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Skin Picking is Ruining my Life

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I've been browsing Acne.org for I think about two years now...hoping to find the "cure" for my adult acne...when in fact I've known what will help me the most: MYSELF.

I'm a compulsive skin picker. I've actually been diagnosed with OCD and have tried the types of anti-depressants that are meant to help people who are skin pickers/hair pullers. (Those didn't work). I know me venting on this site isn't going to solve my problem, but I figured since I read about other people's struggle with acne/picking...I may as well post myself.

After having pristine skin for all of my life, at age 19 I became a new person...one who became afraid of the world, and who always felt like she needed to hide. Proactiv had miraculously stopped working after 3 years, and I began getting new kinds of acne in places I never had it before. My immediate response to it was to pick at it and thought that would make it go away. Not exactly. I ended up with deeper pimples and I noticed that the days following a "picking episode," lead to new zits in places surrounding the areas that I picked at before. And so goes the vicious cycle that is my life: I break out, I pick, I think it's "all better" and then I break out even more. Not to mention the scarring/scabbing and all of the damage that I've done over the past 6 years...I've never seen myself "clear" since age 19.

I've been to dermatologists. I hate them all. Most of them just treated me as a normal acne patient...even though I told them that 90% of all the marks on my face and inflamed pimples were bad because I HAD DONE IT TO MYSELF. Here's my list of prescriptions from over the past couple of years:

Tazorac

Retin A

Retin A Micro

Differen

Renova

Doxycycline

Minocycline

Blue Light Therapy

Ortho Tri-Cyclin

Those Derms just LOVE prescribing retinoids...each telling me I'd see my skin get clear in a few months. Yeah right. Any good dermatologist would know not to prescribe a retinoid to a compulsive skin picker because they're going to RUIN their face even more! While I was on the birth control...my skin was A LOT better which led me to believe that my hormones were completely out of whack. I got off the pill because I couldn't take the nausea anymore, and I had panic attacks and got scared. I wish I had tolerated it better.

I pick mostly at night...after I wash my face. Sometimes I do it in the morning. All I know is that it's a cycle that won't stop. I'm on a modified version of the regimen now...I'm on week 2.5 and right about to get my period so my face is very broken out and very picked on :(

I guess I'm just looking for people who have this problem to tell me if they have found that NOT PICKING has actually helped their face not have future breakouts in the same area. The way my OCD works, I feel like I'm "helping" my face by getting rid of a blackhead/zit...even if it's not ready to be popped. Then of course I just make it worse and the cycle starts again. I think you get it.

I'm completely hopeless. Thoughts?

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I have no answers for you, just support. I'm pretty much in the same boat. I have hormonal acne as a result of PCOS. I'm not interested in going back on birth control, as I believe that's how I ended up in this situation in the first place, and other hormonal treatments really don't do anything for it. So I pick. And I know that this makes everything worse, but I just can't stand to see inflamed yucky spots on my face. They take forever to go away, and when I pick they go away quickly but obviously lead to more break outs. *sigh* So I'm trying again starting tonight. No picking. How bout you?


My regimen:

AM: Baby brush method with Aqua Glycolic

Aloe mixed with Neutrogena Sheer Touch Sunscreen

Joppa minerals

PM: Wash with Aqua Glycolic

Nucelle 10%

Lac Hydrin 5


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Hi.

I am almost 34 years old. I've been picking at my face for 20 years. My sister taught me how to squeeze junk out of pores and I've been at it ever since. Some of my scars are deep and I have large pores because of what I've done to my face. I don't know why - but the past 2 months have been just horrible for me. I had a stressful situation in my personal life that led me to take it out on my poor face. I'm in the cycle you've described right now, but I've decided that I'm ready to deal with my problem of picking at my face. I'm tired of the control it has had over me. I'm tired of not having self discipline in front of the mirror. I refuse to allow this to rule my life, and rule my life it has for as long as I can remember.

I am currently 21 hours and 21 minutes into a 24 hour 'NO PICKING' challenge. I read about a 30 day challenge of no picking and I just laughed - yeah right! I couldn't even go 24 hours. Well, I'm almost there. After this first 24 hours is over in less than 3 hours, I plan on going 24 more. My goal is to determine whether or not my acne is caused by my picking. Please ask me what my findings are in a couple of weeks. I'm amazed that I'm walking around with zits on my face right now - usually I'd be walking around with popped zits that have scabs on them.

I am a born again Christian and am trusting the Lord to take me through this time. I hate going through it - I hate having a face FULL of acne and no self control to stop myself from making it worse but I LOVE that the Lord is giving me grace to walk through it one day at a time. I don't want to think about tomorrow right now. I have enough to worry about today.

