severe lip picking


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January 30, 2013

I also pick my lips and I can't remember not doing it. Im 18 now. And I don't know if this qualifies me for grossness but I eat the skin I peel off. My lips have never healed but for one time and it happened in one day I used some type of chapstick constantly and even that night I picked again. I don't know if I will everstop picking. I don't really want to stop picking. I like it. It makes me feel good without notice I just know I hate not doing it. Its so painful i will pick until it bleeds. Give it a second and pick again...then minutes later look down and I have blood on my fingers. I don't know if I will ever stop bugoy husband says its ugly and makes my lips ugly. He just doesn't understand I NEED to do it. I sit all day and pick my lips even when I think I've done good by not picking them... I haven't, its just me not noticing the picking. I don't plan to ever stop if it makes me feel better than I guess its worth it. That's probably a bad way to think but it how my brain works. Just wanted to tell my story... thanks!
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February 05, 2013

OMG, After countless years of picking at my lips/hangnails this is the first time I've thought to look up any possible cause. I'm actually in tears now because I thought I was the only one with this habit. I've always felt like a freak because I'm the only one in my family who does it. I know for me it's mostly stress. I seem to do it most often when something is bugging me. It's kind of ironic because seeing the damage only makes me feel worse about myself. I can't even remember how it began. All I know is it sucks and I wish I could fathom a way to stop
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March 18, 2013

I cried too. The first time I googled this habit and this is the first thing I clicked on. I'm 28 and don't even know how young I was when I started. I've been doing this all of my life. I don't do it at any specific time. I do it when i'm nervous, relaxed and I do it when I'm aware I'm doing it and I do it when I'm NOT aware I'm doing it- it's the blood that tells me I've been doing it for a while and perhaps you're like me in that I have to peel of the entire layer of skin and when I can't seem to peel off a piece I become so anxious that I peel deeper and it hurts but re-leaving at the same time. L-rd help us. Please.
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February 11, 2013

Hey all, I had this condition as well but am doing great now. Here are some things that might help you: 1) Put a physical barrier between your nail and your face (either wear gloves, or put band-aids over the nails on your main picking fingers). I was using band-aids for a while, till I realized I could use fake (acrylic) nails--both worked wonders for me. 2) Find something you can use to distract your fingers so you don't pick consciously or sub-consciously. e.g. knitting, (or if you are studying, hold a smooth pebble or a coin in your hands) 3) Go to http://www.trich.org/ It is a site for those who pick skin or pull hair. They have some great resources. Go to "treatment and resources" tab--> "TLC store" tab--> you will find videos as well as "fidgets and fiddles" that help to channel anxiety/stress/compulsive behavior into something other than lip picking. 4) Recognize that the urge to pick will not always be the same intensity over time. The first 7 days of quitting are very hard (because you are scabbing up and you have to let that happen rather than pull it off). However, once the scabs fall off on their own and you have legit smooth lips, I found that the urge to pick them decreases because there is less skin sticking out to tempt you. 5) Try to find out if there is a place/time where you are most tempted to pick so you can combat it there. While I was picking a lot throughout the day, I was especially picking when I was bored (e.g. studying or driving). So (before I got my fake nails), I decided to wear gloves or band-aids if not all the time, then during these study/driving times especially. 6) See a therapist if you can. It really does help. According to the therapist I saw, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and skin picking or hair pulling often come together (they both concern impulse control). A good therapist can help you tackle skin picking. I still remember my days where I would pick until there was blood on my fingers and still couldn't stop even then. My boyfriend also would slap my hand away when I would go into a picking trance...But fortunately, I have surmounted this problem and feel sooo much better now. There is hope! You can do it!!! Good luck!
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February 11, 2013

Oh- one more thing I'd like to add. From what I understand skin/lip picking is similar to other addictive tendencies (overeating, drinking, ocd, add/adhd etc), in that these habits are related to a physical wiring of the brain, that makes it difficult to resist urges, despite our awareness of the damage to the body or healthy routine. It seems the research says these addictive neural pathways in the brain can be biological (you can inherit certain addictive brain structures from your parents), but addiction wiring can also be created by your environment (what activities/things you are exposed to in life). This latter point is good to know- because if your environment can help *form* addictive structures in the brain, it can also help remove them, and create good structure/pathways. Fortunately, there seems to be lots of new psychology research coming out about the ability to change these brain pathways (neuro-plasticity) through both medication and non-medication-based treatments. In terms of non-medication treatments, one thing I noticed that keeps coming up is the use of mindfulness meditation to help "rewire" the brain's addictive impulses....yep, that's right, meditation. I personally find meditation boring (partially because I have a difficult time quieting my mind and sitting still), but I am going to give it a good shot to see if I can further tackle some of my other addictive tendencies (overeating, for example). Keep in mind, that I am not a psychology doctor or researcher, so I don't know the specifics of all this, but it seems there is some very hopeful research going on as we speak! Google any of these key words, (e.g. addiction and neuroplasticity OR addiction and neural pathways OR addiction and meditation) and you will see what I mean. If you are up for trying the meditation route, there are (non-religious) Buddhist 12-step meditation groups cropping up, specifically designed to overcome any kind of addiction you may have (it's not just for people who overeat or use drugs/alcohol). If you are interested in this kind of thing, I just want to point out that you don't have to be "Buddhist" or any kind of "meditation expert" to go to these groups- they are usually open to all...and while Buddhism is spiritual, it is *not* religious...(For instance, the Buddhist anti-addiction meeting I go to is held by a Christian church... there is no conflict between these ideologies). If you are interested, you might check some of this stuff out. Good luck to all!
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February 13, 2013

I just stumbled onto this page and it sounds like I wrote it. I'm 34 and been doing this since I was around 5. I do it when I'm stressed. I do it when I'm really relaxed. I do it when I'm driving, nursing my son, reading, or under pressure. I usually don't even realize it until I'm a good 10 minutes in, at which point, "oh well, I've started, may as well keep going, and then I really mean it, I'm going to try and stop." My SO keeps telling me to "just stop" but I've been trying to "just stop" for years. Looks like there are some good suggestions on here, maybe one of them will work for me. The last time I went a whole day without picking someone commented that my lips looked awful, which set me off on a binge. Then I ended up having to photoshop my lips so I could share a photo of me with my son, since I looked like I'd been punched in the mouth. I'm just so glad to know this is a real "thing" and that I'm not alone in this crazy.
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February 15, 2013

