Hello, I joined this website because I'm desperate and I need to know others like me because nobody I know in real life has the same problem. I am a young girl in High School with acne and I obsess and pick my skin. It is so bad that I obsess over it everyday. I can't even go anywhere without heavy makeup. My face it is like a battlefield, covered in scars, open sores, scabs and of course a few pimples but they don't last long as I usually pick the hell out of them when they appears. It is so hideous I'm even ashamed to let my family see it. At school I constantly worry that people notice my blemishes underneath the makeup and obsess about how perfect everyone else's skin is and how even the kids with acne's skin is ten times better than mine. A couple months ago I had a huge breakout on my neck of all places which has never happened before, which I of course picked, so now my neck is covered in scars as well. It is just so, SO bad. I cry a lot about it, which makes me feel foolish and vain because I know there are people who have much worse problems than me. I upset my mom with my constant self pitying behavior. I just feel like ripping or burning my face off because it causes me a lot of anguish. It makes me feel like I want to die whenever I look in the mirror and see spots everywhere.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:32 AM
Go to derm asap and get ur acne under control. Scars are almost impossible to get rid of.
Posted 13 February 2013 - 10:43 AM
I know how you feel. Go see a dermatologist and get some meds....you're feelings are totally understandable...acne takes an emotional toll on people and sometimes others dont understand it...if you need to talk, send me a message
Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:04 AM
Thanks for the suggestions to see a dermatologist. However, this might seem silly but I'm afraid to go. I feel like my acne isn't as bad as my picking, and I'm afraid if I went to a dermatologist they would tell me "just stop picking" like everyone else I confided my problem to. But they don't understand, I cant stop. I know it's a really bad habit and I have the scars to show for it. It's weird but it's like picking my face gives me a huge satisfaction I can't get from anything else.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:04 PM
I used to be like that. I don't think it was ever as bad, but I was constantly touching my face. Somehow, I got myself to quit.
A good way to get yourself to quit is by rewarding yourself with something if you don't touch your face after a certain amount of time, like say, a week.
Another good way is to have someone keep you accountable. I KNOW this is embarrassing, but your friends and family want the best for you, and I'm sure they wouldn't mind telling you to stop everytime they see you start to pick. It really helps because of the embarrassment. My mom did it for me, and I would get so embarrassed to even be picking and I would stop. It really helped.
Try to find something else to occupy your hands. Maybe start doodling, or typing, or work on something that requires both hands to be busy. You really just have to break the habit. They say that a habit can be broken if you go a month without doing it. Try to work your way up to a month without picking, and try not to think about it too much either. Use a chalkboard, or a whiteboard and add tally marks every day you go without touching your face. Try to make it so the only time you can touch your face is to wash your face, use moisturizer (which, if you don't already, please do, I recommend cetaphil's oil control moisturizer), and/or to add makeup. It really helps.
Coming from someone who would compulsively pick at acne, I know what you're going through. It's so worth it when you can stop though.
I hope some of this helps, we are all in this together.
Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:20 PM
High school was hard for me, too. I was CONSTANTLY worrying about my skin. It was so life-consuming. Now that I'm in my 20's, I'm starting to understand how I can stop myself from ruining my skin.
You sound just like me-- your acne wouldn't be so bad if you didn't pick AND people don't know quite how bad it is due to the amount of makeup worn over it.
Well, you need to take control of yourself. When I finally realized that a zit can go away if I just leave it alone, I started leaving them alone more often.
Here's what you need to do:
-Start slow...choose a spot on your face that you will not pick and don't pick that area at all. This will show you what not picking your face is like without completely breaking the habit.
-The next time you want to pick at a zit, say out loud to yourself "No." Then close your eyes for a moment, and then start doing something else (like brushing your teeth). Do you usually pick when you're bored or are you like me, and do you wait till after you wash your makeup off at night in the bathroom?
-Imagine that you have clear skin when you wash your face. Would you pick at a clear face? No.
- When you start to pick, try to think about how red and blotchy your skin gets after you pick. Think about how calm and wonderful it would be if your skin wasn't messed with...
-Take a deep breath...you will beat this. I was in your exact situation, but didn't decide to take control until I was 20, unfortunately. I understand your pain so much. The caked on makeup was the worst feeling for me. I'm sorry You can do it!
Edited by heitea, 20 February 2013 - 07:42 PM.
Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:12 PM
Something I've read about recently, to help control compulsions that you can't seem to otherwise control, is taking the amino acid derivative called n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) about 1000mg twice daily. It's mainly described for compulsive hair-pulling, but I think it may be worth a try.
If you try it let me know how it works!
Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:53 PM
Thanks for the helpful replies. It gives me hope and I haven't had that in a long time. I will definitely try the suggestions. I actually feel like I have a chance of stopping now, which I didn't have before. I realized I have to actually do something instead of wallowing in misery, so I have compiled a kit that I'll carry around with me every day. Inside of it are gloves, fake nails, alcohol prep swabs (so that if I do pick, I can rub the alcohol on the picked spot afterwards so the germs don't spread), green tea moisturizer for if my skin gets dry after the alcohol, and Elmer's glue (so I can put glue on my hands and pick off that instead when I get the urge to pick, because it's actually really fun, although people would probably think I'm weird. I don't care).
Edited by skinpicker, 20 February 2013 - 02:09 PM.
Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:03 AM
If I didn't start Dan's Regimen and get clear I would still be constantly picking at my skin. It is so hard to stop. People tell you all the time that your skin would be so much better if you don't touch it but some of them don't realize that its easier said than done.
I did try though and I used to make it to about almost a week without picking. I would basically avoid mirrors so I wouldn't see my problem spots. It's definitely a hard habit to break.
Posted 07 March 2013 - 07:48 AM
Hey, I know how you feel...trust me every negative thought you've ever had about your skin I've had too. It's a horrible place to be in and I'm not sure how good/ bad your skin is but to me it has never really mattered - if there was a tiny invisible (to everyone but me!) pore/ bump then I would find something to pick at! It's good you're expressing yourself on this site if you feel like you can't talk to anyone you know - sometimes they don't understand and think it's just a case of not picking, if only it were so simple!
I wish I could give you the solution but I can only agree with the previous comments: try to avoid mirrors (and checking up on the progression of spots), keep your hands busy and distract yourself when you can feel the compulsion to pick and try to remember that the way your skin is before picking is almost 99.99% better and less noticeable than when you have picked.
I think that's what helps me sometimes, I try and remember the last time I picked and how sore my skin felt, how bad it looked and how difficult and time consuming it was trying to cover it with concealer the next day. Apart from that just know that you really aren't alone with this, from the research I've done it seems to be much more common than you would think but it's generally not openly discussed because people suffering from it are usually too ashamed...so don't be ashamed, I know I get that gut wrenching horrible feeling when I look in the mirror sometimes but you can only do your best, and sometimes you'll give in to it and pick but they'll be times when you'll stop yourself and you just need to recognise these little victories and it honestly gives so much more satisfaction that any temporary feeling of relief you get from picking!
Edited by elliew8, 07 March 2013 - 07:48 AM.