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Hey everyone. I feel so good having found this place and I sort of need to vent a little bit who is up for listening. Ive had moderate acne since I was 13, ever since I learned how to squeese a pimple it became a compulsion. Now I got like some OCD habit called "Skin picking" and I can stand infront of a mirror for hours and just pick and pick on my pimples til I bleed and I will use needles and whatever tools I can find to get the pus out of my system... I feel so disgusted knowing there's pus below the layer of my skin... I cant even go like one hour after knowing the zit is there and then I have to remove it... So far in 5 years I havent been able to go ONE DAY without picking on my skin, in the moment it feels so good getting rid of the pimple and I dont care about the consequences of getting scars.

I find it so annoying when people say "Just dont pick on your skin, you'll make it worse" but it gives me anxiety to see or feel or know that theres a whitehead under my skin and someone tells me to leave it alone for a couple of weeks or months when I cant even leave it alone for an hour. Ive tried everything, using rubber gloves, removing mirrors in the house, tied my fingers together with tape on my hands - do anything to avoid picking on it.

If my skin is having a good day or week, I can avoid the picking.. But this week Ive had a terrible breakout and the zits are fucking everywhere on my face and I went two days without picking on it and then I had an anxiety attack, I scrubbed my face as hard as I could, squeezed so hard on the pimples that I began bleeding, took needles to open up blackheads and I was physically exhausted for beating up my face.... The day ended with some crying, throwing and breaking stuff in the house and slamming doors til the neighbours started to complain... I was so full of anger...

My mom keeps saying "Its your diet, everything comes from within, your skin problems is due to because of what you eat", but I eat very good, Im a vegan, I drink shitloads of water a day, I take 5 Omega-3 supplement pills everyday and I NEVER tan and I dont smoke. Im never around greasy or fried food and I dont live in a neighbourhood with pollution. I constantly wash my pillow cases, keep hair out of my face and if I do pick my skin I make sure my nails and fingers are really really clean.

Now I look fucking terrible. Im trying to avoid the mirrors because if I so much as just see my face the picking begins again. I have no patience, I can never let the red marks fade away until I create new ones.

Im sure I would have great skin if I stopped picking on the pimples... Does anyone else have a problem with picking on your skin? I dont know how to stop, I wish I never "learned" how to do it. Now its just a terrible nightmare habit I cant quit.

I never go out on the summer, because using foundation makes it melt in the sun... Ive never gone out without make-up, I cant even look people straight in the eye without foundation because Im afraid I will gross them out and just turn their stomachs... Im so ashamed of myself I only tend to go out when its dark outside and people wont have to see my face.

Im suppose to meet someone tomorrow but I have to cancel it because of the red and irritated spots on my face. I want it to heal so I cant go out without foundation and I cant apply anything to my face so Im not going out. I hate how this destroys my social life.

I feel like the ugliest person in the world, Im probably exaggarating and I probably got BDD but in my world, through my eyes... The zits on my face make me feel like MY world is going under.

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There's several people on here who share your problem. You are right on that you "learned to do it" and you keep doing it b/c it eases your anxiety on some level.

Have you considered getting help with quitting? - it sounds like you are quite distressed about it. I'm sorry that you are going through this.

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It makes me feel alot better knowing Im not alone.. So thanks for telling me that.. I always thought I was alone on this habit... All my friends had like clear skin and never had a compulsion to squeeze or remove a zit.. they never understood how much anxiety it gave me.

Ive seen a psychologist for my OCD habits but it seriously has done nothing for me because I dont think my psychologist ever took my skin picking seriously and understood how big of a problem it was for me.

Im considering cognitive behaivor therapy to somehow teach myself to do something positive out of my destructive habit...

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I also have a similar problem, anytime I see a blemish I can't help but want to remove it. I constantly have bruises and scabs on my face from what I do :/

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i used to be like that in my early teens, not as intensely as it sounds you are, but i used to pick even when all i had was a few blackheads on my nose, but id look in the mirror, and if i couldnt see anything and i was all clear, id try and pick hoping id find something. i just liked the buzz of getting it out, it kinda felt a release to me. but once id start, i couldnt stop, and id always regret it afterwards. i remember several times in my early teens, my face would be so red and blotchy after id picked, and i think over time-it made my skin a million times worse and more agressive. i wish i could turn back time, and if i knew what i know now, i never would have. but my skins getting a lot better now, and honestly, i hardly ever pick. its very rare ill pick.