Oh God, this is great! ...well not really, but; I'm 18 and I'm in agreement with loads of these posts. I always thought I was a freak for doing it. I've been picking my lips since I was... a young child. I remember my Dad saying to me one day when I was like 4/5 *If you keep doing that no boys will want to kiss you* to try scare me off... didn't work haha but it's been a major problem of mine. Usually I do it when I'm reading/anxious or watching something; or when I'm bored. Or when I feel like it. It's like a drug; I'm a smoker; and I can honestly say after ages of trying to peel that one bit when you do it feels weirdly amazing. I don't know what's wrong with me. Why does it feel so good????
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February 18, 2013

Wow!!! And here I was thinking I was the only one who did this! I'm a 33 year old woman and I can't really remember when it began, but I was at least a young teenager, if not younger. I can't remember a trigger or an event that made me start. I pick my lip when I'm thinking, watching TV, eat, as I am online, doing homework, at work and even driving, etc. My family, when I lived at home, used to tease me and say I'll pick my lip until it bleeds (they were right), but of course, didn't make me stop. Some partners of mine have brought it up, but I can't stop doing it. It's as if I just can't help it. Being a woman, you always want your lips to look nice and succulent, but I have the opposite effect. I keep several chapsticks on hand to help smooth away the look of the effects of the picking. It makes me feel better, but I doubt it looks good to other people. If my nails are cut short, I'll just try my darnest to bite them. I don't know where this came from and wonder if I'll ever stop. It consumes me. I can see how this can be OCD related. Maybe even an oral fixation (Freudian theory). Are there other lip pickers (feels weird to even type the phrase) that also smoke, drink, eat excessively or anything else that will maybe be related to an oral fixation?
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March 14, 2013

Wow, all of these comments sound like I typed them myself! That's how similar it is, and I really didn't know many people did this. I've picked my lips since I was a child, and I'm about to turn 20 now. I remember when I started, I was four. My mom picked her lips all the time, and I saw her doing it so I began. I will pick my lips constantly throughout the day, almost nonstop. I'll pick them until they bleed and I have blood on my fingers. My boyfriend gets so angry at me because they look so bad, and I can see how bad they look all the time, but I just can't stop. It's an indescribable feeling of just needing to do it. I look in the mirror and I can see how terrible my lips are but I just can't stop. Time and time again I've vowed to quit, and the longest I've gone is two days I think. I'll appreciate how smooth and pretty they are when I haven't picked at them, but that just makes it feel even better when I give up and start picking them again. I have a very bad addictive personality. I'm a smoker, a drinker, and have been addicted to multiple drugs in my life. I get addicted without any intention of even doing something more than once, so this makes total sense to me why I can't stop picking. My mom is the same. We are basically the same person. We both have an addictive personality, have both been addicted to drugs and drinking and smoking. We both have bipolar disorder and anger problems. She was finally able to stop picking a few years ago and now slaps my hand away when I try and pick mine. When I asked her how she quit, she told me she just stopped picking one day and never did It again. I don't understand how she could have done that so easily. I don't know if I'll ever be able to stop, but I hope someday I will. Oh, also i recently found out my coworker and friend does it too. He will pic his lips until they bleed just like me. It's just so crazy because honestly I thought that I was the only one.
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March 18, 2013

My heart skipped a beat! It's 3 a.m. This is the fist time I googled this stupid annoying habit we have. I wish I could hug every person that goes through this. My hand becomes physically tired of peeling my lip and I don't stop; I can't stop. I pretend there isn't blood on my fingers until I peel off the last skin on my lip then and only then do i go wash my hands and stop peeling. I'm 28. I haven't excessively peeled my lip (i only peel the bottom lip) in about 3 days. I think it's a record. I want to stop. i'm really tired of it. My lip is so soft it scares me to start peeling again. I am struggling so hard to not peel my lip while I read these posts. Your stories are mine and never had I heard of anyone doing it.I feel like an alien who has finally found its home. I'm right with you guys. I didn't even know there was a name to this madness. I hope these first three days is the beginning to my final days of peeling. I think that I'm so exhausted and annoyed by this habit that I just may be outgrowing it. I love each and every one of you. Thank you for your posts. Now I know that I am not the only one. I feel so guilty so wrong like i'm committing a crime when I sit in front of the mirror and peel away disregarding the blood that comes from my lip. Thank you all.
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March 18, 2013

I bought myself a little tub of Vaseline and it works great and ladies if you put this on it may help aesthetically since it looks like a natural shiny gloss; it makes me feel pretty. I put it on during the day and at night. It's been helping me and I hope it helps all of you.
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April 21, 2014

I own all sorts of lip balms, vaseline, you name it but i always end up licking whatever i have on my lips off and i go right back to biting my lips. It may help some people but for me it just makes it worse because if i have that layer of product on my lip it just makes me more aware of my lips you know.
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March 25, 2013

dear friends, let me say first how moved i was when i read all these comments about 10 days ago. apart form the incredible insights and self-analysis i saw throughout this forum, what struck me was the strangely beautiful (shall i say almost poetic) way in which you wrote your confessions. here is my story: i have been picking my lower lip intensively since 2007, so about six years now, although it probably started earlier than that, but in that period it must still have been intermittent. around 2007 i was having a very stressful time in school when i started picking intensively. i have not had my mouth look normal since then even for a few days. the worst fruit of my picking labor is a dark spot from a blood vessel that has been broken, with much blood flowing all down my mouth and chin (vampire-style) a total of fifteen to twenty times maybe. it's always been the same vessel so i am not sure if the dark mark will go away even if i stop picking for a good while. it's ugly and it bothers me a little but perhaps not as much as the general condition of my lower lip. now, when i read the posts more than a week ago it was like a revelation. it just so happened that around the same time a significant other, who is a habitual cheek-chewer, decided to quit the habit. that was a big inspiration, along with your posts, because instead of being scolded by someone who doesn't have the problem, i saw a good example close at hand. if someone next to you shows they can do it, it could help you as well. or at least it had that effect on me. so i decided to stop, and here is the report: 1. i armed myself with two very smooth dark pebbles, very pleasant to the touch, about two inches in diameter, that i had gotten years ago on cape cod, so there were some pleasant memories associated. the pebbles went into my hands and didn't leave them except in cases when i had to hold something else (while cooking e.g.) 2. i started scabbing. it was terrible. i couldn't bear it but i tried my best, and i think i did do my best. there was a relapse of sorts every once in a while but not quite to harmful: i felt a compulsion to at least clip the edges of the scabs every once in a while with a pair of nail clippers. i wish i had not done that because it was a bit of cheating, but in the end it wasn't so bad because i was careful and really did not cut more than little ends that were already peeling off, and i did it very gradually. 3. the worst thing was that one round of scabbing turned out to not be enough. there was a second round — but the scabs were thinner, smaller, and less prominent. so i was trying to be patient. 4. after the fist six days or or, when the scabbing had become lighter, i started using honey — just smearing honey (very thick, non-viscous, raw and very waxy organic honey) gently on my lips. that was really good. i managed not to lick my lips, as i saw some people said online when describing this method of sealing and moisturizing the lip surface. my lips are not perfectly healed or smooth yet, but it's getting there. i will try to continue to be patient and not touch or pick them. i am feeling hopeful. it was not as bad as i thought it would be after the first week. that's the hardest time.
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March 28, 2013

