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Hi. This is my first time on this site. I have been suffering with skin picking since my teen age years. I was also diagnosed with OCD a deadly combination. I find a that most of my skin picking happens when I have some anxiety happening in my life. I have a non supportive husband and that makes everything worse. Just stop picking he says. Believe me I would if I could. He just doesn't understand how hard it is and I feel that I have no one to talk to. No one understands. I am so glad that I found this site. I was thinking that there is no one like me. I find that I pick the most when stand in front of my enlarged mirror 12x. This mirror lets me find little I mean little cystic pimples and I squeeze and pick until they are a big red wound on my face. I then find a couple more and then more and so on until my whole face has open wounds on it. Then I try everything to help them to heal. I read a post that you need to moisturize them. Well I am afraid to put moisturizer on them. Afraid that it will make my skin too oily causing more little cystic pimples. It feels like that I cannot win. This morning my wounds were in the scab phase. I picked one just to see if it would bleed. Well it didn't. So I picked another and then another and so on until the scabs were all picked off. I get so mad at myself for doing this. It is a vicious cycle. Now I have to try to hide them under makeup. Will it ever end??????
Anxious for nothing, I’m so sorry to hear you struggle with this as well and also that you feel so unsupported and misunderstood! I would love to share with you some things that have helped me! I have found using a gentle face wash and moisturizer as part of a daily morning and night routine helps me keep my skin balanced and therefore allows healing. I use cerva foaming wash and simple rich moisturizer. Also I have started to work into my routine clean and clear continuous control wash at night to combat the bumps that make me want to pick. I have been using a retinoid cream for years that really takes care of scaring and also helps with breakouts- mine is trentanoin rx but you can get differin now over the counter which I hear is the same thing. I also swear by hydrocolloids bandages on open or deep spots to speed healing and also absorb gunk. I use them mainly at night. I use tea tree mainly but also a 10% benzoyl peroxide cream to combat bumps as a first line of defense after washing and moisturizing and often I think this does deter me from picking because I feel like I am doing something about the blemish and if I can kill it softly lol we all win! Currently I have two spots I picked at late at night (overtired?) this weekend. They have as usual become worse and I never (shame shame) even used my tea tree or bp first...this was a true relapse. Just a mindless pick that I knew was a bad idea before I started. So I am using the bandages as much as possible as well as trying to stay on track with my skincare routines and not over or under treat. Just trying to stay calm. I just got out of the shower and am about to cover up with makeup before work and first applied a little liquid bandage to a raw spot to protect from makeup. <- another good product. For makeup I have been love joah truly yours foundation drops for light but effective natural looking coverage that I can layer in bad spots and blend out into the skin that I don’t want to cover at all without looking patchy. I apply with a beauty blender. Lastly aside from having good products nothing beats not picking. I suggest a nightlight in the bathroom so you can turn the light out on yourself if you need to force yourself away from the mirror and yet still see enough to do what you need to. I also highly recommend setting a timer for 5 or 10 minutes at night or morning to speed your bathroom time and help you keep on track and not inspect and pick! Then get out and live your life and enjoy it! If it’s day time cover with makeup and go out and have fun or exercise and don’t let it hold you back. If it’s night time cover with bandaids and do the same...read or watch tv or so something enjoyable and relaxing and forget about it until morning when you can cover again with makeup!
Seriously if you haven’t tried the hydrocolloids you have got to!! I wanted to pick so bad last night at one spot in particular that felt deep and sore. I wanted to take the bandage off so bad but having to do that step deterred me over and over until I went to bed. Waking up this morning I could just tell by the feel that the gunk wasn’t deep anymore and the soreness was on the surface. Sure enough when I took th bandage off it had pulled it all out to the surface and was extracted without effort and now no more pain for the first time in days. I wonder if having products like this help our brains learn slowly to let it be a let go of the need to “fix”?
