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Chill Out Program: Commence!

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Hi all,

I'm new to the boards, so thought I would start off by briefly introducing myself. My name is Jenny and I am a college student (I'm a junior) on the East Coast. I am majoring in neuroscience and plan to attend either med school or grad school (or both!) after taking some time off to work/figure out my plans for the future after I graduate next year.

I've been picking at my face ever since my acne began to worsen in high school, though it only became a noticeable problem once I started college. Perhaps it was the additional academic stress (or because my mom wasn't around to tell me to stop :P) that contributed to this exacerbation...either way, it's been a serious problem for about 2.5 years, and it's time for me to stop. At this point, my acne isn't much of an issue--it's the picking that enables the acne formation.

I've attempted to stop in the past, and have even been marginally successful, but it seems that as soon as I begin to ease up on myself a little bit (after seeing the success of not picking), I relapse.

Now, I'm going to try again.

After perusing the boards tonight, I bought Mario Badescu's Healing Cream! I really hope it works! While I was doing all of this (reading the boards, online shopping, checking email, etc.) I noticed and recorded several instances in which I had the urge to pick. I find that my urges usually arise when I'm doing something sedentary--reading, doing stuff on the computer, studying, etc. When I'm active, or actively using my hands, I tend to forget about picking entirely. I work in a lab, and obviously can't pick at my face when my hands are gloved/covered in nasty chemicals. Tonight while I was in lab I had the idea to bring some gloves home with me. I'm not wearing them right now, but I'm going to do some reading in a bit and will put the gloves on. We'll see how it goes!

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Good luck! I used to have a problem with trying not to pick i don't do it as much now but every time i do i always get breakouts in the area i picked at no matter how sanitary i make it, one of the tips that i learned from a beauty guru on youtube was to write on your mirror ( in dry erase marker) something like don't pick and prevent 2 new zits next week and it really helped.

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Thanks for the tip! That's a great idea!

Day 1:

Today went well. I noticed that one large-ish sore that I had stopped picking at last night was significantly smaller this morning, and was even smaller tonight! It was difficult to not want to touch/prod it throughout the day, but seeing the positive results from not picking encouraged me to keep my hands away from it. I also made a significant effort to not consciously touch my face all day. Avoiding mirrors helped a lot. The only times I caught myself touching my face was when I did so unconsciously. Throughout the day I would periodically catch myself touching, rubbing, or scratching at my face (again, this occurred when I was doing sedentary things), and would immediately force myself to stop. It's interesting how this habit has become so ingrained/automatic. After realizing this unconscious action, I switched to scratching at my head. I guess there were a few zits around my hairline, and some dry skin on my scalp...even though scratching my head is better than my face, I also need to work on stopping this behavior, and not allowing this to be the alternative behavior I invoke when I'm consciously not allowing myself to scratch my face.

Goals for tomorrow: 1) Continue to not touch my face consciously 2) Make a significant effort to prevent myself from unconsciously touching my face...perhaps sitting on my hands or keeping them otherwise occupied will help with this? and 3) Don't continue to scratch at my head/scalp.

Goodnight everyone!

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Well, Jenny, it sounds like you've figured out some of your triggers and when you're most likely to have the urge to pick; that's progress right there. I always think that's half the battle really because if you're aware of that and you can change your actions when those scenarios arise, you're breaking the habit and changing the way you think.

As far as actually picking at acne is concerned, I found that it became easier as time passed. Less picking meant I was breaking out less, and less acne meant there was less to pick at anyway. Takes that negative cycle and flips it around. I found a couple of other areas which helped me clear my acne, but picking as little as possible definitely played its part and, even if I do slip now and then, I know that I'm always better off for avoiding picking and I'm always conscious that if I do want to pick, I should tell myself that it won't end well. It never does!


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