My treatment so far - 2 weeks


Live a Happier Life - Free from Picking

Stop picking with online therapy program, based on CBT.

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September 12, 2017

Amazing to hear you doing so well and putting in all the necessary steps to minimize this habit. Its all about self compassion, self care, mindfulness, and repetition. So once the positive habits are set in stone, your mind might start easing up on the urges to pick. I am going through most of the steps which you talked about (including researching products, washing face with a sponge, and using a makeup setting spray). I also recommend Clarisonic brush for washing the face...it removes all of the makeup which can otherwise linger and clog pores. For a more affordable option, Olay makes a smaller version of a cleansing brush which works quite well too. Its also very pleasant to feel the bristles massaging the face, which might be some sort of sensory relaxation technique for us skin pickers. Anyway, please keep us updated with your progress!
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September 12, 2017

Thank you!! Will buy the clarisonic - a friend of mine has it and I tested it last week. Indeed it felt really relaxing... what a coincidence :)
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September 12, 2017

This blog has useful tips: https://www.google.bg/amp/s/www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/annaborges/skin-picking-tips
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September 12, 2017

Some of those tips are quite funny. Have you tried putting on acrylic nails? I have never had those but am tempted to get them if it will stop me from picking. The way I stopped nail biting after 23 years is by keeping my nails colored and meticulously well taken cared of. So maybe I can now implement the fake nails (even though its no my style) just to curb the desire to pick. What I hate is the thought of having to constantly go to a nail salon in order to keep up with the maintenance. I remember also being at a nail salon and hearing a girl cry out in pain when the nail specialist tried to take off the fake nail. It seems a bit scary...but desperate times call for desperate measures.
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September 14, 2017

Hi serene - I did try the fake nails, it helped for 3 days, but I got really frustrated with their unnatural ugly look and clicking/plastic sound, so I removed them. I have semi-gel nails that are a bit thicker but still don't help - even because I have needles / tweezers etc that reach the unreachable. I ordered some NAC, more bandaids, a lot of products I have seen listed here to try out. I even watched a hypnosis free youtube video - which from the comments, seem to help. I will watch it again today but really relaxing and with my eyes closed :)... first time I was too skeptical as this seemed goofy. I have ordered the tca 15% and dermaroller online for scars. Did you ever use dermaroller at home? Tired of doctors... want to find my own cure. My skin has calmed down (though yesterday I picked a bit). I am in the third week, more of "one good day" vs "one bad day". But I feel motivated. Thanks for your help, by the way! If this is interesting to you, the hypnosis sentence the guy kept repeating as a "suggestion" was: "Picking my skin is something that I used to do. Now I am free and my skin is healthy, for the rest of my life I am free". Powerful...! Below the video fyi: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UZyqZte1ZHI
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September 14, 2017

The hypnosis sounds very interesting. I like that sentence, maybe we need to repeat it to ourselves throughout the day as a daily mantra. It is how I now feel about my past nail biting habit. I can look back in retrospect and think wow that is something I used to do and now I am free. And it feels so liberating...ive also had severe OCD of various types since the age of 8...and after finally having it dissipate in high school I now look back with such gratitude. Im actually grateful that I can have a messy house and not freak out and want to rip my head off...or that I can read a book in peace without counting numbers in my head or rereading sentences back and forth. Maybe normal people dont understand...but when you go through so much emotional torment and then look back once its finally gone you tend to have a whole different perspective on even the smallest aspects of daily life. This is my goal for the skin picking, I truly want to get rid of it so that I dont have any more "bad days" where Im stuck at home, too ashamed to go out because my face is full of open wounds. :( The fake nails do seem annoying, they simply dont fit my laid back easy going personality. And I also have a social phobia of some sort which makes me uncomfortable to be in salons or to have people touching me in any way. As for NAC, it truly helps some people, but you need to be consistent with taking it on a daily basis and maybe upping the dosage if you dont see any improvement. Its certainly worth a shot to try. I did a peel on Sunday and now it has all peeled off,, so im left with slightly pink still slightly flaky skin...and no acne except for little tiny whiteheads on small pores which I picked off. It is somewhat refreshing, but I always want to do deeper peels...its hard to start off because you have to sort of build up to that point.
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September 14, 2017

Wow! We have a lot in common. I think I have ocd, was never diagnosed properly but can relate much. As a kid I guess I had little control over me. I used to avoid stepping lines/cracks, had tricotillomania from 2-3 years old (stopped because my mom kept shaving my head until I got tired of waiting for hair to grow), wanted my shoe laces perfectly symmetrical along with the height of my socks. My mom had to make my hair for school and when doing 2 pony tails, I looked with a little mirror the back because the line that divided the hair in two had to be "perfect". Hence... I picked many things and "imperfections" growing up. My feet toes (still do - quitting that too soon, hopefully), my ingrown hair, my scalp (can still feel a scar under my hair)... but Acne/my face has been my longest and most dreadful obsession. I also read book passages more than once - I believe to have also some add - so I would read it over and over to make sure I understood... then became a workaholic (of course), not sure it was passion or disease, good thing is that I got pretty good at and successful too. Eventually during adolescence, university and even at my first job I had also some social phobia. Maybe related to people looking at my acne, maybe psychological... insecurities etc. But I blushed constantly and at work it became a problem. I solved it with years of experience and taking beta blockers for presentations. Very good tool. At all these things... I look back and say "something that I used to do...". Feels great. Now I am working on my list of things to do instead of picking and how to diminish stimulus overall. So have been quite busy, but motivated! How old are you? Thanks for all your tips!
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September 14, 2017

