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.
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October 01, 2017

Hi Serene! Some updates for you :)! I did the allergy test friday... no visible signs of irritation and no redness ocurred. I had some recently picked scabs and some active acne on my face, but still decided to go forward and try the tca 15% home peeling on saturday afternoon. Ps: this week I felt anxious before my period (my skin gets oilier and breaks out a bit this time of the month), so I picked quite a lot this past week. Sad but true :(... Anyway, I cleaned my skin with cetaphil, put some rubbing alcohol to remove all oils, then applied the acid with gauze with some pressure. I did also a second pass on my cheeks, nose and chin - the t-area where I have some scars. My skin tollerated it quite well and the stinging was not bad at all. The first pass I let on for 5 minutes, then the second pass I washed after 2-3 min. since it was burning a bit (and i preferred to stay safe). I used a fan, though it was not even necessary. The redness disappeared a couple of hous later... My skin today (sunday) is already tight, the acne has diminished, and the scabs are super dry / already peeling off. I am moisturizing and using neosporin. Question: - what % do you use now? Curious! Will let you know in a week the results :)
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October 01, 2017

For the dermaroller: I will alternate with the tca. And yes, I cleaned it both before and after with 70% ethanol alcohol...!
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October 01, 2017

The highest percent I have used was 20%. I think anything more than that can get a bit scary. I have had really great results with 15% depending on the application, number of layers, and amount of time the acid was left on skin. Try not to pass over any open wounds when using the TCA...it tends to halt the wound healing because it damages the wound all over again & the red hyper-pigmented spots remain longer afterwards. So you feel that you can do a deeper peel next time? Also be careful around the eye area, I tend to avoid it because the skin under the eyes is most delicate and if the TCA gets on it it can lead to some swelling under the eyes. Since your skin tolerated it well this time you can do a deeper peel with more layers and more time of contact next time. Also leave any skin which is flaking or peeling to peel off on its own. I prefer to simply use my hands to wash my face when its in the process of peeling. The cleansing brushes can easily strip off skin which is not ready to be peeled off yet. And try to abstain from peeling or flaking other pieces. I say this from personal experience of getting cellulitis (a bacterial inection of the skin) after I vigorously tried to peel off the skin which was drying up. Did you know that its easily possible to get cellulitis even from regular pimple popping and picking? Any open wound can introduce bacteria into the deeper layers of the skin and then swelling along with some tenderness can occur. This is why skin picking is such an unhealthy habit. Let me know if you experience an acne outbreak after doing this peel. Sometimes there is an increase in acne following the peel. I also want to mention that I have been using Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Daily Leave-On Mask which contains Benzoyl Peroxide (2.5%), and it has been helping my skin soo much. Unlike other acne clearing products with higher percentages of benzoyl peroxide, this particular leave on lotion is awesome at keeping skin clear without drying it out. Ive been using it in between my peels and its truly making a difference. It dries quick upon application and has a smooth matte finish. Just something that I would recommend you to try in order to minimize acne breakouts. Another product I purchased recently was a sulfur soap. Here is the link to that product --- https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R31J4H4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Its working well so far.. I havent used the ointment but I am having some hope in the soaps. Need to use the soap for a longer period of time in order to see the results. The only downside is that it somewhat irritates the eyes if it gets in them. Its always exciting to find something new that works, so Im constantly on the lookout for new favorite products to try.
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October 02, 2017

...My skin is thin and glowing already :):)! So happy I did this. I have a party next saturday and the peel was right in time. This is also the reason why I still did it even though I had some open wounds. But those immediately dried up and were the first "flakes" to fall off. My skin is now only micropeeling, I am keeping it hydrated so it hardly shows. As for acne, so far I noticed maybe 2-3 micro spots, but it is under control. I feel like the tca killed it and flattened some weird bumps. I can definitely do 2-3 layers next time and increase the time too! As for the eyes, I passed a bit around it, taking off any dripping excess before time. I have some fine wrinkles worth trying to "erase". The skin around my eyes is a bit tight, but not flaky. I will try that product/line you suggested. Though until today, benzoyl peroxide always irritated my skin and my acne maybe developed some resistance to it - if this is possible. I feel like salicylic and lactic acids are nicer and better for me... I have also used teatree oil and it kinda works, but then I have to let it aside for a while... feel like my acne only responds positively for a while to everything. So change is good... I tried this tonic p50 from Biologique Recherche - did you ever hear anything about it? It is more expensive, I started using it and I think it helps reduce acne and hydrate at the same time, but it is supposed to be a tonic, quite confusing. Research about it... it is known to be "Jesus in a bottle" :). Some questions: how long after the peel should I experience eventual linked breakouts...? Would it happen right away? How long after a mild peel like mine would you start using acne products? (I read 10 days somewhere...) Do you think these lighter peels help erase some acne scars or mostly dark spots? I confess I peeled off some tiny crests that were already pretty loose today. But thanks for the infection notes!! Will refrain from doing this. Must stay away from mirrors... :-/
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October 02, 2017

