Zero tolerance policy?


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September 07, 2013

Day 1. Have a lot of work to do this weekend so extra vulnerable to picking (when I space out at the computer, especially). Just popped one KP bump so posting here to prevent myself from doing more. I wish I knew a way to get rid of them without using harsh bodywashes and creams (I recently broke out in hives from over-using those things). It's so tempting to want to pop them all to be "rid" of the problem but I know it will look awful, take a long time to heal, and still won't solve the problem because the bumps just come back. I know nobody but me can even see them so I have to try and chill out about touching them. Argh! This is a tough challenge!
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September 08, 2013

Day 1, evening. Popped 2 more KP spots. Got out if mirror fast. Argh. Hoping for better tomorrow.
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September 10, 2013

Day 2 more successful. Popped one bump on each arm, then stopped. And letting all the bikini area heal (except for two spots, nearly perfect.)
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September 10, 2013

Day 3 did not pick!
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September 10, 2013

Good luck valentine! Sounds like you're doing great so far. I have trouble with my face, but recently have started picking at and squeezing bumps on my upper arms and thighs. I'm starting today on my own 5-day challenge. I think we can do this. ~Bee
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September 10, 2013

Thanks for the note, Bee! I will take your 5-day challenge with you if that's OK. Will check in towards bedtime to see how it went today!
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September 10, 2013

AAAAAAAAAh picked three bumps just now! ;-(
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September 10, 2013

Hey, I'm not feeling so great as well. I didn't break any new skin on my face, but I peeled off scabs from healing spots on my face. Now the spots are even more red and visible. Let's just try to take one day at a time. No set, long-term goal, but like you said, the zero-tolerance policy, each and every day. Try to be nice to yourself tonight; we can't beat ourselves up anymore for these small mistakes. Let's learn from them, and remember that tomorrow's a new day. We CAN do this. :) ~Bee
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September 11, 2013

Good points, Bee! One day at a time is the right approach. And sometimes it's one hour at a time. I saw my therapist yesterday and got a little pep talk from him as well so I'm feeling a little better, generally. Best of luck today...
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September 12, 2013

24-hours pick free so I'm restarting my count. Here's to making it to Day 2 without too much trouble...
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September 12, 2013

I've also made it to day 2 without too much trouble thankfully. I also saw a dermatologist today and despite how I felt about the visit or the amount of prescriptions she prescribed, I think it will prove to be helpful. I already use Benzaclin gel on my face at night. She prescribed Bactroban as an antibiotic, just in case I create a new wound on my face. Also, metrogel, which is supposed to help with rosacea or any redness. She said I could also use Benzaclin on my arms. I asked about a moisturizer, and she suggested Cetaphil. Hope this is helpful or may encourage you to see a dermatologist!
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September 14, 2013

Friday the 13th is bad luck. Picked both arms while on phone, zoning out. Hope for better tomorrow.
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September 16, 2013

Saturday and Sunday picked once. Making progress!
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September 16, 2013

Good job!
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September 16, 2013

In today's NY Times, a study showing that behavior therapy really helps OCD: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/16/behavior-therapy-aids-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/?src=recg
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September 17, 2013

CindyR I have been reading a lot about this lately. Zero Tolerance sounds like you are using your will power to stop. I am not suggesting what you should or should not do, if you can stop that way fine but I see several places on this and other sites that will power will not work. There may be another way. I recently had a experience with acupuncture that seemed to reduce my urges. I am going to look into this some more. I am pretty willing to try anything at this point.
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September 17, 2013

Hello, I am super new to this site. But I think it could be a huge help. For one, understanding every day that I have a problem, and when I pick my life becomes unmanageable-- For example: I will skip class, isolate, feel constantly unworthy, call in sick to work, and spend thousands of dollars on cosmetics, literarily trying to erase bad skin with peels and harsh products... My therapist told me to try and break down the day if I keep picking, like, set a timer for an hour or two, so that when you want to pick you know I have this much time left, and keep increasing the time until you can manage a day, a week, ect. Also when I have completed an hour without picking (even unconsciously), its great! Its worth feeling excited about. And then getting some sort of reward when you can complete your goals... This is just my advice because right now I cant imagine not picking for a day, or a week! But I KNOW its possible. So just look at the positives (as cliché as that is), because not picking for a day or even a week, seems amazing to me, and gives ME hope that this wont last forever. So thanks! And you came back and posted about it immediately, which is huge. I tend to spiral out of control very quickly instead of admitting I cant do it alone. Progress not Perfection.
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September 17, 2013