I'm sorry that you are going through this too - but if you really want to find out whether or not quitting picking will be the solution - let's go through it together. Even if your acne doesn't clear up - you will have won the battle with your picking compulsion - and in the whole scheme of things - I think that is more important than the acne. Thank you for sharing!

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I can't tell you how many times I've said "okay I'm going to stop picking." My fiance proposed to me 6 months ago and for the sake of our marriage won't set a date because he said "until I can be at peace with myself, I won't be able to give all of myself to a marriage." I completely agree with him. Normally any ultimatum like that would make me horribly mad and want to end a relationship...but he's right.

I've been on stoppickingonme.com...I've read it over and over again and still can't stop. I've written messages to myself in lipstick on my bathroom mirror. I've even put pictures of horrible horrible acne sufferers on my mirror to remind me what I will look like if I pick.

Thanks for your support.

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I think inflammation and infection make my picking soo much worse. I was prescribed bactroban which has helped in the past with infection (use sparingly) and desonide ointment for inflammation (use sparingly and for short amount of time) These two things will greatly help pickers. I think I need to get back on ortho-tricyclen because I was alot better when on it. Then I got off to get pregnant, and hormones weren't so bad, then later when they got bad after birth I got talked into Yasmin. I hated this pill, I was nauseous all the time so got off. PMS makes me crazy now, and I can really lose it on my face so I need to get the hormones in check.

I mainly can't stand derms either but thought I would share the two prescriptions that I really noticed could help.

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Yea i have been taking out my anger at myself by picking my skin too.

Its like I KNOW that picking my skin makes it worse

I KNOW that i am scarring myself

I KNOW that i will go thru emotional shit because of the dammage i am doing, but the actual act of mutalating my skin makes me, for a moment, feel better about this whole shitty situation.

Like for half a seccond i really dont care what i look like, as my anger has taken over my vanity, my weakness, and is expressing itself towards the catalyst that has created this shit-storm in the first place. The acne.

I hate acne so much- if acne was a person, i would murder him.

I was popular in highschool because of how i looked- now I fear being told or judged by other people that i "used to be pretty" but now am fucked up because of how i have distroyed myself.

My acne leaves completely when i drink lots of water, stop looking in the mirror, & stop obsessing over myself.

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I don't think I had a zit that I didn't pop. I feel like it is just part of the whole acne process. I feel like if I don't pick it then it will turn into a huge, painful pimple that will take too long to heal. Sometimes I can see zits coming through my skin before they actually surface... that's when I apply pressure to squeeze out whatever is forming. If I'm lucky, my result is just a red mark which lasts for a week or two. If I'm not lucky, my result is a bloody, very painful scab that still has pus underneath.

I usually go out of my way to pick when I am angry. I end an annoying conversation with someone or I'm just not in a good mood for various reasons. I think it may have a relation to "cutting".

All in all OP, I know how you feel.

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Morning: [/bCetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar , Dan's Moisturizer, Dan's AHA, Neutrogena SPF 55 Sheer Ageless Face Lotion

Night: Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar, Dan's BP Treatment and Differin Gel (take turns every other day), Dan's Moisturizer plus a bit of Dan's AHA a few nights a week and Clinque All About Eyes rich eye cream.

Daily face make-up: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation SPF 20, Physician's Formula correction pen cover-up, Bare Minerals powder with a CLEAN brush.

Medicine: Yaz Birth Control- 5th month.

Rituals: I use a clean face towel each time, luke warm water and I sleep without my face touching my pillows. I try to keep my hair from touching my face and use speaker phone or ear-piece during my phone conversations.

After 10 months of dealing with my adult acne (got it September 2008 after never having skin problems), I can say now that I am completely clear! I can't tell if it's the Yaz birth control, the Differin, the AWESOME regimen that I learned from this website (Dan's regimen that I later tweaked to fit me).


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I don't think I had a zit that I didn't pop. I feel like it is just part of the whole acne process. I feel like if I don't pick it then it will turn into a huge, painful pimple that will take too long to heal. Sometimes I can see zits coming through my skin before they actually surface... that's when I apply pressure to squeeze out whatever is forming. If I'm lucky, my result is just a red mark which lasts for a week or two. If I'm not lucky, my result is a bloody, very painful scab that still has pus underneath.

I usually go out of my way to pick when I am angry. I end an annoying conversation with someone or I'm just not in a good mood for various reasons. I think it may have a relation to "cutting".

All in all OP, I know how you feel.

we are alike you and i

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I had a good streak going for a week and a half. I messed it up earlier this week and I was pretty upset. I wish I wouldn't concern myself with the smallest pimples. It is a bad habit from when I used to have bad acne in 9th grade. I used to get pimples on my cheeks and now I have small pocket marks from excessive picking.

