Spring Cleaning No-Pick Challenge


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April 19, 2013

I am jumping on the band wagon. I understand that my compulsive behavior is damaging and I definitely have the desire to stop!
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April 19, 2013

Great, jazmb. Looking forward to having you along for the ride. Checking in to mark Day 1, no picking. It was a challenging 24hrs but I have only a few small cuts/pick sites that are actively healing right now so I can see that if I lay off for even a few days, things will look a lot better rather quickly. Where do you pick the most right now?
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April 20, 2013

I'm on day 5 of a no pick challenge and have surprised myself at my will power not to pick. My worst areas are my face and the top of my back, although the week before I started the challenge I also noticed a few spots which I picked quite badly at the bottom of my back, now there is a little cluster there which is tempting to pick at. This also made me realise that the theory is acually true that if you pick you really do spread the problem - I never get spots at the base of my back but at the moment there are about 6 which I believe all came from when I picked the 1 or 2 that were there originally. In regards to the no pick challenge! I have come close a few times while I was watching tv or not paying attention but my worst habit of all is picking for hours at my face infront of the mirror which I have stopped completely. I have come close by having a very close look at my face a few times, which usually leads to picking, but I stopped myself. Knowing I would let myself down if I gave in to the urge made me stop in my tracks. The results after 5 days are changing my ideas and views about picking completely, I didn't know what happened to a whitehead if you didn't pick it, as I had never tried, in my mind in order for it to go you needed to squeeze it. However as I have come to realise over the past few days, whiteheads disapear if you don't pick them, and the same goes for all of the other small spots and imperfections on my face. I am going to treat myself to buying some biore pore strips which I haven't needed to use in a long while in order to remove some of the gunk that has build up - usually I would end up squeezing my skin to remove the blackheads that were lurking and causing a big mess. As you said it gets easier when the scabs heal and theres less to pick at, my face is now scab free, and there are only red marks left which aren't so tempting to pick at. I am using products with glycolic acid and exfoliating my face to remove the dead skin cells and keep my face looking fresh - as one of my problems before was that I felt dirty without pulling all of the gunk out of my face, using different products makes me content in the knowledge that I'm still actively doing something to remove anything that needs to be removed. Keep going it really does get easier, after only a few days I'm starting to feel freer from this problem and almost normal!! Lets hope this leads to no picking for good :)
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April 23, 2013

I'm going to join you from tomorrow. I've been here before and managed to drastically cut down on my picking. But a stressful few months has led to an increase in me picking at my face and now bikini area and feet. I can see it is turning into a problem again and want to put a stop to it once and for all. I am on the verge of splitting up with my boyfriend and know that the stress of that will lead me to pick more. I want to make a commitment to stop now as I realise that is not the way I ant to react to that situation and that messing up my face will just make me feel unattractv and worse about myself at a time when that's the last thing I need. Wish me luck!
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April 26, 2013

I quit picking my scalp on the night of the 13th and I am still pick free amazingly!! A few things have helped me. I cut my nails short so I can't use them to pick. I try to only scratch my head with my knuckles, not my fingertips. I did some self hypnosis. And I read the scary story the girl posted here about someone scratching through to their brain. It is still tough though and I need to constantly remind myself not to do it. I am so proud of myself though because I have always been a stress picker, and I was two blocks from the bombing in Boston on the 15th, my second full day of not picking, and I didn't cave. If I could handle that without picking, I can handle anything.
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April 29, 2013

Hi Everybody. Checking back in to say that even though I've not posted, I also haven't picked. My open sores scabbed over really fast (I am guilty of over-using peroxide to help that along..) and I let them dry up and fall off on their own. There are still red marks around each hair follicle that I picked but there aren't that many and I know they will fade in time. One thing that seems to have helped: keeping nails super short and painting them bright orangey-red. It's like I see how nice they look and it seems weird to my brain to be using these nicely painted fingertips to dig into my own skin. Just a suggestion you might try... Plus I threw out the tweezers, needles, etc. (I do that a lot. I just buy more but at least the house is utensil-free right now). Anyway: just wanted to thank you all for checking in. I'd love to hear more about everyone's progress. Which reminds me of the 12-step saying: "Progress, not perfection," which I think applies to our struggles here. xValentine
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May 09, 2013

Checking back to say I'm working from home today and so VERY tempted to start digging at the tiny beginnings of hairs starting to form along my bikini line but taking a DEEP breath and posting here instead. It's almost all healed there now and so I want to stay strong and NOT give in the voice that says 'just one hair'... Same for those bumps (KP) on my upper arms. Trying to just use the alpha hydroxy wash on them in the shower but finding I 'have' to pick one every few days... Anyway, that's my update. XValentine
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May 10, 2013

Second checkin today. Bumps on arm were too much for me. Picked at two... There must be like 30 tiny bumps..will try to keep hands off here on out..will try to use KP wash in shower and cover with Klaron the rest of the time..at least I'm leaving my bikini line alone but jeez, this stuff is hard! Progress not perfection!
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May 10, 2013

Your online right now so am I. So far today I haven't picked any pimples but I did scratch my skin.
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May 10, 2013

