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Skin Picking is Ruining my Life

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.


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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It's good to put a name to something. I'm 30 years old. I've had mostly clear skin but when I was a teenager, if I got a pimple, I'd pick at it and squeeze it and then have the scabs after that would have to heal. When I went on Yasmin, I rarely got pimples. Well now I'm off Yasmin and I get more pimples more often now. I actually had a weird dormant pimple on my face for a month and picked at it last month. Mind you, it was nothing really though before I picked at it. I went to the derm after I touched it to get a cortisone shot, and now I have a dent. I hope it will heal, but this is why I have to stop picking! What kills me is that when I had the pimple and the scab, I was telling myself at least it's temporary, but now with this indent, I'm afraid I've permanently scarred my face.

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I just want to start out by saying that when I first started this topic a few years ago, I never realized that it would get over 6,000 views. It makes me feel like I'm not alone, although that doesn't make me want to stop picking.

So yeah, I still pick at my skin. I'm practically just as obsessed as I was when I first wrote this. I want to not discourage anyone who is reading this by mentioning that. I continue to sympathize with everyone who has this problem. If there is anything positive that has come out of suffering with this on a daily basis, I decided to go back to school to eventually get a PhD in Psychology so that I can work with people with anxiety disorders such as skin picking. I'm hoping to understand myself more through others and perhaps conduct research that will bring this horrible disorder into the public eye. Of course, this is several years away...assuming I can even get into grad school with my less than awesome standardized test scores.

What is so interesting to me is that as I read these comments on this topic, and other places here on acne.org, what I see so much of is that people know that they're hurting themselves, yet they still continue to pick pick pick.

Every time I want to pick clusters of blackheads on my jawline, I know fully well that I'm only spreading bacteria which is going to lead to more acne in the weeks to come. The pleasure is intense...I'm taken somewhere else in my mind. My main motivation is achieving perfection, but "getting there" by picking is SO much sweeter than the "perfection" that my face achieves after I'm done ruining my face.

No matter how many times I try to internalize that I am DAMAGING myself, it never seems to stop me once the urge takes place. The urge is stronger than any other urge that I have on this planet...including eating my favorite foods, having sex, etc.

I am so frustrated...even after all these years. I'm thrilled that so many people can relate to me on here, and am so grateful for your support. I continue to fight this battle with everyone on here.

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I just joined acne.org so that I could post on this thread. It's hard to admit that i have this same problem. This is the first time I am admitting any of this publicly (although I used a fake name to create this account & shudder at the idea of my “friends†in real life... finding out).. I have scars from past picking episodes, from one time in high school when I caused this huge hole/indentation in my cheek when I couldn’t get the perceived threat to emerge, yet kept picking even well after I had exposed subcutaneous layers of skin that are we are not meant to be familiar with. Nobody knows that I currently have this problem except my husband (who I forbid in the bathroom while I am grooming) & possibly my parents who used to beg me to “stop plucking my eyebrows†b/c that’s what I said I was doing when I would lock myself in the bathroom for hours. My friends just think I’m not social or busy & have no idea that I can’t emerge from the house when my skin is so bad that even makeup wont cover the marks. They all think my skin is perfect & some are even jealous because I simply will not be seen in public under less than “perfect†circumstances. My husband is the only person alive who has seen me without makeup (after picking) & after my last picking episode asked what was wrong with my forehead b/c he thought I had chicken pox! I somehow managed to confine my picking strictly in the forehead/hairline area & the rest of my face was completely blemish/scab free. (i know this post is long- if you want to skip to the good part just read the last two paragraphs & skip the sob story part...)

My "ritual" involves sitting in the sink basin so I can be as close to the mirror & sink as possible. I have a magnification mirror that is 15x which I use with tweezers & clean tissues. It always starts with simple eyebrow maintenance (and sometimes, more often than not- lately- ends there) & then moves on to picking. I would say that my degree of OCD or Dermatillomania or whatever one wants to call it is moderate, although I have gone through worse periods and maybe even full months without picking. Okay, let's be honest. I am the same as all of you and also have NEVER had an actual BLEMISH or whitehead i did not pick. If it hurts, i will pick it 100% of the time to release the pressure & start the "healing process" So, realistically- I have gone months without picking at imagined blemishes. I've been on Retin-A for about a year, use the oil cleansing method (caster oil) and jojoba oil as a moisturizer & can honestly say that my skin is nearly perfect (in between picking episodes.) I had a bad picking episode- the forehead one, about a week ago that was mostly healed & today when I got out of the shower my skin was radiant (despite the few/microscopic, nearly healed, self- inflicted wounds.) I hadn't plucked my eyebrows in a few days so I decided to pluck a few and about 1 hr- 1.5hrs later I emerged with a whole face resembling hamburger meat.

I have also been on that stoppickingonme site (along with others) and have quit for short periods. For me it's totally a perfectionism thing and yes, my psychotic mind telling me that there is dirt/sebum that has to be extracted!! From what I have read from labgirl on here Retin-A thins the top layer of the dermis and for me, it's weird; It's like my top layers are nearly invisible/transparent & i can actually see these TINY/microscopic blackheads that are actually UNDERNEATH the surface & completely invisible to a normal person. They are not at the surface, invisible to the naked eye, and NOT "ready" to be popped/extracted. I will try and squeeze the hard sebum/clogged pore- you know, the little yellow plug that resembles a grain of rice?- out and am usually quite successful. (even with these under surface ones- although they will bleed every time, without exception.) If I ever actually wait for a visible whitehead pimple to erupt to the surface I am quite proficient at the extraction and THOSE will usually go away in a day without any trace (yet probably re-emerge, according to what i’ve read). I know what I’m doing is counter productive but I convince myself that I am staving off the enemy before it emerges and that I am somehow combating the problem before it has a chance to get worse. Never do I think that I am actually the CAUSE of the problem.

I have found that the areas that tend to scab the worst, are hardest to cover up with makeup, and tend to not produce the intended result/relief are just around my mouth & chin where I will often continue to squeeze even after the skin breaks & bleeds trying to get the goo out & ending up with a wound that takes over a week to heal & looks terrible the whole time. Pretty much anywhere else I can somehow always convince myself that I am "making progress" or fixing something- I actually believe that I am ridding myself of these impurities and will emerge on the other side "better". I don't think about the future while I'm doing it, but it kind of seems like I will always tell myself that this is the last time, or that I am a professional at this and know what I am doing. These internal conversations are totally unconscious, of course. I haven't been able to identify any "trigger" or particular stress, nor is my life stressful to begin with. At the time, when I am about to pick I am fully identifying with this seemingly logical part of my brain that is saying, "We just have to get this stuff out & then everything will be better." This time is different! There is no throwing on the brakes- because I have yet again, convinced myself that I am fully in control, and *THIS* time, I know what i'm doing & it NEEDS to be done! Then, once you start- of course, you tear up your whole delicate face before you realize you just let a mad person hack away at your face with sharp implements.