...oh, and you are right! Those scabs/wounds that peeled off did leave some brownish/red spots behind. But these are easy to cover with make up. I am happier for now with them... vs acne bumps/ wrinkly ugly skin. I want to do another one in 15 days, is that too soon?
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October 02, 2017

Light peels you can do frequently, they wont damage the skin. Light peels will not affect the indented acne scars...but they will help to fade pigmentation marks and smooth pores. The deeper the peel the better the results will be...thats always the rule. Even with deeper peels you need to do multiple peels in order to start seeing good results on the acne scars. Your skin might not break out with acne after the peel...some people have that reaction and others dont. It usually starts as the peel is peeling and soon after...but the breakouts stop probably a week after. Again, your skin might be different and might not respond adversely. You can do spot checks with the usual acne products that you use in order to see how your skin reacts. Skin might be more sensitive so you can experience more drying and burning sensations when using certain topical products. So this is something you have to delicately experiment with and see what works for you. I tend to start using acne products a week after a peel... once everything exfoliates. Again, everyone's skin is different and some people are more sensitive than others after a peel. Ofcourse there are different variants such as the depth of the peel itself. 15 days is plenty of time to do a light peel. With a very light peel you can probably even do it weekly...but it does get tiresome to always be in the process of peeling so its best to do it once every two weeks. I have not heard much about Biologique Recherche, will have to look that up. Which sylacilic acid products do you use?
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October 02, 2017

Thanks for all the info :) I use these two for acne spots: https://www.amazon.com/Neutrogena-Rapid-Clear-Eliminating-Salicylic/dp/B001E96OR4 https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004R0INWG/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1506980253&sr=8-1&keywords=skinceuticals+salicylic+acid&dpPl=1&dpID=314uzobcdjL&ref=plSrch And the p50 toner also has both salicylic and lactic acids... it is said to cure "ingrown hairs" and cystic acne. Reduces pore size and improves texture after a couple of days. Whoever tries it loves it! I used it for 3 days - bought the travel size mini bottle to try first - but then stopped... as I was going to have my peel. Read the reviews: http://shoprescuespa.com/biologique-recherche-p50.html?___SID=U As for the cleanser, I am using the cetaphil foam, very nice. Not drying/irritating, yet feel my skin super clean. Then I alternate some teatree oil, and moisturize with the elemis sos cream (I read some post here that it was good. I love the smell, and it is not oily... feels fresh on the skin). I bought the clarisonic brush... use a mask with dead sea mud (use it once in a while to clean pores). Bought a vitamin c serum as well. Not stuck to a routine, trying out different things :).
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October 02, 2017

I am curious about these products/lines: "Paula's choice" "Mario Badescu" "Acne.org Regimen" Have you ever tried any of them?
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October 02, 2017

I am curious about these products/lines: "Paula's choice" "Mario Badescu" "Acne.org Regimen" Have you ever tried any of them?
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October 02, 2017

I am curious about these products/lines: "Paula's choice" "Mario Badescu" "Acne.org Regimen" Have you ever tried any of them?
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October 02, 2017

Sorry - somehow the message I sent tripled!
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October 02, 2017

...I read somewhere here about on mederma for scarring and calamine lotion. I bought these too, not sure when to use them. I may be exaggerating on my skin shopping - but need to see what works for me once and for all...!!
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October 02, 2017

