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Skin Picking is Ruining my Life

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Time for an update. Sorry it hasn't been sooner...I've been busy trying to find meaning in my life and doing my best to be happy. Sometimes browsing makes me depressed.

I am still picking...but, I'm doing a lot better! I think it's because I've found products that work, and keep working. I use Dan's BP and far the best products I have ever used.

I made one huge change to my daily routine, and that is my make-up. I have changed from using Gerta Spillman's Biofond makeup to TARTE balancing foundation with Amazonian clay. OH MY GOD...I am in love with this stuff. I cannot recommend this enough to people who have issues with skin picking. It's lightweight, full coverage that isn't made with any bad's all natural. The Amazonian clay sucks all the oil out of your pores. At first I thought I was seeing things the morning after I first used the makeup, but there were no new blackheads, and the blackheads that were already on my face were almost gone! Amazing, amazing product. Please try it out! :whistle:

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To everyone Especially the person who wrote this.

Thank you!!! The last few weeks I have been reading tons of acne related sites. My skin is at its worst never in my life was it that bad. I feel i suffer from anxiety and I too pick. Ill tell myself no but when I see and feel this pimple I cant help it i want all that crap out and off my face so others dont have to look at it.

Ive alwys been a bit shy and somewhat insecure with myself but this year i have been more accepting of me except all of a sudden bam my whole jaw line and my mouth is cover in big small and under the skin bump some tiny but lots of them. And i think they are gonna leave dark spots and hopefully not deep scarring.

I believe its because of a hormonal imbalance since its only my jaw line amd below my cheeks.

But i havent found much on how to treat hormonal acne except see a derm.

Can anyone give me advice? To help balance them out or what i should use on my acne. I just started tea tree oil. It helps with bigger ones so they dont stay for long.

Please and thank you for listening and this post existing!!!!!!!

Age 20

Fair skin combination.

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I know this is quite a bit later than the first posts, but I feel so relieved for finding a thread like this. I had never suspected that I had any sort of real psychological issues for many years, until after I finished highschool and joined an orthorexia thread on

I take a few psychology classes at school and in our textbook, a new disease called orthorexia was mentioned. Some characteristics of this include extreme dieting (with only "clean" and "pure" foods), or rejection of any food, healthy or not, because it does not meet the unrealistic standards the orthorexic is expecting. In the whyeat threads, I noticed pretty much everyone had this obsession with food and calorie counting and nutrient balancing and weight control, with most people saying they had OCD issues as well. I had never heard of "cutting" before and was shocked that that even existed! I mean, as I was relatively ignorant on the topic, I figured it should be easy to stop harming yourself when you realize that's all you are doing-harm!

Being a psych major, I was immediately interested in this topic, and began joining threads and convos asking people for details....this lead me to realize I had been self harming for years in another way, and I had scars all over my face, chest, and back from the years of daily skin picking, and my nails and hair were so destructed by obsessive pulling and picking.

I never had severe acne, I would have a few cysts here and there, but would quickly run to the doctors office to get a cortisone shot- or I would stay at home with a huge glob of benzoyl peroxide on the spot until it healed. But when I started becoming more aware of my looks in highschool, I began picking at every blackhead or blocked pore I could find. I became obsessed with how my skin looked and would read magazines like "New Beauty" and online threads to learn about every possible new way my skin could be "perfected".

I spent thousands of dollars a year getting laser resurfacing and skin peels and creams even though my skin was fine to begin with, I would go through a cycle of picking, scarring, getting laser, peel, etc over and over with no results because I could not stand to leave my skin alone.

In grade 10, I became vegan and mostly raw because I read it could make your skin glow. I thought I was doing my body/skin/mind some good by eating well, but I was too obsessed. I began to lose weight to the point where my bmi was 16, but I wasn't worried because I WAS eating, I wasn't trying to become thinner, I just wanted to look perfect with my skin, hair nails etc. But of course, I was depriving my body of essential fats and grains because they weren't "pure" enough foods, just like I was depriving my skin and nails of the time needed to heal properly. And the complements I was getting by peers on my weight and "glow" of my skin (i wouldnt leave the house unless my spots were covered) through this diet was only more triggering. I now realize this is an OCD related habit and am taking some steps to help me realize the damage I am causing.

