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amedilias , 08 Aug 2018

Let's start a support group!

Hi everyone! I've known I had a picking problem for quite a while now, but hadn't really found a name or community for it until just recently. I am desperate to kick this, and I feel like a good step for me would be having a group of people that are going through the same, and who I can share my experience with, and so I can hear their experiences, too.

I was thinking of maybe trying to go cold turkey for at least 30 days as a group, or maybe just tracking how much time we spend each day and sharing that. Heck, maybe even developing some sort of unlocking achievements system so we can feel motivated! Overall, something to keep me mindful of the habit and a group of people to help keep me in check. If this sounds like something you're interested in, let me know in the comments. Also, if you have any ideas for the group, like how it could work or ground rules to have, I am all ears. I guess once we have it figured out, we could start a new forum topic for it or just keep going under this one (since I guess the point is to keep it anonymous, we wouldn't be able to use other social media like FB or WA).

A little about me: I'm in my early 20's, I've had oily skin all my life (just crappy genetics) and thus, bad acne. Add picking to the mix, and my skin can't catch a break. My picking is mostly on my face, occasionally on my back and chest, but I've seen it spread from just acne to ingrown hairs and other blemishes, too. My family notices, and they try to tell me to stop, but we all know it's not that simple. 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 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 what do you say? Help me help us help each other?

11 Answers
August 09, 2018

Hi amedillas, thanks for sharing your experience. I've just started a group on FB and you're more than welcome to join (let me know if you're interested and I'll send you the link), but equally happy to chat on here. I think tracking your habit is a really good idea - Skinpick has a free app, or you could keep a diary, or even just a tally of how many times you pick when you feel the urge vs when you don't pick when the urge arises. The skinpick app can be a bit laborious, so I don't use it now, but for the time i did use it I found it really helped me to understand my habit i.e. when I consciously and unconscious pick, and that in particular feelings of frustration are a big trigger because of my control everything.

Going cold turkey is extremely difficult (well done to anyone that has managed this), but if you're a trying like me, if you slip up once and are a perfectionist, it might end up making you feel bad, trigger a bout of picking and he vicious cycle starts again. From the research and therapy I've had so far perfectionism is a common issue for dermotillamania sufferers so it's worth having a think if this applies to you.

And I feel your pain re close ones telling you to "just stop" or try this cream etc. Have you tried telling them about dermatillomania - if not, if you trust them and feel able to talk to them, it might be an idea to telly them about it so they can understand. I still get my fiance to tell me off when I do it around him (but that's because I've told him I'm trying to quit the habit), but he also knows that it is a condition that I've suffered with for over twenty years, so it's a relief not to carry that secret on my own around him.

We could make a lointof checking k everyday to see how our progress is.going if that would help?

August 09, 2018

Cold turkey never ever works. It only makes things worse. The issue is in the mind, it is a problem of perception and self image. Cold turkey route focuses on the habit of picking, therefore it won't prevent the mind from taking control in the end. It's such a psychological loop that I stopped trying to quit suddenly. I am going for the slow and gradual route ...with self understanding as well as acceptance of skin. Also, skin picking is a common symptom of body dysmorphic disorder. So if u struggle with self image, might need to look into that.

