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bellaelle52 , 06 Apr 2010

Techniques I have found that have helped me to resist the urge to pick!

Hey everyone! So I just recently joined the community and I must say that just venting and talking about this as a legitimate problem and TOTALLY helped. I feel WAY less hopeless and alone now. Here are some techniques that I have been doing that I thought I would share. Let me know what you think! 1. Putting bandages and neosporin on ones that I would be tempted to pick at-even if they aren't scabby. Just covering them up helps. 2. If i get "itchy hands", or if I feel myself feeling my face for bumps, I'll drop my hands to my sides and clench and unclench my hands and take a couple of deep breaths. It actually does make the urges go away. Or just like shake out your whole body. I'll just start jumping and flailing my arms (I look like an idiot haha) but it totally releases the energy and stress that I'm feeling from holding myself back. Yelling while jumping helps too. ***this one has actually helped me the most. The release of the stress is SO key. I'm able to actually think rationally about what I'm doing. 3. Wear earrings and when you feel the urge to pick or feel your face, just twist the earrings. I have always had really fidgeting and twitchy hands (ever since I can remember) and just giving them something to do really helps. 4. and just try to keep doing things to stay out of the bathroom and away from mirrors!! If i can I try to use the bathroom at work where people are so that the temptation goes away because I'm in public. _ One of the biggest things I've found too is to not expect too much out of yourself too fast. I tried quitting cold turkey and the urges almost drove me insane. I found if I let myself have one I'm much more able to leave the rest of my face alone. I'll evaluate too, how big the stress level is with it. If I find that I just CANNOT get rid of the urge, (even after jumping and yelling) I'll let myself have one go at it. I know that I would break under the pressure otherwise.
7 Answers
April 07, 2010
these things sound good... i just tried the jumping and flailing... it was kind of fun :) how have these been working for you? thanks for your input.
April 07, 2010
just found the site, but after 25+ yrs. of obsessing about my obsession, i've learned a few things, just not how to completely stop. out of sight (or feel) works. i keep clothes on at all times, since i mostly pick at minor acne on my arms and breasts. ive found that once the pus is gone, i lose interest in the wound so i use neosporin, lots of neosporin. also, i use the rubbing in of the salve as a way to 'virtually" pick. i'm still being ocd about the scab, but in a positive, rather than negative, way. i've found that the pressure of a band-aid Reinforces my need to see and feel just how bad the sore is, so i stopped using them. as this disorder ( and it took me decades to realize that this is one component of a broad spectrum of mental processes which have gone awry in me) focuses on perfection and the lack thereof, i try to achieve that perfection in other ways. Taking care to go the hair-stylist, get my nails done, get facials, anything good for me and my self-esteem will reduce how often i feel the need to destroy myself from the outside in. i am intolerant of the very idea of being medicated, (residual fear from years of lithium side-effects) but SSRIs do help. I take an herb called Kanna from south africa which has an anti-anxiety effect on me, thus reducing the trigger. (DO YOUR RESEARCH ON ANY HERBAL SUPPLEMENT SOME CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS IF IMPROPERLY DOSED.) the main thing i'm working on right now is forgiving myself. i've scarred myself so badly, people actually stare at my scars if i go out in public w/o covering them up. I take a DEEP breath, look right back and mentally recite, "it's ok, they're just scars. you cant change the past, but you certainly can NOT go home and have a session just because some insensitive asshole is making you feel like you should be in a zoo". i'm stunned at how many people here have made reference to a significant other- how on EARTH do you have sexual relationships???? the very idea of someone i'm attracted to seeing the damage i've done to myself makes me squirm. to everyone in a relationship, WOW! you're my hero, one day i hope i can be comfortable enough with my skin and body to allow someone else to see it, i think anyone who is should give themselves a standing ovation, that takes GUTS.
April 10, 2010
Last night I didn't have full control and I did pick at my skin a bit. Not enough for anything to bleed or form scabs or anything. I find this time in the 40 days the hardest for me. This is when my last 2 failed. I'm not sure why i find THIS period of time the hardest, but I want to keep going and forgive myself for this one imperfect night. Before I go into the bathroom to wash my face I always say "I can do this, I'm not going to pick, I'm going to have better skin tomorrow" and then next thing I knew I had my hands on my face! So, Today/ tonight I'm going to try listening to my ipod while I wash my face (yes a bit risky for my ipod) with some lively music to try to prevent the relaxed trance like state that I get into when I pick. I'm hoping the music will keep me motivated, alert, and aware of what I'm doing more than the silence does. I'll let you know how that goes for me. I'm also planning on doing yoga before bed and in the morning (if I have time). I will record that and post it here. I am going through a stressful time so I'm hoping the yoga will be relaxing. Update on my skin: My chin and forehead don't need makeup :) And everything else is easily covered by makeup because I have no scabs. Just red dots from past picking episodes. Good luck to all of you. Keep posting tips. We'd all love to hear them.
April 10, 2010

In reply to by 40daysfromnow

it sounds like your skin is coming along very well !! those red spots will slowly fade away. it's good that you weren't terribly harmful to your skin. be thankful for that and forgive yourself for the slight setback. perhaps it will help you be more committed here on. it sounds like you are employing good techniques. just keep up with what is working and keep introducing anything and everything you think will help. keep up the good work !! <3 <3 <3
April 11, 2010
I try to be kind to my skin and find this helps: ------>> 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 ------>> 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 ------>> journalize ------>> pat yourself on the back for a job well done ------>> and get a good night’s rest of 7-8 hours of healing sleep
October 02, 2018


Thank you so much for these tips. I would like to ask how do you join the community? I am struggling at the moment as well and would like to learn from the community! Thanks again,


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