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StopSarahStop , 08 Sep 2012

Do I have Dermatillomania?

So I was sitting in my bed just now and realized that after about 10-15 years of picking at mostly my arms, I might have a problem. I remembered something about people obsessively pulling their hair and started by looking that up. I don't pull my hair too much, its mostly picking at my skin. I dont remember when I started picking my skin exactly, I know it was at least ten years ago. I became depressed at around age 11 so I assume it was around then or shortly after, (I'm 24 now) I read that people usually start after some stressful event in thier lives. I dont remember why I started picking at my skin, but basically what I do is squeeze the pores on my arms, especially ones that are sort of a pimple and I squeeze them till they bleed usually. I decided to look into this stuff because I've realized that I've tried to stop myself doing it before and I did it so much without thinking that I gave up trying to stop. Now I'm kind of upset because I just realized how much damage I've caused my skin. The pores on my arms are all scarred so my arms are bumpy instead of the skin being smooth. I look at other peoples arms and I am so jealous and embarrassed. And now I wonder if I should tell my boyfriend, or if he's noticed even. I'm scared to tell him because I dont want him to think I'm making it up or that I'm a hypochondriac. I've been sick a lot or hospitalized and had lots of surgeries and people have told me before that I'm a hypochondriac. Its very upsetting and I'm just upset about this whole thing in general and I dont want my arms to get any worse. What if i start picking at my face worse than I already do? Help? :(
1 Answer
September 08, 2012
Hey, I'm 21 and I've always had a problem picking too, it started with my arms but now I seem to do it just about anywhere I consider there to be a 'problem'. It always felt to me that by getting whatever it was that was causing the lumps out of my skin it would go away, and with time this turned into a sort of 'mission' to clear my skin. Of course all the while I was making it much worse. Now my arms and my legs are covered with little scars and I haven't been swimming or in a bikini for almost 10 years, and I feel like I've lost out on much of the best of my youth. Not only that but the disappointment in myself almost drives me to pick more. I've never told anyone about my problem, but I know my boyfriend has noticed, as he asked about it. I just told him it was a rash, and I've never been able to get rid of it. I want to beat this so badly, I'm tired of feeling jealous and hating myself when I see other girls in short sleeves and shorts, and I want to wear those things. I've been using a lot of different moisturisers and have found that just using a normal moisturiser but adding tea tree oil, olive oil and manuka honey and really helped bring swelling down after picking on my face arms and legs. But also that when I'm not picking it helps to fade the scars, because the oils interrupt the forming of the scar tissue, which gives it more time to heal so the scar heals more like normal skin. It's worked really well on my thighs, bum and arms, but I wish I could get it on my back more easily. On my face I've been using a face mask made from manuka honey olive oil a little bit of milk, aspirin and turmeric, yes turmeric the spice. The turmeric works really well with healing, and cleansing your skin. The small molecules in the honey and the olive oil get deep under the first layers of skin to help cure even cystic acne and spots- so it works really well on the smaller bumps created by my KP on my arms and legs. What I don't use of my face mask I use in the shower as a body scrub and because my pores are more open from the hot water it really helps to cleanse all my pores. I hope this helps you, and I hope together we can beat this. xx

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