...Last but not least: Just received and will try also "skinpep" products for pigmentation, "brightening enzyme & acid peel" gel, and the "glow white" serum. On amazon.com I found the peel/gel. On amazon.uk the other one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00LAWA6SI/ref=mp_s_a_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1506982462&sr=8-2&keywords=skinpep+brightening&dpPl=1&dpID=41ICuy8vK5L&ref=plSrch https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00SYLZ8TK/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1506982652&sr=8-1&keywords=skinpep+glow+white&dpPl=1&dpID=418aTnEzZ%2BL&ref=plSrch
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October 04, 2017

I was looking at the Neutrogena Spot treatment at a local CVS yesterday. Have you tried the Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion? https://www.amazon.com/Neutrogena-Rapid-Defense-Lotion-Salicylic/dp/B001E96ORO/ref=wl_mb_wl_huc_mrai_2_dp?ie=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B001E96ORO&pd_rd_r=0E6S7Y7G4ZZFZ9GJX07N&pd_rd_w=Vbkyf&pd_rd_wg=UI0r6&th=1 I am thinking of buying both and seeing how they work. The interesting thing is that they both contain 2% sylacilic acid while one product is much bigger and nearly the same price as the smaller spot treatment. I use the Mederma PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream. It has a nice consistency and isnt greasy. I use it as a light moisturizer. As for the calamine lotion...I tried it but it is very drying....I dont understand the appeal of it. Try it and let me know if you feel the same way. How is your skin lately? Are you picking less, breaking out less? I have been on antibiotics for this past week due to a tooth infection and thankfully I barely get a few tiny pimples. What a blessing to have clear skin without trying. My skin has also been less oily...so maybe its all the bacteria which causes increased oil production on the skin (the antibiotics control the bacteria, and therefore skin is less oily). And the picking compulsions are almost none. I wish this was my skin all the time!!! I am so sick of getting ugly red painful pimples that eventually turn into big whiteheads that throb from pain. It seems that I normally get at least one pimple every day, whether it be small or large. I have not tried any Paulas Choice products but read lots about them. You seem happy and hopeful, I hope that its a sign of your overall improvement in picking.
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October 04, 2017

I bought the neutrogena spot gel in the pharmacy one day to try it... I had forgotten my skinceuticals serum on a trip and actually liked it. I used neutrogena stuff as a teenager, then started using other brands. I bought the led mask and spot pen treatment - they actually work to help infected spots reduce size/pain/redness. A cystic pimple that would take a week to disappear on its own actually disappears in 3 days... in 1-2 it shrinks noticeably!! Try it :)! As for calamine, I used it after some bad skin picking and it makes the redness look less evident... but agree it is very drying. As for my skin now, same happened to me: since june - after my laser that broke my skin out terribly - I had been taking tetracycline. My skin got much less oily and my acne cleared conpletely. I could live on antibiotics and would be a happier person / pick much much less. But I want to get pregnant soon so cannot take those anymore. And then... after a month free of "oral antibiotics" - I got oilier. Some black heads and small white spots apperared. Picked some. Those multiplied. And the whole picking endless hunt started all over again. I realized I cannot live on antibiotics forever, and had to finally solve (try to) my picking problem. So I found this website and enrolled to the program. I am on my 5th-6th week and still pick... but found many ways of understanding it better. This forum also helped me a lot, you did too :). I am motivated but feel far from being cured. I bought some mp3 hypnosis from this english lady, will try soon. I am really willing and hoping to try anything to fix this... maybe one day I will say "it was something that I used to do", but just not quite yet. The tca is amazing by the way - my skin is thin and glowing. My husband is impressed how something can do this much in such few days. I will defintely keep this a part of my routine. It makes me not want to pick and I feel my skin soooo smooth. I had been doing improvements on my picking... and then one day I just lost my mind and picked for hours in a row (the week before my period = oilier skin + breakouts). I bought some pepskin products too to brighten the dark spots... This tca peel came in the best time ever. Thank you again for all the tips :)! I want to use the dermaroller next week with some vitamin c and these pigmentation creams. Will then have another tca in 3 weeks... and keep doing this for a while, see what happens. Want to try microneedling and fillers for depressed scars with a professional/doctor, no more lasers for now... in the mood for new stuff :) Have you tried the program in this website?
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October 04, 2017

