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wendyg , 07 Mar 2009

how to heal open wounds

Hi, first I want to say thankyou to everyone for sharing, my heart goes out to you and I send you love. I started picking 15 years ago and the last five years stripping skin off my face with tweezers thinking I could fix the scab or get the hair I see.I have severe to me scarring, 13 open nickle size wounds on my face and have searched and tried erverything to heal them which I only seem to blister or scab.It has stopped my life,not wanting to go anywhere or even see my family.I have stopped using tweezers and feel very strong that I can stop the picking.Does anyone have advice on what products to use prescriptin or ovc,keep things moist or not,bandades?,or share that your skin actually healed and how long.I feel like I look like a monster , I'm scared,I'm so ashamed.I thankyou so much for being so kind to help.
79 Answers
March 01, 2012
Hi Everyone, I just want to say how grateful I am to have found this site. I did not know so many people suffered from the same problem. It is very comforting to know you are not alone and that there actually are people who understand you and relate to the way you feel. It is embarrassing to say but I am turning 40 years old this week & I have done this on and off my entire life but I never knew it is a real disorder. I just thought I was crazy, compulsive & obsessed. It has been pretty bad for me the past couple of weeks. Literally spending hours in the bathroom with the tweezers. The worst part about it is due to my age my skin is thinning and breaks very easily, also the scars are much worse and harder to get rid of. So I just want to thank everyone on this site. You have inspired me that I am able to overcome this, you have given great advice and comfort. Most importantly you let me know I am not alone and I am not the "Ugly Monster" that I see myself as when I look in the mirror. Love, Gratitude, Peace & Strenght to all of you. Thank you for being here!
April 23, 2012
A face mask is a great way to relax and pamper your skin. These masks are to be made at home and applied, left on for a minimum of a quarter hour and then washed off. It is always best to follow a facial mask with a round of cleansing and a light layer of moisturizer. Another important thing that you have to remember is that you have to be completely relaxed when you are putting on your mask.
June 06, 2012
Father's Day has passed and Fathers day facebook status you have done your job by overindulging the manhood in your action for a little while, the time has come for you to pay a shred of notification to yourselves.
June 06, 2012
thank you for posting this. i'm really happy i found this site. i'm almost 16 and i've tried to stop many many times but i haven't been successful yet : / the worst is my forehead and back. i keep my bangs long to cover it and every morning i have to find a shirt that covers my entire back so no one will see it. i have many scars and i hope to overcome this soon. its ruining a lot for me.
June 19, 2012
There is nothing worse then resolving not to pick & then finding yourself in front of the mirror digging into your skin.. I've been picking for 4 years. Recently, I had a breakdown and decided to change things. Well, as we all know, that is SO much easier said then done. Coming from someone who has had at least 3 huge marks on her face for the last 4 years, what I have been doing the last two weeks has me down to clear skin & 1 mark. First what I am doing is having a weekly goal. I am in a long distance (4 hour) relationship & my goal will be something like, "I see my boyfriend this Saturday, why not surprise him with clear skin!" or "I'm playing sports on Saturday with a big group. If my skin was clear, I wouldn't have to self-consciously apply caked makeup every 10 minutes to feel comfortable." (we all know the feeling). I've found that if I have a small goal to reach for, I can control my impulses a LOT better. Another thing I've done is start exercising. I hated running, but I've been doing the Couch-to-5k program & it has really helped with my impulse control. I have so many "happy hormones" (seratonin, etc.) from feeling accomplished about exercise, that I'm able to think, "Hey! You're awesome! Don't damage this moment with an impulsive pick!" You don't even have to push yourself really hard to get the hormones & adrenaline flowing! Finally, for those moments when I accidentally cave (I caved last night), I have a routine. I get over it, mentally (because if you're anything like me, you're left staring at your new wound in the mirror SO down on yourself, "why did i DO that?!"). Don't dwell on it. It happened, now focus on positive thoughts (I have anywhere from 5-10 positive quotes on post-it notes on my mirrors or beside my computer). Then, after I've dropped the dwelling, I apply a repair lotion (proactiv has one & so does Murad, I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives as well) followed by a bandaid. I know everyone says to keep it open & dry, but what I've found is that if I'm tempted to pick, I apply repair lotion & a bandaid for the night after I'm home from work (blocks anxious, picking fingers & heals all in one!). Example: Last night, I had one of those pulsating monsters on my chin. You know, the kind so deep that you feel your heartbeat in your chin.. As if the beast will start talking to you if you don't get rid of it! Well, unfortunately I gave into temptation after 2 weeks of doing good, and opened up a big, dime-sized sore on my chin (result: nothing even came out of it). Well, I got over it. Put my repair lotion & bandaid on it. (I use the bandaids that don't leave residue) I fell asleep with my bandaid & when I woke up in the morning, that HUGE spot was a flat, MUCH smaller red spot. Sure, it's still there, but waking up to a small red spot on my chin instead of a giant brown scab definitely helps me fight temptation. Good luck! :)
June 20, 2012
omg :'( I completely understand what you`re going through! I`m so glad I`ve found this site...I`m concerned I might have body dysmorphic`s so terrible having to isolate yourself from the ones you love because of picking..I feel so guilty afterwards and then just crawl in bed...I`ve tried the bandaid thing...and it`s always embarrasing having people ask you what happened to your head and saying something stupid like "oh this? na nothing pff i just fell off my bed" ye..right they give me this look and I completely feel the beads of sweat coming from my face...:'( sometimes feels like there`s no hope...i also use the tweezers to pull off the skin, in hopes of it helping which it never honestly does..just wake up with even more scabs...good luck love, i feel your pain