Hello everybody. OK heres a story. Imagine the scene, my first day of school as a frightened 5 year old and what do I remember, the new friends I must have made? the exciting activities im sure I partook in? NOPE! I remember some little tell tale kid putting their hand up in front of everyone and ratting on me to my lovely new teacher because I had been quietly picking my bottom lip untill it bled! I still remember the look of disgust on her face as she told me how naughty I was for doing that! I have no idea if that was the first time id done it or if thats just the first time I can recall but ive been persistant with it since. Ive also become so good at hiding the evidence that im pretty sure people who have known me for years have never known that I do this (or if they do they're too polite to say anything!). It took my moving in wth my boyfriend after 2 years before he noticed! I have a multitude of balms and chapsticks (that dont work!). Ive learned that if i pick my lips to bits at night and then cover them in skin healing cream whilst I sleep, the redness is normally coverable by morning and if its not I put on a thin layer of balm, lip liner (i find it covers and stays put better then lipstick) and then coloured gloss and I can just about get away with it. Im now 30, married and a teacher myself but I just cant seem to break this habbit. I dont even need to think about it. Its just so natural for me to sit watching tv whilst taking off that horrid, rough top layer of skin and even though my lips are stinging like mad afterwards I do love the completely smooth feeling I get for a few minutes before they scab. I wonder if anyone else understands how totally satisfying it is to putt a huge piece of dry skin in one go. Once I got right the way across and I was so happy with myself I didnt want to throw it away!!!! How weirds that?!! I did tho, just to be clear I dont keep the bits! Anyway, ive just read on someones comments that shes trying honey. As i type this im sitting here with honey on my lips. Stings a bit because i was picking earlier! For the first time I have a diagnosis for this secret, dirty habbit of mine. I so grateful to you all for having the confidence to tell you're stories. Love to you all XXXX
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June 28, 2013

fuck i work for school board, the way she treated you was pathetic at best, yet i teach with your problem and for me it got worse as soon as school ended! Boredom, anxiety, etc. here yesterday by lip and chin is picked to hell. I HATE THIS! i am sorry for what you went through! It seems to take shape when a totally anxious situation takes place, from there u cannot stop! That was the way for me!
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March 30, 2013

Same boat as everyone else: been picking since who-knows-when and I seem to be drawn to picking/biting my lips without realising it. Current age: 25. Times I've tried to stop: haha too many to count! I am contributing to this conversation because one of my many spur of the moment "cure" lip balms has actually been able to heal my lips fast enough that i have been able to stand NOT picking the new skin off before it heals! First, I read about coconut oil and started applying this, thought it was pretty good, seemed to be working. But then I randomly bought SUPER Lush Lips by Dr. Nicholas Perricone on Strawberry.Net and I am in LOVE with this balm! Although I read somewhere that it's been discontinued :( But anyhoo, i bought it cos it claimed to have "coconut oil tocotrienols" in it... not that I know what they are... but i was enjoying the straight coconut oil so i thought i'd give this a go, BEST DECISION I'VE EVER MADE. Day 3 of using it constantly and my lips have gone through the new skin phase and are almost healed completely for the first time in I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHEN! I managed to force myself to not pick for the last 3 days... I think i maybe let myself pick/bite with my teeth once or twice but that's a huge deal. I feel that I'm getting over the compulsion to pick when I'm bored/nervous and the SUPER lip balm/coconut oil is definitely helping, so get on it if you can find it online!! It's funny that I tell my flute and piano students every lesson that repetition is the key to perfection. If you repeat a desired behaviour over and over correctly enough times you will force a new habit, whether good or bad. Why I have never put my foot down and applied this to my lip picking situation I'll never know. The more times you can keep your hands/teeth away from your lips the better your "winning streak" will be and you will make a new, good habit of resisting the urge to pick :) I'm looking forward to having smooth normal lips in the next few days because I WILL keep this good momentum up!!! Good luck, everyone :)
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June 28, 2013

let's see how long that lasts??? Not to be rude but i have advanced to half of my chin scabbed! thank god it is summer as i am a teacher and coconut oil has severely helped me from looking like a herpe infested person to looking somewhat decent! Again, except for mild rosacea and flawless skin it is an underlying anxiety habit which one, obviously has no control of. Why would you or I want to leave the house looking like this, I am afraid to confront my husband as he comes c=home today!
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April 02, 2013

I have been picking my lips for about 2 years now, but in the last 6 months it has gotten incredibly worse, but my stress levels have also sky rocketed. I do smoke, and will admit to a small oral fixation as another user suggested. I have taken to carrying a tube of Aquaphor with me at all times and applying it as often as possible, Vasiline when I am at home. Moisturizes the hell out of them and gets all over your hands when you pick. When i am at work i cant have that stuff every where haha. i just started dating someone new and i need to get past this. I also am working on getting my stress and anxiety under control. Hopefully it helps. *SIGH* So nice to know I have somewhere to talk to people.
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April 06, 2013

