What I have found that helps: I am almost one week without picking and that is something BIG. I have had this problem for more than 20 years with seldom a day without picking. I’ve been on probably every systemic antibiotic to address acne, including accutane, having been treated by a number of dermatologists. It has involved my scalp, face, nostrils, neck, back, belly, breasts, arms, butt, thighs, and shins at various times, sometimes requiring better than 60 bandages at one time. It has been distressing and depressing for many years. I’ve also been on many antidepressants for much of that time. But lately, with a new resolve to understand and conquer this insidious affliction, I have been doing much research and have over the last few months made changes to my daily regimen. With today being day 6 of no picking and feeling like my efforts are beginning to pay off, I’d like to share all of what I believe is contributing to my success which I am sincerely hoping will be much longer. Please bear with the details:
I try to be kind to my skin and recommend to … wash with warm water, not hot … use a fresh washcloth daily … rinse with cool water (not cold) to address inflammation and to close pores … pat dry with a clean towel … DO NOT PICK … bandage broken, weeping or bleeding sores immediately after cleansing using prescribed medication or a topical antibiotic (if possible) … dress non-broken sores with an anti-itch, anti-inflammatory analgesic ointment (like Tronolane – yes I know it’s for hemmies!, but what better than something intended for such delicate tissue?) … if going out into the world, use sunscreen … apply a moisturizer (avoiding bandaged areas) if you suffer from dry skin … apply makeup to lesions not bandaged … take morning medications, vitamins and supplements for daily health and skin care (a multivitamin, extra A, Bs, C, D, and E vitamins as appropriate, omega-3 fatty acid, calcium, and bromelain) … wear an elastic band around one wrist to snap if you catch yourself touching/scratching/or picking… keep fingers away from your skin (wear gloves if need be) … reapply ointments/makeup as required during the day … drink lots of water … eat well … exercise … limit caffeine, alcohol and tobacco use … and as early as possible at the day’s end, wash up with a gentle soap such as Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash … rinse with warm water to remove the soap, then again with cool water (not cold) to address inflammation and to close pores … pat dry … DO NOT PICK … immediately bandage up ALL broken, weeping or bleeding sores as well as any lesions that may present temptation to pick at unconsciously over night … apply anti-itch, anti-inflammatory analgesic ointment to healing areas prone to itching to reduce chance of unconscious urges to scratch … take night time medications and supplements (more omega-3 fatty acid, chromium picolinate, etc) … connect with supporters (friend/family member/online group) to share your day’s successes re skin care … pat yourself on the back for a job well done … and get a good night’s rest of 7-8 hours of healing sleep.
Although I have a couple of slow-to heal spots that are still needing bandages, I did actually enjoy one night in the last 6 without any bandages!! I'm hoping that soon I won't require any. I am feeling very hopeful about myself and hope that each of you will soon feel as good and with such hope.