how to heal open wounds


Online Test For Skin Picking Disorder

Find Out The Severity of Your Symptoms With This Free Online Diagnostic Tool

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September 07, 2013

Hi everyone, I have been having this issue as well. I have read it is somewhat related to OCD, which makes sense to me as I have always shown other OCD-type symptoms as well. I have been picking for over 10 years, with the trigger being binge-eating or any kind of "loss of control" in my life, such as a breakup or poor grades at university. For the past couple months though, things have gotten out of control. I pick every single night, and usually multiple times in the day, resulting in a perma-reddened face and scarring everywhere. I am currently writing a diary of how I feel after I pick and I hope that works. Some products I have found to work are: -Avene sensitive skincare line (especially the very-dry sensitive cleansing milk) -Sudocrem (used for diaper rash, contains zinc to heal fast and keep moist) -Bio-oil - works ok, but I would prefer Sudocrem if it wasn't so white in colour. -Tanda luxe red and blue light therapy (basically makes skin scab fast and closes pores so products can be applied without as much inflammation) -calamine lotion (I apply at night as a toner after Avene cleansing milk) -Tamanu oil (safe for all skin types, apply at night, heals fast and lightens scarring) -20-60%lactic acid (as a peel when your skin has healed to hydrate and reduce scarring) I've never had bad acne, but I created it by damaging my pores. The pores on my nose are now always dark because they are so scarred over, and the scarring on my face is very visible from a couple feet away in certain lighting. Lactic acid peels have helped, but of course only until I pick again. For the past year I have been going to monthly laser-resurfacing appointments and oxygen facials. I thought if I spent enough on my skin, I would be less-likely to pick. For the first time, I got compliments from everyone of how great my skin looked, and I spent over $6000 on this, but as soon as I stopped going, I went straight back to picking. I know this can be beat, I used to pull at my hair, pick ingrowns, over-tweeze, and bite my nails until they were completely gone, but somehow I stopped all of those habits, so there MUST be a way to stop this. I am so ashamed of how I look and am wasting my life inside because I refuse to wear makeup and leave the house. Good luck to everyone.
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October 15, 2013

OK, I'm gonna make this a quickie as I have just typed most of my comment and lost it...most of my picking now is on my thighs,all my arms,shoulders,bottom, belly and chest...in a desperate attempt to heal the sores I have found some things that have been very successful in healing them ( of course right up to the point I tear into myself as soon as any are healed...sigh) OK...initially I was making a very strong epsom salt solution and wiping it over any sores, this cleared lots up, but obviously dried my skin out...now I have a better regime and it is healing stuff usually within 4 of 5 days if I keel my hands off...in Arkansas at Walgreens drug store they carry in the baby section..." anti monkey butt cream...it is very thick and water resistant so I only apply it at note...this cream combines zinc AND calamine as well as calendula and other natural stuff....it has the benefit of not melting your skin off like if feels like gold bond does! when I wake up everyday I shower, usually takes two soaping to cut thru the lotion and remove it...I then apply Epsom salt lotion to only areas with sores( had never seen this product til a couple of weeks ago)...bedtime I rinse salt off and repeat monkey butt...i can't tell its doing anything for the scars but I'm gonna try some of your suggestions for that...while I knew other people were probably picking some, I never really knew it wasn't just me in my head! I'm looking forward to being in this group!
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October 21, 2013

I have recently discovered I have an actual disorder and OCD compulsions and NOT acne. I just turned 30 and am constantly making a mess of my face. It's embarrassing to go out of my house, and I feel like a freak in front of my own family. Just as soon as my face heals and I start thinking about taking pictures again, I tear it up all over again. Need suggestions on what works for reducing the redness primarily. Thanks
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October 22, 2013

I have just realized that I've had this disorder since childhood. This picking has taken over my life. I rarely go anywhere, except for work.My co-workers know about this. I am very ashamed and depressed after I do this.
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December 13, 2013

