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leopolda

compulsive skin picking

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Hi, everyone. Perhaps this should go in the psychological/emotional effects of acne/scarring, but I spend so much more time in this forum and I do think it belongs here.

Last spring, I finally, after many, many, many years, discovered that I suffer from a fairly newly-diagnosed condition called compulsive skin picking "CSP," sometimes known as dermatillomania. Please understand, I am *very* skeptical of the plethora of new conditions and disorders that are cropping up (no offense to anyone), and am very suspicious of pinning every problem on a "disorder." However, when it reached a crisis point last spring as I was having panic attacks over, among other things, the prospect of getting married, etc (long story), I finally had to admit that my picking was out of control and I needed help. I looked on line and found some studies on this and was amazed to discover that this was an actual thing, that others did it, that there was a list of symptoms (to distinguish it from the normal range of picking) and I ABSOLUTELY fit it to a tee--I demonstrated so many of the symptoms it was astonishing--terrifying but also a huge relief finally not to feel like a complete freak. I think I thought I picked in response to my bad skin--now I see that I made my skin bad. And just to be clear, my picking was not "normal" picking--I won't go into the details, but please trust me, it was pathological and, I think, dangerous, aside from simply disfiguring.

 

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leopolda -I can really relate to what you are saying. For me, I was a bit of a skin picker too - always picking off scabs before they were ready to fall off, squeezing until my spots bled, re-squeezing until I was left with a deeper scar than I would've done. Up till around 8 years ago, I was doing this all the time - also, up until 8 years ago I used to bite my nails non-stop - until they bled.

I realised that I had lots of unresolved issues to do with myself and my family (perfectionism being the main culprit, also feelings of low self esteem - not ever being good enough).

 

Big Hug biggrin.gif and thanks for sharing =D>

Maya

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Erm, wow! i can totally relate! i hate to admit it put i think my scaring is caused by my constant picking and everything else that maya descirbed! i sometimes think that i might need help to overcome the picking as sometimes i dont know why i'm doing it and dont realise i do it! its like an addiction! i have a lot of body issues and turning to picking my acne makes me feel relaxed and in control! wierd i know!

Leopolda, thank you so much for sharing! i would have never even thought of something like CSP, i'm going to read up on it and maybe mention it too my skin specialist!

i'm going to try and not pick anymore too!

any tips on how i can prevent myself from picking at the spots?

you have been so successful for 3 months! thats fab! to me that shows great strength and power!

i think i'll read those links now to gain more of an insight!

thanx again leopolda! you have contributed to my progression

to re-invent myself and become the person i want to be and not hide away from life!

thanx, xxx

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aaaaaaaaaaaaah! i dont know if i'm reading to much into this, but i will definately mention this to my skin specialist and to another person who is helping me with other crapy stuff!

i don't know why, but i feel a sense of reassurance knowing about CSP! i always thought that there must be a reason for why i do this! why i continue to destroy myself and then moan about what i have done and then continue doing it! i think that sometimes maybe i am not normal!

i can specially relate to the bit where it said that it gets so bad you dont leave the house! at one time i did not leave my house for 2 weeks! i cannot face people! i am constantly thinking that people are staring at me, laughing, disgusted! its horrible and i cant fight this feeling! i even try to cover it up from my parents as i am worried they will say something!

i never wanted to tell anyone about this because i thought they would say that i was being vien and i would feel ashamed and disgusted! least now i can show its not vanity!

thanx again! sorry about going on abit but this is a delicate issue with me!

thanxs, xxx

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I think I have this problem too. I am not going to pick at any of my pimples. I am bad about pulling off dry skin....

I read somewhere on the net that women are much worse about this than men. I was confused about lancing pimples---thinking it was okay to do this. I am not going to do this anymore either, as I think this is causing those scarred pore looking things.

Good luck everyone! Jane

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god, this is so true meeeeee #-o, i always seem to be doing it especially during times of stress (like studying for a test or taking a test), so anyways... after halloween i had a minor breakout and i decided to call in sick for school, not because i was scurred of ppl seeing my face, but i was scurred that i might pick at it, so for two days i stayed home all day playing video games trying to resist the urge to pick and scratch at it and it WORKED!! i was soooo happy the evil whitehead went away and the mark it left afterwards was tiny as hell, almost invisible!!! i was so happy!!! then i got sad cuz i noticed my scars that i had picked and argh sad.gif

but at least i won't have to worry about any new scars (i hope)

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I have to balance this by saying that if it weren't for acne I wouldn't be picking, but once anything starts brewing - LOOK OUT. I cannot help myself, I will pick it. My parents are both perfectionists (mom was a ballet dancer so need I say more). But really, would any of us be picking if there weren't anything to pick at?

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I have to balance this by saying that if it weren't for acne I wouldn't be picking, but once anything starts brewing - LOOK OUT.  I cannot help myself, I will pick it.  My parents are both perfectionists (mom was a ballet dancer so need I say more).  But really, would any of us be picking if there weren't anything to pick at?

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I too am constantly picking at my face. I pick the scabs off way before they are ready to fall off (thinking it would look better and then putting on tons of make-up over the pulled off scab while it's still bleeding) and all this does is cause more and longer scaring. I also try to pop pimples before they are even popable thinking that I can make them look better, when in actuallity it just pushs them deeper into the surface causing bleeding and more to form from that one (and I pick until there really bleeding). Now since I have started the Bactrim, the pimples that I get are fake (just inflamation) and trying to go away and what do I try and do, yes pick those as well! I guess I will never learn. Also, why do pimples always form at night, so you wake up with a huge zit that was not there the night before!

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Hi, everyone. Thanks for all of your stories and good thoughts. It's nice to know you're not alone. A few people mentioned perfectionism, and I do think that is part of what fuels it all. I've also read some theories about how this is this wierd "grooming" mechanism in the brain gone haywire--like this deluded idea that if you just keep picking, you can make it look better. For me, it isn't that--I know that I am making myself look worse. Instead, it's like this neurotic need to "expunge" or "extract" stuff that I think should not be there (in my brain, it seems like "toxins" that need to be "cleansed" or "purged"). Also characteristic of CSP is this sense of a euphoric release when picking and this trancelike state--I absolutely experience this. Actually, since I stopped picking, I know it's better rationally, but on a deeper level, I've been so much more agitated, and I think it's because I'm not getting that release (wierd, I know)

 

--leo

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anyone heard of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)?

its a process that chamges the way you think about stuff! i might be taking some sessions to improve my life and it could help with the perfectionist thing and the picking!

hope everyone is doing ok!

aminah smile.gif

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well i hope it works for me! i'm a bit worried about people messing around with my mind and the way i think but i guess they're just going to try help me change my negative thinking patterns!

thanx!

aminah:)

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Don't worry - it's not hypnosis!

The cognitive aspect just means understanding (so you can rationalise stuff)

The Behavioural aspect just means that ...

so it's about undertsanding your behaviour and patterns and then.. formulating new strategies to change.

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I totally believe in CBT, I also am a therapist in training and believe that this approach to therapy is extremely beneficial for persons with the obsessive-compulsive type behaviors. I definately have these traits!

Jane

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I used to pick my skin a lot especially when i was working on computer or watching t.v.Once,I put bandage on the tips of my fingers to remind myself not to pick.LOL.Definitely ,the skin is clearer when it is untouched.Now,i don't even use towel after washing my face .

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