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sweater sarah , 02 Oct 2012

Cant stop picking arms

Hi everyone. I'm 20 and I have been picking at my arms off and on since highschool. I have small raised bumps under the skin of my arms and shoulders, my dermatologist said it is some sort of condition where dry and dead skin particles get trapped in the hair follicles. Anyhow its not really that noticeable, but I find myself popping them like zits. I had eased off with it but started doing it again last winter. I think it was a result of being really stressed out with school, and now it has become sort of an anxious compulsion. I find myself sitting in the bathroom, and I say to myself "oh I'll just get one" and then the next thing I know 30 minutes have passed and my arms are covered in welts from pinching. I have always had a nervous tick where I have to be twirling something or picking at something. It actually seemed to subside when I started smoking my freshman year of college, but has gotten even worse since I quit. I got better about it over the summer since I had to wear short sleeves and bathing suits. Now its fall and the stress of college is back and I can cover up my scabs with sweaters and cardigans and Im noticing that I'm getting bad about it again, I can't even help it sometimes it's like I get into a trance and just start picking. Needless to say, I really want to quit before its too late and my arms are scarred up forever. If anyone has had the same experience and would like to share some things that helped them quit I would really appreciate the advice!
5 Answers
October 02, 2012
Hello! I have the same skin condition as you do. The bumps cover my upper arms and upper thighs. I also pick at these bumps constantly. I also pick at other scabs, too, but the bumps make me want to pick really badly. I squeeze them like you do. I am in the process of quitting ALL picking right now, and it's a tough battle to win! I'm also an anxious person like you. I am always moving, whether it's my hand or shaking a leg or whatever. It's very tough to quit this picking problem we have. But the rewards are so great. Since I quit on September 12, my skin is less bumpy and irritated. I'm trying my best to stay away from the mindless picking that has inhabited my life for over a decade. I also go into picking trances like you. There are some tips I can give you to help you quit: 1. Give yourself a quit date and stick to it. 2. Be 100% committed to quitting, not "slowing down." Slowing down NEVER works. 3. Find something to fiddle with or do with your hands. I use self-hand massage. I've also used a soft stone that has a small crack in it to divert my picking attention. 4. Find someone to confide in who will lift you up and help you quit. I'm lucky to have a supportive husband who is truly (other than my new clan of skinpick buddies) the only person who knows what I do. 5. Don't give up. You're going to pick for awhile mindlessly. You will get over this. I'm almost 3 weeks into quitting and had a lot of stress over the weekend (we're selling our house) and found myself picking mindlessly out of anxiety. I had to take a deep breath and get myself back to the place where I need to be to quit. Sorry this post is so long. I'm hoping that my suggestions help you. Please check back and let me know how you're doing! Here's the great news: at this point, my bumpy skin is LESS bumpy than it's ever been, thanks to me leaving it alone. No more red, rashy areas or swelling! YAY! OH, and someone else on this forum (I think it was Emmi, not sure) mentioned buying exfoliating gloves to help reduce the bumps. I haven't gotten to try that yet, but it's worth a shot. xoxo
October 02, 2012

In reply to by olivegreen

Olivegreen and sweater sarah, I am also 20 and as Olivegreen mentioned, I did suggest exfoliating gloves, I too get these little bumps on my skin, they cover my arms and legs, I found that they were from a reaction I was getting from soap, I have always had sensitive skin so I decided to try a new type of body wash, I use a soap free wash, Its called Dermaveen, Im not sure if you can get it out of australia but it is made out of oat milk, its very soft on the skin and the bumps have been reduced. Olivegreen;s suggestions are exactly what I would suggest, Try working out the reason's as to why you pick and try to swap it with something, weather It be to keep your hands busy or your mind busy, or both, just try some diffrent things your find something that works, I tend to put clear nail polish on my nails, without preparing the nail first and when I get the urge to pick at my face, I pick the nail polish off, you have to do a few cotes or you cant pick it, but I've found the cheaper the nail polish, the less it sticks to your nail, making it easier to pick off. this has been working for me for the past few weeks, Ive been dealing with the death of my grandfather who I was extremly close to, and this has REALLY helpped me not to pick at my skin. I really hope that these suggestions work for you, or that you find things that help you. xx
October 03, 2012
I'll chime in here too in order to repeat what I've posted elsewhere, namely that those bumps, called keratosis pilaris or KP for short, respond really well to the Glytone brand's body wash and cream that come in their "KP Kit". Just Google it and I think you'll find it's available online in lots places, including Annazon. I know that picking is more than a cosmetic issue but I do believe that reducing or eliminating skin eruptions helps people when trying to quit the habit!

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