Thank you for your reply. My face is a train wreck. I have so many places. Yesterday morning after my routine wash I decided to put moisturizer on because I read if you moisturize the wounds will heal faster. I was a little inhibited but went ahead and did it. I used eucerin advanced repair and right off the bat I didn't like the way it made my face feel. It felt too greasy or my face didn't absorb it well. Mean while at work my skin really felt oily. I kept putting face powder on trying to absorb some of the oiliness. I don't know what it is about moisturizers. I feel that it makes my wounds dry out and thus my urge to pick at them. With that being said I went ahead and picked all the dry scabs off at work in the bathroom. I hated myself for doing this. And then I had to try to cover them up because I was at work. I just wanted to go hide somewhere. Tonight I just got done washing my face and am trying to keep my mind busy. So far so good. I will try some of your recommendations like having a time clock and a night light.
Anxious for nothing, how are you doing today? I wonder if you either haven’t found the right moisturizer or if your skin produces enough oil to not need one? I know that is not conventional skin care but just a thought! If you are regularly washing for skin you do probably need one to actually balance it so it doesn’t over produce which makes me think you just haven’t found one light enough or the right ingredients. I try to apply mine immediately after washing so it sinks right in and gives my face no chance of starting to dry out. Let me know if you have any questions about anything I recommended! Some things I have learned little tricks in how to apply etc that I probably did not explain fully in my first post!
Let it be, I am doing bad right now. Just washed my face and of course I had to pick off all the dry skin on my face from the day. I moisturized this morning after washing my face and this always happens. The moisturizer tends to dry out my skin instead of moisturizing it. I know I need to moisturize but am really afraid to do so because I tend to fall into the vicious cycle. Does this sound crazy or what???? I had some down time at work today and spent a lot of time on my phone researching the right face wash, should I use benzoyle peroxide or salicylic acid acne medication and the right moisturizer. At this point I am willing to try anything. So I bought Neutrogena gently daily facial cleanser which is a non soap cleanser and I already have Neutrogena on the spot acne medication and I also have Neutrogena oil free sensitive skin moisturizer. I really like Neutrogena products and am hoping I can see some results in a couple of weeks. I use Neutrogena make up and cover up which has some salicylic acid in them too.
Anxious for nothing, I am so sorry to hear you had a bad night! I don’t know why moisturizer is drying your skin! Are those products from neutrogena all new to you or is that the moisturizer you’ve been using? They sound like if used consistantly they may help. I love my moisturizer so if you still struggle and haven’t tried it I think you should. It’s the simple brand rich one with no spf. I have notice I am breaking out less using clean and clear benzoyl peroxide wash about once a day and my gentle cerva wash the other times. So yes I do think that benzoyl peroxide may help with breakouts as long as you have a moisturizer to use after that actually works for you since bp is so drying! As far as the dry skin you say you are removing. Are they scabs over picked spots? Are you taking it off prematurely and the skin is raw? I have done that so many times...that’s another thing I like the Hydrocolloids bandaids for actually. I use them right after I have squeezed and broken skin before bed, when I feel there is more left inside the bump, and also on something scabby that is driving me nuts...because often after a full night and as long as you can manage leaving them on when I remove them they gently take the scab with them doing less damage than if I had tried to remove myself the night before. I put them on after I wash my face as fast as I can do any places I really want to touch because I don’t want to give myself time to think about it. I just want to cover with a physical barrier and be done for the night!
Let-it-be how are you doing today? Thank you for all of your advise but I feel I cant use the hydrocolloids bandaids because of my husband. He will just freak out if he sees bandaids all over my face. You say you use clean and clear does it help? can you use it if you have kind of sensitive skin like I do? I am spending more and more time on the internet trying to find things that could help. I look at a product that I would think would help and then I read reviews and some of the good things and some of the bad things about the product. I feel that I need a little something to help with my breakouts because I am just using a fragrance free Neutrogena bar with no added anything to help with breakouts. I sometimes use Neutrogena oil free moisturizer but lately have been using aloe vera gel. I used it this morning and my skin doesn't feel as greasy as with other moisturizers. I just put a little on my whole face and especially my spots to try to give some kind of moisture so that I don't pick the dry skin off. When do you use the clean and clear and when do you use the cerva wash. Does the cerva wash have fragrance??? I just maybe want to try something different that Neutrogena products.
