The below is a forum entry made by one of our community members. If you want to know more about your condition, we suggest you read the following article written by a mental health professional on
How to Stop Skin Picking
I am now 26 years old and I can’t remember a time before picking my lip. My mother told me it started in Kindergarten, so I must have been between 3 and 5 years old. This was the time my mother got very sick and I believe it must have caused my skin picking disorder.
For over 20 years I was picking countless times every day. On bad days, I would rip the skin off until blood would be all over my hands and even then I wouldn’t stop, the pain being almost unbearable. Eating sour or savory food was always painful, kissing was, smiling was… . I tried psychotherapy, homeopathy, plain will power, medical lip balms, keeping a diary to detect patterns in the severity, I sometimes even went as far as tying my hands before going to sleep because that’s when it was usually the worst. Sometimes I could go without picking for a day if I tried super hard, but nothing could ever stop me for a longer period of time and I was even afraid about a life without picking my skin, which sounds ridiculous, but I just couldn’t imagine it. Every time I tried to stop for good and failed a part of me gave up on myself, but after a while I would try again anyway. I didn’t want to accept that this was going to continue for the rest of my life.
I felt extremely embarrassed when I did it in front of other people, co-workers, people on public transport and even family members. My boyfriend tried to be understanding, but couldn’t hide the fact that it made him feel stressed.
When I searched for “how I stopped picking my lip” I found a forum post that in the beginning I though was useless, but in the end sparked an idea. The person who wrote the post was talking about an organic lip balm that helped her, which just made me shake my head because I had tried a hundred different lip balms and I thought since it was a psychological disorder, how can lip balm ever help? Anyway, I was so desperate that I bought an organic lip balm anyway (5€). But then I had an idea I never had before: is there maybe something like a lip peeling that would get rid of the uneven skin I used to rip off? And yes it exists, for example from LUSH (9€) but you can even make it yourself from fine grained sugar, olive oil and honey. I used it day and night for a week and the result was absolutely unbelievable. The peeling got rid of the dead skin only, not causing any additional harm like the picking used to. After a week, the skin had completely healed and while I still had the urge to pick especially in this first week, I just peeled every time I wanted to pick (a little bit of self control is still necessary here).
This resulted in a smooth surface, which I always tried to get from picking, but without constantly causing new wounds. What I didn’t know before trying the peeling, was that after the skin was healed COMPLETELY, the urge to pick it had decreased considerably! I wish I knew this much earlier, but since I could never stop for more than a day the skin never had time to heal and therefore I would continue to pick the uneven bits.
I can’t believe that after over 20 years and so much money spent on therapy I overcame this by spending 5€ on a lip balm (I used this between peeling and after I stopped peeling) and close to nothing for a self-made peeling. It has now been close to 3 months, which is why I finally dare to say that I think it’s truly over. After the first week, I only used the peeling a few more times and then completely stopped using it and only use lip balm every now and then. The urge to pick my lip is almost non-existing anymore. The skin is super soft and elastic now and I even started to wear lip stick, which wouldn’t have made any sense before.
Sorry this post became so long, but if it helps only one other person with their struggle, I would be so happy! Overcoming this was the biggest challenge of my life so far and everyone who is in the same situation will understand that. I would really recommend giving lip peeling a try, it costs you almost nothing and it could be life changing!