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Everyone, I got inspired yesterday when i was looking up reviews on Spironolactone and came across this forum on skin picking, I never realised that of course other people would be stuck in the same situation as me... the never-ending, every night, skin picking routine that is such a big part of my life. Hey guess what, I've been picking at my skin since i was about 15 and Im 42 years old now, thats an awful lot of wasted hours, plus even more wasted hours, days, weeks and years when you count how many opportunities i have opted out of because my skin looks so very crap. I do want to stop. I have a very supportive husband (patience has worn thin on a few occasions, who would blame him?) and 2 lively, active boys.

I would so love to be able to be like a normal person and when its time for bed just wash my face and dry my hands and go to bed. Instead of this trap i fall into every night of studying my skin and then, as if by magic, 30 mins or more has gone by and my face is a mess. Its like I go into a trance. I never pick during the day, ever. I start late at night when I know its too late for anyone to call. Just re-reading this makes me sound like a right weirdo!

Anyhow, big news, I didnt pick at all last night. I took the bulb out of the bathroom and washed my face with the door open. I have never skipped a nights picking, except once when i spent 2 nights in hospital + then made up for it when I got home. So this is it... I'm on day 2, dying to have a go at my face, its practically itching???. Had a glass of wine, now putting up halloween decorations, then I will go to bed in a normal manner and I WILL NOT pick my face tonight.

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Nearly one in the morning, havent picked yet but dying to, kept busy all eve. Everyone asleep now and its prime picking time for me, a good half an hour or more. Will have to wear a pair of halloween skeleton gloves if I stay up any longer, I am dying to have a very quick pick at my face in the mirror. Been avoiding the hall mirror as thats another picking hot-spot in my house. Tomorrow I can type here with a light heart as now I will go to bed in a normal manner and I WILL NOT pick my face tonight.

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I've been on the internet researching skin picking... its opened up a whole new world for me, I really never knew that there was actually a name for it, skin picking, never mind thats its actually a disorder that I'm suffering from. Its reassuring in one way and kind of unnerving in another, depending on my mood. This is an excerpt from www.brainphysics.com, the site lists many therapies and techniques. I'm going to take the 2 below on board: self monitoring + competing response.

'Cognitive-behavior therapy has been studied as a means of treating skin-picking and related disorders. Self-Monitoring is simply making the person with CSP (Compulsive Skin Picking) more aware of their behaviors. As the behavior can often be unconscious, awareness can be improved by simply keeping a log of picking behaviors. The very act of recording the behavior can also interrupt the process and reduce the picking.

Competing Response is a technique designed to give the person an alternative to picking. This can include fidget toys, knitting, beading, or other activities to keep the hands busy.

These techniques are all temporary means of helping the person learn to resist the urge to pick. The more the urge is resisted, over time the weaker the urge becomes. Once the urge fades, these techniques become less necessary. The length of time it takes to extinguish the behavior depends on how long the person has had the problem and how diligent they are in resisting the urges. Although therapy typically lasts from 10-12 weeks, it can take up to 12 months for the urge to pick to finally fade away.'

This evening was difficult, a very long evening. We have relatives staying so although I'm kept busy entertaining I'm still anxious about the challenge ahead. Say if I mess up and go the whole hog. Say if I pick my skin a whole 2 days worth in one evening, in my mind I'm owed one nights picking already. I'm holding a 'get out of jail free and spend one nights picking free' card!

The bulb is still out of the ensuite bathroom, when I say goodnight to relatives I shall run into bathroom and allow myself 2 minutes in there, only 2 minutes, I'm timing myself, 120 seconds only, then thats it, I'm outta there, then I will go to bed in a normal manner and I WILL NOT pick my face tonight.

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Came home from a party last night at 3.30am and stupidly had put the bulb back in the bathroom to do my makeup earlier - bad idea. I washed my face then as if my new bedtime routine never existed I rummaged around in my makeup brush jar for a pin to pierce a biggie that had been on my cheek for 2 days. What am i like? like an addict, couldnt find a pin quick enough. Job done and then was heading for a second one and I stopped, looked in the mirror and thought, what will I type tomorrow night? I tell you if I had stayed in that bathroom one second longer I would never have typed another word on this site. Ever. How easy it was to slip was frightening, it actually has given me a bit of a shock. I let my guard down and wham... I must be more careful, I was so annoyed with myself today and I was doing so well. Did so well means nothing if I'm picking again. I will go to bed in a normal manner and I WILL NOT pick my face tonight. Sigh.

