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Trying-to-Look… , 29 Jul 2013

MRSA and Skin Picking

Has anyone else developed dermatillomania after having MRSA? While in college, I caught MRSA on my back, probably from the shared, dorm room bathrooms. Ever since then I have been a compulsive picker, completely tearing my skin to shreds every night leaving gashes and open sores. I also apply so much Hibiclens, Bactroban and other chemicals in fear that it may be MRSA. I have always had mild acne, so this has severely effected my face. How can I be professional with these nasty sores on my face? I have done everything from faked sick, just to hide out in my home all day and taken longer lunch hours than I should to hide in the bathroom trying to fix my makeup. I have spent thousands of dollars on different products, thinking that if I can 100% clear my skin, then maybe I will not pick. How can I overcome this insanity? I often wish I could live like other people, who do not constantly worry about their skin, but fear I am spiraling into a depression. I can't swim, or do anything that will run my makeup, or people will know of my problem. Does anyone have suggestions? I am becoming desperate and would love some inspiration, success stories or ideas on how to beat this. Thanks!
3 Answers
July 29, 2013
Hi there! I feel your pain because like you, I am a compulsive picker. I've picked at any acne or blemish I could find on my skin since I was in middle school. I noticed my compulsion got significantly worse after graduating college. The anxiety of starting a new chapter in life and beginning a rigorous master's program has provoked me to pick at my face even more. I have spent countless hours during the evening just staring into the mirror while picking and prodding anything that might "pop," not being aware of the self-inflicting, PERMANENT damage that I am causing! I recently picked one zit on my forehead that developed into MRSA. I now have a pretty nice scar on my forehead that is a constant reminder of the damage I have caused. I have found that taking a multivitamin, extra vitamin c, and 6-8 grams of pantothenic acid (B5 vitamin) has helped my skin tremendously. My problem is I suffer from ADHD and anxiety, so the medications I take daily can sometimes reek havoc on my skin. I have also found that if I put all portable mirrors away, where it's a hassle to get them out, I will not have the urge to pick as much. It is honestly a daily battle that is so hard to overcome. You have to constantly keep yourself occupied with other things in order to alleviate the urge to pick. I go on many outdoor walks in the evening to reduce my anxiety levels so I won't pick. I also try to surround myself with family and friends as much as possible, since most of us who suffer from compulsive picking do so when no one is around. My heart goes out to you! I completely understand your pain and how hard it is to overcome this battle. Take everything one day at a time! It WILL get better!
July 31, 2013

In reply to by tarpon1008

I have taken your advice and did not take my portable mirror with me in my purse all day. It was so hard and I was no anxious about not having it! I found myself in the bathroom twice today, but I won't pick at work because I am too scared of bleeding all over when I am in a meeting! However, I put on more makeup over it. :/ When I got home and stipped my makeup off of the sore to put medicine on it, my fiance said something really simple, but it got me thinking. He said, "why not just have a pimple there? everyone knows what a pimple is! But no one knows why you have a massive sore." I am so concerned with people judging me with acne, but then I am mortified when people see my huge sores. I think I have finally had the realization that acne is MUCH better than sores! I appreciate your support! This simply stinks! I don't know anyone else who has this problem and no one understands. I'm glad I found this circle of friends on here. Thanks!
August 01, 2013

In reply to by Trying-to-Look…

That's awesome! When I am at work and go to the bathroom, I have to make a conscious effort to not pick or "zero-in" at the blemishes on my face. I actually had a "face-check-up" appointment yesterday with my derm, so all week long I have fought the urge to pick, but I knew I had to allow my face to heal. The MRSA I had developed is looking 100% better, according to my derm! Now, I need to continue on my positive track and resist the urge to pick at all old acne scabs. After work today, I decided to "face the music" and go to the grocery store (I have been avoiding all public exposure to strangers). At first I felt there were some people who were really focusing on my acne, but it was mostly children who seemed to be staring at my face. It honestly felt really good to finally get back out and let go of the embarrassment the acne has brought me. Just remember, we are not defined by acne! Don't let it consume your thoughts and actions. I know it's so easier said than done, because I battle the constant thoughts of wanting to pick the blemishes on my face. I have to keep trekking forward and so do you! You will get through it. Everyone on this site are battling similar skin-picking-acne-demons and the battle is so much easier to fight when we have a great support system! Good luck with everything!

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