To answer your question, I believe that if you don't pick a pimple during a breakout, it will not lead to a larger breakout in that area. Every time I had picked a whitehead on my forehead, the area would become infected and two or three more larger whiteheads would appear in the following days.

I am the same, i had a good clear streak.. was feeling good..then i had pms, stress, and a large cyst came up on my cheek... i spent an hour picking, squeezing, mashing... now there is a huge, hot red, inflamed, very painful, half-dollar sized wound on my face, it has swollen the whole side of my face, i it is half covered with a crusty scab, half oozing. I am 25 and have been a notorious picker since 12.. i have scars and pores and recurring cysts.. picking is like cutting, it is self-mutilation. I hate it.

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In reading all these posts, I just want to scream!!! I know what the nightmare is like, but I have also gotten to the point that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just feel so helpless right now because I wish I could wave a magic wand and make OCD, compulsive skin picking, depression, and acne disappear from the face of the planet! Please hang in there, don't give up! I promise there is life after it all, and it's good!

I remember one time, about 7 years ago when I was in the mirror picking, scraping, washing for 8 straight hours. My hands were numb, a couple of my fingernails were even loose. I had blood all over my face and hands. My mother came home and found me in the floor crying my eyes out. She made me go to the doctor the next day and he said that 97% of my facial surface was completely raw. I had severely deep wounds. He said it would leave permanant damage, and he suggested hospitalization where I could finally get some help...

Well, 7 years later after a long hard road, guess what folks?! My face has almost NO visible scars, the doctor is actually shocked by that and still says it's a miracle. I am finally in college (I spent so many years inside the house because of these issues, but now I'm out and having fun), I'm getting married in June, and NO MORE SELF INJURY! I'm even almost off all the psychiatric medications! See, you can do it! You can overcome this!

If I can help anyone here, with just support or advice, please do not hesitate to ask. There is a life beyond the mirror, beyond acne, and beyond picking.


AM and PM Regimen:

Estee Lauder Soft Clean Creme Cleanser

Estee Lauder Soft Clean Toner

Dan's BP

Estee Lauder Hydrationist + Desert Essence Jojoba Oil

Diet:

Vegetarian

Exercise:

Kundalini yoga daily

Core cross train

Supplements:

Hair, Skin, and Nails

Vitamin E, Flaxseed Oil, Inositol (B9)

Cosmetics:

Estee Lauder


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I also wanted to respond to this particular part of your post. I can tell you with absolute certainty that picking makes it worse and you are not helping your face. That's how the obsession (thinking "I have to get this junk out of my skin") sucks you into the behavior (picking). However, the obsession is irrational, so don't listen to it. Pamper your skin, be gentle with it, treat it like royalty :)

I've been browsing Acne.org for I think about two years now...hoping to find the "cure" for my adult acne...when in fact I've known what will help me the most: MYSELF.

I guess I'm just looking for people who have this problem to tell me if they have found that NOT PICKING has actually helped their face not have future breakouts in the same area. The way my OCD works, I feel like I'm "helping" my face by getting rid of a blackhead/zit...even if it's not ready to be popped. Then of course I just make it worse and the cycle starts again. I think you get it.

I'm completely hopeless. Thoughts?


AM and PM Regimen:

Estee Lauder Soft Clean Creme Cleanser

Estee Lauder Soft Clean Toner

Dan's BP

Estee Lauder Hydrationist + Desert Essence Jojoba Oil

Diet:

Vegetarian

Exercise:

Kundalini yoga daily

Core cross train

Supplements:

Hair, Skin, and Nails

Vitamin E, Flaxseed Oil, Inositol (B9)

Cosmetics:

Estee Lauder


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Your response to my post is much appreciated.

It has been some time since I have written this, and even if no one reads it, I wanted to give an update on how I'm doing.

I started using Proactiv again...even though it stopped working for me 6 years ago. For some reason I'm seeing positive results on the "breaking out" end. I'm not getting as many deep pimples as I was getting before, but still getting those damn blackheads that are the kinds of imperfections that fuel my disease.

I got a dog in December, a chocolate lab named Ella. My fiance and I got her at 7 weeks old...she's almost 6 months old now. She has been a joy, (and a nightmare,) but I have been forced to go outside in the morning without make up when I have to walk her. That has been very difficult, but I think I have made a big improvement just by being able to get myself outside without make up. Also, because I have to constantly watch her, I haven't had much free time to analyze my face. In these respects, getting a puppy has helped my existence.

