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Skin Picking is Ruining my Life

skin picking ocd

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#41 wicky

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 06:02 AM

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!!

#42 supervixen007

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Posted 26 March 2011 - 06:05 PM

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 smile.gif

#43 mamagoose

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:27 PM

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 :)

#44 mamagoose

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 12:31 PM

QUOTE (Primrose11 @ Jul 18 2009, 09:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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.



#45 lisa000

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 02:15 PM

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.

#46 miabella99

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 04:36 AM

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!

#47 i_need_willpower

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 04:09 AM

QUOTE (miabella99 @ May 13 2011, 05:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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.

Edited by i_need_willpower, 16 May 2011 - 04:26 AM.


#48 wicky

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 08:04 AM

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.

#49 rifkah6

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:59 AM

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.

Edited by rifkah6, 17 May 2011 - 07:59 AM.


#50 miabella99

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:37 AM

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!

#51 supervixen007

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 04:20 PM

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 acne.org 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 AHA...by 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 stuff...it'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! eusa_whistle.gif

#52 acneisnobueno

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:06 AM

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.

Edited by acneisnobueno, 31 December 2012 - 04:39 AM.


#53 Rosieglows

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 05:10 PM

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 whyeat.com.

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:
Sleep
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.

Edited by Rosieglows, 27 August 2013 - 05:16 PM.


#54 SanJoseRoo

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 03:27 PM

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 ;) 



#55 1dayatatime

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 07:32 PM

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.

http://www.acne.org/...-day-at-a-time/


Edited by 1dayatatime, 26 February 2014 - 11:00 PM.





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