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OneMore , 09 Jul 2014

My story

I want to share my story because I am feeling so relieved today to know I am not the ONLY ONE out there. I accidentally stumbled on the term dermatillomania last night and have since been reading up on it. A little about me...I am a 28 year old female living a seemingly normal life. I am happily married with a gorgeous 3 year old and currently trying to have a 2nd child. I have a good job, decent income, nice house, decent looks etc. No one know about this dark secret I live with, not even my husband. Sure he knows I like to squeeze bumps. I squeeze his too. And my face cannot be hidden when I squeeze it. My face is not that bad though. The worst part is my back and upper arms/ shoulders. No one has seen them in year....14 years at least. They are horrible. They have hundreds of scar. I like to squeeze bumps. It is very satisfying to me. Unfortunately I have bad skin. Acne on my back and arms. I squeeze it to death until I have sores. Sometimes I just squeeze pores and hair follicles trying to make something come out. One I start I just keep going. Then when the sores scab up I pull the scabs off. Pulling scabs off gives me great satisfaction, even though it can cause pain afterwards. I am not limited to the face, back, arm, shoulder area though. I will pick or squeeze anywhere, these are just my bad spots. I also pick my chest, breast, neck, scalp, butt, legs, feet ocassionally. I do it all the time, sometimes mindlessly. Often I will get a good picking session before I get in the shower. My husband has never seen me naked. I am overweight so I use that as an excuse. My back and arms are the only area that must be concealed at all times because that is where the scars are horrendous and I always have scabs there. I never wear short sleeves unless it is a mens tshirt. If I wear a swinsuit I wear a cover up and never take it off. I had come to a point in my life where I had accepted this as something I had to deal with forever. I didn't know it was an actual condition. Honestly I don't think I could ever stop. I dont see how. I have been trying to stop my whole life since I start back in my early teen years. I have been searching today for a therapist who specializes in skin picking in my area but the closest one is an hour and a half away. I don't see how talking to someone could help me but I want to try.
1 Answer
July 09, 2014
Your story is similar to mine, however, I do not have children. I have been with my husband for 10 years and only recently married. I confessed to him a while back that I have a problem picking things. One time it was so bad, I walked out of the bathroom crying of what I did to my back. I hugged him and said I just get this urge to squeeze the junk out, but then make it worse and since I have this obsession with trying to clear out my pores for whatever reason, its hard for me to stop doing it, especially since I need to look at myself in the mirror. He was understanding and told me that I need to stop. He didn't judge me. He just gave me some facts - he said I am going to get scarring, I need to just leave it alone and it makes my skin 100x worse. He obviously can't teach me ways to stop - hes not a therapist, but I was glad he was accepting of my issue and understood my problem. I am totally surprised your husband has never seen your upper body naked. I assume, he has seen the lower? I think that you are pushing away someone who loves you. You are pushing away that physical connection and closeness he probably wants from you, because of your fear to explain to him your problem.Everyone has flaws, but if he truly loves you, you can explain its embarrassing, but its obviously a huge issue for you and you want to stop and would like to stop, but the first think you need to do is open up to him, I would suggest. I do not have a solution to skin picking, except, my picking isnt bad when my skin is in good condition. I have found that mild soaps, not acne soaps, clear my skin more. The acne soaps and medication irritate it more and cause more pimples. So, I was my face with a cream cleanser and washcloth, at night, in the morning, just cool water, occasionally the cleanser again but normally not. For my back, I swear that I have my husband rub Goldbond foot powder, and over the next few days, my bacne clears pretty well. It also keeps the skin smooth and dry. I do this after my shower right before bed, I plan on talking to a therapist I saw in the past for another issue about this. I have learned that any therapist who knows about CBT, and the other two types of therapy listed on this main page, habit reversal and stimulus control can more than likely help you with overcoming this. This is your skin picking as a drug, and think that if you pick, you are like a drug addict, that is going back to addiction- think you could lose your family, or daughter, or home to this "drug" if you keep it up. Good luck!!

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