Well that's great. Any day without picking is a good day. To minimize scratching damage I keep my nails super short and try to moisturizer the skin... Have you tried that?
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May 14, 2013

I'm checking in too late. Picked at 3 bumps on my left arm and one bump on my right arm. And I'm seeing someone new and worried that he will see these marks (right now, an hour after picking, they're raised like mosquito bites with a red dot in the center). Am putting Klaron on them and hope that by tomorrow lunch, when I see him again, that they look a little better. But ARGH ARGH ARGH, I've been so good but it seems like at least once a week I have a short relapse. Maybe it's because I haven't been posting every day. I will go back to posting daily and see if that helps. And asking the universe (I'm an atheist so I can't ask "god") for help. And meditating on not picking. And try to stay present and in the moment because it's when I zone out--working at home, not at my office space like I should--that I have the most problems with picking. Ok. That's it for now. More Soon, xValentine.
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May 19, 2013

Hi can I join your challenge? I know I'm like a month late but I've only just found this website. I've been more successful with my resolve to stop very recently but I'm in the middle of exams at the moment which is really messing things up - home on my own studying for long stretches of time, coupled with exam fear. Something that's helped me a lot is sharing what I'm going through so I thought this might help too as you can only get so much understanding or support from someone who's never experienced it themselves Valentine it's actually crazy how much your experience is mirroring mine. I was down to once a week too - except now that I've given in twice in the last 3 days. That you put the term 'I''ve been so good' in your post really resonates coz that's exactly what I say to myself afterwards. Maybe try putting it into the larger perspective rather than a more recent comparison. What I try to say to myself is, ok you might have given in today for half an hour when you hadn't done it for a week but look at the control you've managed to develop compared to when you used to do it every day for three hours. You are progressing! Set backs will happen you're only human. On the new man front - there's no way he'll notice. We ourselves are our harshest critics Guys are far more genuinely appreciative of attention from us than we are from them. (At least in my experience) You're reading what he'll see / think based on how you see yourself - not objective at all. He's probably looking at you thinking how hot you are and how soon he can get it on with you! Put on some Barry White and forget about your skin ! Hope it went well!
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May 22, 2013

Thanks for the thoughtful post, Rosa.
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May 20, 2013

Hello Valentine, I just found this site and registered right now. I have been reading about skin picking for the last couple months. I used to suffer from this about 8 years ago extremely bad, but somehow after 2 years of it, it just stopped. NOW, about 3 months ago, it came back full force. It started with a breakout and ended up with me falling straight into this behavior. I have been trying to cope, have told several of my close friends (who are so supportive and love me regardless) which helped make it manageable to at least be around them. BUT, there are so many days where I just drop off the face of the earth because I am just filled with shame, embarrassment, extreme anger at myself, desperation, panic, depression and sometimes, just self-hatred (due to the repeated picking even though I know it leaves my face terrible and unable to cover the damage. The past three weeks have been really bad. One night, I went to wash my face at 11:00pm, and when I looked at my watch, it was 5:30AM! I had not stopped picking! I did good for a couple days but then my face got two pimples, and I held out for a couple days, but then ended up giving in, and making a massacre of my face. I have been hiding in my house for an entire week and a half. Last night, I picked for four hours, and today a total of nearly 7 hours! I was feeling good before this, now I feel ashamed, housebound, with my face looking like a complete mess. Why do I do this??? My face didn't even look bad before yet I destroyed it and now feel like I am bound from hanging with friends, doing enjoyable things because not only is my face bloody and red, it is so painful. I want to stop so bad. I cannot continue like this anymore. I have never had a support group for this, and I am hoping that with each other here, we can learn. I love you guys already and thank you for being here! I must hold onto hope. I would like to try to do this with you all, beginning tomorrow. I know I am about a month behind, I hope that it is still okay to join ?
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May 21, 2013

I know for me the shame and self loathing for having given in can be all consuming and usually it triggers a spiral of picking in which each 'session' is worse and longer than the one before. It sounds like that might be whats happening here with you. I've been picking non stop for 13 years so I don't know what its like to have stopped and then come back to it but the longer I leave between doing it (the max I've ever gone is 10 days) the more severe I am to my skin and the more damage I do. Its like some demon gets into me and punishes me for thinking or daring to think I could possibly stop. So maybe its something similar here for you but on a different scale as it were. The biggest thing I've realized isn't the picking itself or the severity of it but the emotional reaction, which causes us to be almost paralyzed within the cycle. Its really important that if you give in you don't beat yourself up about it, its done - try to separate yourself emotionally. Don't look in the mirror for a few days I know that upsetting image far too well and how much it can trigger another session. I actually got rid of my bathroom mirror for 6 months it didn't cease the problem but it made it less frequent. Now the bathroom mirror is at a level where its slightly too high for me. On my tip toes I can see in but its painful to stand there for long periods and I can't get the angles right anyway to be able to do it 'properly'. Also as much as you might think your face cannot be fit to be seen outside your house, you have to make yourself leave the house on those bad days even if you go somewhere where you know nobody or its only for a 10min walk around the block, you'll only magnifying the problem by confining yourself to a smaller space and its also a space you're more likely to pick in. So as awful as it seems like it would be to leave the house ultimately its worse for you in the long run if you don't. Take thing slowly, go for a 10min walk one day, meet a family member who's really unobservant the second day etc. - one victory at a time and recognize them, write them down, feel proud of each and everyone of them. You have an uphill battle, recognizing it as that and making it a positive challenge rather than a weakness or flaw you have to fix will get you in a better mind set for it. Also, I think with this process, facing why we do it is a necessary element. Is it possible that both times there was a trigger to this? Or is there something you're repressing that comes out in this way. Don't feel you have to share them, its just something you should probably think about. I strongly feel for me - and I've only come round to this recently, I originally thought the picking was a problem within itself - that dealing with and forgiving the cause is the answer - they exist together and they'll cease together. That might be wrong but its the way I'm trying to fix it as well as resisting the physical urge. I'm sure you are beautiful even if you cant see it - a few marks on your face wont change that.
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May 22, 2013