...another note on picking: I think the trick for me is to keep reminidng me to keep my hands away from my face. Touching it only infects it more. And when I touch it I "feel" where the spots are - sometimes not even visible, but there. And it triggers me to "analyze" them closely in from of a mirror. I am trying to stop this hunting for little spots, by cutting the triggers that precede it. And you see... I am now a bit desperate since scarring becomes only worse with age... whatever I do may leave marks and scars. I had large pores and some pigmentation, but only after my 30s... my picked acne started leaving behind actual scars/holes. At this age, the skin will not heal as it used to... I have my deepest pits - cheeks/chin for these 2-3?spots I picked (...which I would never let heal) for weeks due to some stressful working days... and with scabbing after scabbing, those did not heal properly. Up until my 20s, I could still get away with my picking - my skin was still so oily and healing was fast/good...! Not anymore... anything I have and Pick can become a scar now. So I really need to be extra careful. Hopefully stop one day. So remember that in your late 30s your skin will be different, it is a very good thing you're aware of this now, and already taking care of yourself.
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October 04, 2017

I am glad that I can help in some way. I simply understand the pain and frustration all too well. As for the light therapy treatments, I have heard that they are effective and worth looking into. I have not enrolled in this website's program. Is it mainly about being introspective and looking for any triggers and trying to change behavior by substituting picking with other actions? I am not even sure how it works but I get the impression that its almost like a diary format. Do you work with an actual online therapist who writes you back? Have you tried to quit before and what was your most successful attempt at quitting picking that you remember? I think that with age the skin not only slows down in its ability to heal wounds and prevent scar formation, but also the old scars which have been inflicted in youth start to become more evident. Since collagen production slows down, the deeper layers of the skin start to sag, and all of the past scars start becoming more visible. How does your husband feel about your picking? Is he supportive and understanding? Its important to be surrounded by caring, non judgmental support systems. I think that it is a big factor in the ability to get better from this. I agree with you, that its important to keep the hands away from the face in order to cut down on the "scanning" behavior. I just dont like the very evident whiteheads that pop up and whenever I look in the mirror all I see is a huge red pimple with a whitehead in the middle. Its distracting and the pain doesnt make it any easier to not want to pop it. The peels are an addictive process once you start doing them. The same brand Perfect Image has other peels too. They have a daily 10% Sylacilic acid peel along with a 30% Sylacilic acid peel. I tried the 30% and left it on for 5 full minutes...it reddens the skin and stings more than the TCA. I think I left it on too long the first time I did it because there was more dryness and redness....but once my skin peeled off it was very bright and even toned. Maybe the 10% Sylacilic peel would be best to try first. Weekly use of it might be beneficial in preventing acne. It is a different acid from TCA though, so application should be gentle and pressure should not be applied on the skin. Fillers are the way to go in order to get immediate results. With micro-needling, some derms have a specific punching device that applies the needles in a direct straight manner instead of the roller which can pull on the skin as the needles penetrate at an angle. For deeper scars I know that many derms prefer to use the TCA cross method, which is basically applying a high percentage of TCA only in the depressed portions of the scars. This causes only those specific areas to raise up to the surface. It looks worse before it gets better...so there is time needed for everything to even out.
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October 04, 2017

Random question, do you pick less when you spend time in the sun? I find it easier to refrain from picking when I spend a good amount being active and spending time outdoors. I think the sun increases serotonin production/overall mood and lowers impulses.
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October 05, 2017

A link to an interesting article on chemical peels. https://www.allure.com/story/chemical-peel-benefits
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October 06, 2017

About the treatment: You start out by stating all your picking history. Then you meet (through online texting) your assigned therapist, and start your "app. diary". So initially it is about understanding when you pick, why, where... the triggers and feelings that precede it. Then the next step is to try to create competing responses and stimulus control. Though that mildly helps, it is not enough. And the more you "watch yourself", the more you think of picking... ironically. It made me focus even more on my picking...! After that, you're introduced to some mindfulness-acceptance-willingness skills, and start thinking of your "higher values", short and long term goals, and learn to talk to yourself almost as "an observer"... a not judgmental one. Sum up all these, plus the comments and notes from your therapist, and the questions you answer on each week's session. You also complete a test before each session to see if your condition is improving. I think it was worth it :). Has not cured me but made be better... I need to read everything again to keep remembering the tips when I get into my "trance picking". A 25 year old habit cannot vanish all of a sudden... but I want to believe it will. I have 3 weeks left.
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October 06, 2017