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I can totally understand your dilemma. I'm older than you are and have also spent countless hours staring into my magnifying mirror picking and picking until I have red marks all over my face. It's so embarrasing! But I'm trying to stop. I'm on day 20. Only difference is I'm not going totally cold turkey. I give myself permission to take off totally dry skin that is almost flaking off anyway and if I have a red pimple with an obvious above-skin whitehead then I can prick it with a needle to expel the stuff...just no pressure on the skin allowed. These are my "rules" that I can sanely live with since I don't think I'm ready yet to leave the house with lots of big flakes hanging off or obvious whiteheads.

Thankfully I'm on medication that has lessened the appearance of whiteheads to maybe two a month and they're very small. Retin-A can cause periodic flaking of the skin and I've gotten to a place where I only take off big flakes but nothing small...no one can really see the tiny ones anyway.

I have to say that following the above has made a HUGE difference in how my skin looks and is behaving. Some people on this topic seem to think that not picking will cure their acne...I'm not so sure about that but at least I know I'm not contributing to any inflammation that could aggravate it.

I hope not picking works for you! My skin is looking much calmer with each day that I don't do anything to apply pressure to the skin or to break the surface of the skin. It's kind of interesting. I'm beginning to think that when I used to pick my skin that there was a global kind of response that inflamed my whole face...not just the area I picked. And therefore more sebum was produced and there were more clogged pores and more picking on my part and more blemishes and...a vicious cycle!!!

Will be thinking of you in this struggle. Old habits are hard to break and we've been at it a long time. But if we can break the cycle then perhaps we can inspire the younger folks to hang in there and get over this habit earlier in life!

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Thankyou cvd, its really great to get a reply from someone who has experience in the long haul with acne. I think its definitely different for older (should I say more mature!) people who are still suffering from acne. With youthful skin, acne is more acceptable, outsiders may think of it being a stage, a teenage moment, a rush of hormones... but when youre over 40 and still suffering with acne, have years of acne scarring and an oily face combined with wrinkles and harsh skin from years of BP, antibiotics etc its in a different league. Its more humiliating, I know my life would have been so much different if I didnt have this acned monkey on my back. I would have done more, seen more, travelled more, lived more... when I was a teenager I wished I was a cat so I'd have fur to hide my face, isnt that nuts? Anyhow, dying to pick here, my neck is quite red from scratching it with the stress of not picking. I know if I did start I'd wouldnt stop for hours which I quite frightening, around my jawline there are lots of little bumps and lumps and I'm scared to look too closely at whats happening there. Have started touching my face during the day with my knuckles instead of my finger tips while on the phone or reading in a kind of kneading manner which I must make a conscious effort to cease because I must be putting pressure on my face without realising it. Midnight now and am heading to bed, have had an petty argument with my husband over laundry only because I'm in such a crappy mood. The man has the patience of a saint! Anyhow, I'm off and I will go to bed in a normal manner and I WILL NOT pick my face tonight.

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Thank goodness I started clicking around the boards! Until 2 days ago, I didn't realize there were so many others that suffered from CSP. Heck, I didn't even realize there was name for it or that everyone with acne did NOT engage in this behavior!

I have been so embarrassed for years too. Acne in conjunction with wrinkles and scarring are no fair! I mean, I don't even have the opportunity to fret about wrinkles for worrying about my active acne and scarring. Sigh.

Have you been to the site stoppickingnme.com? Go there now! Read everything, then go to the boards there. Amazing how much you will learn and how much you will be inspired to quit the picking.

I just started - day 2 now. Rather than waking up to red and scabby skin, I see healing marks and delicate skin begging NOT to be injured by my hands. I have made it a personal challenge to leave my face alone. It is not hard to continue, since I see "immediate" results! No more will I injure my skin thinking I am helping that zit along to heal. I have definitely NOT been helping, I have been prolonging and complicating the life of each blemish unwittingly for years!

