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csh22 , 11 Mar 2013

How To Stop

I have been picking since the end of 4th grade. I always seem to try to stop, but i never can. Everyone looks at me weirdly and makes fun of my face. Any suggestions on effective ways to stop. I have hair bands around my wrist so i can twist them when i need something to do. Other than that, I am not sure what else I can do.
9 Answers
May 06, 2013
Wear gloves 24/7 and cut your nails really short. Do not pick your skin please thats the only way it will get better.
May 11, 2013
keep your hands busy with different things like silly putty, stress balls etc. you can also look for someone like a therapist who treats skin picking. That helped me. hope this helps
May 13, 2013
I've just turned 39 and I think I have finally got my skin picking under control. I've picked since I was about 9 or 10 so that's a ridiculous 30 years of damage to my skin. I pick at my thumbs mainly, also my scalp and any spots on my shoulders or face. I have been so ashamed of this condition over the years, especially when work colleagues noticed or my hairdresser. My husband detests it. I think it's under control now though. How have I done it? I bought lots of cotton manicure gloves (you can get a load on amazon) and I wear these whilst I watch TV in the evenings. I wear them when I feel I'm more stressed, I bought these because they are soft and you can still do things in them (e.g. type) and they are washable so I've always got some ready to go if needed. I'm lucky I now work at home but whenever I go into the office I will wear an elastic hair band around my wrist to twang if I find myself heading for my thumbs. I've also worked out that keeping my fingernails manicured works well. If they are bare and un-manicured I am tempted to pick more to "tidy" them. So, manicures, cotton gloves for the evenings or working at home, and I also use Jessica Phenomen Oil. This stuff is fantastic for healing. I put it on my cuticles before I go to bed and in the morning they look great again, I keep a small pot in my handbag at all times to keep my cuticles soft to stop them drying out and looking ragged. Lastly, habit reversal training. Everytime you feel your fingers going to pick at your thumbs, or your hand moving into your hair tell yourself (outloud if you have to) to STOP. Take a few deep breathes, count to 100 if you need to - anything to break the urge until you can get it under control so that you can manage it. Do not allow the urge to take over. There will be times when you pick a bit, but go back to basics, put the gloves on, get your nails tidied up and start again. Just keep going back to the start and you'll realise like I just did that it's been a couple of days since the urge to pick has overwhelmed me. Just keep going. It's an exhausting and negative problem to have so just do whatever it takes and don't care what other people think of you. Any steps you take are positive ones, even if they're small e.g. stop yourself once a day, then work up to twice a day and so on. Don't beat yourself up. This is a compulsive addictive disorder so it won't be fixed overnight but it is possible to drastically reduce it and stop eventually. Good luck.
May 14, 2013

In reply to by csh22

Good luck and like I say, don't beat yourself up, just keep going back to the start if you slip up. Tell yourself firmly to STOP and get through the urge with counting or breathing or stretching - push your hands away from you as you say STOP and stretch your fingers out - get them all as far apart/away from you and the urge as possible! Just try your best each and every time, for me it's a 30 year habit so it's not going to fix itself in a month, eventually you will find you're doing it less and less. If you find you're doing it and the rebel in you takes over, put the gloves on or go somewhere (toilets at work) to deep breathe, relax and get it under control. Always keep some handcream on you (even if you're a man) and apply it if your hands or skin becomes dry. Try to turn the obsession to pick into a positive obsession for nice looking skin. Best of luck.
May 16, 2013
Hi, I struggle with this too. My triggers are fatigue and acne. I used to get “stuck” which I’m sure is not an uncommon term for most of you on this forum. Low self esteem is one of contributing factors. One thing that helped me with this was Nerium AD. I had acne scarring on my face because of picking. It cleared up most of the scarring and helps continually bring impurities out of my skin so they don’t form acne. I encourage you to try it. With less acne, scarring, and hyperpigmentation, I had improved self esteem and therefore pick less. Check it out: Best of luck
May 18, 2013
Hello everyone, I am a 56 year old man, and have been picking for almost as long as I remember. My father picked as well. I assume that's where I started. I pick mostly my hands and my arms. Sometimes starting at a dry patch of skin and turning it into an open wound. Part of the trigger I think, for me at least, is that I feel the rough patch and want to smooth it out. Also, because of the nature of wounds, they tend to itch sometimes and thus causing picking again. It is embarrassing and frustrating. I have tried to stop but to no avail. My soon to be ex, constantly harassed and nagged me about it, and possibly that just caused it to happen more. My daughter is very concerned and wants to help as well, but once again, there is no real understanding of the real issue, the cause or the motivator. Hopefully by finding this site, I can get some moral support and get some ideas to help. Thanks everyone for reading. Take care all.
May 21, 2013
I have the same issue as the old man56. I get a cut or scratch and I want it to be smooth so I pick at it to try to make it smooth. I have done it for most of my life also however I healed up much faster when I was younger. It also didn't leave a scar but now it is starting to scar. I mostly do my hands or arms. Once in a while if I get something on my leg I will scratch at that also. I saw my mom pick at things when I was young. However she died at age 42 in 1972 a long time ago. My sister's are OCD. One sister scrubbed the decorative rocks on the outside of her house with bleach until her hands bled. My other sister is a perfectionist and a little bit of a germaphob where she will have a spotless kitchen counter yet she puts paper towels down before she will sit glasses or silverware on the counter. Anyway, I try to stop picking by cutting my nails or putting a bandaid on but it is only short term help. I always seem to start up again. I am interested in hearing how other people try to stop themselves. Please leave messages. Thanks!
May 21, 2013
How do you find a therapist that specializes in picking?

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