I am doing pretty well! Thank you for asking, today has been decent. I have one blemish I have had trouble not squeezing at few times now since yesterday. I keep stopping myself before I break skin but that doesn’t mean I didn’t inflame it. It’s on the side of my face so now I have a hydrocolloids on it for the night. It breaks my heart to hear about the turmoil with your husband over this. I will pray for you and that his heart will be softened to understand your pain. It makes me sad to think the bandaids would upset him so much. Is it because you would feel like it highlights the issue? I have to say sometimes I wear them and my husband can’t see them until I point them out because they’re pretty descrete. They actually make me feel better because they cover the redness and other yucky parts with a nice skin toned patch. All that aside if you don’t feel comfortable wearing the bandaids around the house there’s the other products I mentioned that I find also very helpful. So here’s my routine: mornings I use cerva gentle foaming cleanser (yes I do believe this is fragrance free), simple rich moisturizer, spot treat with tea tree on blemishes picked or unpicked, and makeup. And night I remove my makeup with simple makeup removing wipes, then wash with the clean and clear continuous control benzoyl peroxide wash, simple moisturizer, trentanoin cream, benzoyl peroxide spot treatment on pimples and hydrocolloids on picked spots to heal them over. I don’t know if the clean and clear would be too much for sensitive skin. One thought is trying it mixed with a gentle wash the first few times like half and half. It’s a fine balance between freaking out your skin and combating breakouts. I do not think I have sensitive skin though so it’s hard for me to say. How was your day today? Do you ever feel like you have better times or it nonstop?
I had a good day today. I went to church in spite of the way my face looked. I just used a lot of face powder to hide some of the red marks. Than I went to a sports bar with a couple of friends to watch some football. My Dolphins won. Than I was alone again, my husband is out of town since last Thursday. That is when I feel I am the most vulnerable. Does your husband support in this??? I believe half of my anxiety is from my husband and maybe that is why I pick so much. I really don't think he will ever understand the pain that I go through when I do this. Now is have some questions....what is tea tree and what does it do???? do you use the clean and clear over picked wounds won't that sting a bit???? where do you get the bandaids from???? I hope I am not asking a lot of questions. It is getting late. I hope you have a good night.
Don’t worry about the questions! It makes me feel good that I can use all I have learned and gone trough fro help someone! Yes my husband is supportive. He is a blessing. He does sometimes get frustrated but only to a normal extent and is quick to comfort me when I need it. He also tells me things aren’t nearly as bad as I think. Which I believe is true for most of us...what we see isn’t reality. He says I have zoom eyes. He sees a whole person. I can’t imagine what it would feel to be unsupported by him in something so private. I am so sorry this is the case for you. I feel like a hot mess going to bed in the bad nights with bandaids and red dots and white dots from the cream lol! It’s hard when I mess up before we have company. I wonder, is that how you feel with your husband maybe like I would with company...that you have to hide it? I know for me when we have company stay with us then they leave I am very vulnerable because all the sudden I realize I can pick and I have the freedom to stand in the mirror and search when I was trying to stifle it while they were here. What is his reaction if you don’t mind sharing? To answer your questions about products: tea tree oil is an essential oil I have been using for years and years to treat spots. I think it has a number of properties like antibacterial and anti inflammatory etc. and I love it for under makeup because it’s a clear oil that I dot on with a q tip and it drys right away and makeup goes on over it well. It’s very drying and not like a regular oil. It also may be strong for some people. I reccomend diluting it if you want to try by wetting the qtip with water first. And yes the clear and clear spot treatment does sting on open wounds. I usually don’t use it on those. The wash does not sting to my memory. The one I have is a cream nonfoaming and I almost find it soothing. But I HAVE to follow with moisturizer or my skin will dry out and react. Those hydrocolloids are at all places like cvs Walgreens Walmart even grocery stores often have them in first aid aisle. Sometimes they’re called advanced healing. They are entirely sticky on one side and I cut them to fit small areas on my face. Look for something that has either of those words advanced healing or hydrocolloid and says it speeds healing time by keeping wound moist and sealed and absorbing debris from it. Sometimes also called blister bandaids. When you put them on you have to commit for at least a few hours if not a whole night or day. Pulling them off too soon will possobly tear skin. Waiting they absorb gunk and come off easier. Maybe give them a try while he is away? They may help so much and be so descrete you may even wear to bed when he is around. If it helps you not pick and when it comes off first thing you look healed it may be a win win.