For me, I think my picking is simply a result of wanting clear skin, rather than me having an OCD. I thought I was helping the zits to heal faster by picking and squeezing. Wrong!!! I'm telling you, there is at least a 75% improvement in only 2 days. Really!

Also, doing much less to my face has helped my breakouts. Rather than confusing your skin with cleansers, toners, BP, chemicals, moisturizers, serums, etc, etc, just try coddling it by caring for it with kid gloves. I use Purpose cleanser and just started using Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum (I added this to my regimen 2 weeks ago- not for acne, but for wrinkles). If I feel dry I will use a moisturizer. But LESS IS MORE on all products! I say getting back to basics is key.

I am resisting the urge to gaze in the mirror, let my hands sort of explore my skin while I'm otherwise occupied, mindlessly pick at whatever I may feel on my face. I just REJECT doing it as soon as I realize I am about to go "there".

Right now I feel a sore spot on my chin. I FEEL it, but no one else can SEE it. Three days ago, I would have already squeezed, poked, prodded, and treated it with BP, Neosporin, you know the drill. I've barely even touched it, only enough to know it's there. What a difference in the outcome!

You and your skin deserve the chance to heal and be babied. Read every page of the stoppickingonme.com site. I promise, you will relate to many things said there and hopefully get the inspiration to give you and your skin a break!

Good luck!

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hi phoebe, thanks so much for all your tips, i will definitely go and have a read of the stoppickingonme.com site and will investigate Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum, my wrinkles could do with a bit of smoothing! I'm sure they are worse than they should be because of the time I have spent over the years pulling and stretching while picking at my face... youre right too, my face is calmer in the mornings, less redness, and less skin trauma. I'm sleeping better at night because I know in the past if I have really gone overboard the night before and my face is a mess I dont sleep well. I have often got up during the night to check my face or lie worrying about having be somewhere the next day knowing my face is a mess because I have spent over an hour or more picking at it.

My face feels like there's a lot brewing under the surface... havent had a close look at all because I really dont trust myself yet. The bulb is still out of the ensuite bathroom, yes, yes, yes, I can and will go to bed in a normal manner and I WILL NOT pick my face tonight. Go me.

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Wow this sounds just like me. I even have little tools (tweezers, needles). I wonder why this is such a problem? I WISH I could just leave my face alone. :wall:

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Hi Snow,

I don't think you need to purchase the Truth Serum. Just mentioned what I was using...not really recommending it necessarily. The verdict is still out on that for me.

The BIG thing is to just leave your face alone. I know it is hard after years of being in the habit of squeezing and picking, but I'm telling you: My face is on the road to recovery!

I have used every acne medication and unconventional technique imaginable thru the years. Some expensive, some not, and I've finally had my "light bulb moment"!

The worst thing I do is try to help things along with a little squeeze. Then when that doesn't produce enough for me, I will apply more pressure. Then I get mad because I can FEEL something in there and go for the full blown assault on the zit. You know how it is, I'm sure. What I have done at this point is left a red, sometimes bloody wound on my skin. It is not worth it! I'm talking about the under the skin sores that you know are going to become doozies mostly. Those are the ones I get in trouble with the most. It's like I'm insisting I get something out, even though it's not ready. Then it's red, then there's dry skin or scab over it, then I pick that off so I can conceal it better or even get to the pustule easier, then I have a raw spot, then I try to conceal that if I want to go out, then it looks awful, then I don't want to leave the house, then I squeeze everything else on my face, causing more infections where there weren't any, then I look just awful! Sound familiar? It's a vicious cycle I hate!

Challenge yourself to not touch your face at all except when you are gently cleansing it. It's so hard to do it I know! Just look at it as a little experiment you are doing. Don't even let your fingertips wander around your face. It will lead to just a little pick, then you're in the danger zone! Where there's no turning back!

Good luck, keep me posted...

