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accessv , 26 Aug 2009

Personal skin picking revelation

Greetings all, Without a long back story, I've come full circle in my skin picking experiences. When I was young, blemishes were new to me and frankly; revolting, so I picked. As I grew older, I developed Keratosis Pilaris. I was not diagnosed until VERY recently - more on that in a moment. I would pick constantly hoping the blemishes would go away. Now all I'm left with are the regular bumps and scars all over my arms and shoulders. I've developed a number of wounds that haven't left my body for over 5 years. The nature of the scar tissue is such that if I agitate it, it becomes infected and after several days, is "ripe for the picking" once again. I got a tattoo in 2005, it's looking pretty weathered around the edges, two of 5 of these scar-wounds (I always convinced myself they were cysts) are around the tattoo. I went to a dermatologist in 2005 after tons of cortisone creams from my doctor. She gave me cortisone shot in my chest to clear up one large scar/blemish. A week later, it grew out about an inch below where it was. I continued to pick, continued to take creams, glycolic acids, cider vinegar, neem oil, emu oil, abrasion, the list goes into every single facet you can think of - including picking. This dermatologist couldn't identify my problem. In 2007, a new dermatologist identified my main skin condition as Keratosis Pilaris. I sought treatment - there is none. Last week, I decided hopelessly to seek treatment for my 5 scar/wounds to make sure it wasn't a cyst or cancer and to see what could be done to clear up my Keratosis Pilaris. The dermatologist was the same one I had in 2005 who was unsuccessful in diagnosing me. I told her my problems. She dismissed them all. If I hadn't been reading a random passage in a book while in the waiting room, I would have been upset. I don't have the book on me right now, but it was to the effect of: "Fear & anger is the social self's defense mechanism against change" - Dr. Glenn Morris. I wanted more creams. I wanted a needle, I wanted microderm abrasion. All for what? So I can reach minor relief and to ignore what really needs to change, my relentless need to CONTINUE TO PICK MY SKIN, damaging it far more than any physical skin condition could ever do. Since that moment, I've had instances where I look at a bump, wanting to pick. I even put my hand OVER the bump, I draw it back, it feels like an urge (I’m not a smoker, but it must be exactly the same as that withdrawal) when I pull my hand away. I haven't picked since Monday; it's Wednesday this seems like nothing, but it's the biggest milestone since I started. I step into the shower, use a loofa hand brush to gently exfoliate my skin with a light soap, I moisturize, everything I need to do to promote healthy skin. Nothing else. I need to change.
1 Answer
August 27, 2009
I too have had to come to the revelation recently as I had to finally admit to not only myself, but my husband, who I have put through torture for the past 3 months trying to convince him that something was biting me, & I had convinced myself that something was biting me or that the trauma to my skin from chigger bites caused an outbreak of psoriasis. The last diagnosis was 'Scabies' so I came home & said, 'Honey, I have scabies!' When I came across this site last week, it was after I entered into the Google search, the very last thing in the world that I wanted to research and learn the truth about...because then that makes me crazy right? So incapable of admitting that I have been picking at my skin causing lesions and scars, embarrassing my husband around his family because my arms are scarred and could I do this to myself? So I read about the different types of obsessive picking...& it all started coming together. When I was a kid living at home, I had a very bad habit chewing the inside of my mouth. When I was 18 I was in my friends wedding and when I watched the video (I was the maid of honor) I stared, embarrassed, that I had stood there the whole time, chewing the inside of my mouth. I later went to college & pierced my tongue so that broke the habit because I had a tongue ring to play with. I don’t know when I started picking my nails this much...I mean I have always kept the cuticles clipped but I have been convincing my self that the 'hard as a rock' skin around my nails is from a skin condition, and not the fact that I cant stop picking the skin and it has grown back hard and thick. The nail on my first finger is changing shape! Over the past week I have done much better with picking my arms...I had to break down and ask my husband to tell me to stop if he saw me do it. Something that I read on this site every time I think about picking a bump or scab is that 'I'm not allowing it to heal' & I don't know why that helps...for some reason I think I have had this disillusion and convinced myself that picking it was going to make it better! Shower time is the hardest for me because of the mirrors...I could get stuck looking in the mirror for bumps for 30 minutes and not even realizing the amount of time gone by. Your post is the first that I have seen that I truly felt I could respond to with something that I have never said out loud or to someone else...and I have really needed to… I have to change...I really don't want to be crazy...I have a crazy family and I do everything I can to be normal...I'm just making what is already a hard life, harder.

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