Im sixteen and I've picked for about two years now. i have really nice skin when I'm not picking. I rarely have acne thats red, its usually just white heads but I turn them into big red wounds and then i pick the scabs. i either use visine eye drops or makeup to cover the red spots but whether they're covered or not, it torments me that they're there. I feel like I can't fully live my life or live in the moment when I have marks on my face. It's beyond annoying. My family knows about it and maybe one or two of my friends back home. Im at boarding school and its gotten better since I've been here because I'm always around people and rarely on my own in the bathroom. But I still do it, especially when I'm stressed. I picked last week then again last night, then picked my scabs from last nights picking today. I'm glad to have a place where I can just talk about this stuff without people judging me. I don't have it nearly as bad as a lot of people but I still hate it so much and I just want it to go away. What do you guys do after you pick until it heals?? Just wear makeup and wait for it to heal? Do you pick the scabs? thats a big thing for me, i can't not pick my scabs so it always takes a while to heal. and do you get those sort of dark discolorated dead skin thats like a thinner scab? are you suppose to pick those?
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April 27, 2014

@basketcase - Firstly, you are not a basketcase, I promise. I am 29 years old and I started picking when I was around your age. Our cases sound similar - my skin is actually pretty nice when I don't pick. I tend to pick when I'm tired and/or stressed, or when I'm anxious. 99.9% of the time it happens in the bathroom when no one is around. I mostly pick my arms, by back, and my chest, sometimes my face. I usually wear shirts that cover my arms, and if I have a bad episode of face-picking, then I just have to wear make-up until it heals. Lately, I've been trying saline solution (salt water) to expedite healing. It's recommended to use 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per 8 oz of water. You can just mix it up and heat it (not too hot - maybe 30 to 45 seconds in the microwave), dip a cotton ball in the solution, and soak the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes per day. Some people recommend that you rinse off the salt after soaking. And definitely be sure to moisturize afterward, especially if you have dry/sensitive skin. There are so many suggested healing techniques out there, though - you just have to try some and see what works for you. More important, however, is getting to the root of the issue: why do we pick? I can't tell you how much time I wasted feeling so insecure about my skin... I mean we're talking 15 years of this... no one should have to go through that. Finally, almost two years ago, I started seeing a therapist, and I feel like for the first time in my life I'm making real progress - not just superficial wound healing and then going right back to the picking cycle. This is an anxiety disorder, and its source is emotional/ psychological. I am discovering through therapy (and JUST therapy - no medications of any kind), that what I am carrying around inside is not mine. It is a deep anxiety that has been handed down from mother to daughter in my family, and it stems from a long legacy of emotional trauma. I know therapy doesn't sound enticing... its not a quick fix, that's for sure, but I really believe its the only way to a cure. I wish I had started going when I was your age. If you decide to go that route, its important to find a therapist who is the right fit for you - you may have to try a few before you find the right person. In the meantime, just try to be kind to yourself about it... don't beat yourself up emotionally. Breathe deeply. Do things that make you feel healthy - drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, eat foods that make you feel energized and nourished. Try to mitigate stress as best as you can (I know it's tough in HS). Spend time with people who are kind and supportive to you - anyone who is not is absolutely not worth your precious time and energy. Take good care of you, and always know you're not alone.
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May 03, 2014

That was a great reply you wrote this girl. thank you. You were very kind to her and I could feel those nd words on me. I feel like therapy would be a good way to go but I just wish someone would hand me the good therapist with the right fit for me, so I could just know and get started. I hate the thought of going and then having to say "No" to someone.
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January 03, 2014

I've been using berts bees baby butter. It comes in a little jar and is like a salve. I apply it twice daily and it's really helped with the redness and inflamed look. It also has a nice scent and deters me from picking my face due to how it sits in the skin. It has aloe, bees wax, almond and coconut oil. I have oily skin and the salve has not made me break out.
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January 12, 2014

I'm so happy I found this page! I have been attacking any tiny spot on my face with clippers for about a year and have been left with horrible big scabs and red marks all over my face. I suffer from depression and often just hide in my bed because I'm so self conscious. It's my 21st in 3 weeks and my skin is in a terrible state, I've decided enough is enough and I'm going to try to stop touching my face as of tomorrow and let it heal. I'm praying I can do it and begin enjoying my life again as my face is all I think about every day :(
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May 01, 2014

