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Sasha500 , 10 Jun 2019

New here - advice hugely appreciated.

Hi, I’m new here. 40 now, think I’ve had this problem since my 20’s. Had clear skin in my teens and started breaking out in my 20’s. I’ve never had acne, just normal intermittent spots, usually hormonal on my face and chest plus blackheads on my face as I have oily skin. I’ve always found it hard to leave imperfections alone even though I know picking usually makes it worse.
I think my condition was at its worst in my 20’s and early 30’s. I’ve had periods of terrible stress and shame due to this. I identify a lot with the feelings of disassociation which I’ve read on here and losing time in front of the mirror, especially in the evenings. It makes me go to bed too late and I’m exhausted. I’m definitely worse when I’m anxious (I suffer from anxiety) and when I’m premenstrual)
My skin cleared up a lot when I was pregnant in my 30’s and now my face is pretty clear - o only get the odd spot usually around my period. Due to this I feel slighted less affected by the condition than I used to as I can hide other areas more easily. I’ve also recently started picking at the skin around my thumbnails to the point of bleeding. I’m less embarrassed about this as I don’t have a job where my hands need to look nice but it’s still a horrible habit.
The main problem now is my neck and back. I get these non painful bumps (1-3mm) sometimes in clusters. I try so hard not to squeeze but they stay for weeks on end. Eventually I can’t take it and when I do squeeze, either nothing comes out and they get very inflamed and I feel so angry with myself. Or very thick / hard white / yellow material comes out and then they will heal. It can be very hard to get it all out and this causes damage, so the situation is not great. They tend to come back in the same places and I’ve always got some bumps and some healing ones. It’s got to the point where I’m embarrassed to wear my hair up and as I need to do this for work, my morning make up takes ages. I also feel embarrassed in swimwear due to my back.
I know I need to leave my skin alone but these particular bumps just don’t go away and I really just want to know what’s causing them. They’re not normal spots with liquid pus, which come to a head. I wondered if it they were small sebaceous cysts or sebaceous hyperplasia but none of the pictures online fit.
Anyway, any advice would be great. I have oily skin and hair. I use a combination of simple facial products (UK) and dermalogica for oily skin. I wash my hair every other day and use a tea tree body wash.
I’ve recently discovered hydrocolloid patches which are a revelation as they make me leave things alone. I’ve also just ordered a retinol cream to see if this will help.
It’s driving me nuts. I honestly think if I stopped getting these bumps, I could mostly stop picking, but nothing works!!!
I just want to be able to wear my hair up like a normal person when it’s hot and not feel mortified in swimwear or a low backed top.

1 Answer
June 10, 2019

Hi Sasha500,

So I am a major scalp picker, to the point that I am now getting bald spots from my heavy picking area. When I am trying to focus on not picking at my scalp, I also have those random bumps. I have gotten to the point where I just scrape them off, as when I attempt to squeeze them and nothing comes out I also feel irritated, like there is for sure something in it but I can't get it out.

I just wanted to let you know that I have that same issue. <3

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