This is obviously self delusion and simply bat sh*t crazy when you take into account that this "perfect"complexion I am striving for will never happen b/c it is totally non-human to never have a single blocked pore. The damage I cause by picking keeps me inside the house for weeks at a time. I am somehow able to completely avoid touching/looking/picking for days but then I have a makeup session to squeeze out all the accumulated gunk I let fester.

I googled Retin-A skin picking and this is the third thread I have read on the issue, so I'm not sure if it was this thread but some words that someone said really resonated with me, she was saying that (I just checked & it was lilypale- on this thread) the obsession feeds the behavior. I think it's the first time I have realized the DEGREE of my diseased brain that has inflicted so much pain & turmoil on my poor mutilated/healed/mutilated face. I love physical intimacy and I have found myself avoiding sex because I’m afraid that my husband will kiss/rub my makeup off & be revolted at what I have done to myself.

I joined for this one simple reason- to let you know there IS A SOLUTION & it's not counseling (although that can help too) or delving deeper into your obsessive brain. The only success I have had at controlling, or rather- observing and not acting on my crazy thoughts has come from what I have learned from Eckhart Tolle. I have read all of his books, but "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now" basically explain how our brains/thoughts are not meant to control us- and we should be able to turn them off. It's basically a course on meditation and I cannot recommend it enough!! This is the cure, I am not kidding. And take solace in knowing that we are not the only ones with such a grave problem; Overeating, Undereating, ALL addictions (whether they be alcohol, TV, Sex, food, porn, overworking, or other drugs) all stem from this same problem of not being able to turn off your brain & using these unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress or avoid pain. (and if you are not acting out in some way, you are probably internalizing your stress and making yourself sick!) Netflix the show, “Obsessed†- there was an episode about a girl who washed the inside of her colon with a toothbrush that made me physically ill- until i realized that if we switched places and she had to watch me pick away at my face she would probably be equally disturbed. It’s different brands of the exact same problem- OCD- whether it manifests as hand-washing, pulling hair, picking your skin, extreme, mild, etc. it’s simply a branch of the same problem, it’s OUR addiction- although we have chosen a rather unpleasant (and socially debilitating/embarrassing/non conventional) method of stress relief - we wouldn't keep returning to this behavior if it didn't work to some degree psychologically, or unconsciously- at soothing us. And that is the whole point. You completely zone out, become unconscious in a way, when you are so ultra absorbed in this behavior, you loose track of time & everything going on around you. You are in your own stress free world- until you back away from the mirror and realize the destruction you have caused. It's not worth it!

When you read these books you will have small breakthroughs- it's actually really simple to do. What he says is that you are the person behind your mind- the observer who can watch the "thinker" or the endless stream of thoughts, and to concentrate on the empty space between the thoughts. You slowly begin to dis- identify with your mind or ego and your thoughts have less power to control you. It's so incredibly easy to practice- you start to forget to do it. That's where my problems recur. You have to make an actual effort at BEING CONSCIOUS every moment, of every day. Those are the times when I can go swimming or boating and let the world see my face. I have had great success with this method of "staying present" and not letting my mind convince me to mutilate my body. It takes a lot of practice, but it is the missing link, the realization you must come to before you can take on the idea of giving up this refuge- this behavior that your habituated mind has talked you into believing you must do to feel relief- the key to finally getting your "perfect" face!! You know how you feel when you are in the middle of a “picking†episode- (for me it’s hard to describe because it’s really like I don’t feel- it’s a numb sort of out of body experience- where time stops and I lose all sense of my real problems/ deadlines/ to do list.) You know the feeling? You might be “stressing†over getting the gunk out of your face, but you completely forget EVERYTHING else? Well, you can feel that way really rather easily on your own terms, without the need to botch up your face. You can do it anytime you want & not be embarrassed or ashamed. If you are conscious & practice every time you go in front of a mirror, you will have absolutely no desire to pick. It’s like a miracle & really easy- also, easier said than done. You’ll know what i’m talking about. It’s an instant transformation- that is only temporary unless you practice. Seriously get on amazon and get a used copy- or go to the library. Eckart Tolle has saved my life on more levels than one- and this is just the beginning. The weird thing is that I never drew the connection between my picking & my level of consciousness until today, I really never wanted to stop, until now. I know I can do it, if only for the times I am in the bathroom or in front of a mirror. I will practice being conscious during these times and I know it will work! I hope this helps! (especially you, supervixen007!)

*as a side note, did anyone see Dr. Oz on Oprah last week? Google "dr oz pops zit" and you will see something TOTALLY revolting. His method of popping a zit involves a needle & seems totally barbaric, even to me! *I guess, especially to me, as I am always so "careful" and try to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. Anyway, the reason i'm bringing it up is because the show's title was "Are you normal?" and the reason he was there was because this lady was obsessed with popping zits, not even just her own- she did her husbands and children too. Anyway, Dr. Oz said that it was completely normal and that, get this, ONE IN FIVE women compulsively pick at their skin as some sort of evolutionary grooming instinct. I'm sure there is some weight behind this idea, anthropologically, yet I have had NO luck in finding his source or where he found this statistic that 20% of all women have this problem. Can it be true? Wouldn't we have heard about it? Are our friends doing this same thing and we are all just too ashamed to admit it? It kinda totally blows my mind. Also, has anyone ever watched the pus/zit popping videos on youtube? I find them fairly revolting yet strangely pleasurable at the same time? There is something about popping a zit that is similar to a mini- orgasm. I know it's wrong, but I've never had anyone to talk to about this! My husband thinks I'm totally demented for liking those videos. LOL, I guess I am. Wait, one more question... Do you guys pick at your cuticles too? THAT is going to be WAY harder to stop. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember & find myself doing it often during movies or while I am reading. I used to rock climb and kind of kept that as an excuse for when people ask me why my finger is bleeding or scabbed, or just in terrible shape in general.

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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?

I am going to tell you right now. No prescription is going to make your skin better. I have done everything you have, and more. Including using foreign methods of clearing up skin, sound waves, etc. Nothing has worked. I am only 17 and I have had bad skin since age 11. (Hit puberty early) And have had shitty skin since. STOP PICKING AT YOUR FACE! I know, it is easier said than done. I know from experience that it is easier said than done. I am an OCD Obsessive Skin Picker as well, and I know it is NOT helping my skin at all!