Thanks for the feedback, fellow pickers. Good point about will power. I don't think it works, not alone. I am employing a 12-step model to my stopping picking plan as well. So far, I've picked at at least 2-3 pores a day since re-starting this journal but that's still better than in prior periods of my life. Just really trying to amass some days totally pick free.... so fingers crossed...
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September 17, 2013

I'm down for the zero tolerance policy because it has been my experience that once you start you can't stop, it snowballs (for me personally) into a full blown massacre. My last was this past Saturday 9/14 & the emotional trauma was probably at its worst this last time. I know what I'm doing to myself & how mad I'm going to be when finally for some unknown reason I get myself to stop, if anyone is in the house w me I usually stop just to shut them up about it, but once they're gone I'm right back at it tenfold. I cannot comprehend what is going on in my mind w this thing. It's so irrational I simply cannot make sense of it. People ask & I tell them it's my form of self mutilation, but I can't explain why I even feel compelled to self mutilate. So, I haven't picked since Sunday, only been doing damage control physically & mentally so I too am going w zero tolerance, I'm just not going to pick at the nothing on my freaking face anymore damnit!
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September 17, 2013

Great to read you, Jenstar. I'm resetting the counter today. I have therapy in a little bit and am going to suggest to my therapist that I also check in with him daily, via text, to confirm that I haven't picked. I'm taking it an hour at a time right now!
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September 18, 2013

Halfway through day 1. Going well. Trying a few new techniques I'll post about in my next post...
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September 19, 2013

Agree with edhilo re: the timer suggestion. I've tried it in the past and it worked fairly well for me. Started high and worked down to lower times... my timer broke, I waited too long to get a new one, and I regressed. Forgot all about it until now. _________________________________________________________________________ 36 years old. Mother of 3, grandmother of 1. Dermatillomaniac with OCD and a rare form of KP. 25-year skin picker, degeneration/arthritis as a result. Psychology & clinical lab science degrees. I'd call myself an expert.
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September 19, 2013

Great to read you sweeticeblue. The timer is a great idea. Right now I'm celebrating 24hrs pick-free so I feel off to a good start on this beautiful fall day. Key for me is to keep my hands off the spots that are healing on my arms! I have healing ointment on them (its prescription, called Vanos. I got from my dermatologist who I feel very comfortable with who knows I'm a picker) so that helps me keep my desire to pick at the scabs at bay. Will post here later to note whether I made it to 48hrs or not!
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September 19, 2013

Good for you! I've never heard of Vanos - unfortunately, the wait here is more than a year for a dermatologist.
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September 19, 2013

I'm sorry to hear that... Where are you? Vanos is good but not better, I think, than over the counter stuff. It just makes me "feel" like I'm doing something extra for the sites that have been picked. I think neosporin is just as good though :-)
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September 20, 2013

Canada (east coast). It's the downside of free healthcare. haha... yes, I've gone through a lot of Polysporin over the years. Close enough!
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September 29, 2013

What is it like seeing a dermatologist? Mainly pertaining to picking.
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September 19, 2013

Just picked one pore. Then stopped.
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September 19, 2013

Hey, i discovered this forum a couple of weeks ago, posted once and then for some darn reason couldn't find it again (durrrh). I'm 31 years old and completely resonate with a zero tolerance policy being the way forward; for the reality for me, is that i NEVER "JUST" pick, dig, exscervate "this one spot/bump etc' . My picking was horrendous during my early twenties then due to being on a certain kind of contraceptive pill, I didn't get any spots at all. I'm no longer on that pill and my skin has become unsettled...oily but dry, raw, unsettled...when I feel my forehead I can feel loads of bumps under the surface and it makes me feel horrible. Anyway I'm on here because last week I developed a cold sore for the first time and now I think I have infected it by picking into it with tweezers (stupid I know). Puss keeps oozing out and nothing I do is making it any better so just trying to leave it alone. However I have scabs on my neck from picking bumps/spots which are now red raw...sometimes I don't even realise I'm picking them. So here I join you (if I may) and pledge 24 hours abstinence from picking! Here we go! Thank you everyone for your posts xxx
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September 20, 2013

