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anxiety101 , 27 Dec 2013

New to the site and I pick my lips

Hi everyone, I am new to the site but I wanted to share my story and get some advice. I am 20 years old and have been picking for as long as I can remember. My estimated start is age 13. My problem started with chapped lips and grew from there. I have picked my lip to the point where I have split it really badly several times and bleed profusely on a regular basis. I now have a permanent cold-sore like appearance. My friends tease me by calling it "mouth herpes". The issue is so unsightly that several years ago, a new teacher at my highschool (who had previously been a drug counselor) asked me to stay after class and then asked me if I had any drug addictions or wanted to discuss my abusive relationship, because it looked like I had been punched. I told her, "I just have anxiety," and she told me to seek help. I never did. I've noticed that I pick my lip a lot while I am driving, or in deep thought. But I also pick when I am upset or anxious, which is a lot. I even seem to do it without 4 year old daughter has noticed and will put her hands on her hip and say, "Stop doing that thing to your lip, mommy." An elderly volunteer at my work also said, "You would be a beautiful girl if you could stop that thing with your lips." My friends are constantly grossed out and exasperated by my habit, but I just can't seem to stop. Does anything help? Will it ever end? I only pick in one spot, so I don't think my problem is very severe, but my lip (even between bouts of picking) is bumpy and red and does not look like it will ever heal. I just want to be done with this. Thanks in advance.
4 Answers
December 27, 2013
Update: I should say that I will absent mindedly pick for literally HOURS at a time. Being in public or being seen does not deter me whatsoever. Sometimes I do not even notice myself doing it - it doesn't ashame me at all....just the way I look afterwards.
January 03, 2014
Hey I'm a 24 year old female who has been picking at my skin and lips since childhood; recently I resolved to stop skin picking and I've noticed that my lip picking compulsion is much stronger then my compulsion to pick anywhere else. It helps me to wear a thick layer of lip balm at all times and to heal any cuts I use something called polysporin. It's very dry and cold for most of the year where I live and as a result I get badly chapped lips.
January 06, 2014
yeah, theoretically, keeping your skin smooth should stop you from tearing your lips up. no temptations there, so using some lip emollient may do the trick. i only pick it when it's dry and i can feel the bumpiness of uneven skin to pick at. of course, now, my teeth is doing a recon on my lips as i type. if keeping your lips slathered with some moisturizer doesn't work, try talking to a therapist.
March 24, 2015

I'm the same. I've been picking ever since I was 7 when I saw my mum doing it! I copied her and I guess it must have felt good because I kept picking. I do it when I'm stressed, bored/watching TV, upset or purely because I'm a perfectionist and I want to feel smooth.

It only heals when I'm too busy not to pick e.g. at work for a long time, or when I stop myself from starting at all as once I've started I won't stop until it all feels smooth.

I use Palmers Cocoa Butter lip balm as I find Vaseline just sits on the lips. Also, to cover my sores up I actually use foundation on them. It's a foundation I know doesn't irritate my face and I use a good quality lip brush (a Revlon one sold in Boots in the UK) to apply one/a few thin layers so it looks natural. It works very well for me and I always take it with me as my back up, and when my lips looks fine I find I don't pick them as much.

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