I’ve been picking and peeling my lips (particularly the bottom) since about middle school; I am 22 now. I had never met another “lip-picker” until I met my boyfriend 2 years ago, I noticed a few small puckered wounds on his lip that I noticed far too frequently in the mirror. Until I met him, I was very ashamed of myself and what my psychologist wanted to call “Self-mutilation.” (I felt that was taking it too far, although yes, demographically it could be considered that, and I am tired of doing it) but for the first time outside of therapy, I told someone. After we got to know each other, I told him that I picked my lips, without pointing his out. He openly admitted he did it as well. We talked a lot about how embarressed we were, about it "feeling good," how we wish we could stop. As well as how it feels that people always seem to notice when you feel the least confident about it. Ever since that moment, if someone tells me “Your lips are chapped” or “Your lip is bleeding” I simply say, very easily, “Oh, yeah, I have a habit of picking my lip, kind of like biting your nails.” In reality, you do feel a little self-concious, but I promise just saying those words confidently and admitting that you have a habit, is so relieving. And guess what? Each time I say this, the person I said it to goes on about a different subject and doesn’t notice again. It's refreshing. When I was young I had (excuse the likely misspelling) trichotilomania, which is pulling of the hair folicles. I did this to my head and eyelashes for about a year when I was 6, my parents were divorcing at the time. I didn’t know what it was until I researched it in high school when I noticed my lip habit, and very quickly associated my lip picking with my previous condition. For those of you out there that have any ‘picking’ issues: hair, skin, nails, teeth…it’s all the same. So lip pickers, if you come across someone who doesn’t pick their lip but pulls at something else, feel free to open up to them. I’ve done this for a few people that I’ve come across, just telling them openly that I have the same habit, and even that helps. The surprise on their face mixed with the “You understand?” stare is priceless, and you may just make a new friend. I hope I can stop picking soon. My bottom lip is always so red and blotchy, I never feel comfortable in photographs, and I have spent a small fortune on the menthol Medicated Chapstick. My boyfriend has gotten so much better though! And he’s the one helping me each day reminding me not to pick when I zone out, or get drowzy but not tired enough to sleep. It really helps to have a teammate and best friend in quitting this habit. He is patient with me, he knows exactly what it's like. *** Side note: Ladies stop covering it with lipstick! No matter how bad you think it looks, please no lipstick!! From personal experience, the synthetic dyes can actually cause bacterial infections in the cuts. It kills me to read so many women stating that they cover it with lipstick and liner. Lipstick shouldn’t be applied to any open sores!*** Thank you for this site and forum. I knew there were others out there that could empathize, but I didn't realize how many! I wish I had found all of you sooner! :)
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April 21, 2013

wow...just wow is all I can say. At 21 I have become so fed up with this habit it really is time to do something about it. I lather 100s of layers of lip balm on at night and pray that when I wake up i have no intense bulging sores or bloody marks on my lips. Ever since I was a kid (as others have explained) my mother has been slapping my hand away whenever I have the urge to viciously pick at my lips. I am not sure what has happened in recent weeks but the urge to pick is the strongest its ever been..I lie in bed at night until 2-3am attacking and pulling at my lips until they bleed all over, even then that doesnt stop me to reach the 'smooth' lips others have mentioned. They get SO dry and cracked that it hurts to even touch them..yet i still cannot stop. I find myself picking when im bored, when im stressed and recently it seems I am extremely anxious. Something extremely odd about it all is...I have allergic reactions to some acidic foods in which i get an odd pimple like sore under my tongue and swollen glands..when i pick so much until it bleeds i get the same thing, the same weird under tongue pimple and swollen glands..but do i stop..ofcourse not. Finding this thread was so interesting to me..I have googled the problem before but for most responses it seemed like a habit to grow out of like biting nails (which i also used to do) this i trained myself to grow out of and now have nails i can be proud of and take care of. I own EVERY lip balm known to man, believing the gimmicks they claim to make your lifts soft and smooth. I recently purchased ELIZABETH ARDENS 8 HR CREAM which i read in another forum was HOLY GRAIL. the only problem with this is...and yes i have known this for a while, is that the issue is not THE LIP BALM iit is not THE CURE. My lips may feel smooth for a total of 1 whole minute, but it just feels like any type of cream is immediately sucked in by my extremely dry cracked lips. Although this cream IS the best ive found to making them smooth (and most of the time ensuring that i dont wake up with huge gash wounds) the main goal is to stop. I sit up at night staring blankly and just non stop picking..Im starting to think im a freak. Some people have mentioned it as a form of self mutilation (hmmm..) but i dont see myself wanting to hurt myself, it just feels like something that cant be broken..but i sure as hell will try*i say to myself questionably* so hopefully continuing to read through all these stories will make it better right? people say its related to stress..but to be honest, im a university student with not many issues to be stressed over..I feel so damn ANXIOUS at night but have no idea what from..oh man. hopefully this post relates to all of you the way yours did to mine and will start a semi rehabilitating method to stoping this life-long *sofar* habit.
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June 28, 2013

no it is the worst actually, pure coconut oil will help skin, urge to pick, nothing!
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April 28, 2013

I have been picking my lip for as long as I can remember. It's something that I.enjoy doing even tho its sometimes hurts like hell and it starts to bleed. I use my fingers but most of the time I use TWEEZERS.. Yes, I said tweezers.lol I don't do it bc I enjoy the pain or seeing the blood like some ppl do I do it bc I kinda get excited when.I pick at them and peel off a long and wide peice of skin...weird I know..I went as far as dumping out a bottle of meds and used the bottle to store my lip skin bc I thought it was such an exciting feeling to peel that skin...but after a month of doing that I reposed I better not bc I would pick more and more everyday just so I could fill the bottle..its weird I know but I'm only telling u guys this bc most ppl live doing it bc of the pain or the blood and I did it just for the skin. The blood and pain part I actually hated...the best part was less then 24 hrs later the skin would grow back and I would be right back at it with the tweezers and a mirror... I just got done 3 mine ago and I'm typing with a peice of napkin on my mouth stopping the blood...I go thru phases where I would do it constantly for a couple months and stop for a couple...I think it gets bad when I'm more stressed out and have a lot on my mind and when I do it I'm focusing on my lip and only my lip....I thought I was the only one out there who had this issue....I'm soo happy I'm not...I constantly catch ppl staring at my lips when they r talking to me and I'm always wondering like what r they thinking...I hope one day I could actually resist from doing it....
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May 24, 2013

been there ( with the tweezers thing, not the storing in bottles ;) Gotta love the internet for letting us all know we're not nuts!
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May 08, 2013