Hi! I'm not going to describe any of my experience of skin picking as it it basically everything you all said already. One thing I experimented that helps the healing is to put lemon juice on the open wound (yes, when I do it i macarena dance the pain away!) This closes and dries the wound, and then I apply honey on it. My mom always told me honey was good for everything, then I heard they used it in the army to heal soldiers (i think it was in the russian army back in the days) and recently I heard they used it on patient in a clinic specialized in burnt people. Si I tried it and it works. It doesn't work over night (altho the lemon really helps!) but I found it it really worked for me and it's not expensive. I have the chance to live near a beekeeper, so I know my honey is pure and it is less expensiv than the fake honey you can find at the grocery store. So I would advise you to get organic honey if you don't have a beekeeper nearby. Oddly after I picked on my skin, it heals faster only if i remove the white thingy in the wound, (with a tweezer) ; but I would save myself so much trouble and shame if I didn't pick in the first place. Putting honey all over my face makes my skin delicious, but also dissuade me from picking my skin anymore as it's sticky. I hope this could help someone,
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May 03, 2014

Even as I write this I am picking, and I swear to myself every time I get one pick down and one piece of finger flesh in my mouth, I will stop. I always think, this could be the last one. I am not stopping though, and obviously, totally, really, really wish I could. I am 55. I have been picking my fingers since I was about 6-8 years old, I think--I just remember doing it most of my life. I pick the skin around my nails. I do not generally chew my nails, and they in fact, usually look kind of long and nice. But NOT my thumbs. My thumbnails are bumpy, discolored, peeling and both thumbs have huge "humps" in them which I do my best to hide from people. That is particularly hard to do at work when I am holding a document to show to a colleague or reading a book to a kid--I have become adept at pointing at text with my pinkies since they are usually not as desecrated and I also curl my thumbs in so no one sees them. I am embarrassed, distracted, definitely not as efficient as I could be at work or home since so much time goes to staring at and shredding my fingers. I also bleed, a lot, I go through boxes of band-aids, and about once a year I get a serious infected finger and have to embarrassingly go to doc for strong antibiotics. I am a lier, sometimes, frequently....because I tell the doc the wound came from a paper cut, the kids I work with I have "skin problems" and infections, any adults that might (God forbid) happen to notice that I have very "dry skin" that cracks and peels.... I always feel like I want to make my skin smooth, to get rid of the ridges, skin 'cliffs' and flaky prickly skin...."If I just make it smooth I will be done....." I DID quit for five years. I don't know how I did it but I did, through sheer will. Now I think the habit has always been lurking, and it pounced again about two years ago. Finally, my teeth have been hurting lately, the front teeth, from so many years of grinding on the flesh between my front teeth. I sound like a monster but am not. I would love to have a permanent, lasting complete cure. I feel shattered and fractured, not at peace, not centered at all. It impacts my self-esteem, it controls my life. I don't want to see or talk to people due to the shame I feel for what I do, with a hidden bleeding finger to remind me. Or a skin tag I cannot wait to get into my office and chew on. Argh. I want to try hypnosis. Anybody...success with that? Look forward to hearing what you have to say. Have read a lot of blogs here, this is the first time I have posted on a blog. Maybe this full disclosure of my real-life, all-consuming problem can help?? ( - : ) - :
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May 12, 2014

Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment is the way to go, especially to keep it from getting infected and therefore less scarring. I use bandaids sometimes, sleep with plastic wrap on my arms (with neosporin, fast healing!) and wear gloves around the house when I feel like I might be inclined to pick. Once it's healed get some scar serum, coconut oil, tea tree oil, olive oil, all are good and my favorites. Try a bunch of things to keep your skin moist and hydrated! It'll heal faster and fade the scars faster.
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July 16, 2014