I'm not cured though. I have my good days and horrible days. I too, in the past had picking sessions that lasted entire days. I specifically remember sitting on my bathroom sink until I actually had bruises on my butt...I picked my face to a pulp and put the contents of what I was able to get out of my face into an empty nail polish bottle. Yes, of course that's disgusting...but after I was finished, (6 hours later,) I had about a quarter of that bottle filled and was so proud of myself! My face on the other hand has never healed from that day...mostly pigmentation problems remain from it, but I'm always reminded of how bad I can ruin myself.

Perhaps I'm out of line by saying this, but I don't think the majority of the people who use this site understand the magnitude of the emotional scarring that skin pickers endure. I have sympathy for everyone who struggles on this site to wake up and face each day, but there is a very big difference between someone with a face filled with cystic acne, and a person who can spend the whole day mutilating their face because they feel like they have to in order to fix themselves.

I don't know where that rant came from and I apologize if that hurt anyone's feelings....I guess it was just on my mind.

I hope everyone is hanging in there...

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let me just say that i have not picked or touched my face in a week and a half... It has worked, the giant swollen scab is just a small pink line and no more ugly big pimples.. just 3 tiny pimples, 1 under my nostrill, 1 on my chin and 1 above my eyebrow. I used the baking soda exfoliating technique found on this site.. it helped with the awful blackheads on my nose and cheeks. The olive oil method found on this site has helped with my awful scab. my skin is not raw and red. I say..whatever you do, DONT PICK! please! it does work!

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Supervixen,

I'm so glad you're doing better! I totally know what you mean about getting a dog. My german shepherd Angus had been such a joy in my life, and a big part of my recovery. He gave me a reason to get out of the house more and try to face the world. I don't think you were out of line with what you said, as it is very true. Self injury is a serious issue and people who have never dealt with it may not understand how severe the consequences of it can be. I don't know how many times I've heard from family members "just stop". Well, if I could've snapped my fingers and made it stop I would have done it long ago. There are so many psychological factors that come into play with obsessive compulsive behaviors and they have to be addressed to get control over the thoughts and behaviors.

Again, I would urge anyone here who is dealing with OCD or self injury (or both) to reach out to someone and get help. You deserve to get better and have a good life!

Lilypale

Your response to my post is much appreciated.

It has been some time since I have written this, and even if no one reads it, I wanted to give an update on how I'm doing.

I started using Proactiv again...even though it stopped working for me 6 years ago. For some reason I'm seeing positive results on the "breaking out" end. I'm not getting as many deep pimples as I was getting before, but still getting those damn blackheads that are the kinds of imperfections that fuel my disease.

I got a dog in December, a chocolate lab named Ella. My fiance and I got her at 7 weeks old...she's almost 6 months old now. She has been a joy, (and a nightmare,) but I have been forced to go outside in the morning without make up when I have to walk her. That has been very difficult, but I think I have made a big improvement just by being able to get myself outside without make up. Also, because I have to constantly watch her, I haven't had much free time to analyze my face. In these respects, getting a puppy has helped my existence.

I'm not cured though. I have my good days and horrible days. I too, in the past had picking sessions that lasted entire days. I specifically remember sitting on my bathroom sink until I actually had bruises on my butt...I picked my face to a pulp and put the contents of what I was able to get out of my face into an empty nail polish bottle. Yes, of course that's disgusting...but after I was finished, (6 hours later,) I had about a quarter of that bottle filled and was so proud of myself! My face on the other hand has never healed from that day...mostly pigmentation problems remain from it, but I'm always reminded of how bad I can ruin myself.

Perhaps I'm out of line by saying this, but I don't think the majority of the people who use this site understand the magnitude of the emotional scarring that skin pickers endure. I have sympathy for everyone who struggles on this site to wake up and face each day, but there is a very big difference between someone with a face filled with cystic acne, and a person who can spend the whole day mutilating their face because they feel like they have to in order to fix themselves.

I don't know where that rant came from and I apologize if that hurt anyone's feelings....I guess it was just on my mind.

I hope everyone is hanging in there...


AM and PM Regimen:

Estee Lauder Soft Clean Creme Cleanser

Estee Lauder Soft Clean Toner

Dan's BP

Estee Lauder Hydrationist + Desert Essence Jojoba Oil

Diet:

Vegetarian

Exercise:

Kundalini yoga daily

Core cross train

Supplements:

Hair, Skin, and Nails

Vitamin E, Flaxseed Oil, Inositol (B9)

Cosmetics:

