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its_clojo , 11 Feb 2014

Help please?

Hi. I'm honestly so glad I found this web page. I'm a freshman in college & have been suffering with dermatillomania since I was around 13. I was hoping that my problem would stop once I left for college, but unfortunately it hasn't gotten any better. Let me tell's awful. Makeup has been my BFF for some years now. I'm sooo ashamed of myself. I don't know what it is but I absolutely cannot stand having clogged pores on my face. I will pick at just about any bump and squeeze perfectly fine parts of my skin to try & get something/ anything out. I don't know if it's normal but the pain it inflicts & the thought that my skin no longer has trapped dirt feels so good and rewarding. I've come to conclude that I feel like I pick for a multitude of reasons: striving for perfection, a sense of control, outlet for stress relief, & out of boredom. Although I've figured this out, I can't stop myself!! This may sound so weird but I seriously wish that I had my own needle/shot to use as a syringe to suck the gunk out of my pores/skin...does anyone else feel this way? What's wrong with me?! I want to stop but can't seem to & I've been feeling really hopeless lately. My parents are really mad at me for picking but they don't understand how hard it is for me to stop. I literally feel addicted. Please, Any advice?
3 Answers
February 11, 2014
Your story sounds so similar to how I feel. I have been suffering with skin picking since I was a kid, but its gotten beyond ridiculous since I got into my current relationship (almost 2 years ago). Its like, once I gave up my other forms of self-harm (cutting, smoking, being with guys who treated me badly) the skin picking really came to the fore. I also pick for a multitude of reasons, mostly anxiety although recently I also realised it was a sense of inadequacy. Its like, having dirt in my pores or pimples makes me inadequate, but I also pick to justify the sense of inadequacy because it creates scars and I look like an idiot doing it. My bf is supportive (my parents weren't) but he still doesn't really understand and says unhelpful things sometimes. I have decided that 2014 will be the year I make a real effort to stop doing this and I would really love to have someone going through similar experiences who I can talk to and be accountable to, which I guess is the point of this forum for me. Thank you for sharing your story, it means a lot to read that someone shares my own experiences of picking.
February 12, 2014
I'm between being a sophomore and junior in college right now, and I have been picking at my face, scalp, body since I was about 12 as well. I kept telling myself "2011 will be my year!" "2012 will really be my year now!"...lo and behold, it's 2014 and it's still going on. I've gotten a bit better, but only through temporary solutions. I completely understand what you both mean about wanting to rid your skin of any imperfections. It feels so cleansing and amazing to SEE and feel something get out of your skin. It's like we are trying to make ourselves have flawless skin, but are doing the exact opposite. I know for me, the images I've grown up with about "beauty" in society, and the environment I was raised in has really damaged my view on myself, thus leading to more damaging behavior because I feel like I will never make it to that ideal (which no one can, it's fake!). I've read countless times that doctors think people pick because they want to feel pain, but I've never been that way. It's more about seeing the gunk leave my face, and feeling my skin for any blemish and ridding it of them. I guess my OCD has a lot to do with this as well lol. And I've thought MANY times about wanting some kind of vacuum for my pores haha!! So I get that reference too xP My mom thinks it's a phase or a joke, so she just ignores me or gets kind of bitchy when I do it, which makes me pick more alone. No one else in my family knows though, nor friends. It sucks living with this and no one but your mother knows, and she scoffs at it like you're a child with a bad habit (which, essentially it is, and then some)...I joined this to find friends/pen pals to talk with as well and would be open to help each other out if you want! On the topic of advice, here are my temporary solutions that work IF I do them lol: -Keep lights off in the bathroom when I'm in there -Have a timer in the bathroom, so I don't get distracted by the mirror -Wear gloves while at the computer/tv/reading/driving -Cut fingernails VERY short or wear thick fake nails -Put neosporin/vaseline all over my face (I HATE trying to pick with this on lol!) -Go exercise so I'm too tired to even lift my arms :P -Play piano/keep BOTH hands busy -Go clean my face thoroughly so it doesn't feel dirty -Keep a big headband/conditioner/towel on my head -Deep breathing/yoga REALLY helps. I was breathing at 30 breaths/minute, and 6-10/minute is ideal :o -Join a support group in town/counseling (one who is trained in BFRB's)
February 21, 2014
I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I would even have to give my mom my eyebrow tweezers because I would pick with them. Here are a few things you can try I also made a youtube video you could watch with clips when I used to skin pick and explaining more of my story with skin picking. My youtube channel name is JulieBeautyOCD A Few Tips... 1.)Getting fake nails (at first they help a lot but over time you can get used to them and learn how to pick with them on) but they are great for the beginning to break the routine because it is a lot harder to pick with fake nails, 2.)Wash your face at night then right after put lotion on...when your skin is smooth the urge to pick is less and when there is lotion on you can't pick because its slippery. 3.) Get a feathered pillow and pull the feathers out when you get the urge to pick. 4.)Get a stress ball or some kind of activity to keep your hands occupied and distract you...I got some coloring books and would color to keep my hands busy haha 5.)Wear some gloves...cant pick with gloves on 6.)This might seem weird, but it has satisfied my urges when i wanted to pick. If you put a little Elmer's Glue on your hands and rub it around and let it dry then pick off the dry glue...I don't know how to explain it but it does help with those really bad urges. You get to pick off the glue and it doest hurt your skin the process. 7.)Breaking up your routine is probably the most important thing. If you pick at a certain time a day or night you should make sure your around people at that time or do a activity or watch tv to distract yourself. I used to put bandaids on my face after picking too. For my chest I recently got a light laser treatment (after 2 rounds) a lot of my scars/pigmentation faded. I wanna do my face next! For my face I try to wash it every night (which is easier said then done) and put lotion and Vaseline on. I have heard that vitamin E does help to fade scars. For makeup I use the Loreal True Match Foundation and Powder and it covers REALLY GOOD! I wish you all the best and if you ever wanna talk or are feeling down I'm here for you...your not alone I know what your going through and I truly believe that you can overcome this! I will be posting more videos soon...make sure to subscribe and stay in touch! xoxo 

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