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anons42 , 01 May 2020

i keep dead skin

i have made an account on this site after literal years of this behavior and hiding it in fear. I peel skin off my feet, using needles to go under the first couple layers of skin to peel the rest. I know it’s fairly common to eat dead skin, and sometimes I do. But most of the time, I keep it. At first it was just a couple of pieces, but then I wanted to make it more permanent. I got a small plastic bag, and I keep the dried pieces of dead skin in it. This is literally my biggest secret and I live in fear of someone i know finding out about it. Anyone else do something similar, or have any advice?

5 Answers
May 02, 2020

I used to keep a hidden album in my phone of pictures of my face after every episode. Scrolling through it was pitiful- my bloodied and hopeless face staring at me from almost 400 photos. I’ve narrowed it down to why I even made it in the first place: 1) To feel validated that this was a real (even photographable) struggle I was dealing with. 2) I could show it to people who were skeptics, but this was a scenario I only did in my own little fantasies or worrying sessions. I would die if anyone saw the album besides myself. 3) I had (and still do have) an obsession with trying to see what I look like to other people, but my own hate for myself seeped in and led to a dangerous thought process that onlookers shared the same negative opinions of myself. Ultimately it turned out to be a looming guilt and shame that kept me locked on the behavior, almost like taking the photo was part of the picking routine. My therapist suggested I show it to someone, and after a few months and through many tears I worked up the courage to quickly scroll through it with my dad during a group therapy session. It was the first time my fellow anxious ridden victims had seen me cry. My therapist encouraged me to delete the pictures one by one- to be freed in these very small steps. And I did after a long hesitation- these pictures made me feel valid but made me feel disgusted in the ultimate paradox. Now and again, I want to take a photo of some carnage I have wrought on myself, and sometimes I do but delete them afterwards. Hopefully this has been of some help to you- and maybe one day you can free yourself of this shame as well. I know it will not be easy to let go of this vulnerability, but it is so valuable that you’ve come here to share about it.

May 03, 2020

Thank you very much. This actually helps a lot. I’ve never heard from someone else who collects in their picking, thank you.

December 09, 2020

I’ve thought about saving my thumb skin for a long time and started at one point but only for a day. I wanted to know if anyone else did or wanted to do the same thing, so this is validating. I like to see and feel the pile of skin after I pick it, and I never brought myself to have a bag with me. I can only imagine how much there would be now but too much would probably not be satisfying

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