August 14, 2018

I've never been on here and didn't even know there were people that did the same things as myself.
I don't know where to go or what to do.
I'm really embarrassed about this and feel really self conscious.
It started when I was a young lad. (I'm 38 now ) and I was biting and chewing my finger nails and the surrounding left over skin.
Often getting to a point where I woud pull that little bit of skin and tear a rip down the centre's of my fingers, causing them to bleed and skab over giving me more to pick and eat.
As I got older,I learned guitar and after my calluses grew on my fingers and hands, I found myself picking away at them with a pair of eyebrow tweezers. Picking so deep, I exposed that really sensitive pink layer of new skin.
I would then pick away and eat all the hard skin I could find. My fingers would be so raw, scabby and sensitive. You would think it would deter me from doing it again. Instaid i found myself Waiting in anticipation for them to reform so i could pick them and chew my nails.
I went like that for a while and just mutilated my hands. Maybe a decade or more.
I don't know why and I don't think I ever will.. I got to a point where I got so frustrated because my fingernails were not growing a quick as I want. I cut my big toe nail and popped that in my mouth so I could use it as a toothpick.
I then noticed I had a hard callous on the left ball of my foot .
I went at that callous with a pair of tweezers and I dug, tore removed and ate every bit that I could pull off. I then found myself going at both feet with the tweezers. I would often dig Big holes in my feet just so I could get that texture.
The more it hurt the more i knew a big a piece it was. .
I would to cut all my toe nails and pop them in my mouth ,so I could organise which order i would eat them. Often keeping the ones that are not due to be eaten in my belly button. Gross I know, but I can not help it.

Now however I have such a system for managing my stock. I alternate between hands and feet now. When the big hard bit now grows back on the side or back of my feet, I cut it off in one big round piece with my Stanley knife. Normally about the size of a 50p,but just the right size to pop between my teeth. I then cut the others so they are just hanging by a bit... I also cut my nails about half way. That way i dont have to keep them in my belly button anymore. I just pull them off by the cuts and can tear off a piece when I have that urge. I've never had the urge to eat anyone else's nasty cheese skin though. I've never hurt and animal or person. I'm a single dad to two kids. But I can't get out of this habit...the temptation and urge is just too much. At the moment tho I am sitting with two nice holes in the balls of my hands where I have picked and cut all away all the top layers of skin. Picked until I was bleeding. Also under my right hand ring finger. I picked that callous and when I pulled the jangling bit it has torn into the piece of skin between the fingers and stings something rotten. The side of my left foot is tender also because I went at it last night with a pair of scissors. What can I do?

August 15, 2018

5... Start with introspection. Why do you think you do this? What do you think triggered you into repeating this behavior? Then to lessen the behavior you need to implement some sort of self care routine and be diligent about it. So the pleasure of picking has to be reprogrammed into admiring healthy skin and nails. Seems right now you are caught up in the fascination of destroying your body because it gives you a break from tension? Btw, I'm a recovered nail & cuticle biter. Have battled the habit from age 5 to 27. Am now fully cured of it because I reprogrammed my mind through repetitive self care. Even on days when I didn't want to, I still forced myself to give myself pedicures/manicures and paint my nails.
Even when the act of self care caused me OCD and perfectionist anxiety, I still carried through with it. I had to basically teach myself to respect my nails. But you have to give up allowing yourself to enjoy the bad habit. Always reprimand yourself gently to steer clear of the fascination and obsession.

August 16, 2018

I am so tired of Dr.s asking me whats up..instead of relying on Med. Training and helping..they just want to see u for 5 min and rush off. I have been on too many courses of Prednisone that it has caused way too many side effects. It has mooned my face..kept my pregnant belly. I stiil weigh the same as my last delivery. I could do pregnancy commercials. No joke. Prednisone is one of the worst things to do.

September 19, 2018

5 I'm really concerned for you, I'd like to help as I feel your pain. What country are you in? Do you get free healthcare?

September 29, 2018

A support group sounds great! I’m early 20s as well. I’ve picked for as long as I can remember. My ocd manifests in many forms but this is the one not many can identify with or relate to. The skin pick app has helped me and my psychiatrist has me on lithium, Lamictal, and taking vistiril four times a day. I’ve seen a huge improvement once I started the vistiril. I do not have insurance so what this looks like for me is $100 for doctors visits every 3 months, $30 for all the meds through the heb savings program.
Skin picking makes me so suicidal. I’m not sure what to do.

October 04, 2018

Hello, I would also like to join the group because my skin picking got worse again. I am currently struggling to find a job and due to some stress I find myself falling in the habit again, so I would be good for me to share and feel the support of the group. Could I join the Facebook group as well @monkeysocks21 . Good luck everyone, I hope we can cure from this habit!

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