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Skin Picking - A Cautionary Tale

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I've been a picker since I was a teenager. Somehow, as much as I try to remind myself that they might not get all noticeable, I still pick. This week, I think I finally had a scare that really made me think about what I'm doing.

I had a spot on my elbow that's been lingering. It may have been a zit, but it would get swollen, and sometimes I'd pick and squeeze some pus out. It was actually doing reasonably well until Sunday, when I went after it and picked at it. Big mistake.

Monday morning, while I was still half asleep, I was vaguely aware that my elbow was quite sore. When I woke up, I saw that I had a cyst the size of a ping pong ball that wasn't there before. Uh oh. I had a very bad feeling it could be an abscess, and something told me I really need to see a doctor. My doctor saw me, took one look and said it doesn't look good, and could be infected. He sent me straight from his office to an orthopedic surgeon, who was better equipped to relieve it. He didn't think it looked good either, and said if it's an abscess I might have to go to the ER. Oh boy, now I'm getting scared, and kicking myself because I should have left it alone.

Fortunately, it turned out to be full of blood, not pus. He sent what he drained off to the lab to make sure it wasn't an infection, but what came out was not pus. He gave me antibotics to be on the safe side, but he's pretty sure it was more like a giant blood blister. It's still a noticeable bump, but it's getting smaller and not nearly as sore.

So, after a bit of a scare, now I'm catching myself picking at my other bumps. All I can say is I hope others learn from my mistake, and don't pick!

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