I am so happy to have found this site. I've had psoriasis for about 18 months, give or take, but I didn't see my doctor about it until it had broken out on my arms. It started with a large sore on my right shin that got bigger and creepier all the time, but when it got to my arms I had to find out what was wrong with me and I was terrified. I thought the big sore on my leg was cellulitis. He hadn't seen that either. I was sent to see a dermatologist who did a biopsy & confirmed it to be plaque psoriasis. Humira is often recommended, but I was already using it for my arthritis, a rare type that's an autoimmune disease and it carries along a host of other diseases. Some of them are Crohn's disease, iritis, psoriasis, ulcers, etc. The big, ugly thing on my him he said was no big deal, the skin under it was healthy. It was covered by what appeared to be big, broken scabs that looked like a mosaic. Only ugly. Within a couple of days I had all of that off& was left with brand new looking thin, red skin. The other psoriasis sites are gone now, but that thing on my leg weeps. When it becomes dry I start peeling that crusty looked dried skin off, and then it weeps where I pulled off the crusty skin that's basically ready to come off. I've been doing this for over a year and it is ruining my posture as well as my disposition and my leg. I think my biggest probe list that now it's not just a habit, it's become more like an obsession, and I just want to find a way to stop the weeping. I've used vitamin E oil with some relief, but not enough to keep using it. My latest 'treatment' is Shea body butter that I put quite a few drops of lavender essential oil in & mixed it all up. I've used it the last 2 nights before I went to bed & the difference was huge. Yesterday there was no weeping at all and the skin was smooth in most places, and I resisted the urge to pick at the places I knew I could pull off. Last night again with good results today. But today I started picking at it again, I don't know how to stop. Thank you all that shared your stories and I sincerely pray that you are all blessed with a cure for it all right now. Thank you. - Sue W.
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August 11, 2014

hi im so glad i found this site.i have been picking since i was 13 after something horrible happened to me this was what i would do to gwt my mind off of it now im 24 and i am still picking.i pick what i think is a blackhead several times then when its a scab i pivk that constantly then it turns into a crater and i pick that then it becomes a cm deep hole an i pick and pull the stuff out of that which im assuming is whote scar tissue then its a cm hole deep and wide and always got puss coming out of it now i have huge dark purple scars all over my body and have a huge hole under my arm that wont heal and is always bleeding and has puss and i dont know what to do or how to heal it i worry im gping to give myself blood poisoning from this or it is infected and gwt real sick from it mt wont close as it is too big now but my partner says you can use super gluw to shut it and it will eventually heal and close and ive tried this but i pick the glue out once its dried and it is gross i know but it really smells now bad i jist need help im sick of doing this to myself it depresses me that my body looks like this
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August 21, 2014

Go to the hospital. Now. What you're describing sounds like it needs medical attention from a professional. I know you may be ashamed but explain to the physician that you have a legitimate disorder, and they will understand do the best to help you. I also recommend bringing someone you trust who knows your condition for support. I'll be praying for you.
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September 09, 2014

Hello everyone. I really need help for my father. He's now 83. Years ago (I'm talking years), he ended up with some type of scab on his forehead. He kept picking at it and it grew and got worse. Now, we're talking a wound with a bad, big, dark and light, and crusty scar ringing it, altogether about the size of a mandarin orange. He wears a wide, cloth bandaid over it. It smells bad. He won't go to see anyone. I've asked for medical intervention, but they won't... because he's an adult and he has the right to refuse treatment. This is not something that started with an obsession about picking. But he won't treat it and of course it gets worse. It bleeds. I discover him bleeding in Walmart... I must change his bed sheets, etc. at least twice, three times a week because of staining. I discover blood all over the house because he doesn't see it sometimes (he's 83). Because he's getting weaker with age, he mostly sits on the couch and watches TV. So now, the couch smells like his wound. I went through the period of being disgusted, trying not to be disgusted, ignoring. He's my dad, and I guess he has the right to do as he wishes, even if it means that our whole house is affected. I've given up on convincing him to see a medical professional. But I'd like to know if there's something I can do to at least lessen the wound (and therefore, its effects).
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September 10, 2014

