Looking for skin picking buddies


Online Test For Skin Picking Disorder

Find Out The Severity of Your Symptoms With This Free Online Diagnostic Tool

avatar

July 31, 2018

Share some background information about yourself. Age, onset of picking habits, current strategies?
avatar

July 31, 2018

Hi serene, thanks for your comment. I'm 28, my picking started approximately at the age of 5 years old. I'm not quite sure exactly why it started, but I know I used to see my mum popping spots on my dad's back when I was younger and treated it like it was a positive thing. I know that I used to, and still do use it as a coping strategy for anxiety (my dad had a bad temper and it could.be nerve wracking to be around him), but it has also evolved into any difficult emotion I.e. I do it when I'm bored, stressed, even sometimes when I'm excited. So far the most helpful things I've found is the assertion that if I've picked or tried to pick once, it doesn't mean I've failed - I can stop at any time. Often, because I'm a perfectionist, if I pick at one scab/spot, I then think I may as well keep going as I've already screwed up. It's having the self compassion to understand that there will be good and bad days - the habit's been around for so long that it won't disappear after a few days, it's going to be a.long journey. I've also found recently that doing creative hobbies that I used to enjoy when I was younger help - it takes a lot of energy to do it as I also self sabotage myself (e.g. by thinking there's not point in starting as I won't be any good at it), but it keeps my hands busy, and is something that I've neglected for a long time, and removing the creative aspect from my life may well be a frustrating issue that partly fuels my picking. I also think that it's more productive to spend my energy seating something as opposed to being destructive towards my skin. There are many facets to my habit - the onset can manifest itself unconsciously by automatic picking, but also frequently (and the more difficult to resist) consciously where I have a strong desire to pick at my skin. I've been to the doctors many times throughout the years to be given antibiotics and treatments, but as long as the picking continues nothing will ultimately make a difference if I can't control the habit. I'm going to go back onto SSRI anti depressants as I've read that along with other coping mechanisms this can help, and I may as well use everything I can to try to beat this. I've seen a couple of therapists about his and they emphasise the need to accept my skin as it is - this is what I find most difficult, as there are always blackheads on my skin that could be squeezed out - I haven't yet found an antidote to the fact that if I pick at something on my face I will get instant gratification, and can see an immediate result as well as the tangible thing I have taken off my skin. I have some time off before I start my new job therefore I want to devote some time to trying to control this while I have the time. I eat well and exercise regularly, have tried meditation before (I am going to pick this up again). My partner knows about it, as do my parents, but I don't talk about it to anyone else, which is why I was hoping to speak to someone else who suffers with this on here. I've fixed some paper with blue tack to the mirrors in my bedroom to try to block out the view to my face in the mirrors, and have covered the bathroom mirror with a towel. When I can, I wear surgical gloves in the house as a barrier to feeling my skin with my fingers. I have tried a fidget toy and spinner ring but have had limited success with these. Hope this helps, let me know if you want anymore info. :)
avatar

July 31, 2018

Hi serene, thanks for your comment. I'm 28, my picking started approximately at the age of 5 years old. I'm not quite sure exactly why it started, but I know I used to see my mum popping spots on my dad's back when I was younger and treated it like it was a positive thing. I know that I used to, and still do use it as a coping strategy for anxiety (my dad had a bad temper and it could.be nerve wracking to be around him), but it has also evolved into any difficult emotion I.e. I do it when I'm bored, stressed, even sometimes when I'm excited. So far the most helpful things I've found is the assertion that if I've picked or tried to pick once, it doesn't mean I've failed - I can stop at any time. Often, because I'm a perfectionist, if I pick at one scab/spot, I then think I may as well keep going as I've already screwed up. It's having the self compassion to understand that there will be good and bad days - the habit's been around for so long that it won't disappear after a few days, it's going to be a.long journey. I've also found recently that doing creative hobbies that I used to enjoy when I was younger help - it takes a lot of energy to do it as I also self sabotage myself (e.g. by thinking there's not point in starting as I won't be any good at it), but it keeps my hands busy, and is something that I've neglected for a long time, and removing the creative aspect from my life may well be a frustrating issue that partly fuels my picking. I also think that it's more productive to spend my energy seating something as opposed to being destructive towards my skin. There are many facets to my habit - the onset can manifest itself unconsciously by automatic picking, but also frequently (and the more difficult to resist) consciously where I have a strong desire to pick at my skin. I've been to the doctors many times throughout the years to be given antibiotics and treatments, but as long as the picking continues nothing will ultimately make a difference if I can't control the habit. I'm going to go back onto SSRI anti depressants as I've read that along with other coping mechanisms this can help, and I may as well use everything I can to try to beat this. I've seen a couple of therapists about his and they emphasise the need to accept my skin as it is - this is what I find most difficult, as there are always blackheads on my skin that could be squeezed out - I haven't yet found an antidote to the fact that if I pick at something on my face I will get instant gratification, and can see an immediate result as well as the tangible thing I have taken off my skin. I have some time off before I start my new job therefore I want to devote some time to trying to control this while I have the time. I eat well and exercise regularly, have tried meditation before (I am going to pick this up again). My partner knows about it, as do my parents, but I don't talk about it to anyone else, which is why I was hoping to speak to someone else who suffers with this on here. I've fixed some paper with blue tack to the mirrors in my bedroom to try to block out the view to my face in the mirrors, and have covered the bathroom mirror with a towel. When I can, I wear surgical gloves in the house as a barrier to feeling my skin with my fingers. I have tried a fidget toy and spinner ring but have had limited success with these. Hope this helps, let me know if you want anymore info. :)
avatar

