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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
May 10, 2013
hello, i am almost 30 with 20 years or more of picking. it all started when i was a little girl and i got chicken pox. i picked my scabs then and still to this day have a very light remnent of the chicken pox scars. well, i have for years picked my arms and legs. in HS i could not wear shorts when i was in marching band in the summer camp. i suffered heavy scrutiny and social pain with this. i met my husband when i was in mid college. i told him about my picking and he was the first person to accept me as is. he told my i am beautiful. i still deal with heavy anxiety and i pick at the acne on my face. i don't have heavy acne, but i get those under the skin ones that hurt, so i try and pop then i pick the damaged skin off creating a wound. well off and on i have had ugly scars on my face, makeup cannot cover it. i have meltdowns due to this. i can't enjoy summer because i am ashamed to walk in a bathing suit. having two kids in the hospital with bad scars on my face mad me enjoy less of the new baby experience. i do not want my daughter to see me like this nor my son. my mom is also a picker, but won't admit it. i get my anxiety from her. i have a routine that helps with the healing process and helps my acne go away the next day. ACNE OVERNIGHT TREATMENT: when i get a zit, i pop it, wash my face then apply tea tree oil to the site(this only works for white head acne). i apply a zit zapper(Avon Blemish treatment) then cover it with a Fast Healing bandaid. when i wake up, depending on how severe the white head was, it is gone. then there are ones that can't be popped, but i still do it. the under the skin ones are awful...WEEK LONG TREATMENT OF OPEN WOUND SKIN PICKED PIMPLE> i have these once in a while where i make more damage than i should, that is when my anxiety kicked in...i wash my face, apply neosporin to the site(a small amount to make a dome shaped seal over the wound) i leave it for an hour. then i clean it with tea tree oil, then i start my scar removing system, it works! i make a mixture of neosporin, bio oil and scar treatment. then i use a bandaid(silicone fast healing). i place the bandaid on the mixture that has absorbed in my scar. then i heal it for about a week repeating the process. before i know it. as if nothing bad was ever there. before it is a scar i apply a AMBI oily skin fade cream to life the scar tissue. i use tweezers to peel the scar tissue off. this helps until it cannot be lifted anymore, then i start the process of scar fading. i hope this helps. as of now i have a slow healing wound on my cheek. i am doing my regiman and it has not healed yet. i will keep doing this and avoid picking it to see what happens. best of luck and God Bless you all
May 22, 2013
For Wendyg, I know it is hard to see yourself and feel that way about your face but we all see ourselves worse than others see us. I use Aveno lotion or if I think it might get infected I use an antibiotic ointment like Bacitracin or Neosporin. I think it takes about 2 weeks of leaving the scab alone before it completely heals up. There are things to try to take your mind off of the picking like the elastic band on the wrist, or to talk to yourself internally about how you don't want to pick anymore and you want to stop and you're not going to do this now because you want your face to heal and not get infected. Some people pray, others try to distract themselves with enjoyable things: reading, swimming, going to a movie, shopping, getting a massage, dancing etc.... I hope that you will try to be kind to yourself and not pick for 1 day or a few hours whatever time limit you want to start with...that's what I try to do. No one is perfect. We each have our own issues to try and overcome. Best of luck...and write again
May 23, 2013
hi. i am like you. i picked badly at myself and now i have about three awful scabs, including 1 on my lip.. i don't use tweezers anymore but it is seriously affecting me in the way i look so much that i want to avoid seeing anyone just so they can't see me. i've stayed at home (in my room) for the last 5 days completely,, not went out i'm all here and watching when i can ocasionally go out to the kitchen as i don't even want the people who live in this house seeing me :( it is making me depressed and lonely as i am isolating myself. i want to know too how to heal the wounds nothing i've found so far that helps me :'(
May 24, 2013
I use the caladryl lotion as many others have suggested and I can honestly say for me it was like a small overnight miracle! My wounds have begun to close up and look significantly better than they did !!! I would definitely suggest this. I used the pink lotion as a face mask overnight and put the clear lotion under my make up during the day.
August 05, 2013
I have been using Caladryl Lotion for 2 days now on my 4 dime sized open wounds/scabs on my chin. It has helped a lot but still not looking to good I am going to try the raw honey and neosporin idea now. I know I am only 14 years old right now but having to go to school in 2 weeks is like nerve wrecking and we are getting a lot of new students well for my school at least and it will be my first year in high school, I don't want people to remember me as the girl with open wounds on her chin but It is nice to hear all of your guy's stories because I needed to be reminded I'm not the only one out there without perfect skin also I am finding it impossible to stop picking I have my whole family on alert to tell me to stop picking because I do it unconsciously now, but I just cut off all my fingernails and every time I realize I am picking I am going to put band-aids on the ends of my fingers starting with my pointers and then when I stop my self from picking I will allow myself to take off a band-aid It has actually worked a lot since I don't want to leave my room anymore but I sill do all because of my sister who is allergic to something we haven't figured out yet and has red dots ALL over her face but she gives me courage to go through my house but out in public not much but Thank-you for sharing also if you just have regular zits "On-the-Spot" acne treatment from Neutrogena i felt helps a lot!
August 23, 2013
I had great skin in high school and my early twenties. I am 28 now and my skin was bad during college when I didn't sleep nearly enough or eat enough due to being a full time student and single mom. I figured it was because of stress. My skin cleard up when I was pregnant with my daughter so I never had anything to pick at. My daughter is 10 months old and and for the past 6 months I have broken out with horrible acne.. What makes it worse is that I will go to the mirror and pick at them on and off during the day and they end I Up blistering or my nail slips and scrapes my skin off where it becomes a wound.. I have many times felt so ugly and disgusted with myself for causing such damage to my body. I get ingrown hairs on my eyebrows which causes a blister type bump and I can't leave it alone I want to dig that hair out so the bump doesn't get bigger. But it yet again turns into an abrasion and looks worse. I don't want to go anywhere or see anyone be cause I am terrified of people thinking I am a meth user. I am definitely not a meth user or anything like that but when I have scabs on my face I feel like the people on the meth billboards with band aids on their face. What helps take redness away?
kathleen k
October 22, 2013

In reply to by Tinamarie

I know. I am not using meth or opiods now and i still do it. When i was young i was a meth user and it really took off. The urge is overpowering and i feel so bad after.
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.
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 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 I have a better regime and it is healing stuff usually within 4 of 5 days if I keel my hands Arkansas at Walgreens drug store they carry in the baby section..." anti monkey butt 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 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!
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
kathleen k
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.
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?
April 27, 2014

In reply to by basketcase

@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.
May 03, 2014

In reply to by 777

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.
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.
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 :(
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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