The other day, I had PERFECTLY fine skin, nothing was wrong with it. No red, nothing. What do I do? Get to close to the mirror to see pimples that no one else can see and start picking at them. The result today? I have 3 deep skin pimples (under the skin; the painful ones) and redness ALL OVER and not to mention the 10058286586 tiny zits that have invaded my face because I had picked at it last night. My advice to you? USE ALL NATURAL PRODUCTS! No, Benzol Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, Retin A. NOTING. Do me a favour: Go to your nearest LUSH store, ask them to consult with you. Pick up some Fresh Pharmacy (or whatever skin cleanser suits your skin type. I use Fresh Pharmacy because of my skin type) use that for the rest of your life, stop picking at your skin, and you will be a sex face in no time. I found LUSH worked in like... not even a month. It took 3 weeks before my skin was (no joke) 87% clearer than it was before. Also, only wash your face ONCE A DAY. And wash it AT NIGHT BEFORE BED! Your skins natural moisture barrier needs to replenish, and that is what it does overnight. So washing it in the morning with a chemical (Clean & Clear, Neutrogena etc) face wash, is ruining all the hard work your skin did the night before. SO! Do me a HUGE favor, go to Lush. (If you don't have one, you can also order stuff in from their website at Pick your country and/or state and you can order stuff from there. NO I am not a Lush Associate, NO I do not own a Lush store. I am a teenager who went through emotional breakdowns because nothing was working for my skin. Anyways, ending my rant now. Go to lush! Wash your face before bed. DON'T PICK! Cross off a each day on your calender for the days you did not pick at your face, and see how long you can go, and watch the days as your skin clears up. ALSO: Go to your local drug store or pharmacy and get REAL VITAMIN E OIL! (It should have the same thickness and texture as honey--> NOT THE CHEAP BIO-OIL SHIT!) and after you have cleansed, treated, toned and moisturized your face at night, massage that into your face every night. It gets rid of black heads, scars from acne, and also helps fight acne, because of the enzymes in it.

Hope this helped you. :) I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who has mad OCD face picking problems. Hope you go to Lush and get some products, and go to the drug store and get vitamin E. I PROMISE you it will change your skins life forever.

Lush's store motto is:

"If you can't eat it, it's not good for you, and you shouldn't be putting it on your face."

All of lush's products are made from FRESH vegetables and fruits right from Vancouver. I actually use a face mask from Lush that is made from Blueberries and Vodka. Makes all the redness go away. :)

Much lovee!

-Ariana.

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I just joined acne.org so that I could post on this thread. It's hard to admit that i have this same problem. This is the first time I am admitting any of this publicly (although I used a fake name to create this account & shudder at the idea of my “friends” in real life... finding out).. I have scars from past picking episodes, from one time in high school when I caused this huge hole/indentation in my cheek when I couldn’t get the perceived threat to emerge, yet kept picking even well after I had exposed subcutaneous layers of skin that are we are not meant to be familiar with. Nobody knows that I currently have this problem except my husband (who I forbid in the bathroom while I am grooming) & possibly my parents who used to beg me to “stop plucking my eyebrows” b/c that’s what I said I was doing when I would lock myself in the bathroom for hours. My friends just think I’m not social or busy & have no idea that I can’t emerge from the house when my skin is so bad that even makeup wont cover the marks. They all think my skin is perfect & some are even jealous because I simply will not be seen in public under less than “perfect” circumstances. My husband is the only person alive who has seen me without makeup (after picking) & after my last picking episode asked what was wrong with my forehead b/c he thought I had chicken pox! I somehow managed to confine my picking strictly in the forehead/hairline area & the rest of my face was completely blemish/scab free. (i know this post is long- if you want to skip to the good part just read the last two paragraphs & skip the sob story part...)

My "ritual" involves sitting in the sink basin so I can be as close to the mirror & sink as possible. I have a magnification mirror that is 15x which I use with tweezers & clean tissues. It always starts with simple eyebrow maintenance (and sometimes, more often than not- lately- ends there) & then moves on to picking. I would say that my degree of OCD or Dermatillomania or whatever one wants to call it is moderate, although I have gone through worse periods and maybe even full months without picking. Okay, let's be honest. I am the same as all of you and also have NEVER had an actual BLEMISH or whitehead i did not pick. If it hurts, i will pick it 100% of the time to release the pressure & start the "healing process" So, realistically- I have gone months without picking at imagined blemishes. I've been on Retin-A for about a year, use the oil cleansing method (caster oil) and jojoba oil as a moisturizer & can honestly say that my skin is nearly perfect (in between picking episodes.) I had a bad picking episode- the forehead one, about a week ago that was mostly healed & today when I got out of the shower my skin was radiant (despite the few/microscopic, nearly healed, self- inflicted wounds.) I hadn't plucked my eyebrows in a few days so I decided to pluck a few and about 1 hr- 1.5hrs later I emerged with a whole face resembling hamburger meat.

I have also been on that stoppickingonme site (along with others) and have quit for short periods. For me it's totally a perfectionism thing and yes, my psychotic mind telling me that there is dirt/sebum that has to be extracted!! From what I have read from labgirl on here Retin-A thins the top layer of the dermis and for me, it's weird; It's like my top layers are nearly invisible/transparent & i can actually see these TINY/microscopic blackheads that are actually UNDERNEATH the surface & completely invisible to a normal person. They are not at the surface, invisible to the naked eye, and NOT "ready" to be popped/extracted. I will try and squeeze the hard sebum/clogged pore- you know, the little yellow plug that resembles a grain of rice?- out and am usually quite successful. (even with these under surface ones- although they will bleed every time, without exception.) If I ever actually wait for a visible whitehead pimple to erupt to the surface I am quite proficient at the extraction and THOSE will usually go away in a day without any trace (yet probably re-emerge, according to what i’ve read). I know what I’m doing is counter productive but I convince myself that I am staving off the enemy before it emerges and that I am somehow combating the problem before it has a chance to get worse. Never do I think that I am actually the CAUSE of the problem.

