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mssunnysideup , 15 Sep 2015

Stopping picking for good

Skin picking is my bad habit. My vice. Its almost like a trance state that I get into every single time I look into a mirror and suddenly see it all - all the pores, the lumps, the bumps, the hairs.
It doesn't matter to me that nobody will ever see my skin as closely as I do when I look at it in a magnifying mirror.
It doesn't matter to me that what I consider horrifying "spots" or "blemishes" are probably non existent to anyone else.
Honestly it feels like my hands have a life of their own. As soon as I get to a mirror I genuinely don't have the willpower to just walk away without giving something a squeeze. There's a sick satisfaction to it - its like hypnosis or a trance. And the more stressed I get the less control I have. When I have exams, or fights with the family I literally mutilate my face to compensate for the tension I feel within me, its like a bizarre form of release.
This means my face is permanently red and scabbed over. I've given myself scars that would have never existed had I just Not. Touched. My. Face. What's more, the skin that isn't damaged by scars and scabs is red and painful because of all the products I've used trying to dry up the icky messes I create. Tea tree oil, benzyl peroxide, soda, lemon, ice, you name it, I've tried it, and the result is that my skin is just a tortured mess. What's worse, is that I've created this mess - I've mutilated myself.

But, dwelling on the damage I've done over the past 3 years (how long I've had this wonderful habit) isn't going to repair my skin. I need to stop, and stop for good. No touching, no picking, no prodding, not even for that "tiny little spot right there". Nada. The worst thing is that I don't even have bad skin. Yes I get the occasional white head and blemish, but the utter MESS that I turn my face into is my fault, and my fault alone.

I've tried beating this a couple of times now, but I've been unsuccessful thus far. But the time has come. If I carry on the way I'm going now I will ruin my skin and my face forever, because I don't think my skin will continue recovering from my assaults indefinitely.

I've taken down all the mirrors. I've put up post sticks everywhere begging me to keep my hands off my face. I've told my family to not let me go anywhere near my skin. I want to give it a week to start with - 7 days of no touching AT ALL. Then 10. Then hopefully two weeks. My goal is a month, and then until Christmas. My hope is that if I post to this forum everyday for the first seven days, I'll have the motivation and will power to just leave my face be and let it heal. Currently my forehead is okay, but I've done mass damage in the past couple of days to the sides of my cheeks, and everything is in tiny red scabs and scars.

So here it is, my first post. Day 1 of no picking starts tomorrow, wish me luck!

9 Answers
September 16, 2015

So I've recently seen therapy for my skin picking. Reading your words, I can relate to every. single. one!! Im a college aged girl and I don't want to continue the rest of my life like this. Please update with what techniques you are using to help stop picking and how its going!!

September 17, 2015

In reply to by jackiee

Hey Jackiee! Im in college too, trying to stop now before my skin does a 19 going on 90 :) So far I've taken down all the mirrors in my room/bathroom, this has probably helped me the most! If I can't see than I don't pick. I've also told my family + my closest friends that they have free reign to grab me and drag me away from mirrors if needed. Also another tip I heard was changing your nail length, as its apparently makes it difficult to pick with nails your not used to them. If you have short nails people suggest putting on fakes for a couple of weeks, or vice versa - cutting your nails short while you try and stop picking. Another thing I'm doing is covering up all the areas that I've already picked at (and don't want to pick again) with this natural clay facemask. It doesn't dry out my skin, but keeps everything that I want to avoid picking covered whilst it heals! Honestly I'm just planning on walking around like that for a couple of days until it looks slightly less blotchy! Let me know if you have any tips or tricks!!! xx

September 21, 2015

After reading this tonight I feel as if someone has read my mind and said exactly how I feel. Before looking online I felt like I was the only one when in fact I'm not. The whole picking thing has became such a struggle lately making me so depressed that I struggle to get through everyday life - I have removed mirrors feel like I have tried it all. I'm currently on the waiting list for CBT after I finally plucked up the guts after 3 years to go to my doctor. I just need to stop and need to stop now I am so concious of my skin if you have any other tips that may help please post!

October 11, 2015

mssunnysideup I just wanted to post and say that if you have picked since posting this don't feel ashamed or as if you failed (mainly coz that's how I usually feel) - you can start again or at least if you reduce the frequency of the picking that's still progress. I think that's the biggest part of the problem when we're trying to stop is that it has to be instantaneous, no room for weakness or falling off the wagon ... how can we expect ourselves to recover if that's the bar we set? I'm going to try to stop (yet again ... ugh I can almost feel the resignation to failure already!) and if anyone wanted to join me so we can help each other get through the process (good AND bad) that'd be amazing.

October 22, 2015

Ugh this is my same story. I like the idea of taking down the mirrors, however a lot
of my picking I will do without a mirror. I am going to the dermatologist tomorrow as I havr accuired a skin infection from my picking. I need to stop, but I don't know how... Just wanted to share my frustrations and say you're not alone.

October 22, 2015

Mssunnyside up good will quit cause you are so strong...Jackiee you are so lucky that you came to therapy while in college...I am years older and wish I had cured my habit back then...

October 22, 2015

Mssunnyside up good will quit cause you are so strong...Jackiee you are so lucky that you came to therapy while in college...I am years older and wish I had cured my habit back then...

November 19, 2015

I have BEAT skin picking!! Just getting back on this site to tell ANYBODY!!! I picked my skin horrifically for over 2 years... I relate perfectly to everything said above. Is anyone interested in how I did it?
Please also follow my board on Pinterest for encouragement! "Skin Picking Help" user: Paula Winterringer. I want to help!!!!

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