September 24, 2012

Day 21: I'm doing okay, but today has turned into a depressing day. My mom called me this morning to tell me our cat, Keela, is not doing very well. I picked her out when I was younger, and when I lived at home, she slept in my room every night. She's always been a tiny cat and has had some trouble with her weight, but on Friday my mom took her into the vet because she wasn't eating and he gave her some appetite stimulating pills. Today she was hiding under my mother's bed howling and my mom didn't have the heart to give her her pill this morning. She fought it at first, but has no fight left. She was supposed to go to the vet at 4:30pm today, but my mom phoned the vet and said she needed to go in right away. She has a loss of coordination and seems to be in a lot of pain. I feel really bad for her. :( Due to the fact she's had previous weight issues (especially last fall) I think she probably has chronic pancreatitis. She weighs between 5-6lbs at the moment. I never thought I'd get upset about a cat, but it's hard to see an animal you've known for so long in this state. The worst part is she's not even that old at 8 years. I know this is a progress blog, but I feel it's important to include some aspects of what's going on in my life. I'll let you know later on if we have to put her down, or if she makes it through.
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September 25, 2012

Im sorry to hear about your cat, I too know how hard it is to loose an animal you have had for so long. It can be hard, and the stress can contribute to picking, you need to be aware of this, certainly feel emotional about the things going on in your life, but also make sure not to let them get you to a point where you pick again. I really hope your poor little cat pulls through :)
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September 25, 2012

She was put down a little after 3pm because she had chronic kidney failure and was in too much pain. :( The vet said she was probably born with it and her body just adapted for all of these years. I definitely picked a little bit under my one eyebrow which is no good. =/ I know I did it because my emotions were up in the air (as you just mentioned), but at least I know why I did it today. I'm hoping to have the redness go down and scabs fall off within a couple days. These marks are superficial and not very deep like the last, so I don't think it'll take too long.
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September 25, 2012

Im so sorry to hear that Sarah, I hope you are ok. In situations like this, I can understand how you can want to pick, I am glad to hear that it hasnt been very deep or to the same extent as previously. The scabs will hopefully heal alot faster. We're always here if you need support :)