I have found that the areas that tend to scab the worst, are hardest to cover up with makeup, and tend to not produce the intended result/relief are just around my mouth & chin where I will often continue to squeeze even after the skin breaks & bleeds trying to get the goo out & ending up with a wound that takes over a week to heal & looks terrible the whole time. Pretty much anywhere else I can somehow always convince myself that I am "making progress" or fixing something- I actually believe that I am ridding myself of these impurities and will emerge on the other side "better". I don't think about the future while I'm doing it, but it kind of seems like I will always tell myself that this is the last time, or that I am a professional at this and know what I am doing. These internal conversations are totally unconscious, of course. I haven't been able to identify any "trigger" or particular stress, nor is my life stressful to begin with. At the time, when I am about to pick I am fully identifying with this seemingly logical part of my brain that is saying, "We just have to get this stuff out & then everything will be better." This time is different! There is no throwing on the brakes- because I have yet again, convinced myself that I am fully in control, and *THIS* time, I know what i'm doing & it NEEDS to be done! Then, once you start- of course, you tear up your whole delicate face before you realize you just let a mad person hack away at your face with sharp implements.

This is obviously self delusion and simply bat sh*t crazy when you take into account that this "perfect"complexion I am striving for will never happen b/c it is totally non-human to never have a single blocked pore. The damage I cause by picking keeps me inside the house for weeks at a time. I am somehow able to completely avoid touching/looking/picking for days but then I have a makeup session to squeeze out all the accumulated gunk I let fester.

I googled Retin-A skin picking and this is the third thread I have read on the issue, so I'm not sure if it was this thread but some words that someone said really resonated with me, she was saying that (I just checked & it was lilypale- on this thread) the obsession feeds the behavior. I think it's the first time I have realized the DEGREE of my diseased brain that has inflicted so much pain & turmoil on my poor mutilated/healed/mutilated face. I love physical intimacy and I have found myself avoiding sex because I’m afraid that my husband will kiss/rub my makeup off & be revolted at what I have done to myself.

I joined for this one simple reason- to let you know there IS A SOLUTION & it's not counseling (although that can help too) or delving deeper into your obsessive brain. The only success I have had at controlling, or rather- observing and not acting on my crazy thoughts has come from what I have learned from Eckhart Tolle. I have read all of his books, but "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now" basically explain how our brains/thoughts are not meant to control us- and we should be able to turn them off. It's basically a course on meditation and I cannot recommend it enough!! This is the cure, I am not kidding. And take solace in knowing that we are not the only ones with such a grave problem; Overeating, Undereating, ALL addictions (whether they be alcohol, TV, Sex, food, porn, overworking, or other drugs) all stem from this same problem of not being able to turn off your brain & using these unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress or avoid pain. (and if you are not acting out in some way, you are probably internalizing your stress and making yourself sick!) Netflix the show, “Obsessed” - there was an episode about a girl who washed the inside of her colon with a toothbrush that made me physically ill- until i realized that if we switched places and she had to watch me pick away at my face she would probably be equally disturbed. It’s different brands of the exact same problem- OCD- whether it manifests as hand-washing, pulling hair, picking your skin, extreme, mild, etc. it’s simply a branch of the same problem, it’s OUR addiction- although we have chosen a rather unpleasant (and socially debilitating/embarrassing/non conventional) method of stress relief - we wouldn't keep returning to this behavior if it didn't work to some degree psychologically, or unconsciously- at soothing us. And that is the whole point. You completely zone out, become unconscious in a way, when you are so ultra absorbed in this behavior, you loose track of time & everything going on around you. You are in your own stress free world- until you back away from the mirror and realize the destruction you have caused. It's not worth it!

When you read these books you will have small breakthroughs- it's actually really simple to do. What he says is that you are the person behind your mind- the observer who can watch the "thinker" or the endless stream of thoughts, and to concentrate on the empty space between the thoughts. You slowly begin to dis- identify with your mind or ego and your thoughts have less power to control you. It's so incredibly easy to practice- you start to forget to do it. That's where my problems recur. You have to make an actual effort at BEING CONSCIOUS every moment, of every day. Those are the times when I can go swimming or boating and let the world see my face. I have had great success with this method of "staying present" and not letting my mind convince me to mutilate my body. It takes a lot of practice, but it is the missing link, the realization you must come to before you can take on the idea of giving up this refuge- this behavior that your habituated mind has talked you into believing you must do to feel relief- the key to finally getting your "perfect" face!! You know how you feel when you are in the middle of a “picking” episode- (for me it’s hard to describe because it’s really like I don’t feel- it’s a numb sort of out of body experience- where time stops and I lose all sense of my real problems/ deadlines/ to do list.) You know the feeling? You might be “stressing” over getting the gunk out of your face, but you completely forget EVERYTHING else? Well, you can feel that way really rather easily on your own terms, without the need to botch up your face. You can do it anytime you want & not be embarrassed or ashamed. If you are conscious & practice every time you go in front of a mirror, you will have absolutely no desire to pick. It’s like a miracle & really easy- also, easier said than done. You’ll know what i’m talking about. It’s an instant transformation- that is only temporary unless you practice. Seriously get on amazon and get a used copy- or go to the library. Eckart Tolle has saved my life on more levels than one- and this is just the beginning. The weird thing is that I never drew the connection between my picking & my level of consciousness until today, I really never wanted to stop, until now. I know I can do it, if only for the times I am in the bathroom or in front of a mirror. I will practice being conscious during these times and I know it will work! I hope this helps! (especially you, supervixen007!)

*as a side note, did anyone see Dr. Oz on Oprah last week? Google "dr oz pops zit" and you will see something TOTALLY revolting. His method of popping a zit involves a needle & seems totally barbaric, even to me! *I guess, especially to me, as I am always so "careful" and try to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. Anyway, the reason i'm bringing it up is because the show's title was "Are you normal?" and the reason he was there was because this lady was obsessed with popping zits, not even just her own- she did her husbands and children too. Anyway, Dr. Oz said that it was completely normal and that, get this, ONE IN FIVE women compulsively pick at their skin as some sort of evolutionary grooming instinct. I'm sure there is some weight behind this idea, anthropologically, yet I have had NO luck in finding his source or where he found this statistic that 20% of all women have this problem. Can it be true? Wouldn't we have heard about it? Are our friends doing this same thing and we are all just too ashamed to admit it? It kinda totally blows my mind. Also, has anyone ever watched the pus/zit popping videos on youtube? I find them fairly revolting yet strangely pleasurable at the same time? There is something about popping a zit that is similar to a mini- orgasm. I know it's wrong, but I've never had anyone to talk to about this! My husband thinks I'm totally demented for liking those videos. LOL, I guess I am. Wait, one more question... Do you guys pick at your cuticles too? THAT is going to be WAY harder to stop. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember & find myself doing it often during movies or while I am reading. I used to rock climb and kind of kept that as an excuse for when people ask me why my finger is bleeding or scabbed, or just in terrible shape in general.