To answer your questions: • Have you tried to quit before and what was your most successful attempt at quitting picking that you remember? - I have always tried to stop... never made it for good. I think my maximum time "hands off" was 2 months, but only while on roaccutan or antibiotics (tetracycline or other), which made my skin really acne free / smooth ("unpickable"). But whenever I am on my normal "oilier" self (free of pills), I last no longer than 2 weeks. • How does your husband feel about your picking? Is he supportive and understanding? - He did not get it in the beginning, until one day he said it was not normal and that maybe I should get help. First I got mad and offended, but realized he was right... I started searching for it on-line, and after reading a lot about it I sent him also many articles, on how family should behave with skin pickers etc (not to accuse, yell, shame... things he had done until then). Then he changed. He became very supportive and is the only person in my close circle that knows the exact situation. Of course my family jokes about this, but don't think of it as a problem. 3) Do you pick less when you spend time in the sun? - I pick less... but more because I prefer "less make-up" during the summertime. So since my skin shows more if I pick, I get to control myself better. Also, I am usually among friends/family during the summer, and feel embarrassed to present myself with bad skin. I don't think though the sun makes my skin better, since I feel it oilier. 4) I will read the link on chemical peels! Thanks. Will ask also a doctor I am seeing about microneedling, TCA cross method, and some fillers for the more evident scars. I truly believe that making my skin look healthy and well taken care of will be a big motivation for me not to ruin it. For the past year I had been demotivated with some deeper scars, acne and pigmentation, and thought that picking could not "make it any worse anyway". But I was wrong... I did make it worse. So now I will try to make it its best... and live with / accept what I cannot fix.
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October 06, 2017

What about seeing an actual real therapist in person? I would rather do that because I want them to see the damage themselves and to assess me in person. That way I own up to what im doing and they understand the whole ordeal much better. It would have to be a very understanding therapist. In my case its complex because I have a whole lot of facial issues going on so maybe body dysmorphic disorder is a part of the equation. Maybe having a birthmark on half of my face results in such issues...which makes me feel even more alienated into my unique category. But also I think maybe its none of anybodys damn business and why the hell should I go and spill my guts to a person who is just charging me hourly. Mostly just to make them feel pity for me and oh poor thing thats too bad. And end up making them feel uncomfortable because thats what happens when you have any facial defect....you naturally without even trying make people uncomfortable. And in my case they will just equate everything to the facial defect. Its like they peg you for how you look and all of your behaviors are a result of the defect. I had a shitty therapist a while back who would tell me I look tired when I would not wear makeup and when I stopped doing peels. Ya my skin was amazing when I would constantly do peels and use facial products...then I dropped into a massive depression and her responses became "you look tired", "are you sleeping well"...and I had to tell the idiot NO I stopped doing facial peels and stopped using creams and dont care to wear makeup (I would sleep 12 hours each day). Its like I owe these bastards some sort of explanation for how my damn face looks. Maybe my face is just naturally deformed...what am I to do about it? Do I need to blatantly explain it to people? "Oh excuse me but my face looks like hell today because I havent had the will to take good care of myself lately because I am so depressed that I can barely move." Be glad that you dont have any facial birthmarks...because people tend to expect an explanation for it since it makes them uncomfortable to look at you and they want to double check if youre ok and not sick or dying from some disease. Its all about leering and trying to "figure you out"....ohhh how does it affect her I wonder. Scars are more understandable.
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October 06, 2017

This is exactly how I felt for the past two years...."For the past year I had been demotivated with some deeper scars, acne and pigmentation, and thought that picking could not "make it any worse anyway". But I was wrong... I did make it worse. So now I will try to make it its best... and live with / accept what I cannot fix." Its as if I gave up on trying to help myself...yet in doing so I only got worse! The only way to lessen the picking is SELF CARE...constant self care and self compassion. Ignoring the problem only tends to make it worse!
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October 06, 2017