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yes phoebeb, its all familiar, spookily so. I thought I was helping my skin to heal faster by picking and squeezing. When I was younger I assumed that everyone with acne picked their face every night... and then when I got older it dawned on me that nobody else did and I just kept it secret, odd isnt it!

Now, my skin is definitely looking better, less red, less savaged. I know because I'm not spending as long in the morning putting on makeup and my life-saving, best friend + best enemy: concealer. There's alot brewing on top and under my skin, I've seen plenty there that would keep me entertained for hours in the mirror. In the old days (last week!) I used to try and drag myself away while picking my face by coaxing myself saying things like, after 3 more squeezes I'm finished, or I'm turning off the light in 30 seconds...

I'm on here early this evening because its friday and we always have wine at the weekend, I'm a little anxious that with a few glasses on me I'll throw my new routine to the wind. I'd like to, or should I say, I will be typing here tomorrow evening that all is well, no picking occurred in the zone on friday evening.

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Oh Snow... good luck with that vino and being able to stick to your new routine!

I am so mad at myself! After all the preaching and advice I've been giving, can you believe I tried to help a healing spot on my face last night? I know I have been so sold on this no touch method and it has been really working. Once again, I thought I'd be helping by just a little pressure to get the rest of a biggie out that was healing beautifully! WRONG AGAIN! And I will make that the last time I do something so stupid. I now have a nice red spot/ almost scab where I had only a tad of discoloration.

It wasn't done out of boredom at all. I simply was trying to pretty my face up. Now I've made a mess, and am going out tomorrow night. This is where it's so tricky for me... if i know I have plans, I want my skin to look great. So I fall into the trap of allowing myself to think that I will help the way any spot looks with my "magic touch"! When will I learn? Hopefully NOW I have really learned my lesson! So mad at myself... oh well, starting over.

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Sunday evening and I cant believe that I didnt pick at all during weekend, well the weekend hasnt actually ended yet but theres something kind of eerie about winter sundays around 5pm that give me an uneasy feeling. Always has. Anyhow, all good in the zone, dying to pick and friday evening was very difficult. In the end I had to drape a scarf over the mirror in the hall because I kept coming back to it to try and have a look at my skin. It was like the mirror was beckoning me, just have a little peep, it wont hurt, sweetie. I started actually talking to the mirror and then told it to f off and leave me alone. Think I'm starting to lose my mind. I dont care if I lose my mind if I can have clear skin in the process!

I put the bulb back in the ensuite bathroom but I replaced the 100 watt one with a 40 watt, I couldnt pick at that mirror if I wanted to because the light is so dim. As I said I never ever pick during the day and the late evening is my prime picking time. So hopefully that will sort that picking hot spot out.

The trick is to NOT look in the mirror, not ever at your prime picking time or picking hot spot because the will is weak and I think if I started picking again I would never stop.

Well,my skin is looking better than it has done in years, now theres alot brewing and I think that the tinest bit of pressure or squeezing on my face would set off a chain of volcanic explosions. Its not as oily in the mornings, perhaps the picking and pressing on my face stimulated the sebum and the oil glands, it was like having a extra-strength facial massage every night.

My stress levels are very high in the evenings and my neck is still quite red from friday's scratching, I

will give rubberband idea a go too, anything is worth a try, would blindfold myself if at all possible! And I will go to bed in a normal manner and I WILL NOT pick my face tonight. One night at a time...

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Saturday afternoon and the week has been pretty good here as far as no picking goes. I am finding it easier to walk away from the mirror at night after I have washed my face. I have removed the hall mirror too as it was too much of a temptation for me. This morning I actually went for an early morning walk with no makeup, like when have i ever done that in the last 20 years? Now it was still a bit dark so no one could really see my face until i was on the way back home but I did it and it felt so refreshing. My skin condition is still isnt great by any stretch of the imagination but I am definitely less red and less savaged looking and I look like I just have acne and not some form of scabies or something.

And I did a little picking experiment during the week, I had two identical large whiteheads, one on each side of my face on my cheekbone. One I picked (god it was so hard not to continue like a woman possessed) and the other one I didnt touch at all. I woke up the next day and the one i picked was swollen red and so bad i couldnt even get concealer to stay on it, on the other side the spot was still there, still the same, no better or no worse. The whole day my mind was focussed on my picked spot, had to keep checking it in the mirror, felt super-conscious of it. Next day, the picked one was scabbing and the other was definitely on the way out.