Thanks for saying Hi. Yes, let's both checkin tomorrow, hopefully to report 24hrs pick free!
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September 20, 2013

Hey valentine! I'm afraid I have picked...it happened almost without my knowing; I 'woke' up from my picking trance only after I'd picked the scabs on my neck and monstrous 'thing' on my face (I really have no idea what it is anymore, but either way it is clearly infected). I applied some tea tree oil to it last night, but my skin is so sensitive, I think it always makes spots worse? (anyone else find this) I've read a posy somewhere stating about the benefits of camomile lotion; think I'll give it a go, I'm trying this spray product that I bought for acne that's been voted as one of the best spot fighters by a tv show here in England. It is made of all natural ingredients, but again, my instinct is that it may be too strong for me....still I'm willing to try. Finally I jst wish to share with folk that I also struggle with compulsive eating and I have realised this past month or so that when I'm in 'control' of my food, I'm out of control with my picking and vice versa. So either way there seems to be something around releasing of tension. In desperation I bought the PDF guide on here last night but still haven't got it, as it didn't go to the download link after I had purchased it. Have contacted the people and no response yet. Rather disappointed. Good luck everyone. If anyone has any tips how to beat this; please share!!!!xxx
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September 20, 2013

Hopestartshere: good for you for posting, even if you picked. I think checking in every day is really helpful, no matter what. I'm hoping to make it to 24hrs tonight but it's a battle. I think the trick is to keep my KP bumps covered with clothes unless I'm at the gym. Otherwise, the temptation to pop them is too great. Also had a job interview today so a little nervous about how my try-out assignment will go. As for the thing that looks infected: have you put some hydrogen peroxide on it? (diluted with water first)? I think that's usually the best route for things that are infected. Best of luck and write soon...x
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September 21, 2013

Picked at one bump yesterday and another today but otherwise,keeping hands off. This is just a lot harder than I remember...
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September 23, 2013

Picked at 4 bumps today before stopping.. Proud of myself for doing it gently and stopping swiftly...
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September 29, 2013

Having luck keeping hands off..and then picked a little tonight. Five steps forward, two steps back...
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October 01, 2013

Well, that still comes out to three steps forward.
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September 29, 2013

Hi Valentine, I am keen to join. I am going to my best friends wedding on the 12th, and what was supposed to be a few months of healing, has turned into bad picking. I am nervous about some swimming/spa thing popping up at the hens night. I am tired of having to plan for events were I might be asked to try on something that bares even a tiny bit of skin, let alone have to explain it to someone. So anywho, count me in. :) Lauren
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September 29, 2013

Hi Valentine, I am keen to join. I am going to my best friends wedding on the 12th, and what was supposed to be a few months of healing, has turned into bad picking. I am nervous about some swimming/spa thing popping up at the hens night. I am tired of having to plan for events were I might be asked to try on something that bares even a tiny bit of skin, let alone have to explain it to someone. So anywho, count me in. :) Lauren
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September 29, 2013

Thanks for checking in Lauren. I'd love to hear how you're doing between now & the 12th. It could be a great time to start accumulating some pick free days!
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October 01, 2013

Usually, all my scabs completely heal in twelve days if I don't pick them. Problem is, I cant make it to twelve days.
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October 01, 2013

Hi fellow journeyers! I haven't checked in here for a while, maybe through guilt because my picking is horrendous at the moment. I currently have thirteen pick wounds over my face and neck and they are pretty awful. Last night i started scouring the Internet for acne solutions because I only pick at blemishes... But then I'd be interested to know what my skin looks like without picking. Inspired by another post I've applied calamine lotion to my sores tonight and praying it doesn't make them even worse as a couple are stinging. Now I've found this forum on my phone, I'm going to check in as often as possible... Maybe come on here instead of picking when the urge arises? How is everyone is getting on? Big love to all xx
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October 03, 2013

