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sck , 26 Apr 2016

Anyone around? Really down on myself.

I've been a skin picker for years and recently have gotten to a much better place. I haven't had a bad episode in almost a year...until yesterday. Waking up today to see the damage that I've done really gets me down on myself. My anxiety levels are so high, I literally feel sick to my stomach and don't want to get into a bad rut again. I feel so alone and although I know there are thousands of people out there experiencing the same thing...I can't seem to shake the feeling like it's just me and engaging in all the negative self-talk that comes with this disorder.

11 Answers
April 26, 2016

Hi Sck,

Sorry to hear how you feel. I can absolutely identify with you. For about 30 years I had a compulsion to pick at my lips and I used to feel just like you afterwards. I thought I'd never beat it. I tried everything I could, but nothing seemed to work. Then a couple of months ago I started to use a nice good quality organic lip balm. I kept it with me at all times and whenever I felt a compulsion to pick I used to put some balm on. Many times a day at first, but then less frequently.

Surprisingly, last week I noticed I hadn't needed to used it for weeks... and hadn't even needed to. It very like a huge victory, I was so proud of myself. I'm not sure if you condition is similiar or what your compulsion is. The worst times for me were sitting down at a computer like I am now. But my compulsion seems to be absolutely gone. I can't explain how it works, just like I couldn't explain why I had the compulsion in the first place. You're the first person I've told actually, it was always a very private thing for me, a personal battle. Maybe I'll need a year or so to be sure it doesn't come back, but there doesn't seem to be a danger of it right now.

Maybe you could try adapting the treatment to your own situation with a balm or cream or something like that. I hope this helps.

Bye for now,


April 26, 2016

Hi John,

Thank you for your response and sharing something so private. I pick the skin on my face, so it's difficult to adapt your therapy with my situation, but it's wonderful you found something that works for you. I pick at things that aren't even visible to anyone but myself. An uncontrollable urge comes over me and I literally have the ability to butcher my face and cause scabs and craters from the damage. My actions are always followed by disappointment and shame, I hate that this is a part of who I am.

April 29, 2016

Hi, I'm here and just signed up to this forum in order to respond to your post. I know exactly how you feel and I have had the compulsion to pick my face for many years. For me, it is picking at acne. I can get a relatively small pimple and turn it into a nightmare. The past few days I had been developing quite a monster pimple and was doing so good with not touching it... until last night. I started on the plane of all places, and by the end of the evening had created an enormous mess on my chin. I'm traveling right now, had to cancel all appointments today and hide in my hotel room. Only person I've let see me is room service. It's absolutely humiliating. I was better for years, but this past year I've had a number of times where I've had new picking 'incidents.' I get convinced that if I can just get the stuff out of my skin, it will be perfect, when of course nothing could be further from the truth.

May 03, 2016

In reply to by bandaid21

I pick at my pimples too. I don't even have that bad of acne but I manage to pop and squeeze and pick to the point I have a large open sore on my face. I have NEVER felt so low in my life. I have a bandaid on my right cheek now. I have to work tomorrow and I cannot cover the sore. I think to speed up healing I will just leave a bandied on until it heals and lie to my co-workers of what happened. I am MORTIFIED. It is very humiliating and I can relate with your story. I just want to curl up in a bawl and hide,, and cry.

April 29, 2016

Hi Guys,
I can relate so much to you. There was a period in my life where I was doing really well and hardly picked at all. Now I feel like I have gone backwards. Like bandaid21 I keep picking small pimples and turn them into horrible messy scabs that take a long time to heal. Then I struggle to not pick the scab off. However, usually if I manage not to pick for 36 hours (from experimentation) the scab is dry enough to peel off. I have had the same scab for a week and a day now and haven't managed to let it be for 36 hours. I am really going to try my best to not pick it, but the urge is too much and I want my skin to be perfect, then I just ruin it even more. The worst thing is, like sck, I pick at things that aren't visible to others and then they are clearly visible when I have finished! Hugs guys xx

May 02, 2016

bandaid21 & complex123...thank you so much for sharing because I know exactly where you're both coming from and knowing I'm not alone provides so much comfort. This week has been tremendously rough , and like bandaid21, I am so humiliated, I refuse to be seen or leave my house. I called in sick to work for days and over the weekend, the thicker scabs peeled on their own (even though a thinner one has formed). I am giving myself a pep talk about working tomorrow and telling myself that makeup will conceal most of the damage, and people don't notice the same things I do. The craziest part is that I still feel like I haven't got the core of some of my spots out and even though I know better than to pick and let my body expel or absorb what I see on its own, the urge and temptation are so strong not to touch my face. I literally have to take every hour at a time and each minute that passes that I can avoid picking is a relief....

May 03, 2016

You're not alone. We all have days like this. The amazing thing about our skin is given a few days it will heal. Keep your skin moisturized and protected and you'll feel better every day as it recovers.

May 03, 2016

No one is alone in this. At this very moment I am suffering. I have cried almost all day. My husband doesn't know what to do or what to say. I am in the darkest place I've ever been and I cannot climb out. Its not a life threatening condition but it is definitely debilitating. I can relate with everyone on this topic. I have to work tomorrow and I am utterly panicked.

May 05, 2016

You're so right, no one is alone. I hope everyone is ok at the moment and not being too hard on themselves. I also believe the sunshine helps my moods and contributes to less picking. Thankfully it is sunny today in the UK. reesy1314 - I had a month off work because I couldn't face anyone, try not to panic, I know how hard it can be xx

June 30, 2016

I have a terrible time with the public side of things. I go from nice skin to raw. My forearms get shredded while i trance out doing it. I totally feel you i just relapsed after no picking for 6 weeks and i am very sore and sorry now. Another week of long sleeves and pants as i attack the legs too. I cant work it out it sucks but i am trying

July 14, 2016

This is a little off topic, but I'm posting here trying to stay strong. I have a big party I'm going to this Sunday, and its during the day which means I can't go too heavy on the makeup. Today is Wednesday which means I have to keep it together for 3.5 days and not pick. I'm really trying to look nice for the party and would be so saddened if I had to go to it with scabs or infected zits from picking. Please send your positive thoughts my way so I can hang in there for 3.5 days. Does anyone else do these silly countdowns when they have important events coming up and trying not to pick?

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