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I have struggled for many years with this condition and have never known that it was a real thing. I have never met anyone who does it too and i've always been told off by parents/partners etc. when caught doing it. I guess that's part of the issue though, that people are ashamed to talk about it and those who don't experience it don't understand how we could continue to harm ourselves. But it's so comparative to an addiction.
ANYWAY... I'm digressing.... I found something that really helps me.
I'm not claiming to have found a cure. It's not going to be that easy. But after spending hours online searching for answers, for anything to help me stop picking I eventually stumbled across something that is really helping me to improve the habit.
I was online researching everything under the sun. I kept coming up with search results for; CBT, $150 Wristbands that try to make you aware that you're doing it (Called habitaware if you're interested) and many other things that just seemed ridiculous to me: occupy your hands, read a book, get someone to tell you you're doing it. All these things were either expensive (as i'm not sure about you guys but i'm not on the Forbes richest list) or were so simple that I had tried and quite frankly rolled my eyes at people suggesting it because if it were that easy it wouldn't be such a wide scale problem, right?
Anyway, I had done it all, covering with plasters, applying creams/ointments, wearing cotton gloves to bed, I even asked my doctor for help who tried to prescribe me anti anxiety pills. I had just about given up when I stumbled across something.
Bear with me here...... Blister Plasters!
So, it may sound farfetched. But I started to read about blister plasters/hydrocolloid plasters. Nowhere on the internet had brought this up in connection with my dermatillomania searches I found it by complete chance. It happened because I was searching for Sacrum dressings online (the bottom of your back top of your bottom - a heart shape kind of) it's one of my problem areas and I was trying to find a plaster online big enough to cover it. That's when hydrocolloid sacrum plaster came up.
So I read into it more; blister plasters/hydrocolloid plasters - their sole purpose is to heal wounds quickly. It provides an open wound a moist, sterile environment in which to heal without scabbing. It also boasts of improving the likelihood/severity of the scar left behind.
I tried it. One thing I will urge people is look for non branded versions. Here in the UK blister plasters from brands such as Scholl can cost anywhere from £5-£10 for a small pack!!! Quite an expensive purchase if you're using them for a lifetime picking disorder.
I found Asda/Tesco own brand versions simply named Blister plasters or Hydrocolloid plasters. These cost £1/£2 maximum and tend to have many more plasters in the pack. The main ingredient needed is HYDROCOLLOID.
You can also order them online, eBay/amazon.
They work for me well because providing I can leave the plasters on long enough I cover an area I have picked away at (to the point i've caused lesions) and let the plaster do its job. It shouldn't be taken off until it starts to peal itself. On smaller lesions one plaster is enough to quite simply eradicate any lesion/scab that was there. Yes it may leave a small scar but at least the skin is smooth. (My biggest issue is picking at scabs/bumps/rough skin etc. - anything that makes my skin feel uneven so scars are not an issue as they are usually softer than my normal skin).
On a bigger lesion you may have to continue treating it with the plasters until it does scar. Ensuring you clean the area and swap the plaster over as and when it's ready to be swapped.
I HAD to share this with you because it has helped me massively. It's not in any means a cure as you still have to apply will power to not peel of the plasters and pick anyway (which I admit I sometimes fail miserably at) but it is something that if you can leave it knowing it's doing the job it does work! And the great thing too is that the plasters themselves are incredibly thin and smooth so it's not as bulky and irritating as a normal plaster.
Please give it a try if you think from what i've explained that it is something that will help you. I would love to hear from you if you do try it. I struggled majorly with the feeling of despair until I stumbled across these. Now, even if I do "relapse" as it were, I know I have an option to return to that works.
All the luck and will power in the world.