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zarasocks , 09 Apr 2015

New to thinking that this is a behavioral disorder and not a bad habit. Looking for advice.

Hi everyone,

Let me just start that I've had KP and clogged pores my whole life and have always been self conscious and embarrassed of my arms. I've picked at my face for as long as I can remember and about 3-4 years ago began picking at my arms believe that I was helping ease the KP.
I always thought of this as a gross habit I couldn't talk to anybody about, including my boyfriend because it would be gross for them, and ashamedly, admitting I had a problem. I enjoy it, it found it calming, and even exciting if I picked/squeezed and something came out. I would absent mindedly find myself rubbing my arms trying to find bumps I hadn't already found.
For several years now I have tried remedies from articles to ease my KP from lotions, to sugar scrubs, and my personal favorite coconut oil. But whatever progress I make you wouldn't know, because my arms are always red with scabs.
I realized recently when preparing for a small vacation with old college roommates that I had the conscious thought that I needed to stop picking so I could wear pretty sleeveless shirts with my friends in this new place but couldn't for the life of me stop, so off I went to San Francisco with red and angry looking skin.
The other night googled 'I can't stop picking my skin' and came across sites such as these and information webpages that confirmed what I was fearing (that this was more than a bad habit), but eased the tension to know I wasn't alone and a total closet skin freak.

The hardest part is, I am not an addict of any kind for anything else. I rarely drink, and don't do drugs. I find myself to be a focused and successful individual, currently tackling graduate school and maintaining an avid love of snowboarding, with a secret I've never talked to anyone about until I found these blogs.

Today is the second day in a row (and probably the longest I've gone in 2 years) that I have not picked. I keep finding myself reaching for my face, but have been able to resist. I read a little about boundaries and have been using coconut oil more as a deterrent to not pick (slippery surface and all).

So what I am looking for with this? I am looking for those who are in the same boat, who can read this and agree and that are trying to help themselves along with me. If anyone has any tips or advice, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. -- Z

4 Answers
April 09, 2015

I pick my face too,and even though this might not help (because this is advice from an 11-year old) I think, "I DO want people to stop wondering what's on my forehead, and to feel better about my skin, I want to feel pretty" and I have gone almost a month once without doing any picking, because I get bored onpfte during class.

May 27, 2015

We are definitely in the same boat. I've been ravaging my skin for a few years now. I wish I could give you a sure way to stop, but I'll tell you some things I've heard can help: wearing gloves, putting bandaids on picking areas, putting makeup on areas if they are not infected, NAC (an amino acid that can help reduce the urge to pick), or finding something to help heal scars- seeing themselves heal encourages some people to stop picking. Also, one thing that can really help is getting enough sleep.

July 03, 2015

In reply to by birdyhummingbird

I put bandaids on picking areas, and that usually helps. Although people are like "Why do you have so many bandaids"? With some people I'll tell them they're bug bites and that I can't stop scratching them, but with most people I just tell them "I have a form of OCD where I can't stop scratching my arms" and they usually don't say anything after that.

June 03, 2015

I found this site bc I realized in the past couple days I've been picking at my face more often than usual. I didn't really think it was a problem until I thought about my inability to stop picking at the skin around my nails or pulling hairs that appear anywhere but my head. I also realized I pick at my gums. I'm not sure if this is a result of my wisdom teeth coming in but it is bothersome. Now I'm up at 3am trying not to pick at my gums,nails,lips,or face. I do find that coconut oil helps with my arms and legs but not much else. Sorry I don't have any advice but I can definitely understand.

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