Really I tell myself I prefer to be stressing about not picking, it seems more of a positive type of stressing, rather than stressing over damaged skin. I have to keep reminding myself of this, I find its hard to be nice to myself when I feel my own body has let me down.

So, less mirror time and dim lights seem to be working for me, so far so good. Onwards we go into the light... !

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I've been reading all your posts here and can totally relate...to everything! I've also been doing some experiments about waiting to see what happens, comparing ones I've picked to ones I haven't. It's very embarrasing to say that it's just like you experienced...the ones I pick stay red and the one I don't fade away more quickly. Interesting thing is that one I didn't pick still had that bump under the skin, a bump I would normally be obsessing about...that somehow it's going to explode with any pressure or something. But the bump faded away too...the body must have absorbed the stuff. I've read about this and how that happens but just didn't believe it...I've been convinced for decades now that I have to help the body get rid of this stuff...versus just letting the body do it by itself. That said, it helps to be doing some meds that help lessen the amount of acne I'm battling...makes it a bit easier to cope with the bumps that remain. One thing I've noticed is that sometimes a bump might be raised, then go down but get a little redder and have some pus below the skin, and then start to fade away. It's that process I have to trust. Years ago I would attack the bump before it was even red. I stopped doing that but still would attack bumps that had some pus in them below the skin. Recently I've stopped that but I still will prick a whitehead above the skin...just not applying any pressure at all. I figure eventually I'll be able to tolerate a small bump with pus above this skin...just can't do it yet.

I'm beginning to think this is all about increasing my ability to tolerate how my skin looks in the magnifying mirror. So I'm trying a new thing of only allowing myself one time in the morning to look in the magnifying mirror and that's it. I'm sorry to say that since doing that I've been catching myself having an urge to look in the magnifying mirror every 20 minutes or so...egads!!! Was I actually looking in the mirror that often??? I think so...

This may be a major change for me...

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Hello all,

first time poster. Finally type into google..I CAN'T STOP PICKING MY FACE and wow..I'm not alone.

When I was maybe 15 ( about 25 yrs ago...), I remember going to see the dermatologist and he told me there were 10 things wrong with my face...10 things= my fingers. So picking, not new at all...but in the past 3-4 years it seems to have peaked. I can't remember a time lately when I haven't had a sore on my face and now I have all this scarring. :(

I'm really impressed and inspired by those of you who have cut down/stopped picking. I would like to join you on this mission. I have learned so much from reading who you all are saying and I really want to try it. My husband always tells me to leave it alone..it will go away. He does it and it does. I do not and make it worse. :naughty:

He tells me to wear gloves. Recently, I will put a layer of honey on my face to keep me from picking. Like the rest of you , I don't even realize I am doing it until it's too late and I'm usually bleeding.

Anyway, not sure what it's all about or why i do it, but i'm destroying my skin and i'm sure bringing on more acne.

So...about 3 hours ago I began my "nopick" life.

Those of you who began before me, YAY and way to go! Keep it up! Good luck to us all.

We can do this. :Siava:

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Another picker here---eww that sounds so gross. Anyway, every time I sit down in front of the magnifying mirror to pluck my eyebrows or whatever I start picking...so I decided to put the magnifying mirror in the attic along with all my "tools." I figure it will be better to have unkempt eyebrows and less-than-perfect eye makeup that to have scabs all over my face. If I can keep this picking under control for a week--I'll go get my eyebrows done. I'm hoping this will help. I have to do something. The amount of time I spend picking, applying "healing" products, and applying make-up is crazy. I've always convinced myself that my terrible acne was to blame for the condition of my skin--but I'm realizing that is totally untrue. I think my acne is probably pretty mild at this point--but enough picking can turn a tiny clogged pore into a boil. Good luck to everyone on this "no pick" journey!