June 21, 2012
I understand how difficult this is for you. I am sending you hugs!! I just turned 40 this year and have been picking for about 30 years now. It's gotten better, I think, but I have also learned to accept it and not be so mortified by it anymore. I used to get so freaked out by it whenever the doctor or anybody would ask me about the scars on my arms or legs and now I just tell them right up front, "I am a picker, I have been for 30 years, and I am working on it." So basically, I tell them to leave me alone. It's amazing the difference how having a little more confidence and not being so ashamed of myself made me feel. It feels wonderful. I want you to feel that, too. As for how to get scabs to heal better, faster, I would recommend using a little bit of silver (I think it's silver nitrate?) that a dermatologist would recommend. It comes in a strip or square and should not be left open to the air. It needs to be kept in a ziplock or something like that. It is available in Canada through home care nursing clinics at no cost, but I am not sure about availability anywhere else. It would be something that you would need to see your doctor or nurse about, though. I know when I had an abdominal wound that was about the size of a quarter and a nickel set side by side, it healed it up in about 6 weeks, with twice weekly changes. Of course, that was with me not touching the waterproof bandage that covered it. Unfortunately, about a week after it healed, I had the wound back open again, as there was a bit of a tag there for me to pull bummer. Anyway, I wish you the absolute best of luck with your scabs and I hope you find the courage to go out there and say screw it, I can do this! To heck with anybody out there that doesn't like it. You are beautiful, inside and out.
June 21, 2012
sending all my love and support your way, i know how depressing and embarassing this habit can be. my only advice for healing wounds is to moisturize. i put so much freaking lotion on my face before i go to bed at night because it seriously helps me heal. 2 or 3 or even 4 times faster than if i just washed my face and didnt moisturize at all. also, i know some people dont think that diet has much to do with it, but vitamin a, internally, does so much for me. if i have a particularly bad picking session one day, i eat a BUNCH of carrots. that probably sounds stupid, but it really helps me. good luck. you can beat this
August 10, 2012
I'm 74, sorry but we revert to old habits when stressed, and I am a picker. In the past 10 years when deep, old white heads arose I, with too much retirement time on my hands, started digging at my face to "get rid" of them. At the same time I concentrated on reducing the excessive oil on my skin that I still have. The result was tiny white painful specks within open sores which would not heal until the spots were removed. If I could get all of them out of one sore at one time the sore would heal over and no longer hurt but would leave indentations and scars. However, as I realize now, the actions or inactions that I was taking were actually creating these white specks and prolonging the problem and the pain these little spots produced. As I have always had skin problems due, I thought from excess oil , I have worked diligently to remove the oil from my skin which undoubtedly encouraged more oil production. At the same time I not only didn't drink enough water daily but withheld any lotion from my skin as I was always afraid of contributing any possible oily substance to my skin problems. What I believe has happened is this; the little painful white specks which I would extract with tweezers after much digging were hair shafts or follicles which had solidified due to a lack of moisture but were still attached to nerve endings. During this period I went to a young and beautiful dermatologist's physician's assistant who gave me Clindomycin [sp], told me to cut my nails and "stop picking". All the while looking at me with disdain. I had explained about the white things which she totally ignored. Even when I asked her to debride whiteheads etc, she said yes, she could - but never did. This is when I found out about estheticians and I started treatments. She does what my old dermatologists used to do, clean out bad tissue, debridement. I listened to her explain about peeling, softening, misting, moisturizing, etc. but it took months for me to really hear her and apply it to what I was actually doing myself. It was when she was trying very hard to remove a couple of the deepest "white specks" and couldn't, that this final conclusion started developing. I had been and continued reducing oil and hydration to my skin to the point that I had made "concrete" out of some hair follicles but the nerves were still attached and screaming! And I was feeling the pain. In addition I was using hot packs on my skin to try to increase the blood supply to clear out toxins and was inadvertently burning the skin to which had recent antibiotic or benzoyl peroxide applications. I had a few days of severe pain before I finally put it all together. I was using Bazooka tactics when I should have been using cotton balls! So now, I'm using oil-free moisturizer immediately after cleaning my skin with warm water and mild Dove, using vaseline to protect and moisturize under bandage squares and paper tape to protect my cheeks from "ME" after dinner til morning [ when I'm at home ]. I expect to have this under control and surprise my esthetician and my GP with relatively clear skin in a short time. I will reduce the oil production with Spironolactone oral meds, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and moisturize til my facial skin will be as soft as a baby's bum. Bottom Line: Re-assess your concepts with an esthetician completely candidly and take appropriate action. We are probably encouraging the very things we want to avoid. Protect yourself from yourself even if it is just bandaging your skin while at home. Try to resolve the anxieties that are driving the "picking", keep your skin as soft as you can to keep dry flakes from drawing your fingers to them, and let's be kind to ourselves. You can learn something new every day even into old age! Here's to pain-free, soft skin!! PS: Megansmom means Megan is my beautiful Malamute canine companion and my chief anxiety makers are my own children.
