Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

complex123 , 27 Nov 2015

Face Picking

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum. I have struggled with picking my face for as long as I can remember. I have been self conscious about my skin since I was bullied at school. People would call me all sorts of names due to the fact I had acne and I wore make-up.

Although I now don't have acne I still pick at my face and usually create blemishes myself. I have heard people talk about the ABCs of picking. A - being spots that everyone would pick that are obvious and have pus on. B - being red blemishes which most people wouldn't notice and leave alone. C - being imagined flaws on the face and basically creating something from nothing. I tend to pick A B and C spots and I get very embarassed of my face.

I think I pick out of enjoyment, but also to relieve stress and also use the time to plan things in my head, almost like a bit of me time.

Recently, I have struggled so much that I have been unable to go to work as I have caused so much damage to my face and I am too embarassed to show anyone.

I posted on here to hopefully find people in similar situations, but also hopefully share tips so we can help each other overcome this disorder.

I have recently changed the lighting in my room to help prevent me from picking. I have also tried to stop using tweezers to make holes in my face. i ti sreally affecting my social life and stops me from achieving things I really want to do.

Any tips would be appreciated.

Thank you for reading.

6 Answers
emotionally recked
December 05, 2015

hi there, I'm in the same boat. I pick and pick and pick for hours, I also cause blemishes myself, I think in the last five years I've had maybe 10 days with a non picked face. It has literally taken over my mind body and soul. I feel for you I really do there are so many things I have stopped doing in my life because of this addiction. I've got scars all over my face and want them gone but I just create more by picking. Its sort of like a soothing thing I feel so relieved while i'm doing it but when I'm done i'm mortified then I try to hide it with makeup and it looks worse I hope one day i'll get over this and live a normal life but I just got done picking so I guess today is not the day I wish you luck on your journey to stop maybe we can try together:)

December 12, 2015

Hi there Emotionally Wrecked and Complex. I have dermatillomania too- and I do it on my face as well. I think we do it on our face because that's where stuff tends to flare up.. Although I know if I get a blemish anywhere else that I can "get" I usually go for those too. I found this site today and am so grateful for it. I actually feel like for the first time I may be able to "beat" dermatillomania. Or make it reduced to something that can be easily managed. I think the first step is moving from an attitude of picking vs. no picking to an attitude of less picking and forgiveness. If I accept that picking may always be a part of my life, I can be realistic about my goals instead of setting myself up for failure. If what you want is to reduce yourself from C to A or just be able to wear minimal makeup or go swimming unashamed- those things are totally possible. For me, I want to be able to kiss someone and not be embarrassed. These goals are motivating.

Also I read somewhere that willpower alone won't do it. So true. I have to set myself up for success. For me, that means covering up all the mirrors, wearing gloves in the car and while reading/watching tv. I told my Roomate and she was cool about the mirror thing and really supportive- it felt good. I also take supplements. Fish oil, b, c, N-A-C. I looked up which ones were good for stress and anxiety and am still making my stockpile. I have a calendar specifically for picking-related things and I keep track. If I do it I rate it 1-5 and where it was. I do pimple popping and scab picking so there's a difference. Also if I do anything that I know helps (meditate, exercise, eat healthy, get support from friends/family, do a face mask.. Anything I consider positive) I put a check down. It feels rewarding and motivating to put the checks down, and it turns out I do way more good stuff than bad.

So having an arsenal at my fingertips (pun-intended) is necessary. My picking has already dramatically decreased. It's been like 3 days though haha.

And like everything persistence. If you fall off the horse a few days get back up. Don't beat yourself up for anytime you pick. If it's an all out spree or just one pimple- never punish yourself for it. You are not dermatillomania. It is a neurological disorder.

I'm excited for the day soon when I see my face in the mirror and am surprised and amazed at how beautiful I am. Try these tips! Let me know how it goes! Share yours too!

December 15, 2015

Hello emotionally recked and Piercet430,
Sorry about the late reply I thought I had replied to this thread a long time ago. I totally know what you mean about the goals. My goal is to just feel happy about my skin in the daylight. Last week I picked so bad and was so ashamed of myself, but thankfully it is healing now. My Mum has started to help me more and will call me if I have been in the bathroom for too long, which is helpful but also probably annoying for her. I take medication at the moment to help and lack energy, but exercise definitely helps me and distracts me, if I can muster the energy to go out! I think it’s important to take it day by day and also reward yourself when you have completed a time with no picking, maybe buy some make-up or new clothes :) How are you getting on?

December 16, 2015

Yay :)) I think always keeping it kind of in the foreground of my mind helps. If I ignore it or try to just not do it- it usually doesn't work. My little calendar system is going well. I do pick still, but it's so much less because I know that I'm going to be recording it and somehow that makes me stop sooner. I'm at the time of the month where I usually pick way more and feel depressed (because of my menstral cycle) so I'm giving myself a bit more grace. I have been thinking a lot about the spiritual effects of this condition, and how it's shaped me as a person. I notice people with it every day, and I want to go up to them and show support. Last night I was at a circle called Red Tent (which is awesome) and we all go around just checking in with what's going on in our lives. I talked about dermatillomania and my system and how I'm seeing improvement- I saw a few girls nod their heads like they knew what it was. One girl came up to me after and said she had never met anybody else who had it or never admitted it to anybody. She gave me a card of someone who does eft therapy and she said shed been doing it for three weeks. I would have assumed she was "normal" because her skin looked great. I was surprised to see how many people come out of the woodworks when I'm "out" about my dermatillomania. It's like we are all wanting to get better- it makes sense to help eachother out. Also I've been reading about gut health and I feel like that's really important for our condition. Eating poorly and too much is something that had kind of filled the gaps that not picking has left behind. Not sure if you know this but our brain and belly are connected by neurons. So I'm going to be taking probiotics and watching what I eat a little better. With dermatillomania- I always feel like there is something I need to "fix". Part of that is because I want to be as healthy as I can be, but part of that is a kind of neurosis that dermatillomania over the years has caused. Maybe that's why we are confused as perfectionists lol. But part of being human is imperfection and loving yourself where you are in the process of healing, which I'm really learning right now :)

December 22, 2015

Hello again :)
How are you? That’s a good idea, I might keep a little diary too  I have been quite good recently as I have lots of parties and things to go to, so I almost am too busy to pick, which is good. I get like that too around my period, usually the week before, it is good to be more lenient with yourself around that time. Red Tent sounds cool and it is lovely to know we are not the only ones! It hink that’s the thing we are so focused on our skin that we think it looks bad all of the time, but it just looks normal like everyone else’s :) I might start doing that too, are there any vitamins that are particularly good?

December 26, 2015

Hi! I'm generally new to derma, as I've only been compulsive for a year or two. My young years were filled with nail biting. As I bit down to painful points, I started to bite the skin. Luckily, this didn't take over for a while. Once I started getting really bad acne, everyone around me told me how horrible my acne was and that I should do something about it. I did, I used creams and whatever, but it never helped. People kept pointing out my imperfections and kept saying the same things over and over about my issue. Now, I do already have anxiety and depressive disorders, so this about sent me over the edge. I started picking, and at first I noticed "hey, this seems to go away for a while!" And continued. It eventually turned into a habit and quickly became uncontrollable. Meanwhile, as my forehead grew worse so did my fingers. I developed bruises and scarring from going around my fingers and biting up to my knuckles. People have noticed my hands and (obviously) my forehead, which has caused some.. Rude remarks. Makeup makes it worse, so I don't even bother. Needless to say, I feel your pain.

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now