Felt that I needed to reply to this, thankyou so much for your post, and taking the time to spell out so clearly what you have learned, it has really helped me to understand why I have been indulging in this bat shit crazy (!), self destructive behaviour for so many years (25 at least). It makes complete sense that it is a form of stress release, especially as i am prone to do it if I have a dealine I need to meet (or to put it another way work I'm trying to avoid!) or a social event that is coming up - these are both big triggers for me and it is almost as if I am sabotaging myself so that I have the excuse of my having to pick my skin for not getting the work done, or if it is something social that I am anxious about, not going out at all because I've made such a mess of myself, or if I do have to face the world being able to blame not having a great time on being self conscious about how bad I looked.

I love the idea of being fully consious and in the moment, and really want to learn how to do this. Your description of being the observer watching the circus of my own self destructive thought patterns unfold is helpful, and I will try to maintain this stance next time I am tempted to pick. It is crazy, because my skin is really not that bad anymore - I have managed to get the inflammatory acne under contol through a combination of diet, supplements, internal cleansing and retin a. But I just can't leave those damn clogged and scarred pores and blackheads alone (esp on my nose), and recently have found myself at the mirror picking everyday almost, which is really bad for me - normally I can leave it a few days at least before I return to the well worn cycle of picking and the inevitable period of self care and healing that follows.

Anyways, just wanted to say thankyou again, because I have scoured the net over the last couple of days reading all I can about dermatillomania, mostly other peoples stories so i could find the path that most fitted my own, and your post has really resonated with me in terms of your own skin picking rituals (I too have sat on that sink edge to the point of not being able to feel my legs anymore!) and also effective ways of understanding and dealing with it. It is all very well and good knowing that compulsive skin picking is a mindset, and knowing that I just 'shouldn't pick', but until you really get to grips with why you are doing it, the solution is not so easy to get a hold of. Your post really spelled out stress release as a cause better than any other I have come across, and it now all seems so obvious that this is where I have been going and what I have been trying to achieve during all those picking sessions.

Thankyou so much!!

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Hey guys. Back to ye ole message board for another fun update.

Wish I could say that I'm cured...but we all know it's not that easy. I've been reading everything that everyone has posted. My heart goes out to all of you...I know what you're going through and it's tough.

On a positive note, I scrapped all the products I was using, and have tried to go back to the MOST BASIC form of treatment that I can without over-drying/overdoing it.

So I'm trying Dan's products. I've been using the cleanser, moisturizer and BP for about 3 weeks now. I'm actually very satisfied as of right now. I tried the Exposed products for 3 months, but I wasn't completely satisfied. I thought it was a lot less drying than Proactiv, but still not how I remember my skin in high school when it was perfectly clear.

I decided to go back to school so I could have some direction in my life. I'm getting a BA in Psychology, and plan to get a Masters in Social Work. It makes me feel like I have control over my life, not this horrible disease.

I don't really have much more to say. I'm doing my best. I've accepted that I'm not perfect, and I'm trying to live my life before I regret the time that I've spent in front of the mirror. I'm beginning to think the only cure for skin picking isn't perfect skin...it's simply living life accepting that you're always going to be a skin picker. I don't know if that makes any sense...

Peace and love.

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Hi Supervixen, I completely know what you mean by the trick to not being a skin picker is accepting that you're not perfect - that's definately the crux and one of the hardest things to do if you have conditioned yourself over years into thinking that perfection must be sought at all costs - it's like rewiring your brain!

Glad that you are having some success with Dan's regimen, I have myself come to the conclusion that less is more product wise - all I am using at the moment is retin-a, mositurizer (hemp seed oil) and sunscreen. I have recently stopped using soap on my face also and it is really helping not to dry my skin out and make my pores over produce sebum like crazy. It's wierd cos I have done this before and it always helps my skin, but then after a few months I kind of 'forget' why I am doing it and start using soap again, and my face freaks out! Won't be doing that again...

Another thing i am trying as a result of a thread I found the other week (see below) is hemp seed oil to condition my skin, and I can't recommend it highly enough so far - less noticable pores, more even skin tone, a healthy glow and it feels like my skin is really healing from within. I have tried all sorts of oils before and nothing comes close to this for results. I think it's the omega 3/6/9 fatty acids in it, and the lack of oleic acid that was in the emu oil I was previously using, and which I have now come to understand is very comedogenic:

I have also given up dairy as of a few weeks ago, and have had very little inflammatory acne since I have done so, particularly on my scalp where I had learned to live with at least a few painful spots at any one time.

All in all, and I feel as a direct result of all of this, my skin is feeling and looking alot better, and I have not had a compulsive squeeze since last week - I blitzed a few clogged pores yesterday, but literally spent about 5 mins doing that and then went straight out - yay!

Good for you doing a psychology degree, i myself did one a few years back (well, not straight psychology, but an educational psychology degree), and am now doing PhD - it's a hard slog, but worth it.

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Reading this thread has made me feel like im not a freak and im not alone with all the demented feelings we get reagarding our faces. Im 43 yrs old and i think of my skin 24 hrs a day. I even think of while im sleeping. I mean i roll over and the minute im conscious i actually think of my skin. I too spend hrs in the bathroom examining my face from every angle. I then to the rest of the mirrors in my house and look there as well because different lighting produces different results. I mostly pick at my blackheads and embedded whiteheads because the only way they go away is to extract them. Even if you use somethiing like mandelic acid to release it, it still needs to come out. As i sit here writing this im house bound today because of what i did last night. I had a white dot under my lip that was a closed pore with something trapped in it. I applied a sal acid paste to dry it up the night before only to wake with it still there and bulging just needing to be released. I put a warm washcloth over to open the pore and applied gentle pressure with my blackhead remover. A llittle white plug shot out and i was so relieved. Its like winning the lottery. I guess it didnt get the entire core so i picked with my tweezer a little bit and this morning its not coverable at all becuse the core is still there...So now what,,try and dry it up only to have it sprout again in several weeks or even days. I dont get what we are suppose to do when these things need to come out..just leave them? I rarely pop a pimple because there isnt usually a core or hard plug in there. I found this paste by clean and clear works great to dry it up. What we all need to do is find the answer to why we are getting them in the first place..I dont have the answer and am desperate to get my life back. I am a horrible person who neglects by husband, kids and social functions because i cant stop thinking of my skin. what is wrong with me?

