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Tonight was bad
The good news: I am safely in bed now I was able to stop this picking episode finally. But tonight was bad. I haven’t been this bad in honestly months and months. I actually was feeling like I was in the road to beating this. This was a bad relapse. I couldn’t seem to stop and I haven’t felt that way in awhile. I picked at two pretty significant places on the side of my face, then around my mouth and chin in many little spots more than I care to count. I picked a little on my cheek too...this is where I have been soooo good at restraining myself because I know my cheeks and center of my face are what get to me the most when I pick There. I pushed at all the little black heads on my nose leaving it red and irritated but thankfully no skin was broken. I also have a healing picked spot from yesterday on my forehead (when this whole episode started creeping on and I picked a bit). I have hydrocolloid bandaids allllll over my face. Eleven to be exact because I started to need to just cover anything that was remotely bugging me. I have trentinoin cream all over as well trying to heal the damage ASAP. I cleaned my nose with tea tree oil after all the extractions and then put snail gel on it in hopes to disenfect and soothe. I am so mad at myself. I have an extremely busy week ahead of me and honestly have been going nonstop for a couple months. I feel like I can’t catch my breathe and I know that’s what triggers it sometimes when I am over stimulated. I have a plan in place to try to get back on track. I just have to stop again. I have to go back to my timed getting ready for bed routine and not give myself the freedom to just go ahead and pick the second I let my guard down. Praying for a miracle tonight.
Did the tension subside after you picked? During my worst picking moments I would feel such a massive release and actually felt better. So sickening to even remember it...but I would at times feel as if the anxiety dissipated. Other time it wasn't such a pronounced difference. I would simply get rid of the urge, and feel "lighter", as if the burden was lifted.
But most of the time I experience anger and disappointment immediately following the picking.
No I don’t think I feel any relief after I pick. I feel almost more tense and it’s like opening a can of worms I just have to keep picking! I feel relief when I resist actually. I feel relief when I go for a run and exhaust myself that way or through cleaning etc. When I start picking I know in that very moment that I’m every single way mentally and physically I will only make things worse. Strange to understand why I do it. This morning things are looking a lot better. It’s amazing what a good night of sleep can do...not only getting away from the mirror but also sleeping and letting your body heal itself as it rests. At this point, it is only the two decent sized spots on the side of my face that are still worth noting. Everything else is very much calmed and healed up. In the moment when you are picking and touching everything is red and swollen and for me it’s like a bottomless pit because that is what I am trying to fix while at the same time making it worse. My brain doesn’t like the thought of red swelling and letting something be...it seems to want to corallate swelling with “fix it!” which obviously doesn’t work.
So we are 3 days after my bad picking session and I am healed up pretty well! It’s amazing how much your skin can heal when you let it. I have been using hydrocolloids as well as trentinoin to speed the process along and at this point I am just left with some flat reddish pink marks particularly on the side of my face that I mentioned I had done the most damage. I wonder sometimes though about the concept of “never extracting anything” I wonder about it because I know that many dermatologists say we shouldn’t and as a picker I really should not because I can’t just stop...BUT sometimes it just simply seems like it was the thing to do. And especially after a picking episode where I have inflamed certain spots and push things closer to the surface and then if I am able to stop myself as they begin to heal it seems like sometimes all of the sudden the deep or tiny bump I messed with is now all at the surface and finally “ready” all it takes is a little pressure and everything comes out and the skin doesn’t even break and then before I know it the spot is 100% healed faster it seems than if I had let it sit there with a ton of stuff sitting on the surface of my skin in a sore bump. I don’t know...I feel like I am cheating when I do this and even though it doesn’t do damage I feel that I should still be disappointed in myself because the action is the same thing. Interesting to note that I probably would not even have anything to pop like this if I hadn’t picked in the first place and stirred things up in my skin. These type of extractions that seem to help heal only happen a day or two after picking.
I like how you are evaluating your behavior. I think that a lot of skin pickers tend to pick at the inflammation. In the past it was believed that the clogged pores happen first. But now derms are starting to think that it's inflammation that occurs first....and then the buildup of the clogged pores. So when we squeeze at a painful inflamed spot, it might not be ready and we only make it worse. So finally when it is ready on the second or third day, we squeeze stuff out of it thinking we helped when in reality we did unnecessary prior damage.
Yes that is very true about how we often create the problem we then find satisfaction is fixing. I think that is part of the cycle that can be so hard to break.
I have had a interesting week since I picked Monday night. It’s the start of the 5th day since and I have had a lot of healing! Yesterday I was feeling pretty happy. But I did get this red bump on the side of my nose, kind of like the bridge, that really started to bug me. I have not even touched it! I am proud of myself for that but it is extremely frustrating that once my skin has healed up this has to happen. I know that more than the other areas of my face, around my nose and the center of my face are the WORSE to pick because get so much swelling and they take forever to heal. So I know it’s simply out of the option for me to mess with it and not completely devastate myself and my skin for the very busy weekend I have! I think because of my anxiety over this spot I ended up picking at two other little spots on my cheek in an area I deem “safer” and then found myself wanting to pick and pick but stopped myself before I could do any more and went to bed last night. Upset but not defeated I guess. It is hard when you incision your skin will be in a certain state because you have been good but then it doesn’t work out that way. Right now my goal is to continue not to touch that spot on the side of my nose and other than that leave the two little spots I picked at last night alone today. I should be fine if I don’t get in my own head about the set back.
I've found myself talking out loud as im picking away, telling myself that im.making it worse and that I need to stop, that I have been at it for hours sometimes...but I can't stop. It's like im hypnotized ... Like im making it better but in reality I know that im doing the complete opposite.... especially with the scabs....I always pick at them wanting a smooth surface to try and conceal the damage I've done with make up...but the seeping or holes left behind seem to make it appear worse than it would have looked had I of not picked the scabs ... It's a heartbreaking awful cycle that once started , is hard to stop, control or conceal....