"What about seeing an actual real therapist in person?" Not sure I am ready for that, to confront one in person. Living now in a foreign country makes it hardwr, and the 2 I have seen in the past (for other reasons) did not prove to be really necessary. I wish skin-picking therapists could be psychiatrists who had also been ex-pickers, who could personally relate to all my issues and therefore know exactly how I feel, what to tell me, when. I am ok for now with this on-line program, the good thing is that I can remain anonymous. Will see how it goes after that... "Maybe having a birthmark on half of my face results in such issues" I understand you feel bad about it. You're right, people tend to look at "marks" and imagine how people feel about it. I personally hate meeting old friends from high school / college with that sad look on their face "what happened to you? What have you done to your face?"... I kinda get the feeling. Though I don't know how I'd feel about a birth mark, I do have a cousin who has a big purple colored "shade" on half her face... she is an amazing doctor, has beautiful kids and a great husband... it seems like she never cared about it. Or I guess at some point she just accepted it... moved on. Whatever the case, I never asked... but she feels so comfortable with it, people don't pity her at all. Try to act super confident and smile at people when they stare at you. See how that feels... and make them feel uncomfortable for a change. Easy for me to say - since I don't have one, but I always admired my cousin for overcoming this... and hated myself for worrying instead about such superficial stuff overall. But anyway, this is who I am... trying to evolve too. I guess the trick is to learn to appreciate other great features you have, keep taking care of yourself - and your skin - and eventually focus more and more on our life/other greater values too...! Sounds a bit corny, but just from reading your posts I can tell you are such a smart and caring person. Don't let a beauty mark ruin it for you! "Scars are more understandable". I think scars can be understandable... when accidental. When you know you deliberately caused them - with your own little fingers... - the sense of guilt can be quite overwhelming. But I have passed that phase... I am still forgiving myself, but there were times I could not. Quite a burden. "The only way to lessen the picking is SELF CARE... constant self care" - I will make this my new mantra...!!
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October 07, 2017

Thank you for your reply, you are very kind. I try my best to be a good person and I do smile at people when I notice them looking in an analytical manner. Its as if they are trying to make sense of what they are staring at ( I wear makeup so they tend to stare a bit longer to decipher what it is that I am trying to hide). Overall I try to be polite at all times although I would say I am a shy, reserved person in my temperament. Why did you never ask your cousin about her birthmark, do you think it is socially unacceptable or simply impolite to ask other's about such things? Is it a fear of possibly hurting her feelings? Im curious mainly because I have encountered interested looks although the individuals never asked or hinted at what they were looking at. I dont think it would offend me much if they asked straight out if I have a birthmark...its only rude if they inquire if I got hit or if I smeared my makeup or if im sick (which has happened). The most recent awkward situation occurred when I got a new dentist and caught him analyzing my face (they have to scan the face for signs of abuse and bruises). I guess he was suspicious that I was being abused but when he saw me with it every time for a year he understood its a birthmark. Assumptions are hurtful, but an open question about birthmarks is not. Does your cousin wear makeup to cover her birthmark? As for feeling a sense of guilt for picking and leaving scars..its a feeling I know all too well and its so painful. I am battling with it recently. Sometimes its better, other times its worse. Today Im going to do another peel because I want to feel "cleansed"...strange how such a process feels like a cleansing both physically and psychologically.
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October 29, 2017

Hi Serene...! Sorry I am only replying now... I was on vacation for 20 days with my family. It kind of ruined my routine, actually. I was used to avoiding some bathrooms/lights and got into my mom's house bathrooms with crazy bright lighting... my skin after my first peel was much better. Then I ruined it. Then I got a new peel. Then I ruined it again... then I opened up with my family about his issue. It is a bit genetic as I had said, so they kind of understood right away... then my skin slowly got better and now I had my third peel back home. Good thing my husband noticed some improvement already, so that felt motivating (he had not seen me for almost 3 weeks). I have a week left with the treatment... wonder still if I will ever be "cured" :(. To answer your questions above: I never asked my cousin about her birthmark for 2 reasons: 1, I always knew what it was... and it did not seem to bother her. 2. I get very very bothered when people comment my skin (acne, scars, pores)... so my personal rule is never to comment on people's skin since I suffer from it... yet if they talk about it, then I talk about it too. (We are not so close - 2nd degree - so there was never an opportunity). And no, she never were any make-up to hide it... it is purple/hemangioma and it takes a large part of half her face... she is also a doctor and seems pretty ok with it. I wish I was more like her with my own skin problems...! Anyway... hope one day I will :-/
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October 29, 2017