I wish I had a husband as supportive as yours is. I think my breakouts and picking would be a little less if I did. My husband just causes my so much anxiety over this. He comes home on Wednesday night and my face is a wreck. I feel I have a little more anxiety trying to figure how I am going to hide this from him. I really need a miracle. My face today is like I really have no scabs on them just really red. I have had free reign on my picking this week because he was gone. Not so much when he is home. Now my face is reaping the consequences on my picking this past week that I need it gone in a hurry. I was wondering...are you on any medication for your picking.? I am on mirtazapine which is an antidepressant. I went to the doctor today and he saw my face and wants to put me on resperdol along with my mirtazapine. We will see if this works because I feel that nothing really has helped. Will try washing with the cervae cleanser but hold off on the clean and clear because I have so many open places on my face. The moisturizer that I use is Neutrogena oil free sensitive skin. Is this a good moisturizer?. Is the name of your moisturizer called simple rich???
I guess this habit/disorder is hard to understand for others but empathy is huge and support and I agree that if your husband meets your struggles with shame or frustration and not encouragement or at the least a listening ear that absolutely causes more anxiety that in turn makes you want to pick more or at the least obsess more which turns to picking. Can I say that God is good. It sounds like you may be a Christian. I was wondering if your username is a reference to the verse to be anxious for nothing? No, I don’t take anything for the picking. But I have struggled with anxiety my whole life and was at one point on something for that. I honestly forget what it was called. It was a low does of an antidepressant and I did feel it took the edge off and helped me settle down enough to learn new skills to cope. I stopped taking it quite awhile ago though. No reason In particular besides wanting to see if it was making a difference anymore and it didn’t seem to change anything when I came off. One thing that has become my mantra is “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I decided to take it as literal instructions: 1. If you feel anxiety let it be a reminder to pray, fervently, in repetition even
2. Instead the anxiety becomes a prompting to pray not a physical manifestation
3. don’t forget to present your requests with a list of all you are thankful for.
4. Take the last part as a promise that the peace of God that is beyond understanding will guard you from there.
I am not suggesting you stop taking the medication at all because I do not know a lot about that side of psychology but what I do know about anxiety and the only way I have been able to tame my brain, if you will, is through that surrender. Sometimes it’s a moment by moment prayer but the peace it reminds me we have access to is worth the anxiety that points me back to the need. Now about that moisturizer. The brand is called simple. They’re in green and white packaging. The moisturizer I use is called “replenishing rich moisturizer”. I have never used the neuragena one so I’m not sure about it but if you aren’t satisfied the simple one is worth a try. Since it’s only Monday that means you have all of today, tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow night to heal. There’s so much repair your body can do it that time! You can do it! Stick to a routine, use a timer in the bathroom, cover spots that tempt you with makeup in the morning or hydrocolloids at night after you wash and moisturizer!! I’m trying not to pick at all this week because we are going away this weekend so I’m in this with you! I already slipped this morning a bit but I have my goal to not pick evening and morning at all this week!
Yes I am a Christian. I lead a small bible study on anxiety of all things and we are doing Max Lucado's book Anxious for Nothing. That is where I got my user name. Sometimes I feel inadequate to lead a small group on anxiety when I struggle with it on a daily basis. Philippians 4:6-7 in one of my favorite verses along with Philippians 4:13 I can do all thing through Christ who gives me strength. I always ask God why me? what did I do to deserve this? I have asked God so many times to take this from me. I feel like Paul with the thorn in his flesh and God telling him that my grace is sufficient for you. I know my time alone is coming to an end when he will be home. I washed my face earlier this afternoon and actually put some moisturizer on it. So yes I am trying very hard. Where are you going this weekend? I hope you have a great time. I will pray for you for strength not to pick and I ask the same. I with I knew your name. Where do you live?? Wouldn't it be a hoot if we lived in the same state. I live in Cape Coral Florida.
Ok so I need to ask a few more questions lol. I went shopping for the cervae cleanser and I couldn't find on that said gentle foaming cleanser. The one I found said for normal to oily skin. I don't think I have oily skin. They do make one for normal to dry skin but it is not a foaming cleanser. Just wanted to know which one you use. Also for the clean and clear...….is it in a purple bottle. Again I couldn't find one that said continues wash. Again I just wanted to know which one you get so that I may get it too. I hope you had a great day.