Estee Lauder


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Hi all,

For me, skin picking is just part of a much larger problem -- Body Dismorphic Disorder. The average day for me is awful. From the moment I wake up in the morning, until I go to bed at night I am constantly moving from one mirror to the next examining how awful I look. My main issue has always been with pimples. I have always had problems with whiteheads, blackheads and just plain bright red zits and I will sit in front of the mirror examining every one of them, saying "ok, you're not going to pick them, you know if you do it will get worse." But then all I can think about are how gross and inflammed they are and I begin to get anxiety to the point where I HAVE TO JUST TRY TO SQUEEZE--then, if nothing comes out, I begin to sweat, squeeze more until the point where there is no skin left (sometimes I use small needles to get it out)---then, I will feel ashamed, cry and often stay in the house for long periods of time afraid that make-up cannot cover the damage and everyone will be staring at the horrible scabs I've left on my face. Often, I will go for long periods of time letting my skin heal and not pick but then when PMS comes around I always get new HUGE pimples that I just CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT OR LEAVE ALONE. When a pimple does pop-I get this sense of relief. . . .all the anxiety leading up to popping is released. . . . like "ahhhhhh, all that gross stuff is out...thank God." I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous but this is what I live with on a daily basis. My husband always asks me, "why can't you just leave your face alone, NOBODY cares if you have zits!" And even though I know in my heart this is true, everyone gets them--I JUST CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW UGLY THEY ARE AND HOW THEY MUST BE REMOVED. Everyday I wake up I go to the mirror with anxiety hoping there are no new "visitors" that I have to worry about ruining my day. I'm on a pretty good streak right now, but I still have several dark purple scars that take FOREVER to cover up with make-up before I will even think about leaving the house. It really sucks because I can never seem to just get up and go anywhere, as I must spend so much time covering up all the mess I've left from my odd preoccupation. Unfortunately, as I'm getting older (I'm now 29) this obssession with my face is no longer just with pimples, but with dark spots, dry areas etc. that I'm always obssessing over and buying every product available to try and fix. I will say, right now I have been using something that has made more of a difference than anything I've ever used---it's 100% Pure Emu Oil. I did alot of research on this before I tried it, and I must say, all the reviews are right--this stuff is amazing. I haven't gotten any new pimples since using it, hyperpigmentation is diminishing, acne scars are fading and my under eye circles are much lighter. I don't know how long I will feel this way because I do seem to often go through these "good" and "bad" cycles. One month I feel like I'm over the picking and obssessing and the next I'm picking, all scabbed-up and feeling like crap about myself. ...so I guess, we'll see. Anyway, I'm glad I'm not the only one with this, what they call "dermatillomania"?? For me, it's Dermatillomania with OCD and BDD. Anyone else heard of, been diagnosed with or think they might suffer from Body Dismorphic Disorder??

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I was a skin picker from high school through my mid-twenties. I used to get zits everywhere-face, neck, chest, shoulders, back, legs, arms. I picked at everything because I always felt like I had to get the stuff out otherwise my pores would not be "clean". But just like everyone else here has described, my picking just made matters worse. My zits would get bigger and more would pop up where I had dug. I went to psychologists, tried Paxil for 3 days before I realized that medication was not for me, and I read psychology books on OCD.

The only thing that ever made sense was an article I read about being addicted to sugar. If someone who is addicted to sugar could stop eating sugar for 4 weeks then their body would stop craving it. So I figured that if I could stop picking for 4 weeks or come pretty close with a few transgressions here and there then my body would stop craving picking and the constant urges that always started the vicious cycles would end. It was really hard but I eventually did it. For the first 2 weeks whenever I got an urge I would cry instead of pick. Luckily I was living at home so I could always talk to my mom about it and cry to her. When the first round of picking wounds healed, I didn't create another round of wounds for the first time. I would pick at 1 or 2 here and there but I would all of a sudden stop myself and go do something else. Just like anything else in life it took a lot of discipline.

What really helped me is a remedy I discovered after a summer at the beach. I started taking sea salt baths everyday because the baths would draw everything out of my pores so I didn't have to squeeze it out. The baths got rid of the zits that were driving me crazy and psychologically they made me not crave getting that stuff out of my pores so much. So if acne is at the root of a lot of your picking then you have to treat both the acne and your mind. I went to a million different dermatologists also and tried everything on the market-differin, retin-a, some zinc stuff, a bunch of antibiotics, this cleansing pad, that cleanser, proactiv, murad, clearasil, neutrogena and nothing really worked. Some things would clear up a few zits but there was always that layer of zits that would not go away. The baths are the only thing that cleared them up. And I can keep taking them forever as long as I have a bath tub. I will never live in a apt or house without one! I do hope this helps. If it's the sea salt or quitting cold turkey for 4 weeks, keep trying different things until you find what works for you so you can finally find some peace.

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I've tried so many times to stop picking and failed. It sucks, trust me, I know.