How are you implementing the peels now? For how long do you leave them and how many passes do you make? Do you flake or do you obviously peel in sheets? I think the 15 percent TCA is too weak for me now. I need to buy a 20 percent peel...saw this particular product__----https://www.amazon.com/Peel-Enhanced-Salicylic-Acid-INTERNATIONAL/dp/B003VI2HD6/ref=sr_1_6_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1509238802&sr=1-6&keywords=20+tca+peel. The Perfect Image brand discontinued its 20% TCA peel...so I have to find another one. I think for me it will be easier and quicker to do the 20% because its stronger and frosts quickly. The 15% takes too much time. And with a higher percentage less passes are needed, less product is used up. When I do a peel for an entire week I do EXTREMELY well with not picking. Its a breather for me...im able to relax for a while and feel a bit normal in a way....even though I cant really leave the house looking like a burn victim. Being confined is the disadvantage...yet if Im not picking I feel better on the inside! How is your experience, how do peels make you feel when you are in the process of peeling? I can understand how you feel about messing up the progress. Im sitting here with five hydro-colloid bandaids on my chin. Little picked spots...some have healed up and today in the morning I picked some more! This week has been so rough for me! And then on top of it dealing with depression. Very frustrating to say the least! You are a kind person with lots of empathy...you try to not upset others because you understand the depth of the pain when it comes to physical defects. BTW... if you want to you can join a Facebook support group which I and a couple of other Skinpick users have started. Here is the link.... https://www.facebook.com/groups/361955704218004/?multi_permalinks=362075987539309&notif_id=1509103281829728&notif_t=like ---- I hope that the link works. We chat and support each other whenever we need it. We also like to share helpful information with one another.
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October 29, 2017

Have you ever tried not using make-up over it and watch people's reactions? Maybe they look /stare more because it could seem like a covered "bruise" (like your dentist probably assumed at first)... and people don't ask since you actually cover it (and they assume it is not ok to talk about it). But if you ever feel like explaining it to people... just say what it is - "yup... birth mark!" - & smile :). I met a girl the other day... she has one on her neck and since it was covered with make-up I assumed it was a bruise. Since her skin was ok besides that, I asked if she got hurt... she said "no, it is a birth mark... but I hide it since I find it a bit ugly". When another cousin of mine would be covered with pimples during adolescence years (though she did not care much - another interesting example) and someone would say "what is all this on your face" - she'd say "I had them put on... thought they'd look nice. Do I look good?". To make the person understand it was not a choice and a bad question. She was funny... yes, empathy is something we learn, I guess. Being able to put yourself in somebody else's shoes. You're empathic as well and I see you in this forum helping a lot of people, including me - very nice of you. The problem with facebook is that it is not really private, is it? I mean, a bit of exposure might happened with our profile pictures, names, etc. I find that part a vit embarrassing :(. Will think about it though... As for the TCA - my new magic friend: 15% is quite easy for me. I did 2 passes of 5 minutes each this last time, had a few frosted spots where my skin was drier, but the peeling is mild... small flakes overall (no sheets). I guess my mix has salicylic acid in it so it is good also for my acne :). I may finish this one with the next peel and increase to a third layer, then I might get the 20% to try out...! For the layering, you just apply one over the other after how many minutes? And for the 20%, how many min would you do the first time? I am like you, I don't pick much during my downtime days... I relax and organize myself in the process with more inportant things. Skins looks better, I feel better :). Problem is 7 days after the peel... I have to wait another week for the next peel and start picking again a bit... which makes the results not as good. Will do a 4th peel in 2 weeks again, then see how it gows with 3 layers of 5 minutes (tot 15 minutes) will be... Maybe 20% with 1 layer and 3 minutes it will be quicker and more effective...
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October 30, 2017

