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thesmokyghost

dumb me, making a mild situation worse

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a week ago i got this one pimple (cystic?) on my cheek and i, stupidly, tried to force it out. sure enough, i only succeeded in making the skin red. even more stupidly, the tight pressure under the skin would bother me so much that i would jump back at it, thinking it was poppable, and squeeze really really hard (not with my fingernails, but with my knuckles, thinking that wouldn't leave any sort of mark. yeah.). anyway, i gave up when i realized i only succeeded in aggravating the skin, and reading up on it, i started getting scared of infection and whatnot.

anyway, over the next few days, the red skin got shiny and tight, like it usually does before its about to peel, and it peeled off after a shower, and i decided to put a dab of neosporin on it to help it heal over. its been about five or six days now, the swollenness of the pimple is gone now, leading me to believe the pimple has disappeared, except for the redness, and im thinking the redness is still in the healing process, as it looks kinda shiny, and has a different, smooth, almost glossy texture compared to my normal skin. also, at an angle in light, it seems to be slightly wrinkled, which leads me to believe i could peel it off if i wanted to, but i won't. i guess my question is, considering what i've told you, is this the same as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or is this just some sort of skin abrasion i gave myself from squeezing my skin so hard?

to let you know, my skin is generally clear, with few red marks/scars. the red marks i do have are small ones left behind by cystic acne i did manage to squeeze the hell out of and pop (i know, bad. i should stop.). i should also mention, this is not the first time ive unsuccessfully attempted to pop a cystic type zit. this happens occasionally, but in less self-conscious areas (ie, side of nose, or close to hairline), and in those previous instances, the red marks have disappeared (this i know because i just can't find them anywhere). but just seeing this one on my cheek bothers me for some reason. its only been a week, i know, and maybe i deserve it, and maybe i should get used to it, because it could be there for a long time according to some of these boards, but my history with squeezing and redness has been pretty fortunate, which i may be taking for granted. but if this case is different, is there anything anyone recommends to help, if there are any known remedies that work good for the early stages of possible post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation? i would like to take any preemptive measure if i could.

anyway, sorry if i strike you as some ignorant, cystic zit-popping, no self-control type person who doesn't realize it could get worse, a lot worse, but if you could help me out with this problem, i would appreciate it loads. i've learned my lesson here, and hopefully it clears up for me. thanks for your help!

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Hi there. Please see the link in my signature for suggestions on what to do with a cyst/pimple/zit for future reference.

Treat the spot gently, continue with the antibiotic and consider a bandaid at night. A bit of icing wouldn't be amiss.

Check out the pinned topics at the top of the red marks forum for many suggestions on how to improve PIH. Lots of great ideas there.

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ignorant, cystic zit-popping, no self-control type person who doesn't realize it could get worse,

I took high offense to this comment. There is a legitimate condition called CSP/dermatillamania where quite normal people have a condition where they cannot stop damaging their skin. I know of only one person who has succeeding in overcoming it, and she was a "picker" for 40 years. Everybody picks and pops here and there, but those of us with the actual condition are not "ignorant with no self-control", we are normal, quite educated about our problem, and it is an absolutely horrific and debilitating condition. We know picking makes it worse. We cant "just stop." If we could we would. No one with CSP wants to do what they do or look the way they do. They are not crazy or trying to cause harm to themselves. While "normal people" are prone to pick or pop here and there, people with CSP can continue for hours at a time or create 100s (literally) of holes, scabs and scars all over their bodies. I want you to know we are not freaks and just need to "not do it", I take offense to anyone who thinks otherwise.

As for your pimple, trust me, skin has an amazing way of healing itself. For the amount of damage I've caused to my skin, it's amazing it recovers the way it has. You may have a mark, but chances are in time it will be completely gone.

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I believe you can stop the picking habit if you make it a goal to stop picking and stay focussed.

I have bitten my nails for as long as I can remember and I'm 18, but 6 months ago I realised I needed finger nails to learn guitar, so I became absolutely conciously aware of where my hands were and stopped myself at all times if I were about to bite them.

Its been 6 months and my nails are kept very neat and I have never bitten them since. Playing guitar is a lot easier with nails to pluck!

Power of the mind.

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I believe you can stop the picking habit if you make it a goal to stop picking and stay focussed.

Thanks that was very insightful.

I've had it a goal to stop picking for 8 years now. Am focused on it every minute of the day. Still do it. Any other ideas? :)

PS Look up the condition called "trichotillomania". It is related to skin picking. Trust me, if it was a matter of "putting your mind to it" I would have stopped 8 years ago.

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