Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test
I been picking at my face since late elementary school, and with the help of a psychologist for some months I recently got my picking under control. I have a lot of tips that helps me a HUGE amount, and will likely do the same to you. 1.) the trick is to break the OCD cycle, so start to dissociate from your condition- don't get mad at yourself or guilty after picking, just remind yourself over and over again that it is a chemical issue in your brain, and controlling by will power is a big (although clearly possible) challenge. 2.) try to become hyper-aware of when, why, and where you pick. start noticing triggers (ex: fights with loved ones, low grade, procrastination, etc). Writing a journal of picking times and all feelings at the time helps a lot to identify these. I noticed I picked in the morning immediately when I went into the bathroom and saw myself without face makeup, and when I got home and makeup was faded, as well as in the evening after I took off makeup. So I changed around my schedule- ex: put on makeup before putting on glasses/contacts so I couldn't see minor imperfections, shower immediately before sleeping so that I would not have to see my face in the mirror or linger in the bathroom without makeup before bed, and prepared myself before going into the bathrooms at these times. 2.) this can be hard, but try to have somebody with you at times when you have identified that you tend to pick. If I feel like the urge will come before I need to remove makeup in the evening, I will ask a parent to wait with me, or keep a knowing friend on speaker as I brush teeth, etc. 3.) again, a big problem for many of us is the guilt following picking, and not starting to pick again when the guilt sets in. if i do pick and feel this setting in, or just simply cannot stop touching a known blemish, I either cover it up with makeup (if during the day), or else if its before bed I put an opaque, thick clay mask over the blemish. it lets me stop thinking about it, and the texture reminds me of my situation if I do touch it. also, it allows you to look in mirrors, as you see opaque, removable spots of mask rather than imperfections on your skin. 4.) even when I get my skin pretty much healed after a week of absoultely no picking, I can easily start picking again at small blackheads, etc. This sounds super weird, but I've found that using Jergen's Natural Glow for faces really helps, as a tanner (sort of, its subtle and looks TOTALLY natural) darkens skin coloring just enough that red blemishes and other imprefectsion are significantly less noticeable, and skin overall looks healthier, moisterized, and less 'imperfect'. the downside is taht you cannot use overnight acne medicine (which incidentally bleaches your skin to pale it) with it. for most people this isn't that big of an issue. you can always put the acne medicine on during the day. anyways, it really helps a huge amount, and thats coming from someone who despises fake tans/makeup. 5.) FIND A PSYCHOLOGIST. seriously- how much can i stress this. its really what will get your condition under reliable control. if your ashamed of the picking itself, tell family/friends its for stress, depression, or generalized anxiety or something. money isn't an issue- many psycholoigsts use a sliding scale so you pay what you can. so there are probably some more tips- if I think of them I'll write them up. but the biggest thing is to get a psychologist. i promise this is the best solution, and the rest are really tricks i learned while seeing my psychologist, in the midst of cognitive behaviroal therpay and such. good luck. and SEE A PSYCHOLOGIST PLEAAASE.