It really depends on the frosting of the skin. I allow my skin to become quite white before I wash the acid off. When I wash it off it hurts a lot... something to do with the way that the acid reacts when combined with water. Deeper peels tend to cause that reaction. Then my face feels sore and flushed as if I got a sunburn. The soreness goes away after a few hours. I would have to use the 20 percent to see how my skin responds and how quickly the frosting occurs. Safe bet is to work your way up gradually. I peel in sheets...thats the goal for me each time. I leave the acid for much longer and do several passes. I think for you it would be convenient to purchase the fan brush for an easy and accurate application. It helps to disperse the acid evenly and if you prefer the milder peels it will give a nice all over even peel. It also dispenses the acid with a thick layer, unlike cotton swabs which absorb a lot of it. This is the exact brush I bought and it works really well...it's also smaller which makes it much easier to apply the peel around the contours of the face. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00D7O304E/ref=pd_aw_fbt_121_img_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=S5DVFK84R7CX36DKSDFS. As for the birthmark I do cover it up because it makes me look tired or sick if I don't. It spans from one side of my forehead, across my right eye, and down my temple and right cheek. It's strange and unsightly light brown mark. If it was a cute little spot I would not mind it. I have completely peeled it off once...to the point where it wasn't even visible in bright sunshine with no make-up (very deep peel)...but it regenerated after a month...its located too deep in the bottom of the dermis. Even if I exfoliate the top layers, the cells which create pigment lie deep in the dermis. Medium depth peels do help to lighten it well, so it's my only relief. That is why I aim for more extreme peeling with layers of skin drying up and coming off instead of just light flaking. The deeper peels are also effective at shaving down and filling in scars. It just takes time to see good results. What I dislike is how difficult it is to peel the sides of the face. Forehead can be frustrating as well...but the sides of the face have the thickest skin. Ok I think that's enough disturbing info for the day. :) To understand what a deeper peel is like I would recommend you to get a VI peel at the dermatologist. I've had it done before starting my own peel process at home. The VI peel will give you a very nice even medium depth exfoliation and peeling in visible sheets. One whole week of downtime is needed. It contains TCA and other acids. A deeper peel also gives a mini facelift effect. The skin tightens and you appear more youthful. It's temporary as the skin eventually becomes lax again due to it's natural process of regeneration. Constant upkeep is required in order to maintain good skin. My last dermatologist did peels herself multiple times a year in order to maintain the look of her skin, which was flawless and youthful for her age.
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November 04, 2017

I tried a spot of the 20% TCA peel I shared a link of prior. This is a very strong peel. Completely different from the one we have been using now. This peel feels like 25%. It frosted on my temples almost immediately. I would say in 10 seconds. I never seen my skin frost so fast, especially at the sides of the face where the skin is thick. I am actually a bit intimidated to use it and not sure how I should apply the formula. Maybe use it sparingly or apply quickly with a fan brush to portions of the face before washing it off. This peel should not be rubbed or patted in with a cotton ball. A fan brush application is the best strategy. And I dont think its meant to be used for more than a minute. I do miss the Perfect Image 20% TCA peel because it was safe and gradual. This product on the other hand is strong. I am sure it will give great results but at this point I am somewhat intimidated to use it. I think the 15% from the same company might be safer to try. https://www.amazon.com/Peel-Enhanced-Salicylic-Acid-INTERNATIONAL/dp/B003VFI0XU/ref=lp_9285790011_1_2_a_it?srs=9285790011&ie=UTF8&qid=1509771556&sr=8-2 Might be better to start off with that...but still could be much stronger than what we are accustomed to at this point. Could be a good 30 second -1 minute peel.
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November 05, 2017

...Scary! I will keep for now the 15% and move up with more layers. I do not want to feel out of control! I thought my skin could not get worse and after a bad laser session the texture and some scars got deeper/worse looking... better to make it safe :(
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November 05, 2017

Yeah I am a bit skeptical about that brand now that I am looking over the ingredient list and reading the 15% reviews. Some people are stating that it is too strong even at 15%. I think it might be due to a reaction of the skin not tolerating certain ingredients in the product. It would be interesting to try another brand, possibly from a different website. The spot I applied the acid to felt like it was slightly burning even when I washed it off...it was also a bit raised and red. Now its been pink/red and turning scaly brown and about to peel off. Its reacting similar to another peel I have tried before which would always burn me and leave dark red/brown patches before peeling off. (It does not leave any permanent damage.) I am upset that Perfect Image has cancelled producing their 20% TCA peel. I formed a great routine by using both the 15 and 20 percentages for three years...and now I have to find something new to take its place. I contacted Perfect Image to ask about the 20% product...but I am confident that they will respond about the product being discontinued as I cannot find it anywhere. There is a certain company which I hear about a lot from youtube users who document their peeling process...I will have to look into it more. It seems to be extremely popular and is sold from the company's main website. At this time I completely forgot the name of it.