Hi everybody, Just wanted to check in to say I've been successfully keeping hands off for the past several days. When I have an urge I am making myself get up, stop whatever I'm doing, switch to another room and get a drink of water or a snack or start straightening up. It seems to be helping to connect the picking to first having to start doing something else. Has anyone else tried this? It's a CBT thing, I think, forcing yourself to do something else for 5 minutes when you want to pick. Fingers crossed that it keeps working....
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October 03, 2013

I try to do stuff like that but I can never keep it up. Good luck though, I hope it works for you.
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October 04, 2013

Thanks.Another thing that helps: I have an acne medication that has to dry a bit or it will rub off so I wash my face and arms and apply the medication (Its prescription, called Klaron), and then tell myself I can't pick because it'll mess up the medication which is expensive and I don't want to have to wash off and reapply. Good luck and keep posting!
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October 04, 2013

Hi Valentine, glad you having progress because I think I have tried almost everything and have had very little success with a few things. These are the things I have tried with progress and some success: breathing meditation and letting tension release in stress holding parts of my body like in some kind of falling sensation, single-minded focus on something positive, aerobic exercise when I get the adrenaline rush to pick, journelling using my iphone when ever I am mindful and discover an idea or neg belief that favors the picking, as to the physiological side, I take chamomile tea to calm the nerves, about 3 garlics to decrease the adrenaline rush at nite esp when I get a very strong urge to pick, if a certain small spot itches I add cayenne pepper it causes a burning sensation, I do a detox with apples for the liver, limon water mix with olive oil, and lots of water, I cut off all yeast, all sugar and other stimulants of the nervous sys like coffee, but even though I can control it a bit when I am in an idle state I give alot of consciousness to the pick, I really am not mindful yet of my specific emotional pain is causing me to distract with my skin I was thinking lately but not a 100% sure that it is from low self-esteem, since it seems all psychological issues arise from that even the lack of confidence and depression, what do you think?
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October 05, 2013

Hi Brey, I like your detox ideas. And the concept of trying to calm oneself, especially at night. For me, I think the picking is related to self-esteem...specifically certain perfectionist tendencies and the notion that I have something "bad" in my pores that has to be expelled. Because that's really sort of a lie. People who don't pick know that blemishes and clogged pores resolve themselves with decent cleaning rituals--face wash, maybe an acne cream. And dermatologists will confirm this as well. So I'm trying hard to get used to NOT trying to interfere with nature's course. It's an uphill battle, for sure, but I agree with you that relaxation techniques are important to cultivate.
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October 05, 2013

Yeah I read many blog posts, articles and books including from grossbart, and they say relaxation is the first step, since its kind of a nervous habit, but what follows relaxation is what is more important as they mentioned, because once the mind and body is more relaxed the mind becomes more receptive to accept in the heart the positive empowering affirmations that will change your way of responding to the habit. And that's why I have been journalling for more than a year now, and I have all sorts of negative thoughts that have been running on my mind that I become mindful of jotted down on two notebooks and my mobile, it's just a matter of me getting motivated enough to take action on it each day. And most negative beliefs do seem to come from low-self-esteem and also like desperate thoughts like I want fast results or solutions or when you seem stuck with some problem in your life that you see no freedom from, but they say the worst beliefs come from inadequacy, when you say I'm not enough. I am thinking if we all work on this together and join our minds we can overcome it, since everyone has there ideas and knowledge on this that others might not know yet, what you think?
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October 06, 2013

Yeah, I definitely think that working together, pooling information and tips is the best path to success. I'm having luck keeping hands off and, oddly enough, my KP bumps seem to have gone away now that I've been using salicylic acid pads on them (mine are from Sea Breeze but lots of brands make the same kind. They're located in the acne medication aisle.)
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October 08, 2013

Pick-free this week! Maybe October is a new turning point to me. A big help is that the KP bumps on my arms have gone away. Partly due to the drier weather, I think, and partly due to me using salicylic acid wipes (from Sea Breeze but lots of other brands make them) on my upper arms, where I get them.
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October 16, 2013

Big slip tonight. Have had a week no picking--two, actually--and then my bf went away for business tonight for a week and I went to town. Popped maybe 10-12 bumps on each upper arm. Feel so dispirited. What will it look Iike when I'm in a tanktop at the gym?? I will have to look for t-shirts to wear while this heals. And it usually takes at least a full 7 days when I pick in this area for it to start looking better. Ugh ugh ugh.!!!!

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