July 31, 2018

Thanks for opening up and sharing! I desperately need support right now! I’m totally committed to supporting others and need support. I don’t think any of us can do this alone!!
avatar

July 31, 2018

You can create a private Facebook group and link it onto here so we can connect that way. I have tried that before with a few other users. Seems private enough. Some of the things you write send up red flags. Like the environment you grew up in and your dad's temper which caused you to constantly feel on edge. This is EXACTLY what happened to me. You might be dealing with components of CPTSD and the skin picking could be a manifestation of your body trying to dispell chronic inner tension. This explains why you might still be picking whether you are bored,excited,etc. Traumatic tension is learned and adopted by the body. It can take a lifetime just to normalize, particularly if you had to learn to be constantly on edge in your childhood. It's a complex process of physiological chemical reactions that eventually permanently affect your psychology. I would be interested to talk more about that. I am glad to hear that you have been trying so hard to control this disorder. I have a few theories on it and have tried multiple things to arrive on my own conclusions. Would be very interesting to discuss. Btw, I'm 29 and my picking began in high school. I have had an ongoing issue with nail biting since the age of 5, which I was able to effectively beat at 27. So since I was able to permanently stop biting my nails, I have hope that I can also beat this skin picking habit.
avatar

August 01, 2018

Serene please tell me where I get these magical bandages you keep talking about??!! Thank you
avatar

August 01, 2018

You can purchase them at any drugstore or on Amazon. Search up Band Aid Hydro Seal. Also CVS has good ones too. CVS Advanced Healing Hydrocolloid Bandages. You don't use the whole large bandaid...you have to cut it into small pieces to fit over the picked spots. They sell some "acne patches" on Amazon that are basically the same thing but are already pre-cut into small circles. A good one is called Nexcare Acne Cover. Hydrocolloid bandaids speed up healing by keeping the wound moist. They form a seal over the wound, mimicking a scab formation. This allows the body to focus on rebuilding the collagen underneath, without having to waste extra time forming the dry scab over it. This is why the healing is quicker, it's like the body gets a shortcut to the healing process. Try them and you will see for yourself. Just try to keep the bandaids on for at least 12-18 hours before changing them. They are perfect to wear over night or on the weekends when you are at home. When I go out and have to wear makeup I prefer to apply Band Aid Liquid Skin over the wounds to form a protective layer over which I can layer makeup. The Liquid Skin is much less obvious and works to disinfect and protect the wound when you are out and about. But for the best healing, certainly go for the hydrocolloids. I use both products interchangeably.
avatar

August 01, 2018

Thank you Serene! I wish I’d gotten some earlier but I guess I keep learning the hard way. If I can just let a few areas heal, I’d be off to a beautiful start. There are these primary wounds that I can’t seem to let go of. I read your post about understanding the healing process and though I agree with that philosophy, all of my logic and sane thinking is gone during these compulsive episodes. It’s like I’m possessed by someone who sees differently when looking at these spots and it takes over and I would swear on my life that this mystery ingrown hair or “root” of the problem is coming to the surface— I can feel it and see it. And then it gets ugly and bloody and I realize that nothing is coming out to the surface and I’ve just interrupted that healing process again!!!! I do that over and over again. There’s a spot on my left cheek that has been a problem for the longest time now. I get it to heal and then one day it truly looks like that same spot has a black head or something ugly coming up to the surface and then I open up that wound again— I somehow tell myself that it’s right there and I start that cycle over. I swear I feel like I just need to go into a mental hospital. My job is suffering and all of my relationships. I hate myself these past two weeks and my entire personality is different because I’m so mad at myself. I just want to leave my face alone!!!!
avatar

