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Might be helpful
I thought this may be helpful for fellow skin pickers/ skin obsessors. I have had a lot of paradigm shifts over the last couple years and recently really got a handle a new way to prioritize how I consider my skin and what actions I take and don’t take in order to reach goals. My number 1 goal for my skin is health not perfection. This means my first priority is anti-aging (Sunscreen, moisturizing, retinol) not keeping my skin clear. I can’t sacrifice my skin’s overall health just to not have acne. This requires patience and a long term perspective. For years my primary goal was clarity because I was so afraid to break out because I couldn’t mentally handle seeing spots on my face. in the past I would rather hop in a tanning bed and have a pink face all over to hide a red mark than allow a pimple to heal and have to wait a few days. My number 2 goal for my skin is not to pick at blemishes that do come up. Because they will. I would say my old secondary goal would have been to “get rid” of blemishes. Now I constantly remind myself a red bump is better then a huge open wound. My number 3 and 4 goals are healing spots as they come appropriately. That means treating acne gently with a benzoyl peroxide cream and if I do pop something immediately back tracking to my goals by priority: which means it’s better to properly heal the spot picked than to damage and attack skin for perceived smoothness etc. This is revolutionary. This means that by being kind to my skin instead of using tools and digging and over using or abusing harsh products or even the sun to hide damage, I am not only taking better care of my skin in the long run, but also breaking the cycle of picking. If my first thought when I get a blemish or God forbid pop a pimple is “that’s okay it will go away or calm down on its own- my skin doesn’t need to be perfect just healthy” instead of “panic panic fix fix now now!” than I am mentally giving myself space and permission not to pick. Think about it. How many of us consciously tell ourselves not to pick but subconsciously do not give ourselves permission to leave spots alone? If our priority and number one skin goal is perfection than that puts us in a place of spiraling and fixing. If we shift our goals than we can still feel successful on a bad skin day as long as we didn’t pick and even if we did pop a pimple success can look like letting that spot be and not creating a wound. I hope this helps someone rethink what they’ve been telling themselves!
Shows your hard work and its much appreciated. Products trial and error is helpful, albeit confusing much of the time. Thanks for the perspective and most important points regarding recovery.
I agree! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. It took me quite some time and only after therapy that I was able to get to this point where I am at. But your point about the 'shift' in your goal from 'perfection' to 'healthy,' totally resonates with me. It sounds simple but that shift in thinking really is revolutionary! It made such a difference for me. I spent a lot of years making a lot of really bad wounds, and being kind to my skin, pimples and all, is a much better route. The spiraling and fixing was definitely me. I make mistakes every once in awhile, but it's no longer a constant cycle. I think a lot of what you are getting at here has to do with positive reinforcement (feeling good about being kind to yourself, instead of punishing yourself for imperfections) -so important! The negative self-talk has been really bad for me in the past, almost worse than the picking itself. Each definitely would make the other worse. A little self-compassion goes a long way!
I totally agree! When I forget about perfecction and just do what is healthy for my skin for even a few days I notice a HUGE improvement. Certain areas can look great! I have this issue with various areas of my body more than my face so it's easier to hid but I personally feel more embarrassing because I have to hid it so much. And picking at your body just seems ...grosser? But sometimes I get so busy I forget to pick for a few days sometimes a week I just try and lightly exfoliate and moisturize and I always love the result. .. then eventually I tend to get a blemish or an ingrown hair and get into a picking cycle. But when I remember what you said. Just get your skin healthy not perfect it helps immensely.