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Only time for a quick reply here... hi sasnopick and janeysport, welcome to the zone, we're all on the long road to a FULL recovery, no matter what, hurrah! Yes its funny that we all think we're so unique and sometimes feel so alone with this self destroying and frustrating habit ... how many of us are (were) there pick pick picking away in the mirror every night???

As I said earlier less mirror time and dim lights seem to be working for me, finding it very hard but still positive results.

And I do like the '10 things wrong with your face = 10 fingers' very good.

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hey there! how did you all do today?

I did much better than most days...but sheesh ya sure gotta stay on top of it. I found my self totally subconsciously or is it unconsciously picking w/ out realizing it. It's a habit, allright. Bit I'd say today was 85% no pick...I am really looking forward to see ho things will look since I've taken a spand against the picking. I find that I did it when I was on the phone, working at computer and putting my kids to bed. Oh and of course mirror time.Hope you are having pick free days!

:D

S

Only time for a quick reply here... hi sasnopick and janeysport, welcome to the zone, we're all on the long road to a FULL recovery, no matter what, hurrah! Yes its funny that we all think we're so unique and sometimes feel so alone with this self destroying and frustrating habit ... how many of us are (were) there pick pick picking away in the mirror every night???

As I said earlier less mirror time and dim lights seem to be working for me, finding it very hard but still positive results.

And I do like the '10 things wrong with your face = 10 fingers' very good.

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I am so glad I found this forum tonight!! Greetings everyone!

I am 44 years old...and have picked my face for as long as I can remember. I am pretty sure I got it from my Mom. (Not to blame everything bad on us moms!) I can remember watching her pick her face, and I swear it was like a relaxation thing for her. Like yoga is for others. It was calming for her. I feel it's the same thing for me. It's like my way of escaping.....of disengaging? Not sure if those are even the right words. Maybe I want to do it because it's a situation I can control? I don't know? Life isn't bad...I have a wonderful husband, two great kids....nice things. But yet, I pick. And pick...

I do have a lot of job stress and I have occasional panic attacks. I wouldn't even call them panic attacks...just moments of feeling breathless, weird. I think it's hormonal, but I have a script for xanax if I need it.

Anyway....

I can relate to all of your posts. I really can.

I have used so many things for my acne....even accuatane in my 20's. And though the derma suggested it to me a few months ago I declined. I really don't want that stuff in my body.

I was using Tazorac at night and Benzaclin during the day. Seemed to work for awhile. Never totally clear but was manageable. Then it started getting bad. So....

The derma recently put me on epiduo - about 3 months ago when I decided not to do the accutane. My face....was kinda better...not ever totally clear - and when stress ramped up at work...a birthday party to plan, a plane trip and a visit from Mom....I don't know - I went completely pick-happy. Like I was on a quest. I made it bad....super bad...like turned 6 zits into 26 zits!!

In all my wisdom, I decided to start using my sons Proactiv stuff along with the epiduo. I was even doing the sulfur masks. Jesus....I have made a mess. So I went back to basics...using what the derma told me to. Aquanil to wash and cetaphil or cerave for lotion. I am supposed to only use epiduo at night....but three days ago I started using it in the AM too. My skin is now, REALLY dry and flakey. Less zits?? Too early to tell.

I have another flight ahead of me Tuesday. And my nerves are getting to me. I am picking twice a day....typically before my shower in the morning and after I wash my face at night. IT HAS TO STOP. I look like a monster. Worst part...my derma says..."I think you'd be pretty much acne free if you didn't pick!"

So...

I went searching tonight on the topic and found this wonderful forum. This wonderful thread. It's like "Sisterhood of the Traveling Picking"!! LOL

I want to stop. I do.

I think knowing there are others out there trying to stop as well....that is such a huge weapon in our arsenal.

I have about 30 zits, cysts, spots....on my face right now. I want to see by not picking for a month if that will be greatly reduced.

I sure hope so!! So I vow tonight....no picking. I do have some major flakes because of the epiduo twice a day - I will try and not get crazy when removing those. But certainly NO digging or LOOKING for things to pick. NO more.