Impulse control disorders such as body focused repetitive behaviors tend to occur frequently among people with OCD. Its frustrating and daunting to have to suffer with a whole slew of different afflictions for a majority of your life. I think that my OCD might have a genetic component but I also had a very stressful, traumatizing childhood which certainly did not help. I have read a lot of information on trauma and there is a theory that individuals who have been traumatized can manifest OCD as a coping mechanism. Here is a line from a book I read recently which describes the process briefly: "Flight or obsessive-compulsive types sometimes look more dialogical than other types, but if we do not steer them into their deeper, emotionally based concerns, they may remain (( stuck and floundering in obsessive perseverations about superficial worries that are little more than left brain dissociations from repressed pain. ))" And there are some people who are extremely meticulous (without necessarily having had experienced much trauma) and who can then use that trait to become workaholics...therefore deemed high functioning by society. So in your case maybe the OCD promoted your high-achieving behavior and therefore you get long term benefit from it. A blessing disguised as a curse? The thing is, even if we do beat this skin picking affliction, we have to be realistic in that we might get some new obsession or bad habit...this is how individuals like us function. When we suppress or expel one particular behavior, the brain can easily manifests another one. Therefore its important to be self-compassionate through this whole journey. I am 28 and am hoping to enter into my 30's free of this skin picking affliction. :)
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September 19, 2017

Hi Serene! Sorry to hear about your childhood. Interesting book, what is it? Being a workaholic - with ocd - is more of a curse disguised of a blessing. But now that I am not working, my picking became very intense. So I guess the other bad habit I could deal with better (i.e. Working too much). Agree that we need to keep ourselves busy, with my hands and mind busy. I moved abroad and am not working now. Having much free time makes me feel very bored... and I like to be focused on something, since it helps me relax and think at the same time. So I plan to e enroll in some activities - yoga, pilates, painting. Hopefully it will help. Fyi: I tested dermarolling 1mm yesterday. Quite easy... recensions and comments from users are positive. Will see. In the meantime I received the tca 15%. Could tell me step by step how you apply it? I'd like to peel a bit but not too much... I know each skin reacts differently and yours is used to it, but any advice / tip you can share would be great :) :) :)
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September 19, 2017

Read the other post: so basically, I will wait 10-14 days after this dermarolling thing to try tca15. It is advised for the 1mm roll to wait a month, but I used it delicately to try it (today it is not even red)... so 10 days should do. Prepare the skin: do yoi need to disinfect it before or just wash it / rinse? Application: a cotton ball is what you use, right? (Those make-up disks can't do the job?) Once it starts frosting, I can leave it for a few minutes and then just wash it off completely? Any products to be applied afterwards? Make-up would be ok the next day? Let me know :) Thanks!!
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September 19, 2017

The book is called Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma. The frustrating part of skin care is that usually it takes a while to finally start seeing good results. The dermaroller needs to be used continuously in order to start seeing results ..same thing with the skin peels. Let me know how it works out for you, its an interesting process. Do you make sure to disinfect the needles after each use? I dont prepare the skin before doing a peel, although I have tried that in the past. I simply make sure to wash my face or normally I do a peel after a shower. I didnt notice much difference when I would use alcohol prior to applying the acid. You can use a special fan brush for peels, or a cotton ball. The fan brush makes for easy and quick application with an even layer of acid...but with a cotton ball you can vary the application strategy and increase the pressure as your skin becomes more accustomed to peels in the future. I got the best results on the deeper peels when using a cotton ball and applying some pressure throughout the application. For the first few times you can simply swipe the acid on without patting it in...but you can experiment with the application in the near future. I am not sure about using the makeup disks...the acid might break them apart quite possibly..im not sure what they are made of. You can try using it and seeing if the acid breaks the foam down or not. With the first application usually its all about the pain threshold and how you react to the acid. The stinging will occur, and I suggest you use something to fan yourself with, or stand infront of a fan...the air helps a lot in minimizing the discomfort. You can increase the time of the acid on the skin on the second peel and/or incorporate two layers of acid. You learn as you experiment. When you do peels for a while, the skin becomes more accustomed to the pain and its easier to do deeper peels (more layers, longer contact time). Im building up to that point again. Makeup is ok to wear the next day...but if for example you do a deeper peel....you might start seeing more wrinkling and dryness on the second or third day of the peel and makeup would be difficult and most likely pointless to apply. Usually the second day is ok...its the third day which starts to wrinkle/peel/flake. Did you do a patch test behind the ear? You can do a small test as is recommended on the instructions pamphlet just to rule out any rare reactions.