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JLopez

Did Obsessive Skin Picking Cause My Acne?

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I've been trying to trace back to when my acne started. The last time I remember having a bout of clear skin was when I had just moved out. I was about 18, had been clear for a few years and barely even thought about my skin, I thought I was one of the lucky ones who had grown out of their teen acne.

When I left home, with my newfound freedom and sudden obsession with skincare, I went out and bought a magnifying mirror and an extractor tool. God knows why.

I proceeded to become obsessed with every pore on my face. I would have weekly, and soon daily sessions where I would steam the hell out of my skin, sit an inch away from my magnifying mirror and pick and pop at everything I could find, leaving my face sore and red. I even remember being nervous about a social event, so nervous that I sat in front of my mirror and picked my skin until it was so red and bloodied that I couldn't possibly leave the house.

A disturbing thought when I look back on it now.

Anyway, my skin got quickly worse and worse from this point and became unmanageable.

So my questions are:
Is it possible that obsessive skin picking could be the catalyst that sets off acne?
And if I had never picked my skin in the first place, could I be acne free now?

Can you remember when your acne started?

Edited by JLopez

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It definitely causes irritation, inflamation, and open skin exposure to bacteria from your hands/tools and elsewhere. I doubt it was the primary reason, especialy as a previous acne sufferer, but it's possible it was a contributing factor to new outbreaks. I wouldn't worry too much with thinking about what could have been. I smoked cigarettes in my teens. I was stupid and that contributed to my bad skin, but you can't kick yourself for past mistakes. You're doing well now. If you're responding well to diet changes than it was probably more than just external issues. Have you stopped picking? Compulsive picking is a hard habit to break. It's a nervous habit for me now, I'm trying to stop.

I had forehead/body acne when I was in elementary school, as young as 8-9. My main issue was genetic so I was cursed from the get-go.

Edited by Kay24

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It definitely causes irritation, inflamation, and open skin exposure to bacteria from your hands/tools and elsewhere. I doubt it was the primary reason, especialy as a previous acne sufferer, but it's possible it was a contributing factor to new outbreaks. I wouldn't worry too much with thinking about what could have been. I smoked cigarettes in my teens. I was stupid and that contributed to my bad skin, but you can't kick yourself for past mistakes. You're doing well now. If you're responding well to diet changes than it was probably more than just external issues. Have you stopped picking? Compulsive picking is a hard habit to break. It's a nervous habit for me now, I'm trying to stop.

I had forehead/body acne when I was in elementary school, as young as 8-9. My main issue was genetic so I was cursed from the get-go.

Hi Kay, thanks for your reply.

Yeah I agree with you I guess. It's so easy to get yourself down thinking about where it all started though!

It's funny how when you have clear skin you don't appreciate it in the slightest. I remember around that period of my life being so worried about my weight, which seems so irrelevant now I have suffered severe acne!

I'm an obsessive compulsive so it's really hard for me not to pick at my skin. I even pick at the skin on the rest of my body sometimes. It's a silly behaviour, I don't know when I picked it up.

I have been doing the caveman regimen for a month now and that has helped a lot with my picking. I find that if I don't stand in front of the mirror washing my face morning and night I am much less analytical of my skin, and less lightly to feel a bump with my finger and decide to mess with it.

I do find myself running my fingers across my forehead when my minds absent, to see if there's anything I can pick at. But I suppose that's a hell of a lot better than the magnifying mirror and the extractor!

If you don't mind me asking, how is your skin currently?

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I think skin picking definitely has a lot to do with acne. I used to have quite a lot a acne on my chest, shoulders, and upper back but in the past few months, I've stopped picking there (and have unfortunately focused more on my face) and my chest and back are the clearest they've been since I started getting acne (about 3-4 years ago). I've also noticed that the light on the left side of my bathroom mirror went out about a month ago and so I focus my picking more on the right side of my face because I can see the imperfections more clearly. The left side of my face looks pretty decent while the right side looks worse and worse. The most frustrating thing is that I can see this correlation and if I could manage to force myself to stop this ridiculous behavior, my whole face might clear up. 

Edited by lliilllliiaann

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