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ejdc , 08 Nov 2012

I am a skin picker for 14 years now.

I have been picking since I was 12 years old. i am now 26. I see the smallest pimple, and i pick with a needle or my nails, to create a scab. Because in my mind, that can look like a mole or beauty mark vs a pimple. I know that seems completely crazy. It's this endless cycle of pimple, pick, scab, hide in the house until it heals, and then I'm okay until I find something else that no one else can see but me. The scabs always looks worse than If i just left it alone. But I can't just leave it alone. It's like I'm in this zone when I pick, and then I feel so guilty and ridiculous once I make the mark even worse. It's interfering with my life because I avoid things. I know it gets worse when I have stress or increased hormonal levels around my menstrual cycle. I've been to therapists, and have been on anti-depressants to try and treat it as OCD issues. I am also a perfectionist, which I know is part of the problem. Nothing seems to work for me. I haven't been to therapy for it in years, but I feel like I know what they are going to say already, and it won't help. I know that is wrong, and I should really go. I wonder if something in my past or my childhood triggered this behavior.
4 Answers
November 08, 2012
Hi edjc, I know that is a major part of my problem. After I've dug a hole in my skin trying to get the root of a pimple, I'm left with a huge scab that looks far worse. However, I can leave the scab alone and let it heal. The problem is that once the scab heals, I'm left with what I perceive to be a huge and noticeable hole...and I refuse to allow my skin to naturally repair itself...cause I'm a perfectionist too. So, Start trying to even the edges around the scar to make it even out...and it all starts over again. Just try to remember that we don't have to be perfect and accepting yourself, as you would accept other ones, might help.
November 09, 2012
Hi both, it's amazing because i know exactly what you mean. I can't leave spots alone- ever. No matter how minute they are. I seem to think that I know better than my body as i pick (often with sharp tweezers) until it bleeds because then i know it will form a scab and start to heal. But then i can't just let the scab heal... i convince myself that there must be healthy skin underneath and pull the scab off, often starting the whole cycle again. It's completely illogical but there you go. Have you ever tried hypnosis? I'm seriously considering it! I can't think of any past trauma that might have triggered this- i had a wonderful childhood- confused as to what the root of the problem could be.
November 09, 2012

In reply to by hope2heal

Same here.....Tweezers ugh I have 6 pair. Down to 1 as my daughter hid the others. I do the same thing thinking if I pick the scab off it will be more even...never the case what I end up doing is peeling a layer of skin off with the scab making a pin sized spot in to a quarter sized open wound that takes months to heal!! I think my issue is stress....and the feeling that I have to look perfect like everyone on TV, In movies and in magazines. Could just once a person on TV not have perfect skin. Could they show up with a wound like mine...seriously. There cant be that many perfect skined people in the world
November 09, 2012

In reply to by soembarrassed

It's true. I used to spend a lot of time in Spain and i never felt as bad and picked as much there, perhaps because: a) it was sunny and my skin was getting lots of fresh air and sunshine, b) fewer mirrors, c) feeling more relaxed, and d) being in a less pressurised environment with a less manufactured, media-based approach to beauty. I currently live in Brighton, UK, where style is everything. Some girls look ready for the runway on the way to work! Does my head in. But i try to tell myself that i will never be like that and (the harder part) that i wouldn't want to be like that. Also just think about what you find attractive in a person. Often wrinkles and blemishes all add to their character. We are much harder on ourselves than we are on other people.

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