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Well so far so good, had a bit of a stressful week last week and boy did I want to pick. I found myself heading for the mirror on a couple of occasions just out of sheer habit, even thought I was too busy to pick, I would have made the time in the old days. So lucky the light is dim and I can just barely make out my own face and features never mind settling into a good long pick. I remember until recently that there have been many times when leaning over the basin picking at my face in the evening that my legs had gone dead from lack of circulation!

My face is looking alot better but I'll admit I am worried about all the sebum, oil etc that i used to pick out. As I've said before that its building up and I think that the tinest bit of pressure or squeezing on my face would set off a chain of volcanic explosions all over my face. So if I was to pick any evening soon that my face would be a REAL big mess.

Its great to have more 'non-pickers-to-be' on board, the more the merrier. Any tips or hints are more than welcome, its great to have the support here. Have a good week ahead.

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Hi all, having a bad evening, just absolutely dying to pick at my face, its after 9pm and I am so itching to have a pick. I'm reminding myself how much better it is to wake up in the morning with calmer skin... how well I've done so far and it would be such a shame to have to go back to day one again...

So I'm on here passing the next few minutes reminding myself of some of the big pick massacre results I have had in the past.

I can still remember the shame of picking at a spot one evening on the end of my nose and sitting at my desk in work the next day, my boss came over and turned away laughing, I looked like rudolf the reindeer, so embarrassing.

And the time I squeezed one in the middle my forehead and it swelled up in to a huge lump for some reason and I had to pretend I hit my head off a cupboard door when anyone asked what happened.

And the time I stupidly stuck a pin into a spot under my eyebrow and my whole eye from brow to lid turned purple + bruised looking, I had to wear loads of dark purple eyeshadow on my other eye to match it so I wouldnt look like i had a black eye!

And the time I picked so deep at a whitehead on my cheek that when I woke up the next morning one side of my face was swollen and the glands on that side in my neck were huge.

And the time I picked at one by my ear and for three days after I looked like I had facelift surgery beside my ear!

And I could go on and on... what am I or should I say was I like??? I dont want to go back to those dark times again.

I'm staying in the 'no pick zone' for as long as I need to, its doing me good.

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oh I feel like vomiting, my stomach muscles are clenched so tight i actually feel like being sick... there was a whitehead on my cheek below my eye and its was sitting there for 4 days, ticking away and tonight why oh why did i pick at it, i was just trying to make it go away and now ive made it ten hundred times worse, my cheek is swollen, red and it feels hot.. oh Im so sick of this, Im too old for this crap. I wont sleep tonight and i have promised to be somewhere on thurs, the day after tomorrow. I feel so low now I want to curl into a ball and hide my head in shame.

Edited by snowflakeshope

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"I want to curl into a ball and hide my head in shame."

Hey, Snowflakeshope...cut yourself a break. It takes 10,000 repetitions to create a new habit!! I've been digging at my skin since the '70s--I'm 47 now. I've decided I'm going to try to kick the skin picking habit. The last few days I have been trying not to even touch my face, and to my surprise the sore red spots are clearing up quickly. Of course it won't last, as soon as I get a new crop of zits I will have to exercise serious control not to pick and squeeze. It is an obsession! I don't know if it is a control thing, or what. I know I have been unhappy with my skin and the more unhappy I am the more I pick and squeeze. Doesn't matter how often people tell me to quit, I still do it. Especially when I am physically still...like in a car or reading or working at my desk. It's hard for me to pass up a mirror without examining my skin for minor imperfections and then picking at them! I really want to stop. The raw places really are worse than the zits.

So here is what I am trying. I am trying to tell myself every time I look in a mirror that my skin looks better and better. I am trying not to despair if I get carried away and pick at zits...I use a bit of triple antibiotic creme with pain reliever on the spots I have picked (get the creme, not the gooey ointment stuff) and try really hard not to go after them. Seems like if I really leave them alone...no benzoyl peroxide, no topicals till they heal, they do much better. Less irritation I guess. I'm trying to keep up with when I really want to pick at my face, then accept that I do and try to do something else to keep from picking like making a fist or going to get a glass of water or anything other than picking!

Please don't beat yourself up. Be proud that you are trying to change!

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