Wow that's a really tough situation. You could check into home health which does wound care. Sometimes physical therapy can do wound care too. It is not a sanitary situation to have blood all over the house. If he doesn't get it treated medically it is likely to get worse. Tell him he has to have a doctor look at it and get the right medicine and supplies to allow it to heal. You'd have to make the call whether it's appropriate to call adult protective services, or the health department, who can get social workers involved to help out with the situation. Try to come from the angle you care about him and what the best quality of life for him, and the way things are going it's only going to get worse. If you get sick from living in that environment, you won't be able to take care of him. It's too much unnecessary work to change his sheets so often. Maybe he would even qualify for a skilled nursing facility who could assist him temporarily until it heals. For wound healing, a daily multivitamin, Vitamin C, and Zinc Sulfate are helpful when taken by mouth. Enough protein and calories are also important. And most importantly...stop picking at it. He could wear gloves at home perhaps in order to stop picking at it. I hope he can see the value in going to a doctor and that you can enjoy your time with him instead of ignore it!
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September 10, 2014

Thank you for responding. I have tried so many times to convince him any way I can think of to seek medical help... or to even let me bring someone into the home so that he wouldn't have to leave his environment. I have even tried manipulation. He's a real dog lover and we have two. Nothing. I tried telling him that he was scaring the dogs... that they would have a hard time if he was gone... or removed from the home. He likes our Sunday morning excursions to Walmart. I tried telling him that soon, Walmart won't let him in the door because he will be too scary looking. His response? "I'll wear a hat that covers it" And he does! While my original post stated that this didn't start from a compulsion, I believe it continues because of a psychological condition. I believe my dad wants to hasten his death and he's looking to be passive in the face of an external force that would make that happen. I say this because when my brother confronted him and wouldn't end the conversation, my father blurted out that he didn't deserve to get better! This is going to sound crazy, but I even considered going back to school to become a nurse (I'm an advertising copywriter... other end of the spectrum!) so that home help could come from me! My rationale was that he's lived with this for THIS long maybe he could last until I become a medical professional. Obviously that last was not realistic. I'm just venting now. Sorry. I'm waiting for the moment he loses consciousness. That's when I'll call 911 and the matter will be taken out of his hands. But I can't believe I'm in the position where I'm hoping my dad gets that sick! Can you believe it? About a week ago, he got very dizzy and fell to the floor. My first thought was, of course, OMG... go help! My second was... is this my chance? But he didn't faint. He just fell. Thank Goodness he didn't hit anything on the way down.
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September 11, 2014

Hmmm...yeah it's too sticky to be a doctor for your own family. Even doctors need a doctor besides themselves. You are too close emotionally. He may refuse it, but you might consider calling Senior Protective Services in your area just to have them come to the house and evaluate. If they need to take additional means they will and it won't be your doing. It sounds like you really want something to change, and if he had the whole health team with a counselor, wound care, physician, and a daughter who doesn't resent the situation, he has much better chances of enjoying his last years. Will keep this in prayer!
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September 11, 2014

Thank you, I'll try that. It can't hurt to at least contact them. Where I am, I'm not sure if we have that exactly. But there must be something comparable (I'm in Montreal). But again, I really appreciate the response and suggestions. I'll check once more what kind of services are available to me.
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September 19, 2014