Wow. For the longest time I thought I was the only person who did this. I've been picking my lip for a long time and I've never been able to quit. There are times when I don't realize I do it and I'm constantly carrying Chapstick which actually makes the picking worse cuz it makes my lips dry and flaky. As of right now I am biting my lip cuz I have the urge to pick. Sometimes I bleed and get embarrassed. My lips hurt so bad at times from picking and I don't know how to stop. It's nice to know there's a name for it and I'm not crazy
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May 24, 2013

oh my gosh! Me too, I honestly thought I was the only person who did this!! I don't know why but I just decided to Google it and here I am. I feel like such a freak sometimes and even though I can stop for a while I always end up going right back to picking! Been doing this as far back as I can remember. When I'm bored, or concentrating or falling asleep... You all know how it is... I don't really have to explain further because anything I could possible say has already been said before, I just wanted to add another comment showing other people they are not alone. I don't drink, smoke or binge eat. I'm a fairly healthy person, I guess this is my only vice. The whole "self mutilation" thing is interesting to me. I've been at this since I was really young and I don't feel like I hate myself so I'm on the fence about that theory. I'm not like a pain junkie or anything but for some reason I actually like the painful feeling of ripping off a good size piece of skin until it bleeds. (OMG that sounds so crazy in writing!!) Any how, I hope we all figure out a way to stop. I know that when I do go threw those phases where I am able to not pick, my whole face changes for the better. Like someone else mentioned, keeping my lips super moisturized ( Burt's Bee's/ Carmex) seems to help. Good luck to us all!
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June 28, 2013

me too then i realize that liquid is profusely coming therefore i know huge scab, embarrassing! The only thing that i found to reduce the scabbing is pure coconut oil. i use it for my hair, as well as skin and cook with it. it is nature's natural rmed, i wish there was a remedy to stop picking, since i am off work due to summer as teacher i am thinking of a band aid, as now i am picking my chin and every time it is healing i pick at it again, Anxiety prob., even though unconsciously, obviously doing it is half the battle!
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June 28, 2013

and here i am obviously still picking away again. If my husband was here, he always said "stop picking" which i will, whilst alone.......
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May 08, 2013

I have been picking my lips for about 38 years, since I was about 4 yrs old. Two years ago I got acrylic nails for the first time and found that I could no longer do it with those fake nails on. YAY! I know someone who was born with a bad nail condition and has gotten acrylics every 2 weeks since she was about 12 years old and now she's in her mid-twenties, with no adverse effects. I hand-wash dishes a lot, and got a little fungus a couple of times, but it went away, no problem. I recently stopped getting them done due to finances, and to see if I'd start picking my lips again, which unfortunately, I did, and now it's been a couple months. I will get a new set pretty soon. I recommend the natural style of American manicure, which is like the French manicure, but not stark-white tips. They look very natural! I get mine rounded (not square shaped) and short. I had some expensive solar nails and another special kind that is meant to be superior, but the acrylics are the cheapest, look great, and do the job of preventing lip-picking. I was addicted to lip balm every night, which made my lips feel "tight" and when I picked them, they rarely bled, since it was pretty much the dried lip balm coming off. Occasionally my lower lip bleeds a little but heals in one day. I tried Mary Kay's lip exfoliation to ease the feeling that they need to be picked at, but that didn't help much; I usually still felt like picking. I have also tried the stick on nails from Dollar General, which are fine for a one-day special occasion or weekend, but they come off fairly quickly. The thumb ones stayed on well though, so I just kept them on for about 2 weeks (they were french manicure) which made it difficult to pick. I hope my experience and advice helps someone!
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June 28, 2013

yep chin and lip picker too., but these shady ass, asian salons have been linked to hep ab and c, and i know u have had your cuticle cut more than once with unethical practices! i would rather have my face picked to shit, as my chin is right now1 i don't want my husband to see me, yes it is that bad! This sucks bot don't add insult to injury
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October 22, 2013

I will be 32 next month & have been picking my lips for as long as I can remember. I too get acrylic nails. At first it was mainly for looks & convenience but I noticed that when I had them I couldn't pick my lips as well & without them I'd go right back to it. So now I mainly get them done just so I can't pick my lips. I try to have them done as much as possible, unfortunately finances have been bad lately but soon as better income starts rolling in again I will be right back at my trusted nail salon.
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May 08, 2013

P.S. many of these comments ring true for me, except I don't think I have any other addictions. Yes, I could stand to lose 25 lbs, but I don't binge eat or drink. I tried smoking in college but that didn't last. I found this site through researching Tourette's syndrome that my son has. He has tics that he can't control, and Wikipedia says it can be partly genetic. I thought, 'well, nobody in the family has that.' Then I clicked on a link for "Habit Reversal Therapy" and saw "skin picking" listed among nail-biting, tics and thumb-sucking. I thought, "Oh no, he's gotten it from me, since I pick my lips!" I hope we can improve ourselves.
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May 09, 2013

This is the first time I have ever googled this problem; I'm 28 and have picked my lips since I was about 13/14...I have done it pretty much every day since. Until now, yesterday I decided enough was enough and that I've got a few days off and that I'm going to try and not pick them at all. SO I've used carmex constantly and the skin is really gross underneath HOWEVER, they are healing themselves and I am DETERMINED to not pick them...hopefully by tomorrow they will be healed completely...or even Saturday. However, even though it's not a problem that has really got to me, I realised I can't do it forever and my mum has always told me off for doing it! Even now at 28!! So...it's like smoking, the temptation is ridiculous; it's like a drug when you do it...HOWEVER the only way to stop is literally staying strong and being fully conscious of NOT doing it too...they will be horrible for a couple of days YES, but then after, you will become more aware of you doing it. Putting on carmex constantly is definitely helping the healing process and makes them look better. Anyway, a couple of days being strong & aware is all it takes really, (I notice I do it when I'm anxious) maybe try other ways to relieve your anxiety instead...(I know it's not as satisfying coming from a lip-picker I KNOW!) but...in the end you will be proud of yourself & your lips will look normal! yay :)
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May 15, 2013