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Thanks for your replies. Im trying my best to read the facts and understand how much damage I do to my skin when I pick... Its not going to be worth it in the long run if I do so...

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I was doing good. I had gone 2 weeks without picking until today. I got so mad after I was done picking.

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you have actually described one of the most dangerous symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Please try and get this under control as it can become worse and have terrible repercutions.....

One woman who suffered from this picked so hard at her face that she ruptured the main blood vessel to her face and had to be rushed to the hospital so she wouldnt bleed to death.

Get some help

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yell STOOOOOOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to yourself next time you feel like picking. or wash your face at night with the lights off so you cant see to pick! good luck!!

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Thanks for your replies... I guess I do suffer from Acne Dysmorphya, I feel like my acne looks 100 times worse than it may actually be... I will try and get help... Ive avoided skin picking so far... and its been a few hours... Im avoiding the mirrors...

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.. I always thought I was alone on this habit...

Oh no. :snooty: You are SO not alone. I totally understand. Like someone else said, I used to do it more as a teenager but I cannot, absolutely CANNOT leave anything alone.

What helped me was camping. No mirrors, nothing to readily wash you hands or tools with. It helped break the habit a bit. I still do it, but I am more able to put myself int he moment and realise what I'm doing and stop.

Have you seen a counsellor for this? there are treatments.

One thing I learned form a consellor when I had a lot of anxiety and panic attacks was to "ground" myself. When i felt things starting to slide, I would name something I could touch, something I could feel, something I could see, something I could smell and something I could hear. It gets your mind on the present and breaks the panic cycle. It really works for me. It's different in your situation, but if you can start to realise when you're picking, maybe and take a moment ot do that exercise, it might help.

I also pick my scalp. That's called something too...can't rmember what. but as soon as you relize you're doing it you just HAVE to stop. It's hard but eventually new motor-pathways in your brain develop and it becomes easier to break the habit.

Anyway-I hope this might help...

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i used to be the exact same way. i just had to pick at my skin. every slight bump on my face i would stand there for ever squeezing as hard as i could to try and get it to pop untill it just bleeds. it looked like i had huge gashes or something on my face.

i stilll get a bit anxious about about popping a pimple i know i shouldnt and sometimes i just cant help myself. but since reducing this alot my skin looks so much better than what it used to.

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i used to pop mine all the time. i dont anymore, i kind of broke the habit apart from the occasional one or two that i cant stand to have. i have great scars on my cheeks now though from it.

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Thanks for your replies again guys. I had terrible anxiety today and I couldnt leave two whiteheads alone and I picked til the skin started to bleed again.... I was so mad at myself... Ive covered all mirrors in my house, its really hard to stop and Im really dissapointed in myself. It definitely has to do with anxiety.

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I'm sorry that you're going through this... You are so not alone.. I'm in that same boat, I love to pick at my pimples and have some scarring...I'm the same way I cry, I throw crap around...You need help (I do too) but that's what we are all here for...

Crazy people loving other crazy people... Keep your head up...We got your back girl... :lol:

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I'm sorry that you're going through this... You are so not alone.. I'm in that same boat, I love to pick at my pimples and have some scarring...I'm the same way I cry, I throw crap around...You need help (I do too) but that's what we are all here for...

Crazy people loving other crazy people... Keep your head up...We got your back girl... :lol:

Aw you're so sweet, thanks. :lol: :D Im on day two without a mirror, so far, no skin picking. I should I removed the mirrors long time ago, this is a great way to avoid picking. And I even threw my pocket-mirror in the garbage. Let the healing begin, lol. :D

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Guest No Pride

Picking is definitely a self confidence issue. If you have to pick because you are afraid of how others will see you then you need to develop your inner confidence. Come up with good comebacks for people who would say something. And realize that anyone who says anything about it is an asshole and not worth your time anyways.

Picking and popping will make your acne soo much worse. For me, acne goes away after one or two days so I've learned not to do any of that stuff anymore. If you breakout, just go out with a smile on your face and NOT give a fuck about others opinions of your look. Everyone has their imperfections and things they wish were better, its good to remember that.