I found out recently when home alone with my sister my mother had said to her "Don't pick your pimples, or else you'll look like Alyssa." That was a big blow :| Now I'm determined in a way to stop, to show her I can do it. I do NOT want to be remembered for that.

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Hi all,

For me, skin picking is just part of a much larger problem -- Body Dismorphic Disorder. The average day for me is awful. From the moment I wake up in the morning, until I go to bed at night I am constantly moving from one mirror to the next examining how awful I look. My main issue has always been with pimples. I have always had problems with whiteheads, blackheads and just plain bright red zits and I will sit in front of the mirror examining every one of them, saying "ok, you're not going to pick them, you know if you do it will get worse." But then all I can think about are how gross and inflammed they are and I begin to get anxiety to the point where I HAVE TO JUST TRY TO SQUEEZE--then, if nothing comes out, I begin to sweat, squeeze more until the point where there is no skin left (sometimes I use small needles to get it out)---then, I will feel ashamed, cry and often stay in the house for long periods of time afraid that make-up cannot cover the damage and everyone will be staring at the horrible scabs I've left on my face. Often, I will go for long periods of time letting my skin heal and not pick but then when PMS comes around I always get new HUGE pimples that I just CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT OR LEAVE ALONE. When a pimple does pop-I get this sense of relief. . . .all the anxiety leading up to popping is released. . . . like "ahhhhhh, all that gross stuff is out...thank God." I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous but this is what I live with on a daily basis. My husband always asks me, "why can't you just leave your face alone, NOBODY cares if you have zits!" And even though I know in my heart this is true, everyone gets them--I JUST CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW UGLY THEY ARE AND HOW THEY MUST BE REMOVED. Everyday I wake up I go to the mirror with anxiety hoping there are no new "visitors" that I have to worry about ruining my day. I'm on a pretty good streak right now, but I still have several dark purple scars that take FOREVER to cover up with make-up before I will even think about leaving the house. It really sucks because I can never seem to just get up and go anywhere, as I must spend so much time covering up all the mess I've left from my odd preoccupation. Unfortunately, as I'm getting older (I'm now 29) this obssession with my face is no longer just with pimples, but with dark spots, dry areas etc. that I'm always obssessing over and buying every product available to try and fix. I will say, right now I have been using something that has made more of a difference than anything I've ever used---it's 100% Pure Emu Oil. I did alot of research on this before I tried it, and I must say, all the reviews are right--this stuff is amazing. I haven't gotten any new pimples since using it, hyperpigmentation is diminishing, acne scars are fading and my under eye circles are much lighter. I don't know how long I will feel this way because I do seem to often go through these "good" and "bad" cycles. One month I feel like I'm over the picking and obssessing and the next I'm picking, all scabbed-up and feeling like crap about myself. ...so I guess, we'll see. Anyway, I'm glad I'm not the only one with this, what they call "dermatillomania"?? For me, it's Dermatillomania with OCD and BDD. Anyone else heard of, been diagnosed with or think they might suffer from Body Dismorphic Disorder??

I suppose this is what I had, and it led to horrendous consequences that ruled my life for many years. I am still trying to reduce the scars, and I'm almost to the point where I can use very little makeup and look relatively normal. Though I will never look totally normal without makeup.

The worst part of it for me is the shame aspect. I hid my behavior as much as possible, and the hiding was what controlled my life. There were a few moments when comments were made in front of people about my skin, and those are the absolute most humiliating moments of my life.

Other than this bizarre illness, my life has been pretty much blessed, and I'm actually really pretty. And amazingly, men have always been attracted to me, even during the worst of this mess.

But I still live in a weird place of hiding because I've never admitted to anyone what I used to do, and I can't imagine admitting it, ever. Unless it was to someone else with OCD , who could really understand.

I've stopped now -- because I saw what damage I was capable of. But I know that I always have to be vigilant anyway, because I "thought" I had stopped before, and then found myself doing it again.

Still I'm pretty sure the worst is over. Now I just have to spend a lot of time healing.

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ACCUTANE is the ONLY meds that cleared up my acne, and I too would pick which MADE THE PIMPLE & MY FACE look worse... I'm going on my 5th month, and for 1 1/2 months now NOT ONE PIMPLE....I was also prescribed all the meds you listed to NO AVAIL. I said SCREW IT, got me a NEW Derm who had actually had acne problems and used Accutane and was pimple free as well...To me ACCUTANE is a Miracle drug for Acne suferers..

I've been browsing Acne.org for I think about two years now...hoping to find the "cure" for my adult acne...when in fact I've known what will help me the most: MYSELF.

I'm a compulsive skin picker. I've actually been diagnosed with OCD and have tried the types of anti-depressants that are meant to help people who are skin pickers/hair pullers. (Those didn't work). I know me venting on this site isn't going to solve my problem, but I figured since I read about other people's struggle with acne/picking...I may as well post myself.