I have had this disorder since I was a teen. I am 44 now and still have it, but have finally opened up to my doctor about and and am getting great help. Here's what we are doing: 1. I take Naltrexone, 100 mg. this is an anti-self mutilating drug which prohibits the stress-relieving affects of picking/self harm. I have noticed I don't pick as long on it and don't take it to the extreme as I always have. 2. When I get a blemish, or feel one starting underground I puncture a liquid Advil and apply the liquid to it. It reduces the swelling and pain, which makes me want to pick it. This helps me not fixate on it as much. 3. I make a facial mask from Tocotrienols Rice Bran Solubles for open wounds and also when my face is ok. This is a most potent form of vitamin E and very high in antioxidants that deep cleans dirt and bacteria and helps skin heal faster. It's natural and non drying and also perfect for sensitive skin. It has helped my scars diminish in appearance and actually makes my skin look younger and fresher. It's great for preventing skin cancer and has a lot of other benefits too, so I put it in a smoothie everyday also. Tocotrienols can come in gelcaps, like regular vitamin E, but DO NOT put it on your skin like this!! It's too potent and will burn/chap your skin. The soluable product is much better. I mix 1 tablespoons with purified water, mix it into a paste a smear it on my skin and keep it there for 15-30 mins. You can find the soluable form here: https://www.sunfood.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/159996/ use my referral email: brhatt09@gmail so I can get a small discount- so appreciated!! It's a little pricey, but goes a long way and wow! The results are noticeable! 4. I took out 2 of my 3 bathroom light lighbulbs so it's darker and I don't notice every spot. I only use a tiny makeup mirror for applying makeup in my kitchen with full light and I have no other mirrors in the house. 5. Lastly, I sometimes put band aids on all my fingertips because when I touch my face (constantly) I can't feel bumps and pimples, which leads me to the mirror to see and always starts a picking session. It works better than gloves for me, which are too easy to take off. Hope these help! God Bless my friends
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December 03, 2014

Hi, I have just joined. I have been picking my lip since I was 9/10 years old and I am 18 years old know. This happens every time I get dry lips. I picked my lips a lot yesterday and now I sort of have a scab on lips where I picked it's not a scab like one a person get's on their face but a different kind. The scab is skin but it is very dark ad quite red. I was wondering how to heal it quickly beacause I don't want my mum to find out.
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July 25, 2016

Okay so I recently picked the scab off my wound and I'm guessing it wasn't ready yet because I was left a with red, raw skin patch which was also oozing clear liquid. So all I've done is put neosporin on it but I need it to heal fast since I have upcoming events. I also tried calamine lotion but it started burning so I quickly took it off. what else can I do to make it heal faster?? How can I keep a scab from forming? or How can I make the scab fall off faster once it does form?? Please HElp.
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August 14, 2016

I have had problems with skin lesions on my chin. Start out like hard pimples that don't pop, then morph into large lesions, scaling, small round thread like things that can be pulled out and then bleed. Been seeing seem, tried everything, nothing helps. Just got some ByeBye Foundation CC cream to cover, and it is healing them! Amazing stuff, I think anyone with this problem might want to give it a try!
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August 14, 2016

I put the cc cream on open, oozing lesion and by next day, much better. It says not to, but it actually helps. And covers it nicely as well! I was using Bare Minerals Bareskin serum foundation, and it helped some. But this cc cream is dramatically better!!! So thrilled I have found an answer! Wanted to share immediately because I know personally what a horrible thing this is. I have hid inside my home from embarrassment for weeks due to these things, depressed and sad. Please try and let me know. Oh, and washing my face with Dove soap and water. Instead of picking scab and dry skin, I wipe area with alcohol pad and let dry. Then apply cc cream til area well concealed. The magic begins, and when you wash your face, it will be much better.
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September 03, 2016

The things that have worked best for me (and I've tried everything besides prescription meds) wash your face twice a day, when you wake up and before you go to bed, use an all natural soap such as oatmeal, witch hazel or tea tree. After washing your face rub your face with a cotton ball soaked in braggs organic apple cider vinager. Once that's dry follow up with rubbing your face with another cotton ball soaked in witch hazel. Once you've soothed your skin with the witch hazel lather the problem areas with organic coconut oil. If you need to cover your face with make up , dab the excess off with a clean tissue. The apple cider vinager is used to treat the bacteria, the witch hazel to calm and sooth skin , and the coconut oil also is used as an anti bacterial but also a great moisturizer to soften wounds and scabs. Hope this helps!
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September 24, 2016

Newperspectives calamine lotion treatment! It works I'm tellin ya! I just tried it and after 2 days and 4 applications.... The wound is significantly better and healing quite quickly !
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August 26, 2017

@kit what type of laser treatments did you do, and did they work? Thanks!!
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August 26, 2017

@kit what type of laser treatments did you do, and did they work? Thanks!!

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