Good luck! :wub::wub:

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I used to have the same problem...actually once in a blue moon, I still revert back to my skin picking habits (but not to the same degree as before). Just like you, I'd keep telling myself to not pick and my skin would get way better....but I'd pick every single day which made my complexion look worse and worse. Red marks + some shallow scars.. I'm pretty much beyond all this now (and my complexion is getting more and more fantastic each day!!) so I'll let you know some of the things that helped me.

- chucked all my pocket mirrors

- put a post-it note on the bathroom mirror that said "remember" (to remind my of my promise not to pick)

- chucked all pins and other pointy objects

- kept my nails short

- I visited this website regularly: http://www.stoppickingonme.com/index.php (really great site w/ lots of info, tips, etc... and a discussion board)

- the thing that helped me the most was using a caledar to record my pickings. On every day that I went pick-free, I put a checkmark and every day that I picked, I put an X. And I tried to break my pick-free record each time. When I did break my record, I rewarded myself....When I didn't I told myself "you tried your best and that's all that matters"

You have to realise that it'll take time to get over your habit. It's nearly impossible to stop cold turkey. So do not beat yourself up. Just recognize that you're a great person and you are helping yourself by trying to quit.

Some othe things you might want to consider.... Exercise: It's a great, healthy way to relieve anxiety. Every time you want to pick, hop on your bike instead - or go for a jog. Good for your body, your complexion and stress relief. A hobby: like beadwork or play an instument or something else that can ocupy your hands to accomplish something positive. Other things: if you pick only in your room, avoid your room. If you only pick when alone, avoid being alone. If you only pick when you're hungry, make sure you stay fed!

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Thanks for your tips IfOnly!!! Oh I know, Ive gone through the same things you just listed.

Here's what Ive done so far:

- Thrown away all pocket mirrors (CHECK)

- Covered all bathroom mirrors (CHECK)

- Cut my nails really sort to avoid scratching (CHECK)

- Playing with my hair instead of letting my fingers slip to my face (CHECK)

- Put a calendar on my bedroom door counting the days and date when I havent picked on my skin and rewarded myself (CHECK)

IM DOING REALLY GOOD SO FAR!!! I wish I took this step sooner, its been 2 days now and I havent had a compulsion to even WANT to squeeze a pimple. I know its gonna be a long road but the 24 hours were the hardest, I belive thats over now.

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You're sooooooo NOT alone... I've been compulsively picking at my entire body for about 20 years, but mostly my face - right now it's so scabby and bruised, it's disgusting and I'm completely disgusted with myself :mad:

My mom does this as well, so I know I've learned this behaviour from her. When I first started getting bad zits around age 10 or 11, she would try to squeeze them for me!!!!! Thus, the habit formed and I've never been able to break it. :wall:

It's not the just the fact that I can visually see a zit that makes me anxious, it's that I feel so "dirty" when I know I have a zit (and usually I have a face full of them, not just a few). Somehow, releasing the pus makes me feel like I'm getting more clean. It's such screwed up thinking. And yes, I've used all sorts of tools to make it happen - pins, scissors, needles, tweezers, even toenail clippers. Then, once I've made a total bloody mess of my face, the major guilt sets in, which is even worse than the dirty feeling in the first place. I've been on anti-anxiety meds for over two years, and they are no help to me for this problem. I don't know what to do either - I'm so embarrassed to even be at work today - I'm sure everyone is wondering why I have a bunch of big scabs on my face. I really contemplated calling in sick today, but I don't get paid for sick days.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know you're not alone. Also, I go through phases of picking my scalp too (totally sick, I know) - anyone know what that's called?

PS - I know for a fact I get more "picky" right before my period - I guess from the surge in hormones??

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I have felt similar to you and think it really is an anxiety disorder. You can visit this site http://www.feelserenity.com/freetrial.htm

My sister just started taking this for her anxiety and says it does help. She used to skin pick when she had acne bad but now she obsessively plucks her eyebrows. I don't have as much acne as I used to so I'm getting better, but if I do have a whitehead I really can't leave it for an hour either. It really can become addictive and then it can seriously mess with your endorphins and mess your brain chemistry up. So the natural supplement could help but ultimately you should still concentrate on the behavior therapy like you are doing. Good luck!

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