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Reading this thread has made me feel like im not a freak and im not alone with all the demented feelings we get reagarding our faces. Im 43 yrs old and i think of my skin 24 hrs a day. I even think of while im sleeping. I mean i roll over and the minute im conscious i actually think of my skin. I too spend hrs in the bathroom examining my face from every angle. I then to the rest of the mirrors in my house and look there as well because different lighting produces different results. I mostly pick at my blackheads and embedded whiteheads because the only way they go away is to extract them. Even if you use somethiing like mandelic acid to release it, it still needs to come out. As i sit here writing this im house bound today because of what i did last night. I had a white dot under my lip that was a closed pore with something trapped in it. I applied a sal acid paste to dry it up the night before only to wake with it still there and bulging just needing to be released. I put a warm washcloth over to open the pore and applied gentle pressure with my blackhead remover. A llittle white plug shot out and i was so relieved. Its like winning the lottery. I guess it didnt get the entire core so i picked with my tweezer a little bit and this morning its not coverable at all becuse the core is still there...So now what,,try and dry it up only to have it sprout again in several weeks or even days. I dont get what we are suppose to do when these things need to come out..just leave them? I rarely pop a pimple because there isnt usually a core or hard plug in there. I found this paste by clean and clear works great to dry it up. What we all need to do is find the answer to why we are getting them in the first place..I dont have the answer and am desperate to get my life back. I am a horrible person who neglects by husband, kids and social functions because i cant stop thinking of my skin. what is wrong with me?

Hey there Wicky, I totally understand what you mean and how you feel, I have frequently felt the same way about my skin and skin related behaviour - shame faced, ugly, obsessive and neglectful of life and my family. It is truely debilitating and life wrecking. Nothing is wrong with you other than this mental and physical condition that has a strong hold on you, as it has a hold on many of us who come here - you are in a cycle of behaviour that is partly your skin breaking out because you can't leave it alone, partly internal causes that make your skin break out in the first place, and partly your emotional response to it - does that make any sense? It takes a combination of behaviour modification, topicals and diet in my opinion, to turn things around - that is what is working for me anyway.

I have really manged to clear my skin using a mixture of retin-a, internal cleansing, detoxing, diet changes and hormone balancing - my skin went compltely mental after 3 months of the mirina coil and it took me a year and a half to get it back on track again.

What's your diet like, what supplements do you use and what topicals do you use on you skin? Maybe we can figure it out together.

BTW, I meant to post a link to a hemp seed oil thread in my post above, but it didn't copy over for some reason, so I'm going to try attaching it this time.

Take care, and try not to get too down about things - I know it's hard, but I've thought that my skin would never get better after months of horrible cystic acne, and it did. It actually looks quite nice now, as long as I don't give into the urge to wreck it, which i am doing less and less with time and persistence.

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thank you for your reply..Right now my diet is good. I have been doing a low carb thing since November 1, 2010. I dont eat any processed food, dairy, sugar, fish, pasta or wheat & no fruit only the occasional apple or banana. I try to only eat chicken, beef, veggies, whole grains such as spelt, brown rice, quinoa, beans. I treat myself to kashi protein bars every day and the occasional gluten free cookie. I eat lots of greens as well and stay away from all dressings except oilive oil and lemon. I only drink water with lemon as well. I am 5'9 and previously weighed 164lbs in March of 2010 and I am now 128lbs. It is a substantial loss and most of it came off from November till now. My supplements vary..I am anemic so I take lots of iron, vit D3 several times a week, Acnescript vitamin B5 & B6 supplements, Spironolactone 100mg a day and have just started on Beta Caratone (Vitamin A) yesterday. I also am back to trying evening primrose oil. I have tried this in the past as well as fish oil and the fish oil gave me welts and the epo gave me weird things that were pushing my pores out with dry strings and crap..(sorry to be gross.) I wash gently with Neutrogena or Dermalogicas ultra calming cleanser but Im still so red and irritated..I dont know what else to try or take..I need moisture because my skin is so dry and flakey and that makes things worse. I do moisturize but it doesnt help. I have been using Paulas Choice skin balancing moisture gel with a drop of hyalronic acid moisturizer in it. I just bought Hemp milk the other day to have with my morning cereal so its funny you mentioned that. are you using it?

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Hi Wicky, no worries for the reply :D

Your diet seems really clean but perhaps you are still going through a clean out period? I know that after years of eating less than perfectly, some people's systems can be really backed up and in need of some deep cleansing. Have you investigated liver cleansing, colon cleansing or water fasting? I myself have never done a liver cleanse (although occasionally take milk thistle), but I am almost continually colon cleansing using bentonite clay (which is great at keeping me regular - constipation has always been an issue for me - as well as adding trace minerals that are important for healing and all round health such as Magnesium, Calcium and Silica), and I take probiotics in the form of kefir which I believe promote a healthy internal environment.

Saunas are invaluable for detoxing too as well as being a very pleasnt way to relax and clean out those pores :dance:

As for water fasting, well, that is the strongest form of medicine in my opinion but seriously hard to do. I have done 3 water fasts in the past when my little boy was small and wow did it clear my skin, and if I had the time and will power, I would try to do a short one at least once a month - one day! The longest fast i did was 5 days and the shortest (that was also my fist one) was 3 days, and the detox symptoms I got off that first one were intense - aching spine, headache, fatigue, the works - but after I felt like I had shifted years worth of accumulated crap, and my sinus issues that had been a problem for my whole life miraculously went away. That was about 8 years ago, and funnily enough those same sinus issues are stating to creep back, so i think that a water fast possibly has my name on it some time soon.

If you have redness and irritation, it sounds as if inflammation is an issue in your body - do you have any other symptoms of inflammation in your body such as inflammatory diseases like arthritis, irritable bowel, or asthma?

Your supplements sounds fine, although I am always suspicious of isolating vitamins like B5 and 6, and I personally prefer to get my B vits (which are meant to be good for reducing inflammation btw) from whole sources like brewers yeast. Vit D3 I make an exception for however, as so many of us are deficient in this these days as we spend so much time indoors infront of the computer so I understand the importance of getting this in isolation, but make sure you are getting the expensive stuff in oil caps, as it is a fat solubale vitamin and it's really questionable how much you absorb from tablets, which are a complete rip off and next to useless in my opinion. The other vitamin I take lots of is vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which i take in powdered form, buffered with bicarbonate of soda to turn it into sodium ascorbate and make it more easily tolerated (much less sour) and more absorbable by the body. I also take fish oils which I find really helpful, but by the sounds of it you could be allergic (do you get this same reaction when you eat oily fish? If not, it could have been something to do with the brand you used), so maybe hemp oil would be a better source of omega 3 for you?