After having pristine skin for all of my life, at age 19 I became a new person...one who became afraid of the world, and who always felt like she needed to hide. Proactiv had miraculously stopped working after 3 years, and I began getting new kinds of acne in places I never had it before. My immediate response to it was to pick at it and thought that would make it go away. Not exactly. I ended up with deeper pimples and I noticed that the days following a "picking episode," lead to new zits in places surrounding the areas that I picked at before. And so goes the vicious cycle that is my life: I break out, I pick, I think it's "all better" and then I break out even more. Not to mention the scarring/scabbing and all of the damage that I've done over the past 6 years...I've never seen myself "clear" since age 19.

I've been to dermatologists. I hate them all. Most of them just treated me as a normal acne patient...even though I told them that 90% of all the marks on my face and inflamed pimples were bad because I HAD DONE IT TO MYSELF. Here's my list of prescriptions from over the past couple of years:

Tazorac

Retin A

Retin A Micro

Differen

Renova

Doxycycline

Minocycline

Blue Light Therapy

Ortho Tri-Cyclin

Those Derms just LOVE prescribing retinoids...each telling me I'd see my skin get clear in a few months. Yeah right. Any good dermatologist would know not to prescribe a retinoid to a compulsive skin picker because they're going to RUIN their face even more! While I was on the birth control...my skin was A LOT better which led me to believe that my hormones were completely out of whack. I got off the pill because I couldn't take the nausea anymore, and I had panic attacks and got scared. I wish I had tolerated it better.

I pick mostly at night...after I wash my face. Sometimes I do it in the morning. All I know is that it's a cycle that won't stop. I'm on a modified version of the regimen now...I'm on week 2.5 and right about to get my period so my face is very broken out and very picked on :(

I guess I'm just looking for people who have this problem to tell me if they have found that NOT PICKING has actually helped their face not have future breakouts in the same area. The way my OCD works, I feel like I'm "helping" my face by getting rid of a blackhead/zit...even if it's not ready to be popped. Then of course I just make it worse and the cycle starts again. I think you get it.

I'm completely hopeless. Thoughts?

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Hey,

I'm pretty new to this site and just started dan's regimen. Your story really hit home with me. To be honest I did not realize there were others who suffered with picking like I did. It was hard for me to read your story because I scare myself thinking of what I do to my own face. The most time I have spent in the mirror is like two hours but I have decided to seek help as of a week ago. It is a shameful habit and I guess that's why I have just ignored it and pretend I just have acne. I do not think I would have acne HONESTLY if I had not started picking. Now my face has to recover from over ten years of picking. I have gone one week now with significant reduction in picking and IT IS THE ANSWER. Not easy by any means but if you can find the strength inside of you, get the support of someone you trust and pray if you believe in God.

One week out I can feel myself slipping a little. I want to touch my face SO BAD. That is why I got on here to get motivated and remind myself this is what I have to do. I am thinking about geting a stress ball to squeeze when I wanna pick to keep my hands occupied. Because if I dont stay focused my hands will automatically go to my face.

I do not want this to be my life anymore. I am looking at this like I look at going on a diet. It is not only a daily struggle but an hourly struggle. Its not gonna be easy and it is possible that I will relapse, but I am praying to God for daily strength and discipline because I can change my life. I am my own worst enemy. At night I pick and then the next week or month I am depressed about the condition of my face which makes me pick more. Stress and depression cause my picking and eating to increase.

I feel such a relief to know that I am not alone. It may sound stupid but I honestly thought I might be the only person suffering with this. I am so glad I decided to look for help online. I would love to have an accountability partner to help each other along the way and keep each other in check of anyone is interested. I think talking about it has actually helped me a lot. I do not want this to be my shameful secret anymore.

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I had a good streak going for a week and a half. I messed it up earlier this week and I was pretty upset. I wish I wouldn't concern myself with the smallest pimples. It is a bad habit from when I used to have bad acne in 9th grade. I used to get pimples on my cheeks and now I have small pocket marks from excessive picking.

To answer your question, I believe that if you don't pick a pimple during a breakout, it will not lead to a larger breakout in that area. Every time I had picked a whitehead on my forehead, the area would become infected and two or three more larger whiteheads would appear in the following days.

I am the same, i had a good clear streak.. was feeling good..then i had pms, stress, and a large cyst came up on my cheek... i spent an hour picking, squeezing, mashing... now there is a huge, hot red, inflamed, very painful, half-dollar sized wound on my face, it has swollen the whole side of my face, i it is half covered with a crusty scab, half oozing. I am 25 and have been a notorious picker since 12.. i have scars and pores and recurring cysts.. picking is like cutting, it is self-mutilation. I hate it.