August 01, 2018

Hi both, Happy to set up a Facebook group if you let me know your email addresses (anyone else who joins the thread is more than welcome to join too). Would be interested to discuss your theories on skin picking Serene - think part of it may be hereditary as my dad does it from time to time (not as badly as me), and mentioned that he was berated for it by his family when he was younger. Agree re the acne patches, they're great for when you're at home, in fact I need to get a packs for mine I previously bought out to start using them again. LostDragonita I know the feeling, often after a spot/scab has healed I end up getting frustrated as the scar tissue is still bumpy and often yields pus/a blackhead when I squeeze it again, making another spot and starting the vicious cycle again. I think part of the issue is being a perfectionist - it fuels the need to pick but also the effort to resist picking - I.e. the times when I've tried to stop, I've aimed to not pick at all, then as soon as I do I see it as a failure then give up, think challenging that belief to keep going and push through to working towards controlling it is a big factor. At least you recognise the pattern though, and the most important thing is to be kind to yourself. You didn't choose to suffer from this and it's not your fault. I think anger is such a big influence on skin picking, it can often fuel the picking, then we get angry at ourselves and make ourselves feel bad to the point where you start picking again because you feel bad. I suppose at the centre of it all is being able to accept the perception of impurities under our skin ( easier said than done), because we'll never be able to get all pus/bumps/blackheads off our skin. I'm going to try meditation for this aspect specifically - there are also hypnosis tracks for skin picking out there (I tried one a while back but didn't stick with it).
avatar

August 02, 2018

You can create a private Facebook group and post the link here. I think that way you can accept people who try to join.
avatar

August 03, 2018

Hi, I've just set up the FB group- not sure how to send the link but I've made it a closed group for now called "SP Group" (wanted to keep I discrete), and the cover photo has a green/turquoise background with a quote on it entitled "every accomplishment starts with the decision to try" so hopefully you can find it and request to join, then I'll add you (had to add a late family member to the group as it wouldn't let me set one up on my own without adding a member).
avatar

August 04, 2018

I searched SP Group and nothing I really want this to happen and I appreciate you getting this going!!
avatar

August 04, 2018

I searched SP Group and nothing I really want this to happen and I appreciate you getting this going!!
avatar

August 04, 2018

Private (no one can see and is invite-only). Closed (anyone can request to join but content is private). Open( everyone can see and join). Closed groups do show up if you search for them in Facebook. So I guess private groups do not show up in search. Change it to a closed group instead of private.?
avatar

August 04, 2018

Maybe think of another name related to what its about.....?
avatar

August 07, 2018

I've finally admitted to myself that I have a problem. I have suffered with depression my whole life and have just come out of a severe depressive episode. I have always had 'issues' regarding my self image. Bullimea. Now overweight. Pale skin dark hair. However the dermatillomania is relatively new...always had an obsession with ingrown hairs and spots but it's got so bad I've scared my leg and have had to pretend I've sprained my wrist wearing a tubigrip my arm is so bad. I think I may have fractured my finger from attacking myself so viciously. It's definitely wonky anyway. So I took the step to join this group. Would love to talk to other sufferers.
avatar

August 08, 2018

Hi all, the link to the group is here https://www.facebook.com/groups/2003714069920683/?ref=bookmarks (had to use my desktop to get the link as was getting nowhere with trying to do it on my phone) - I've set it up as a closed group so hopefully it should work (fingers crossed) but let me know if not. Sorry to hear you're going through a hard time Scooby, thanks for reaching out and hang in there. I know it's hard but try to be kind to yourself, the classic "say to yourself what you would say to a good friend" applies here, depression's a horrible condition and can make everything seem bleak, but try to take comfort in even the smallest victories e.g. getting up out of bed and getting dressed, and doing something, no matter how small it is, that makes you happy, even if you don't think you "deserve it" - everyone deserves to be happy.
avatar

August 08, 2018

Hi! I would LOVE to join the facebook group. I just sent the request to join. I've had this for years (probably around age 14, and I'm 20 now), but just discovered it has a name and that I share this with so many others. It's centered around my acne, which has always been bad due to oily skin, but it's now moved on to ingrown hairs and other blemishes. I feel like the best step for me right now is to have someone to talk to about it, cause I get scolded for it quite a bit by my family but don't really feel like I can talk to them. I just want nicer skin, and I know my picking problem is probably the biggest hurdle in the way of that. Right now, my skin is the only thing I'm really self-conscious about. Every other "flaw" I've learned to embrace, but this one I just want gone. It also doesn't help that everyone (especially people who have naturally great skin and think it's just about "drinking enough water") feels entitled to diagnose and medicate you when they look at your skin (like I haven't already tried every product in the book). I'm aware that picking is the bottleneck here. So I would love to be able to talk about this and help others like me!
avatar

August 08, 2018

Me too! Having finally given it a name has really helped me. But would love to talk to you! Now I know that there are other people out there with the same condition makes me feel like there's hope. Maybe we can help each other feel less lonely x
avatar

August 09, 2018

People don't only feel entitled to diagnose you and act like haughty dermatologists (when in actuality they know nothing about skin and it's structure/function), but they also point out "excess" makeup. Or they comment why you wear makeup all the time. Basically, people feel irritated by your face and how you choose to present it. And then of course there is the worst fear of all... being seen as a meth head. Having people judge your habits as if you go home and do drugs round the clock. So yeah....lots of social issues with this crappy disorder.