Anxious for nothing, sorry for delayed response!! I was thinking that too but it sounds like we don’t live close at all. I am from Massachusetts. I think that is amazing that you lead a group doing a study on anxiety! His can use you in an empathetic way many others wouldn’t be able to get to. :) okay so clean and clear is called continuous control acne cleanser 10% benzoyl peroxide in a purple bottle. The cerave is called foaming facial cleanser for normal to oily in a light green and white bottle. I am so sorry I wonder if I didn’t realize the typos and typed those incorrectly the first time. It’s also always autocorrecting lol! Strange that you didn’t see a cerva that said foaming. I don’t know if I have oily skin but mine is definitely combo and it works for me! My husband uses it too and he doesn’t have oily skin and seems fine. Let me know if you have any questions!
Let it be yea Massachusetts is really far from Florida lol!! So my husband came home tonight and needless to say nothing has changed. He is still so distant from me. My face has healed just enough that I could put a little makeup on them to hide them from him. Tomorrow we see a marriage counselor so much needed prayer is needed. Enough about that....I did buy a cerave cleanser but I got the hydrating one since I feel my skin is somewhat dry. I researched it all day and read a lot of positive results from people who use it. As for the clean and clear I feel a little scared to use it. I researched that too today and read results of how it is a real strong cleanser and not to use it if you have sensitive skin. But I feel I need something that has some sort of medication like benzoyle peroxide in it to help prevent my skin from breaking out. I was thinking of calling my dermatologist tomorrow and see if he has any suggestions. What do you think should I try the clean and clear??? How are you doing with your picking?? I know you said you were going away for the weekend. I hope you have fun.
I will pray for tomorrow for you!! I prayed for you today! I found with my picking that I was doing it as an outlet for my anxiety because it gave me something concrete and “fixable” to obsess over from the picking to the healing process. When my skin is clear my brain has more space to find other things to obsess over (anxiety lol!). So if picking is a faulty coping mechanism for me then i need a healthy replacement. Just thinking of your issues with your husband makes me feel it would be only human that that alone causes so much anxiety. I wonder if you feel the same way? That you use your skin sometimes as a distraction subcontiously? Only of course it’s a double edged sword because it just makes everything else in life harder to deal with after you pick. For me I realized it was like a numbing effect...like all I want is to “fix” my skin so if I pick and obsess on it’s healing then everything else is less important in the moment and all my anxiety is focused on one thing. Anyways back to your questions! I think that cerva should be good for you! The brand in general is very good and I have used that wash before and like it. You may be right about the clean and clear wash. I feel like if you can get your skin balanced and stop touching it you may not break out as much and only need a spot treatment for emergencies. I wouldn’t want you to stress your skin out! I have found for me it is good because my skin isn’t that sensitive and it does reduce my breakouts (typically non cystic for me...little bumps on the sides of my face). I know though the idea is to try to minimize breakouts first so it’s not tempting to pick! I am doing well! I picked a bit this morning but not tonight and have managed to keep the agression to a minimum this morning so things are healing still! No set backs. Thank you, God. I just want to feel comfortable going makeup free this weekend and feeling low maintenance and not having to bring all my makeup etc.
Thank you for your prayers today. Tonight went well with the counseling. She stated that if he didn't want to try to make the marriage work that he would not have been there so that gave me so hope and peace. Everything you said today really sounds like me. I pick because I can control what I am doing when everything is out of control. I pick to release my anxiety that is all bottled up inside me about things I feel that I cannot talk to people about. And after I pick I totally hate myself and the world. Anyways this is my second day using the cervae cleanser and my skin doesn't feel as dry as when I was using just bar soap. If only I can find something to help reduce my breakouts. Have you ever heard of Paula's choice skin care products.? You can only get it on line and was researching some of the comments people were saying about it. I don't want to go with something cheap with benzoyl peroxide in it to tear my face apart. I just want a good cleanser to use at night to help balance everything out. I tend to suffer with cystic acne. Big red bumps that is not like a regular pimple. If gets like a blister that is filled with water and when you start to pick and squeeze at them that when things get ugly. I am so happy that you did not pick!!!!! Thanks be to God!!! I too am healing. Go have a nice time this weekend!!!