Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

Wendy , 23 Mar 2013

Scratching, squeezing pores and hair follicles

Three years ago i developed what I now know is a compulsive disorder. I always had a small rash dry patch on my neck. I moved out of home. I was lonely. I started drinking every night. I was in desperate search for a companion. I started feeling terrible about myself because I was so alone. My friend caused me a lot of stress as she heaped her problems onto me all the time. And relied on me to rescue her all the time. I dumped all my friends. At first I thought it was an allergic reaction. I thought I had eczema again as I did when i was a child. I scratched my neck to the point it was so red and scaly i couldnt move it. it spread to other parts of my body. my entire skin was welted, peeling, i had open wounds the size of 50cent coin. every night i struggled to sleep. i had cold showers at 3 am in the mornings when it got really bad. I cried a lot. I wanted to slice all my skin off with a knife to relieve the itching. I tried changing my diet, eating only organic food. I stopped drinking for a year. Then for 6 months I stopped scratching. I thought I was cured. I met a new boyfriend a year ago. It seems that being in a relationship is even more stressful than not being in one. I started scratching again. Although its not as bad as it used to be, every day i scratch myself. I spend hours every day scratching and scratching. Everywhere. My daily activities are always delayed as im always scratching away at my skin. When im very stressed, tired or hungry i scratch the most. I started getting acrylic nails - so it was harder to damage or pick scabs. Its worked really well. When they fall off or i don't have time to do them i tear my skin apart within a day. This however hasn't stopped the compulsion. Whenever my partner tells me to stop i just scratch even more. I spend so much time squeezing at my pores on my face, squeezing the pores on my plucked eyebrows and shaved pubic region. I get a sense of satisfaction when a hair or blackhead comes out. I feel like my friends think im a freak or on drugs. Im embarrassed to be in public. Sometimes im subconsciously scratching and so unaware until i realise someone has seen me in public with my hand down my pants to scratch my leg. Im so glad im not alone. I still cry often, but I feel like an idiot because theres people with illnesses that cause them much pain or even death and im crying over something i do to myself. I realised I had a compulsion- not a skin disorder when my partner pointed it out while we were watching that show on TV - My strange addiction. I realised I was one of those people. I need help. Thank you for reading. I've suffered inside for so long this feels amazing to just share what I've been through with people who understand.
2 Answers
April 05, 2013
I understand what you're feeling completely. I spend hours picking and squeezing at my skin, specifically in my pubic area and underarms. I have been doing this since I was roughly 11 years old and it just keeps getting worse and worse. I shave my pubic area, sometimes to cover the fact that I've pulled out half my hairs and have bald patches. But sometimes I don't. I'm not sure which is worse - not shaving and having visible bald spots? or shaving and having visible scabs and scars. I'm also always squeezing my skin. if ever there is an imperfection ANYWHERE, i have to squeeze it. I can spend hours doing this. The end result is disturbing and embarrassing. It's gotten to the point where I've discovered that squeezing a newly budding hair is quite similar to squeezing a black head. I'm so disgusted with myself, and so ashamed. How could something that I find gross, also bring me such satisfaction?? I also pull my hairs out, and if there's a big follicle, I will bite it off. Please someone reach back out to me. I'm in desperate need of someone to talk to regarding this. I feel so alone. (I'm going to copy and paste this into the forum in case you do not respond but someone else shares my troubles)
January 22, 2014

In reply to by Scar

Hi, I feel alone as well. I know no one who also wants to pick at them self all the time. I like to pick at my scalp, which I know is gross especially in public but sometimes I don't even realize I'm doing it. I love how all the skin and follicles gather up in my fingernails, the ultimate satisfaction of picking is the evidence of what you have just picked off. I once sunburnt my scalp where the part in my hair is, making picking off the large flakes of dead skin irresistible. I left a few scabs that I could continue to fester at for months, and I would fester at this once scab on the top of my head, let it heal, pick it off several hours or days later. I had this same wound for about a year and a half. I like to pick at the delicate skin in my ears because of the way it will accumulate in my fingernails. I had bad acne as a teenager, which wouldn't have been bad at all had I left it alone but I picked at it and popped every white head and my face was full of open wounds that were once pimples.

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now