Products to use for compulsive skin picking disorder

Tasneem Abrahams
Dec 21st, 2016

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Many people pick at their skin once in a while, but sometimes it crosses the line into a condition called skin picking disorder (excoriation). Picking at the skin can become so frequent and intense that it causes bleeding, sores, and scars. Some people with this disorder repeatedly scratch to try to remove what they see as some kind of imperfection in their skin. If you compulsively pick your skin to the point that you hurt yourself in the process, hate the way your skin looks due to the skin picking, tried to stop picking your skin but can’t stop yourself, then this article is for you.

The importance of self-esteem should not be underestimated. It affects ones behaviour and thoughts. People with compulsive skin picking disorder often lack self-confidence because of the way they look after picking the skin. While there are treatment options that can help you with the skin picking, there are also products that can help improve how your skin looks. The good news is that there are scar treatments and skin-care technologies that can obliterate hyperpigmentation and retexturize skin to make scars a thing of the past.

Products to use for skin picking scars

Make up

A lot of people might discourage the use of make up for skin pickers, however makeup has helped many regain their confidence and build strong self-esteem.  The trick with makeup is to use products that work for you and not products that are necessarily expensive. Foundation and concealer are great make up products that can really help cover up the scars on the face. There is also body concealer what can be used on your legs, arms, and chest whatsoever.

Exfoliate and moisturise

What to look for: Choose a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer labelled "non-comedogenic" which is just a fancy way of saying that it won't clog your pores. Also look for ingredients like glycerine and hyaluronic acid, which hold moisture in the skin. What to avoid? Heavy, greasy products that contain pimple-producing ingredients such as cocoa butter, mineral oil, or cold cream.

Oil up

The advantage of putting tissue oils like Bio-Oil on your skin is that your skin becomes very oily, which makes it difficult for individuals to pick their skin. What's unique about Bio-Oil's multipurpose correction serum is its inclusion of PurCellin oil. Easily broken down by the skin, Bio-Oil tracks down and tackles scars, wrinkles, fine lines, and rebalances the skin for a smoother complexion. Note: Its hydration levels are so high that it's excellent for any body parts in desperate need of a moisture boost, like elbows and knees.

Be gentle with your skin

A gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that's formulated for your skin type (oily, dry, or combination) will do a lot more to reduce pain.

Seeking professional skin advice 

With the myriad of beauty products out there it can be daunting to know which products would work for you. Many people seek advice from a professional like a dermatologist  or psychodermatologist who combines medical treatment of the skin with an understanding of associated psychological problems. It also helps to follow the blogs and advice from other skin pickers who have tried and tested various skin care products and techniques like Alex who wrote a guest post on her struggles with skin picking and lists some product suggestions that helped her. 

Tasneem Abrahams

Tasneem is an Occupational Therapist, and a graduate of the TLC foundation for BFRBs professional training institute. Her experience in mental health includes working at Lentegeur Psychiatric hospital forensic unit (South Africa), Kingston Community Adult Learning Disability team (UK), Clinical Specialist for the Oasis Project Spelthorne Community Mental Health team (UK). Tasneem is a member of both the editorial team and the clinical staff on Skinpick, providing online therapy for people who suffer from excoriation (skin picking) disorder.

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