August 14, 2012
I have KP and tend to pick anywhere. I also have a problem with dermaphagia. I Do the band-aid thing with triple antibiotic cream. Keep the bathroom lights off, or very very dim. No see, no pick.
August 26, 2012
i am 14 and well i hate to admite it but i am a picker. for me it is like facing the devil when i pick my cuts. i realy want to stop, everyone tells me i am a very pretty girl but the always say that i need to stop my picking and i would be even more prettier. i have been doing this now for about 8 years now and i have alot of scars all over my body. when i tan that is when u can really see them i want to get rid of the too but my mom will not bye the crem untill i stop my picking. my so called dad pickes too so idk if i got it frm him or not, and my childhood relly hasnt been my happest years. so i also tink it is from stress and me being a likkle bit senticive over every thing. for me when i seen the cut i insantly start to pick it. plz help he wiit this if u have and trick to stop or something else plz tell mu thank u.!!!!!!!!!!!
October 20, 2012
Check my post from August 10th. I've been dealing with white spots or cores within open wounds for "several years". Have just been diagnosed with iron deficient anemia AGAIN. The last time was coincidentally "several years" ago. I have taken triple doses of IRON and am no longer anemic. MY OPEN SORES ARE NOW HEALING. Check with your doctor about having a Ferritin test done. Your iron levels might be a contributing factor. Too much iron is dangerous so don't start loading up on iron without consulting your doctor. I'm 74 and I live alone, my appetite is not great and I don't like to cook. I believe my anemia is due to poor nutrition which is quite common with the elderly. If poor nutrition could be your problem check for good sources of iron. Cream of wheat is cheap, I fix mine with milk; with butter, salt and pepper it's like mashed potatoes. Oatmeal is also inexpensive and a good source. Red meats, chicken, liver are all good sources. You are on the Internet so do a search for "iron rich foods". Sunflower seeds for snacks, Vitamin C enhances the use of iron so oranges, juice and frozen fruits bars are good. My skin will be clear soon, I will continue with my doctor and esthetician and hopefully I will have nothing to pick and wean myself from the addiction. Check your IRON level!
November 12, 2012
Hello, my name is Jackie! I have been picking since 2007-it is when I closed my business as a single mom, and everything went downhill financially from there. That was my trigger. I pick daily. I pick out white long things like hair follicles and hairs. I am 46 years old. My open wounds won't heal. I need help. I have tried every home remedy and four dermatologists! No help. I mix mustard (pure) and some water and it rids dermedox mites. If you have animals this is great treatment. I have over 16 scars HUGE on my face. It has ruined my life. All I do is work and go home, no NO socializing at all! It is 2012-and I am on anti depressants too! ANY HELP????? My open wounds won't heal????
December 12, 2012
If you wish to know how to treat open wounds faster, you have to check out your state of health. If you aren't usually healthy, how do you expect your body to work effectively?
