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Skyfall , 29 Jun 2013

Do you find yourself picking every day without thinking?

I'm 22 and have been picking for as long as I can remember. I target my arms, shoulders and chest which makes it impossible to wear short sleeved tops, and difficult to have a close relationship with anyone. I recently identified this as a compulsive problem because I will pick without even realizing - sometimes even in sight of other people - and I will drift off for hours picking my arms most evenings. I am short sighted which actually allows me to see the skin almost in close-up. I squeeze normal pores until they bleed and touch my lips to the area (I don't know why, it's just a weird compulsion that I can't explain). When I am super stressed I have an irresistible urge to hide away in a corner and attack my arms until I feel more relaxed. I have red spots all over my arms and chest but this doesn't stop me from continuing to pick... I have never been able to find anything to distract me from the temptation of my own skin! Does anyone else feel the same?
5 Answers
July 03, 2013
When I read your topic it is so similar to mine. I too am 22 years old. I've had this compulsion ever since I was a kid. My target is at acne or ingrown hairs normally along with my cuticles. I pick my face, arms, shoulders, chest, back, and scalp continuously. Its embarrassing when people point it out or just wearing short sleeves because I feel its exposed. I try to make it heal. A lot of them do, but leave scars. Luckily my face doesn't scar, but my arms sure do. I always felt I had slight anxiety and this was just a symptom from it, but after coming across this site I realize its a problem many have. I've noticed when I take a lot of B vitamins the impulse to pick is not so strong. Also when I'm busy with activities like working out or something it distracts me to where I don't have the urge to pick. Its normally when I'm by myself, bored, or not entertained well that I start... almost subconsciously without realizing. Also wearing long sleeves helps because I don't see or feel the scabs therefore I don't have the compulsion to pick at it, but who wants to wear sleeves all year long especially in the summer?
August 02, 2013
I do this all the time, it comes in waves, but I find myself losing hours of my life just staring at my pores, looking for something to squeeze. Today i was running an errand after work, i exited the freeway to fix my makeup and to double check the address i was going to. I ended up sitting in my car for an HOUR AND A HALF just picking my face and arms, stopping in order to if==finish what i had needed to do in the first place, and then picking again :(
August 05, 2013
No matter what I'm doing, I'm always subconsciously using my hands to pick my fingers. Then I catch myself, stop for a second, and keep going when I forget. It's worst when I'm nervous, but I do it all the time anyway.
September 27, 2013
I am 23 and used to pick (mostly the skin on my nose) since I was in HS. Back in HS I would only pick until it bled then I would let it heal. And I would pick my skin like once or twice a year. Since let's say May I have been constantly picking the skin, not giving it any time to heal. It has gotten so bad that I even got a bacteria infection and had to get prescribed an anti-bacterial ointment. I am so self conscious now that I barely go out anymore. I feel as if everyone can see it and are judging me or just staring at my skin. Sometimes I can't go to work or school. It doesn't help that whenever my mom sees me she says, "I see your picking your nose again." And she will tell everyone that's around that I pick my nose.. Making it sound like I am picking boogies not the skin ok the outside of my nose.. I can go a couple days without doing it, and I don't do it in public, mostly when I am sitting at home or driving. Sometimes i don't even realize until my skin is bleeding. I am also onsessed with pulling out ingrown hairs for some reason. I have tried using a stress ball, fake nails, citalopram, nothing has helped. Any advice?

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