I am nearly 40 years old. I have been picking my upper lip, right in the center, since I was about 4. I can remember sucking my thumb and picking that spot with my index finger. Sometimes I would just rub my fingernail or thumbnail over the spot just to feel the vibration it would cause. At some point, I changed from sucking my thumb to sucking the index finger on my right hand. I can remember my mom trying to make me stop my smacking my hand away from my mouth, putting the bitter stuff on my fingers, hot sauce, etc.. I can even remember being woken up in the middle of the night as my mom came in and yelled at me. When I was about 14 I simply stopped doing it. I don't know why or how. During this time, I could not suck my finger and pick my lip concurrently, but I alternated. I also bite or tear my fingernails and tear my toenails. I have twice stopped biting my nails for a long period of time. The first time for about a year. During this time, I stopped tearing my toenails too. I am currently in a more or less controlled stage in that endeavour. I try to remember to keep my nails trimmed and free of jagged edges. I don't live day to day with a sore lip. I don't always pick until I'm bleeding. I have many many times told myself how ridiculous all of this is. Like some of the other posts here, I've told myself I am going to stop, only to find myself doing it unconsciously a few hours or even minutes later. I don't know how many times I've woken up, felt how smoothe and almost normal my lip felt, and thought I was well on my way to healing once and for all, only to realize a mile down the road that I'm at it again. By the time I get to work, it's as though I've never stopped. One of the many things that set me off, and this goes for biting my nails too, is the feeling of a cool air across my lip and bitten fingers. It's soothing. When the skin on my lip is healing or when the my nails are too long, I can't feel that air flow and it in itself starts to make me anxious. Of course stress and concentration contribute to this as well. I wish I could just get to that same point I did when I stopped sucking my finger. The longer nails doesn't bother me as much anymore either so I feel I've almost got this resolved. Other than hypnosis I can't imagine what to do.
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June 28, 2013

My name is Eden and I'm 14 years old. I have been picking my lips since I can remember and my mom would duck tape my hands together so I would stop. Nobody understands the problem unless they have it. They think you can just stop but they have no idea. My advice to someone that is forcing you to stop or yelling at you is to leave unless your problem is very serious.
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July 12, 2013

@EdenWilliams Your mom would literally DUCK TAPE your hands? Man...that sounds painful.
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July 12, 2013

I am 13 years old and I have been picking my lips since I was 8 years old. My mom yells at me for doing it, but it makes me do it even more. I need advice on how to stop my self. If any of you guys have any info PLEASE tell me A.S.A.P!
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July 12, 2013

Hi All - I am 45 and have compulsively and comprehensively picked my lips pretty much every day from as early as I can remember. A few days ago I had a look on this site because I really wanted to kick the habit once and for all. Like many others, I've also become a master at covering up my habit with make-up and lip ointments - and annoyed the hell out of partners and family with my picking over the years. This site and others seemed to recommend hynotherapy as the only option for us dedicated pickers, so I checked it out and booked myself in, not knowing what to expect, but inspired to do something by knowing this was a recognised condition. I thought it would be some kind of hypnosis thing and take weeks of sessions because of how long I've been picking. But, it wasn't like that - for the first time, rather than hiding or ignoring it, I spent time talking about my problem, why I wanted to change it and focusing on understanding why I did it and the therapist explained that it wasn't as difficult as people think for your brain to learn new things - it can be pretty quick. Naturally, I was completely sceptical - even 3 days without picking felt like an impossible dream, let alone my brain stopping me doing it completely! So, one 2 hour session of therapy later, here I am now on day 4 of leading a non-picking life! Could be shortlived, but this is the most days non-picking I can remember, so I am going to try to keep going on my journey to lovely permanently soft healed lips - wish me luck!
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September 18, 2013

You are NOT alone! I am just gonna lay it all out... I have dermatellomania (spelling ?) that involves skin AND lip picking. I don't purposely create wounds to pick, what happens is when I'm deep in worry I get under a good light and scrutinize my arms, chest, legs, and less often... my face... for ANYTHING that looks like is in my pores or bumps that need to be squeezed or ingrown hairs. People tell me I'm imagining things b/c they can't see any blemishes but I swear I do see stuff! I'm lucky to have gotten no serious infections or anything, but on my arms I have scars. I also love to peel skin... especially sun burns! But I have for the most part stopped the picking, everywhere but my lips. And I can't lie... I LOVE it! I will spend hours doing it and have not done things I needed to do or been late to appointments b/c I couldn't bear to pull myself away from it. After picking/peeling sessions my lips burn and sting and have raw spots and as they heal they get hardened skin that makes me wanna peel more! I hate it when I peel the skin that's still attached enough to my lips to hurt and/or bleed... but not enough to stop chancing it. What I'm addicted to is seeing how big a piece I can pull off at once with no pain. I feel around my bottom lip with my fingernails until I catch it on a little piece of hardened skin that is starting to peel and I work at it to try to pick it off in as long a piece as possible. I usually have several places I'm "harvesting" in one session. Sadly I get soooo excited when I can get some good ones! As long as there's no pain or blood... just a good clean peel... it feels so good it's ALMOST like an orgasm. The ultimate is when I feel a good potential piece and I pick it to get it lifted enough to grip it between my thumbnail and fingernail and pull and I feel it pulling just enough to get that satisfying sesation w/o pain or blood, and it comes off in a long piece (my best was a piece going across my entire bottom lip that was almost the full width of my lip also!). And as gross as I know it sounds... I eat it. It's almost always my bottom lip I mess with, but every now and then I'll get a little from the top lip too. Usually though any peeling parts of the top one I bite off with my teeth. And like you, people smack my hand away or tell me to quit picking at them. It is really bad sometimes when I'm wearing lipstick b/c I chew it off and the spots that I pick stand out even more. I try to never wear light-colored lipstick b/c the raw spots show thru... so I wear dark shades of like burgundy, etc.
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November 21, 2013

OMG!! From top to bottom that is me.
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October 24, 2013

I, like the rest of you all, thought I was the only one with this problem! It's so relieving to know that many people struggle with this issue. I'm 19 years old and I have been picking my lips since as long as I can remember. I don't even really remember when or know why I actually started. But I do know that it is so addicting and probably one of the worst habits I've ever encountered. I pick every single day either when I'm bored or anxious and I only do it when I'm alone. From what I've read it seems like most people pick on the outside of their lips but I only pick on the inside so it's definitely easier to cover up. I really hate the fact that I absolutely love doing it and just wish I could stop! I'll pick until it bleeds and hurts or until I just get that one piece of skin that I've been picking and peeling at for minutes/hours. And when I'm not picking, I'll try to chew away the skin. I'll stop when my lips are just so raw and then I wait overnight to start up again the next day. It definitely hurts the worst when I have to brush my teeth and the toothpaste stings the wounds on my lips. But it's so weird to think that I love the satisfaction I get out of it! I've tried to stop several times where I'd try my absolute hardest to use my will power and tell myself to not pick, but then after a couple of days, I'd start up again without even noticing. Since I only pick while I'm alone and not in front of others, I don't really think anyone knows that I do it. I've been caught by my parents, some friends, and even my boyfriend of 2 years a couple of times but they just don't say anything about it. I'm even sometimes scared to kiss my boyfriend cause I'm afraid he'll notice my picked at lips. I'm too self-conscious to actually speak up about it to someone and I'm afraid that I'll never be able to stop. Before I found this page, I felt like I wasn't normal and a freak but knowing that this is pretty common makes me feel a little better. I would give anything to stop picking and to have normal, pretty lips. Hopefully we can all find a way to stop this horrible urge once and for all!
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October 24, 2013