January 12, 2013
I am 26 years old, and have been a picker for 11yrs. Unfortunately, even knowing the outcome of my picking "episode" .. The embarrassing, obvious open wounds that I am constantly trying to cake makeup over.. I can't seem to make myself stop. I worked for a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon for 3yrs. Which honestly made me focus even more on the little "imperfections" on my skin, making me pick EVEN MORE. Luckily with the knowledge I gained from that specialty, I do have some advice for anyone who is in that desperate situation of healing those "picking-pox" ASAP: 1.) when at home and trying to heal the open skin, wash your face with a good cleanser(not picky.. Just suggest hypo-allergenic and comedogenic-not acne causing) 2. An OTC face mask left on for 20min or so. Wash of with hot water and wet rag, without scrubbing too hard so skin doesn't open more. 3. Keep area moist with either something OTC like ICHTHAMMOL ointment "drawing salve/helps soothe skin" and cover with a bandaid or use a non-stick telfa pad and paper tape to keep it covered and moist. ** If you have insurance coverage or can afford to see a doctor and request a prescription called "BIAFINE emulsion".. this is a cream that actually helps skin to produce new granulation tissue(new skin to form). This cream has saved me from MANY picking scars.** keep the area clean and covered as much as possible, and even by the next dy you will notice your skin starting to look more normal. :) good luck. And I feel the pain.. But it's cool to kno that others are out there to share their stories and find support! xOx
February 07, 2013
I am 62 and this is the first time in my life that I have admitted to picking my face. My spouse knows but I have never told another person. I have done this on and off since I was a teenager. I use Dove soap on my skin. I pick mostly when I am stressed. At this point the pores on my nose and right side of my face fill up with dirt and my skin is always flaky after I shower (using Dove soap). I use a tweezer now to pick off the flaky skin. Then apply Clinique moisturizer. I tried washing my face every other day but my pores fill up and my skin feels and looks dirty. I am so ashamed. I just want to know if anyone can recommend a soap, cleanser, moisturizer or anything else that will heal my skin. I am desperate and decided to google my problem and this site came up. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to email me at
March 13, 2013

In reply to by Abbygrace62

Hi there, I pick my face till there is so much blood I have no more grip to do so. At the moment my face looks pretty normal except for one Huge piece of skin missing from my eye brows which I couldn't stop picking tonight. But I'm writing in regards to what to help heal your skin. Get organic rosehip oil. It does wonders. After your face is moist after washing take 2 to 3 drops, rub your hands together and pay your face. In one week I could see a difference and just a few days the flakiness of my face was gone. Hope this helps.
February 27, 2013
Do not be ashamed! Try and remember that it could always be worse. I have been picking my skin for YEARS..and on top of that I get so stressed out about it that I get cold sore outbreaks. I have tried EVERYTHING!! Honey, lemon, warm compress, cold compress, pills, creams...I have honestly tried it all. GONE IN ONE WEEK: keep the picked skin VERY clean. Make up, dead skin, any other kind of particle only makes it worse. Apply any kind of moist, concealment ointment- neosporin or aquaphor. Keeping the area moist is VERY important. Scabs clog up the area, delaying healing. When the skin is moist it makes it easier for new skin cells to move around and regenerate. DO NOT PICK! I understand its hard and you always tell yourself not to...but then you do. REMEMBER every time you pick you add on 2 - 3 more days of healing. Avoid mirrors and tweezers! Lastly, take biotin and vitamin A. Both of these vitamins have skin healing agents that will speed up healing! It is very important to remember that NO ONE looks at your face as closely as you do. When you are looking in the are on zoom view. On average, people generally do not look at each others faces. We make eye contact, then look away. If someone is going to judge you because of a scab, zit, or hair follicle on your face...screw them! Life is too short to be worried about judgmental people.
March 06, 2013
Cannot stop! I hate what I've done to my face. I don't want to see friends or family or even leAve my house because I know that they will be thinking imsome kind of crazy freak or a dope addict. I just want to be able to take a shower & not have to put makeup on. I want to go swimming & put my head under water. I want to think about something else besides my damn face all day! I just can't stop & I don't know why!?
March 12, 2013
I am so happy I found this forum! I'm in university and I have picked at my face for years, but never with any serious repercussions-- that is, until a couple of days ago. I don't know what happened, but I now have three (what I call) craters on my face, one on my cheek and two between my eyes. They have literally stopped my life. I am so embarrassed of them I haven't gone to class, I avoid my friends, I don't volunteer like usual, I just hide in my room, under the covers. I hate myself for it because I feel so shallow for letting my skin interfere with my life. I have tried desperately to speed up the healing process. Right now I am coating the craters with Polysporin enriched with vitamin E and covering them with Band-Aids. Praying that this helps! I wear make-up like a second skin, but make-up just accentuates the problem even more, which is why I haven't left my house. I can't give anyone any helpful advice because I am only dealing with this for the first time now, but I appreciate reading others' stories so much that I thought I'd share my own. Even if the immediate problem has not gone away, it feels amazing to know I'm not alone, so thank you to everyone who shared!

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