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fhraubsitt , 14 Feb 2015

Is this not just a habit?

I've been squeezing and scratching blackheads on my face and upper back for about the last 5 or 6 years and have had a clear, cut free face for probably under 20 days during this time, the longest I've gone without squeezing is between 2 and 3 days.
It's a pain though because makeup doesn't hide it completely and I'm now at uni, so in shared accommodation, and I can't leave my room without makeup (ridiculous layers of foundation and concealer). However, I don't feel particularly anxious before I start and I don't spend too much time doing it (say 15 mins every night, plus during the day whilst I'm doing other things).
When I'm doing it firstly my mind goes completely blank, like I'm not thinking of anything at all, and when I 'come to' I feel like doing it will help/ clear my skin, even though later I know that's not true.
I still feel like I could just stop, but clearly I can't, because I have tried.
Sorry for that stupidly long post, basically what I'm asking is:
a) is this just a habit? b) any idea how to break it?
It's just scared me seeing people on here picking for 10, 20 years.

2 Answers
February 15, 2015

Google excoriation disorder/dermatillomania/skin picking....Look at the definition of excoriation in the DSM 5 and see if you think that it applies to you. If so, seek professional help with someone that has expertise in this area. A professional is the person that can determine if it is a bad habit or something else. This is a condition that can be controlled, but you will need to find someone that has experience with this condition. It makes such a difference in treatment. Doing so will save you money, time, frustration, etc. Just be aware that this is a low incidence condition, so it may require extensive effort to find someone that is experience. Do your research, be positive and persistent!! Be very persistent!!!!

February 19, 2015

It is a bad, unhealthy habit. You must simply laugh at yourself for being so silly as to pick your skin and then find a healthy habit to replace it. When you feel that rush- that's your brain just doing what it's been trained to do. Do something instead that you enjoy- something your brain already enjoys- but you have to convince it that you are DONE picking your skin and that you are going to enjoy doing what you love now. It doesn't matter if it's running or painting. Whatever you love. Be free. And God bless.

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