I've been picking at my skin since I was 11, and now I'm 21. At my worst I would literally get home from school in the evening and pick for sometimes 3-4 hours, and I couldn't go to the toilet without destroying my thighs until someone asked what I was doing in there. Consequently I haven't been out in shorts, skirts, bikinis, or short sleeves since I was about 12 or 13, and get uncontrollably jealous when I see girls in the street with their beautiful bare legs and arms, looking flawless. Then I hate myself and my legs and my arms and I get home and I pick some more. Then I'll go on facebook and see my boyfriends ex who models and think why can't I have beautiful skin like hers and I pick. My worst is my upper arms and my thighs, but I also pick at my face, my back, my chest and my bum, and my shins or just anywhere. On the left side of my nose I have a triangle of three really deep pit marks that won't fade and just look like holes in my face.. they disgust me. I've always suffered from KP but only started picking one day when another little girl pointed it out, I remember her saying 'what's wrong with your arms?' since then I became obsessed with it, I didn't know it was KP but I became fixated on getting every single one out of my skin thinking it would make it go away. By the time I went to secondary school I had to cover my arms all the time, and then I remember when I was about 14 I started to pick at my legs too. Sometimes I would pick because I was bored, or when I was just watching TV, and mostly when I was anxious or stressed. I feel very awkward socially, which causes me a lot of stress, and I get jealous of people that are comfortable interacting and being themselves as I always feel judged when I act like myself. Jealousy, stress and anxiety are probably the main causes of my picking. All the time I'll look at pictures or see other girls with the perfect skin and look at my own and hate it all the more and then try once again to remove it from my skin but I only make it worse and then it's just another few months I can't wear a skirt, but then those months turn into years and here I am today; I haven't worn a skirt or short sleeves in probably about 7 or 8 years and I just want to be happy with my body, with my skin so I don't have to worry about what other people think of it.
I haven't picked in 2 days, and it's the first time I've consciously made the decision to not pick for that long. There have been times when I've been really busy and I might have gone 2-3 days without, but I've never actually resisted the urge to pick before for this long and I couldn't have done it without this site. I've been researching KP for year but only recently did I think that well this isn't actually only down to the KP this is also me doing this to myself. So I searched for ways to stop picking and found this site. Looking at how you all help and support each other has inspired me. Now when I think to pick and look at my arms, my legs, my face I think of all of your stories and guidance and for the first time I'm able to say no. At the moment I have a cystic spot on the left side of my chin, it's been there for maybe a week and little less and I haven't picked at it! EVERY other time I've had one of these I've picked at it and pinned it, and used tweezers, and it's why I have the three scar by my nose I mentioned before. But this time I've not picked it and periodically used different treatments and I'm seeing significant results (I've used the superdrug brand of acne gel that promises reduction in 4 hours, and nixoderm, the skin around the area peeled, but underneath the bump was reduced and I was able to apply my foundation still without seeing loads of little flaky bits). I picked my arms 2 days ago when I was watching TV, but haven't done it since! I've been glancing down at them a lot but I've left them alone and I can see them healing now. Before I came on this site I didn't even think to look at the healing in the scabs I just wanted them gone so I would scratch them away and they would just bleed and then taking longer to heal and scar for longer. Thank you all so so so much, I hope to have the confidence to wear a skirt or shorts by the end of october, maybe even before! and have my arms out around then too! So basically thanks to all of you, I'm here for you I want to help, you've all helped me so much already I've never felt this positive! xxxxxx Jos