Have you looked into iodine? Supplementation with this micronutrient is something that has really helped me and it is great if you have problems with fibrocystic breast disease, ovarian cysts or if you just want to detox from the multiple sources in the environment of halides such as bromide, fluoride and chloride. It is also great for detoxing from mercury which can wreak havoc to a persons health - do you have amalgam fillings btw? The only thing with iodine is that you get a failry long detox period wich can be annoying, but it is definately worth it and if you follow the sald loading protocol, the ill effects can be minimised. It has made such a difference to my skin, overall health and energy levels that I strongly recommend it, especially if you live far inland and in fluoridated water areas.

I do occasionally drink hemp milk, although it is very expensive so I tend to drink oat milk as a general rule to keep costs down, and indulge in creamy nutty hemp milk when I can afford it.

Okay, well that's all for now - think i've prob given you quite enough to be thinking about for the time being! All the best :D

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wow you certainly did give me some info..I am in the process of ridding myself of hookworm. It is a serious parasite that I found out I got when I visited the dominican republic two yrs ago. Im hoping this was causing my skin to inflame and produce so many clogged pores. They just wont stop filling up. I can extract a hard plug and it will fill back up in days and need to be extracted again. I already drink hemp milk and take flaxseed oil supplments daily. I just switched to the beta carotene version of vitamin a but dont see a difference yet. I was taking regular vitamin a with cod liver oil an think fish oils break me out..I dont know if im allergic as I have never eaten fish. I hope to end this cycle soon

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My post is the most important reply you will recieve on this thread, and my post 'picks' at the centre of your problem. You say 'All I know is that it's a cycle that won't stop.' It won't stop? if you KNOW it won't stop... then why bother coming on here? You must KNOW deep down that you want it to stop? DO you want it to stop? Until you answer this question, you can not stop picking. If you say to yourself, in your head, ' it's a cycle that won't stop.' then you will SUBCONSCIOUSLY FURFILL this prophecy that you just created in your head. It is called 'self furfilling prophecy' you create a prophecy that you believe in i.e. 'All I know is that it's a cycle that won't stop.' and then you SUB-*moderator edit*-CONSCIOUSLY furfill this belief. You need to CHANGE THE *moderator edit* BELIEF. you NEED to say, It will stop, I WILL stop, I will get clear skin, I WILL stop picking and I will get rid of picking. Understood?

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I think it's really self-centered to say that your post is the most important on this thread.

For me personally, I have spent almost a decade battling this skin picking problem. I HAVE answered the question you pose, and YES I want to change. It's why I've spent thousands of dollars on products, dermatologist appointments, therapy, etc. If I really wanted to be like this, why would I have gone through the trouble of doing all that?

For some people, it's not as simple as answering if they want to change. People come on this website for support while they're trying to change. There is nothing wrong with that.

Also, no one should take advice from someone who thinks "furfill" is a word.

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Im with you supervixon..I only wish it was as easy as saying I want to change it...Im wondering what everyone does about picking clogged pores? They do not go away on their own like pimples do but are very difficult sometimes to get the whole plug. I picked two small ones last night and lots of gunk came out like a blackhead but there must be some stuff left as its red and swollen today. I find it will immediately close up if you get the entire core. What will shut down these pores? They make my face a mess and its dry and flakey to boot!!

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Right now, I'm using Dan's AHA EVERY night. I'm literally forcing my skin to purge, internalizing that I'm going to break out and it's inevitable. It's not a very harsh product, and is especially good in conjunction with BP. So far, even though I'm breaking out a bit, my skin tone and texture have improved A LOT...and I've only been using it for about 2 weeks. I have hope with this and am willing to stick it out for a few months as I don't really have any other options at this point.

Remember, blackheads/clogged pores do NOT form overnight, even though you might wake up one morning and see a "new" one. They take weeks to form, and the key is to strip your skin down to the point where they can't form anymore.

Using harsh products like Retin-A and Tazorac didn't work for me because they were causing irritation, which only made my skin worse. Dan's AHA is really good because it's not over-drying.

I hope this helps a bit :)

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Can you please tell me how to do the sea salt baths? Do you just fill the tub with water and add sea salt from the grocery store? Sorry if this is a dumb question... I just want to make sure I'm doing it exactly like you are. I really want to try it ASAP! Thanks for sharing your experience :)

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SORRY I forgot to quote the post I was responding to. So here I go again. Primrose11, can you please tell me how you do your salt bath? Is it just sea salt from the grocery store, added to a tub of hot water? Thanks so much!!!

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 stopped picking half year ago. my skin is almost perfect, no scars, only small blemishes, i think leftovers after my acne. I had severe acne, i had all my face in break outs, STOP picking!!!! i am sorry for you guys as i understand how you feel. i just use cleanser - aveeno , and any oilfree moisturizer. that's it. and do not touch my skin! i have noticed the same thing when picked my pimples..i had scars, now they are gone!!! beleive me and stop it. how did i stop : i just said it to myself!!! we are not weak people, we can do it, if i could, just say to yourself - i won't be picking ever again. don't you get it.

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I have been reading the acne.org forms for a year now but have never been compelled to post or start an account until now. I think mainly it is because what I read in this forum resonated so much with me----the problem that I had wasn't with horrible acne that was a serious skin condition...it was much more the psychological side effects. I'm realizing now more and more that what I do (picking my skin to a raw pulp) is because of an actual condition and self-injury. It makes so much sense now. Yesterday I began researching BDD as well and picked up a book on it. I am a recovering anorexic/bulimic with high anxiety and OCD, so my face has become the catalyst now for my to injure instead of my body.

I have made the goal right now--I will not pick my face today. Well, I already did this morning--but we can stop now! Somone do this with me! I have so much hope right now. I am going to trust my body, times can't get any worse right? My skin now is so dry, I look like I'm 50 in some areas (I'm 19) from over mediciating. I stayed inside practically all week, I contemplated missing my uncle's funeral, my final exams, and one of my best friend's birthday party because of red marks, red skin, and a few bumps. I'm realizing now what I need to do. We can live! Someone join me---let's see where we are in a week!

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I have been reading the acne.org forms for a year now but have never been compelled to post or start an account until now. I think mainly it is because what I read in this forum resonated so much with me----the problem that I had wasn't with horrible acne that was a serious skin condition...it was much more the psychological side effects. I'm realizing now more and more that what I do (picking my skin to a raw pulp) is because of an actual condition and self-injury. It makes so much sense now. Yesterday I began researching BDD as well and picked up a book on it. I am a recovering anorexic/bulimic with high anxiety and OCD, so my face has become the catalyst now for my to injure instead of my body.