Hi! I am actually new to this website, I tried doing some research on my picking problem and it is comforting to know that I am not alone. Today is day one and I have made my self a calander that I put near my bedroom mirror to begin marking the days I go without picking. I have a mini vaca planned in 3 weeks and I was wondering if i stop my picking now do you think I will see results by then? Keep in mind that i have one big scab from popping a pimple on the side of my chin and i have minor bruising from squeezing too much or too hard! Please Post back ASAP!!:):)

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It is comforting to know that so many other people are also suffering from this strange habbit. I think the worst thing about it is that its too embarrassing to explain to anyone even though it is a serious problem. I have been trying so hard to find a way to stop, and for the first time i think i might be getting somewhere and wanted to share with you all.

First of all I think this problem has a deeper psychological explanation than many people are aware of, it is not just a crazed self distruction that comes out of nowhere- it has so much to do with what we think of ourselves and our view of ourselves. I could probably go days with my hands tied behind my back, but the second they are free i know i would pick again. its not about just plain resisting, its about respecting yourself enough to not want to destroy your face.

I used to be a normal girl- i was in highschool, sort of a tomboy, never really thought about my looks that much, i had nice skin and confidence, i had a passion for life and never really doubted myself. I was dating a guy a year older than me who was head of the tennis team and i was flattered that he had his eye on me. we had an awesome relationship- we were best friends and just down to earth and real with eachother, we just had so much fun together. after dating for about a year, i found out that he cheated on me- i was so so devastated. It was the most unexpected thing, i mean he was my absolute best friend. after i ended things, my life just fell through my fingers. I lost all of my confidence, i started doubting everything about myself and about life in general. I felt like i couldny trust anyone. He made me believe that i was this wonderful person, and suddenly i wasnt so sure about who i was anymore.

i became a huge perfectionist and beat myself up if i didnt do perfect on everything- it was like i was trying to prove something after sort of being told that i wasnt good enough. this lead to horrible stress and break outs, and with the combination of being a perfectionist and being angry at myself, this lead to picking...and i havent stopped since.

it has been 5 years since our relationship ended and i am still picking. i actually didnt realize the connection until i was writing in my journal about him and realized how emotional i still was about our break up, and how i missed the confident girl i used to be. I truly believe this is the reason behind my obsession, and when there is a reason you dont feel so crazy for doing it, and i have actually been able to stop for longer periods of time. if i ever feel the urge i just keep him in my mind and get pissed at him, and tell myself that i wont let him ruin my life anymore.

so to make a long story short- think back in your life about an event or person that made you feel worthless or not good enough and think about it, or write about it. are you still emotional about it? do you believe them? The minute you stop beleiving that lie that you are not good enough, the minute you will start to gain the confidence to stop. this problem is a curse, but at the same time i think alot of wisdom about ourselves is gained and we will have faced alot of issues that other people wont face until later in thier lives. stay strong.

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The way my OCD works, I feel like I'm "helping" my face by getting rid of a blackhead/zit...even if it's not ready to be popped. Then of course I just make it worse and the cycle starts again.

same here. i feel like if i just pop that one spot, then my face will be a lot better. but then after i do i realize that its just going to spread more bacteria and cause more a acne or cause a scar or red mark. today i'm starting over on day 1... again.


Night:

-Remove eye makeup w/ sunflower/jojoba/olive oil

-10 second gentle cleanse with Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser

-Differin

-1% Clindamycin phosphate lotion

-Doxycycline 100mg (down to once a day!)

Morning:

-Cleanse with Aveda

-1% Clindamycin phosphate lotion

-Aveeno Spf 30

I also take a multivitamin, fish oil, and zinc.

(P.s. I used to be loveNlipgloss)

My Skin Picking Log


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i'm starting over today at day 1 of no picking and so far so good. i also felt alone on this but then i found this site and now i feel like i really can stop picking. there was a time where i did stop picking for a while and it felt really good. but for whatever reason i started picking again and now its harder than ever to stop. now that i know people like me on here have been able to quit, and i feel like i can too. good luck on not picking! it really is worth it.


Night:

-Remove eye makeup w/ sunflower/jojoba/olive oil

-10 second gentle cleanse with Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser

-Differin

-1% Clindamycin phosphate lotion

-Doxycycline 100mg (down to once a day!)

Morning:

-Cleanse with Aveda

-1% Clindamycin phosphate lotion

-Aveeno Spf 30

I also take a multivitamin, fish oil, and zinc.

(P.s. I used to be loveNlipgloss)

My Skin Picking Log


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