Welcome welcome. It's a cunning and baffling disorder but together we can work to fight it, a day at a time!
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May 21, 2013

I hope you don't mind that I've joined this Valentine? I just wanted to say I've done 1 day so far
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May 22, 2013

Yay! Great news! Keep checking in!
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May 22, 2013

Ok, so I'm checking back in because I picked again. Same area. Upper left arm which has a ton of KP bumps (whereas my right arm has almost none.) I'm using the special glycolic wash once a day, when I remember in the shower, but/so might up it to twice a day since the wash is actually supposed to be used in conjunction with a lotion that is a little too harsh on my skin. Or so I recall. Maybe I will reorder just to see. Anyway, it's like that. And sleeveless season is here so this challenge is more vital now than ever! I've also started praying, which is weird because I'm an atheist. It was a suggestion a 12-step sponsor made to me so I'm faking for help in not picking "from the universe".. Whatever that means. Apparently this is called "acting as if". Will update here tomorrow. Think I'll try the calamine on the picked spots as well... xValentine
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May 22, 2013

2 days, although there are still quite a few hours left in today ... I can feel the urge. My hands are restless and the skin on my face is screaming to be touched and the mirror seems so inviting. Had a bad day today and I know that's what's eating my resolve ... I'm hoping that since I've posted here to say I've done two days I can make it till tomorrow. As you say the summer's here - I'd like to be able to go out and feel the sun on my face rather than feeling the layers of make up mixing with my sweat
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May 22, 2013

Rosa, I hear you! I am wholly bent on not picking today--day 1--but I want to! Will update here once the day is over but I appreciate hearing your story! Good luck with the rest of the day/night!
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May 23, 2013

Back on the wagon, no picking, Day 1.
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May 23, 2013

So picked yesterday - only a little bit before I pulled myself out of it, but it still counts. So today is day 1 - gona be strong!
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May 23, 2013

Well, unfortunately, I picked since I joined this challenge :( But what I am learning is that we have to be patient and kind with ourselves. Whenever I get into the despising self-talk, I seem to pick even more, or am like "what does it matter?" Yesterday, I picked but it was about an hour, which is a HUGE improvement for me, as I had recently found myself 'tranced out' for five to seven hours, sometimes most of the day (back and forth). Today I was able to limit it to 40 minutes, and no Intense squeezing. I have five scabs from picking and squeezing the days before. I decided to put Neosporin on them and cover them with band-aids. They are finally healing. For me, I realize that I have to FORGIVE Myself almost immediately after the picking happens. That way, unconsciously, I am not adding 'I need to punish myself' and go right to picking and squeezing so hard. I still hate what I have done to myself but I must forgive myself and comfort myself. I WISH that I have a couple days of NO picking and my goal is to work through the anxieties that cause me to pick. One thing I know is that I haven't been completely willing because for some reason, I believe I Must make my face clear and/or the belief that if I don't get the little clogged pores (that no one sees but me), that they will turn into cysts (because they have in the past and sometimes now). I need to put my 15X Magnification mirror away! Thank you all for sharing your strengths and weaknesses. You all have been giving me the courage and hope to get through this.
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May 25, 2013

I think we've all picked since joining the challenge, maybe it's part of the process. You sound like you're making huge progress. Well done and be proud of it coz we all know how hard those small victories are earned
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May 25, 2013

2 day no picking!
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June 10, 2013

So it's the second week of June and I've been able to keep the picking down to just one or two minutes a day. All on my arm, where the KP "pimples" are. It's just so hard to look at them and leave them be. I love how it feels to pop them. To hear the sound and see the white stuff ooze out. It makes me feel like I'm "fixing" them. But this is the lie that the disease tells us. Because it CREATES a problem instead of fixing a problem. It's just so hard to sit tight. To just be patient and wait for my alpha-hydroxy body wash to exfoliate the area slowly. So I realize I have to cover up that part of my arm, both when I'm working and when I'm in the bathroom mirror. It's the SEEing the spots that gets me. And keeping my nails short. And BREATHing instead of getting all tense and feeling compelling to "just pick one or two spots super quick". How's everybody else doing?