Years later and I was finally able to stop picking at my cuticles and biting my nails and pulling my hair/picking at ingrowns.

Here are some things that helped me do so:

Drink water. - yes your cuticles will appear less dry and triggering for you to pick at.

Keep your hands busy AT ALL TIMES

Treat yourself to a nice manicure ONLY if you can last A week/2 weeks without picking

Always carry cuticle balm, and wear moisturizing gloves at night to help heal

Read articles on how much dirt and germs can be under your nails (I did a lab in bio on this on my own nails - it was pretty disgusting)

Get shellac or another gel that can be grown out that will hide the triggering ridges in the nail.

Wear gloves, or put a bandaid over a hangnail that you shouldn't be picking

Remember that it only takes 27-30 days to start to break a habit, it is easy after that, trust me.

I still pick at my skin, and I know if it is possible to break the habit of biting and picking at my nails, breaking this habit is possible too.

So far this is helping:

Keep a diary. Of the exact times you pick, the area, how you feel, or even take a picture of your face to look back on when you feel the need to pick. Don't forget to include the joy you have after not picking.

KEEP BUSY. If you feel triggered, go out in public! Somewhere around people so you cannot be alone, being alone is what aids you to self harm.

Eat healthy. Your skin will heal faster if you get the right nutrients,

Use only dim lighting in your bathroom. You will not see the tiny pores or invisible blemishes that might trigger you

Vow to stay at least 2 feet away from any mirror. Take it one day at a time.

Get a professional facial after you haven't picked for a while as a treat

Throw out your tweezers and makeup (I know, it's hard). This really helped me overcome the need to feel "perfect" outside. I can now feel confident enough without any makeup, even though I still have spots I have picked at. Makeup irritates skin, and tweezers are triggers.

WORK OUT, sweating does not clog pores, it pushes through the hardened sebum and helps to cleanse your skin. Have a nice steam shower after to wash away the impurities you sweat out. It also increases circulation to help heal.

Time how long you are in the bathroom for. If it takes you 10 minutes to brush your teeth/hair/wash face, put an alarm for only 10 minutes, when it goes off you must leave and won't have time to pick.

If you feel you absolutely MUST pick, these are my last resort options:


Do a face mask in DIM light, be careful.

Work out

Leave the house, go for a walk, coffee, anything.

Go to a movie

Paint your nails

Get stoned (THC helps with OCD...obviously this isn't for everyone). It also boosts circulation.

Here are some products that I found helpful:

Tend Skin for ingrown hairs

Sudocrem (its a diaper rash cream). This heals picked open wounds fast, but I wouldn't recommend for severely oily skin.

Tamanu oil, for picked skin anywhere. Skin friendly

Oatmeal and yogurt/fresh aloe masks to calm skin

Calamine lotion (careful not to overdo it)

Avene product line - for very sensitive skin

Lush lemony flutter cuticle cream

When your skin is healed, use weekly lactic acid peels for 5 weeks. They are not damaging, and can heal scars and work on dry skin/back.

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I am a picker. It isn't something I do consistently though--I have bouts of extreme picking and then go weeks and months without picking. Recently, to keep my hands busy--so I don't scratch or pick at my face, which leads to the magnification mirror and an extreme picking marathon event--I've been playing games on my mobile/table/laptop. It sounds crazy--as a 41 Y.O. female, but it is just like many of the previous posters mention--I get absorbed--so by getting absorbed in playing a trivial game that levels-up and keeps my finger tips busy--I've gone several days without picking and have no new break outs in two days. Figure out what you can direct your obsessing energy into. I hope this works long term ;)

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First post ever. I'm so glad to see I'm not alone in my struggle. I'm not sure if I'll be able to edit my post once I've posted it, but if I can I'd like to start a tally here of days in a row I've gone without picking. I've tried this before (just on a piece of paper), but I'm hoping the motivation I get from being able to mark down a day and have others see it will be what I need. I usually get to 3 or 4 days and then start picking again.

Ok, so here it is:

Days gone without picking: 1

EDIT: Rather than post here I've decided to start a blog where I will track my progress, and record my tally of days gone without picking there. Feel free to check it out and comment with your own tally.

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