I have made the goal right now--I will not pick my face today. Well, I already did this morning--but we can stop now! Somone do this with me! I have so much hope right now. I am going to trust my body, times can't get an worse right? My skin now is so dry, I look like I'm 50 in some areas (I'm 19) from over mediciating. I stayed inside practically all week, I contemplated missing my uncle's funeral, my final exams, and one of my best friend's birthday party because of red marks, red skin, and a few bumps. I'm realizing now what I need to do. We can live! Someone join me---let's see where we are in a week!

Hi miabella- I'd love to join you in a non-picking challenge! I have mild-moderate

Acne, but right now I don't actually have much active acne, ALL the horrible marks on my face and from where I've been picking. I see the tiniest clogged pore and convince myself that if i don't get rid of it now, it's going to show up at some point anyway. Yesterday I wet mad agaiin and after not being able to get anything out, I ended up digging my nails into my skin to try and get it out- I waited a few hours, told myself I could see something and then went at it again- of course nothing came out and now I have a gaping big hole on my forehead from where I ripped the skin off and where it was weeping. After that, I told myself to stop, but I thought it might cause some relief to me that if I try and look for other pores that I could get rid of, that it would make me feel better for my previous failure. Of course that didn't work and now i have painful red marks and scabs all over my jawline. For the first time ever I ended up crying in front of my mum- I told her that i don't know why I do this and that i hate myself for it. Of course, unless you are a picker, you have no idea what it is like mentally and emotionally. I hate how I did this to myself when there was nothing wrong with me. I too also suffered from anorexia as a young girl (7- I was being bullied and thought that by not eating that i could have some control in my life whereas in other I felt helpless- obviously as a 7 year old I had no idea what an eating disorder was). I wonder if the two are linked- i tend to be quite a weak person and punish myself a lot. So I've come on here for help and support, so if you need a stop picking buddy, let me know! I've already called in sick today and will have to do so for another day at the least- I even have to get my groceries delivered to me so I don't have to go out he house. This is taking over my life and I want it to stop.

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I need willpower, I feel just like you. Im 43yrs old and have fallen into such a depression that i think my husband and parents sat me down for an intervention yesterday. I have battled this for 30yrs and cannot do it any longer. Im defeated and feel hopeless and dont know where to turn for help as every derm has not taken me seriously because I dont have cystic acne. What I do have are the most tremendous pores on my nose, cheeks and chin that any person can have. I have never come across anybody in the world who has my disgusting texture. In the last two years things went from bad to worse. i was perscribed doxycycline for what was suppose to be perioral dermatitis but I wound up staying on and off for 18months. I have rosacea as well and tons of broken caps around my nose and cheeks. I also get this red, flat rashy spots on the sides of my face that I think are sebhorreic dermatits. They are not pimple like but dry irritated redness. I dont know how to treat those because it comes and goes. My main problem area that flips me out is my chin. I get tons of small white pin sized dots that get emebedded in the corners of my mouth down toward my chin and under my lip. I dont know what they are and how to treat. Are they milia, clogged pores, sebaceouse filaments? Who the F*** knows..No one can give me an anwerer and that is the most frustrating part. Is it a fungus? I've tried every med know to man and I finally went for a sal peel last monday.. I was finally doing something about it and saw a light at the end of the tunnel. No go..My skin is worse than every...The clogged pores fill up and cover every area of my chin that I have to go around my entire chin area and practically cut and dig them out with my tweezer. They always have a core to them like a hard plug that needs to be release every night. Even after i get them out, I dont know how to shut down the pore so it doesnt re-fill in the next several days. My light is slowly burning out because I dont know where to turn.

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Hi all, just thought I would mention that I have had a problem with skin picking all my adult life, but recently I have gone completely grain free (no wheat, no oats, no rye, no barle, no corn - basically no gluten of any kind) and my pores have shrunk and are not producing anywhere near the amount of oil and sebum they were before, and my skin tone is alot more even, rosy and strong looking. I can go a week without being even remotely tempted to squeeze anything, and when I do squeeze, it'll be a quick 5 minute one (instead of the whole afternoon like I was doing a few months ago) to get rid of one or two things that are annoying me rather than a full blown session that leaves my face red, raw and psycholigically debilitated.

I no longer hide away, I do not have the anxiety that used to trigger squeezing sessions, and all in all I feel I have found my solution to skin picking, hopefully for good. And to top it all off I feel the healthiest i have in years!

There is load of info on going gluten free on the nutrition holistic health board if you feel you would like to give this a try - even if you go a week or two to see if it could perhaps apply to you.

All the best, and please don't dispair - there are solutions, and from my experience with acne it is usually an internal cause that is resulting in an external reaction - whether compulsive behaviour or unruly pores, or a combination of the two!

All the best,

rifkah.

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Thank you for everyone who offered support and I'm right there with you going to offer support!

I wanted to give a message of clear skin--in FOUR DAYS.

I think I posted that last post on Friday, when my skin was so dry, raw, scabbed, scarred and I had to skip work/school and couldn't go out.

It's Tuesday morning. For the past four days I have not used ANY of my acne/prescription medicines and very rarely picked my face. Pretty much in the morning I wash my face with a mild wash and again at the end of the night. I lotion my face with CeraVe in the morning and night, but again, it's mild. At night, I sometimes put Neosporin or Zinc on my dry, raw skin. Twice I put just spot treatment on bumps but they were on the sides of my face by my temple, where the rest of my skin is NOT damaged and isn't raw/harsh. I popped a total of like four whiteheads, but usually used a towel, and STOPPED after that. I had peeling dry skin and STOPPED myself from peeling.

Four days later, I have a few active bumps by my lips where I loaded up on the Neosporin/Zinc to help my dry skin, but have NO dry skin, my red marks are radically reduced, and my skin is...AMAZING. Now, it is NOT 100% clear, and still has red marks, a few pimples, etc. But I can't tell you what a difference not using harsh chemicals on my skin and not touching/rubbing it has done..my white skin is WHITE now, not red!! I actually contemplated answering the door to my friend with NO makeup on (which is huge, because normally, I would quickly put on a full face). Now I just put a little bit of coverup on my cheeks to blend in some red marks, and that's it! My face is white, looks smoother, and I owe it all to not picking/touching/rubbing/irritating. I will start again with my prescription creams, but NOT overdo it and put it on just once a day and probably will start in a few days when I know my skin is really healed.

I just want to say with patience, hope, faith, and will.....this is possible! i never believed it either! Good luck to everyone! I'll continue to update and I hope I can continue to do this!

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