I'm sitting here reading all of these posts, almost in tears - thankful that I am not the ONLY one who has this issue!! So here's my story; I'm now 37 and have been picking the skin from my bottom lip for as long as I can remember. As a child, I remember my parents slapping my hands away from my mouth after they'd start bleeding, and my mom would always tell me that "one day your lip is just going to fall off of your face if you don't stop picking"....now obviously that hasn't happened, but sometimes I pick them so bad that they sting and burn and even hurt to talk because they're so raw...maybe falling off would be better! LOL (not really). I find that whether I'm anxious or bored or scared or even busy with work, my hands always seem to find their way to my lip. I have spent many nights laying awake even though I was tired, because I wasn't "finished" yet....I can't just pick some spots and leave it alone, I have to make sure that I've gotten every possible piece that I can before putting on balm and doing something else. This is not normal!! I waste so much time out of my life because I'm stuck on pause while I pick. I've been at work for 2.5 hours so far, and I've literally gotten NOTHING done...because I've been busy picking. I know people look at my lips all the time and notice how bad they are, but so far only family members have ever commented on it. I rarely ever wear lipstick because that seems to make them peel worse, and I am having a hard time finding a lip balm that helps and not hurts. For a while I thought that the Vanilla Carmex was the answer, but I've found that the stuff is like crack! Miss one day, and your lips are worse than they started off as! So for now, I am trying out a few formulas and making my own lip balm. It's not as hard as it might sound, but that way I know exactly what's in the stuff, and I don't have to worry about all of the harsh chemicals that can potentially make the broken skin on my lips sting. My current formula includes Cocoa Butter, shea butter, honey, and Vitamin E. I'll keep you posted with the progress!! Thanks to everyone who has opened up and shared your stories...I truly feel like I'm among friends right now, and I appreciate the support! xoxo
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November 11, 2013

Hey all, I really have to say that it somewhat puts me at ease to know that there are others out there with this same habit. My name is Carlos, I'm 28 and from Toledo, OH. I've been picking my lips my entire life. For as long as I can remember anyway. I pick the outside of my bottom lip and chew on the inside of it. I will pick and chew at it until it bleeds every time. I just Googled this because I was sitting here picking my lip until blood was pouring out of it, as usual. I once chewed a hole on the inside of my bottom lip so badly that it felt like I came close to clewing completely threw my lip. Like hardly more than skin was left. I pick at my bottom lip constantly. I managed to quit once for a long time when I started dating the love of my life. For years I was pick free! We had our Daughter, Sophia, and I remember from the time she got pregnant that I have been worried that my Daughter would develop the habit. Anyhow, I was doing great until she informed me she wanted a divorce. It wasn't long after that I noticed I had begun to pick again. Biting, peeling, and picking until my fingers are covered in blood and it's even running down my chin sometimes.. Ugh.. it's so horrible. It's some weird, sick, satisfaction of getting a bunch of super dark red blood flowing and then licking it off my fingers. Or getting a piece of tissue and picking at it with the tissue until it's covered in blood.. And I smoke cigarettes, and have for a long time.. I fear it's only a matter of time before I get mouth cancer.. My teeth are already completely destroyed and even though I'm a decently handsome guy. I can't smile at all without feeling like I'm being stared at our judged because of my teeth. I can't even laugh or be happy without worrying about what people think about my mouth.. It hurts that so many Women have been attracted to me, or shown interest.. until they've gotten a good look at my teeth.. and then it stops completely... How many jobs I've lost because of it in the interview.. I've strongly considered committing suicide many times, and honestly.. I mentioned it because the though crossed my mind just now.. I'll never be happy in life.. because whenever i'm happy.. I become self conscious about my teeth and mouth. I wish you all the best of luck in quitting one day.. Man..I just depressed the hell out of myself.
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November 15, 2013

Like everyone else in this forum, I also had no clue there were other "lip pickers" or that this was an actual disorder! I have been picking my lips since I can remember, and my friends and family as well as my boyfriend are always telling me to 'stop picking your lips!" but like everyone else knows that doesn't help and it's near freaking impossible. Yesterday I decided to stop, I've managed to stop for about a month before - the reason being I was literally getting white blisters on my lips from the deep gashes I was causing by picking my lips. I felt so embarrassed being in public and especially in front of my boyfriend. I'm 24 years old now, and I'm officially fed up, I don't want to be 50 and still have this ridiculous problem! Its got to be a mind-over-matter situation. My plan of action is to not let my fingers come close to my lip - as soon as I start rubbing my bottom lip I know I'm in trouble, because the moment I feel a flaky piece of skin on an uneven surface I will pick my lips raw until everything feels perfectly smooth and raw when I run my index finger over my bottom lip - and that stinging sensation is the best! So i figure if i keep my fingers away from my lip it will at least minimise the urge to pick. I'm also using lip balm regualrly (like all of us are...) which at least helps to mask that flaky scabby feeling. I use DCT (daily conditioning treatment by Blistex) and it works brilliantly! It also helps heal the sores and softens the scabs and it doesn't leave your lips feeling very dry and flaky if you dont use it - like chapstix does. Anyway i dont know if this mind-over matter thing is going to work, but i am suuuuper determined to make it happen! I dont want to have to resort to therapy! So we'll see what happens and I'll keep you guys posted...so far I'm one day pick free. We can stop!!!!!! I KNOW IT.
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November 19, 2013

