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.