Hello, Im only 16 and i am despreate to stop. I dont relise im doing it till im finished and i look into my lap and see the skin ( discusting i know), I managed to stop for prom but now even as im writing this im picking, i cannot stop! my mum shouts at me every time i do it and when i pick she sometimes takes my phone away but it doesnt help, i didnt know it was an accuall disorder i thought it was just a habbit, i have been doing it since primary school. I need to stop as my lips look great after picking but then in about 20 mins i see my lips trying to heel with puffy dead skin covering the areas and it makes it look alot worse. Im sick of it, my lips often bleed and it hurts but once if i have done it i swear i will stop but never do. i joined a site called 43 things where i told people i would stop but i did it again. IM ONLY 16 AND DONT WANT TO DAMAGE MY LIPS, when you pull my lips like hook into them to see my teeth for example the skin opens like the dry skin gets pulled to one side and it looks discusting. i would pay money to stop this. ! Shall we all stop ?? COMMENT ASAP PLEASE NEED SOMONE TO HELP ME GET THROUGH THIS!!!
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November 24, 2013

Hey, I'm 15 years old and I have the same exact problem but I notice it getting worse and worse everyday. I'm here if you wanna talk.
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November 21, 2013

CindyR Hi - Here's some hope - I was a severe lip picker since childhood and now I am 56 and I have stopped doing it - altogether. It is a relief even when I get a cold sore and it gets dry and crunchy I don't pick at it anymore. I do keep my lips moist with chap - stick but I just don't do it anymore and I am not sure why. However, I have not stopped picking other areas and tomorrow I am on the way to the dermatogist to talk about doing something about the scar I have now on my forehead and cheek. I have also some new-ish scars on my legs but they are healed and they don't upset me I live in the north and it is the winter so they will be covered up and will fade by spring. Your BF should not yell at you are slap you. It does make it worse. You become embarassed and who wouldn't. Nagging never helps. You have to try hard to have a serious talk with him about this - he is not all helping you- he is making it harder for you. Show him this site - show him these posts. I only allow 2 people to tell me to stop my husband and my daughter becuase they are very gentle about it and it is like a reminder and I don't feel embarassed. Everybody else just shut the hell up - you are not helping. I don't know the this dermatologist I am seeing tomorrow - I picked him out of the phone book I hope he understands this.
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November 21, 2013

I can't believe there are so many people like me. Who understand the urge and need to pick at that annoyingly rough chapped skin on my lips. I've tried applying lip balms and drinking water constantly, but at some point I forget to do it and there comes that feeling again. That need to remove my skin. My husband hates that I pick my lips so much and he too often yelled at me and nagged me to stop. But it would just want me to do it even more. Then he tried a new approach. Every time he saw me picking he would say "I love you jenn" and that was all. I would say "I love you too" and try my hardest not to pick because I knew it hurt him to see me do it. It's not a perfect system, often I find myself trying to pick when he isn't watching. But I always feel guilty doing it and it doesn't feel as good (unless I'm really really anxious about something else, then hell with it). But it is the best thing that has worked for me so far and helps me to keep my picking to a minimum when I do pick. I thought I should share that with all of you to see if it might work for you too.
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November 23, 2013

It's really helpful to read all the comments here. It's nice to know that others feel some of the same things I feel (but feel weird about feeling). Like the satisfaction I get from peeling a long piece of skin off my lips, using tweezers to pick skin off my lips, using up hours of the day to pick. Sometimes I go to the bathroom with the excuse of "needing to go", but I've really just gone to pick without anyone knowing. I can't stop until I feel "done". And yes, by the time I'm done my lips are usually raw, red, and bleeding. It sucks when I've been unable to resist in those moments when I then have to go talk to someone. Especially if the lips haven't stopped bleeding. I have to keep wiping away the blood with my hands, or cleaning it off with my tongue. I know people notice, but are just too nice to say anything. I've done this since I was a child and remember my mother chastising me for it. I've also had friends see me doing it and telling me to stop. I will for a moment, just until they stop looking, but then I'll do again until I'm done (or I'll go to the bathroom to finish it off). I can't stop mid-pick! That's madness! Unfortunately I've done this so much and for so long that I've actually damaged tendons in my left thumb. Apparently it's a repetitive motion/strain injury. I had to have steroid injections and then, later, surgury on the tendons in my thumb. Now, I can't quite grip heavy objects with that hand because my thumb isn't strong enough to hold them, and there's almost constant dull pain (which physical therapy exercises do help a bit) in my thumb. Despite this, and that fact that picking makes it hurt sooo much worse (and I know is doing more damage to an already damaged thumb), I continue to do it. I decided last night that I really want to stop. I'm sick of hurting my hands, I'm sick of being embarrassed and having red, raw lips, I'm sick of feeling unattractive being I know what my lips look like, and I'm sick of wasting time picking. So I'm going to try wearing gloves so I don't unconsciously pick (when I've tried to stop being, the unconscious picking undid all the good work I'd done up to that point). I hate acrylic nails, but after reading about all the good they've done others, I might try this too. Vaseline seems to help my lips heal quite a bit, but I also might try the coconut oil, that seems to help others. We'll see. I'd love to be able to stop. Thanks all for sharing your experiences and the things that have helped you. Those that have been through it always seem to be able to help the most. If I find something that works, I'll be back to share. For those that have been able to stop, does the tight feeling ever go away? One thing I've noticed is that when my lips start to heal (I've been able to stop for a few days in the past), they feel really tight and I can't stand it. If I left my lips alone long enough, if they were able to heal fully, would this tightness feeling ever get better? Or does it just start to bother you less?
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November 25, 2013

CindyR The tightness goes away. When my lips get dry I put stuff on them all day long. I like carmex in the little container ( not the tube - but that is ok too) at any given time I own up to 10 carmex, chap sticks, other lip balms and leave them everywhere. My purse is a literal pharmacy of all kinds of goops and medicines. When I go to meetings at work I take lip balm with me and I apply it during the meeting as often as I feel like it - doing that many times has got to be better than peeling my lip and make bleed during a meeting at work and have people wonder why I am holding a tissue on my lip. Same with church and in the car. As I said in the previous post I lip picked since I was very little. I am now 56 and for whatever reason I just stopped lip picking a year or two ago. I really can;t tell you why or how - I just stopped. My theory is that I applied the lip balm enough and constantly that I got used to the feel of normal lips. I still pick at other things though and still need help. My advice apply apply apply - if you like vaseline then make sure you have a container of it everywhere you go. Get about a half of a dozen just for your purse - your bound to lose a couple over the winter and if you have a lot every time you dig into your purse you will easily find one.
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March 28, 2014

Go you! Will try this :)

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