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So for reasons I have a bad habit of picking at my face, I have eczema so I have dry skin as it is. I’ll be upfront now, this is going to be a long read so I’m sorry. 

I’m a 21 year old girl still living with my parents, so don’t hate on me too much please... 

So, my skin is actually not bad, but I’ve recently made it horrible. I try hard to not damage my skin, I only get anxious and want the acne gone. But I end up creating much more visible acne and scabs. I have fair skin so anything red or swelling will show clear as day... I use tweezers to get the acne out, the lest sharp tip-side I angle it just above a pimple and push in and down, which works but that easily tears into my skin. That leaves me with scabs... and no amount of ice or whatever gets the redness or swelling to go away. And I know that his is awful and can cause infection, and it already has, I’m just wanting so badly to stop this habit and let my scabs heal. I know I need to leave my face alone and let everything dry out and heal, but then I peel like crazy and if I use makeup to cover up the redness that makes it worse. My dry skin gets drier and then peels which is VERY apparent beneath makeup... and if I use lotion then that will prevent my scabs and acne from drying up and healing. Am I supposed to just suffer it out with the dry mess? So frustrated with myself!! I know better but in the moment I’m not thinking about the consequences. I don’t have bad acne normally, but because of my lack of willpower I now have many visible red dots all over my forehead, between my eyebrows, my nose, above my lip and on my chin! It’s depressing and aggravating, now I have a light therapy mask from Neutrogena which works very well for my skin, but it’s all in vain if I don’t quit this habit. I’m so tempted at this point to just use 10 sessions in one night, I don’t know what that’ll do but it may just make me feel better... I’m so destructive. And it’s so much more stressful because my mom will point out that I’ve been picking... and I’m ashamed as it is but then her judgment makes it so much worse. Like after I pick I know if she sees me I’ll be in trouble, so I rush to wash my face then do my light therapy, then face lotion(only on bad parts that I didn’t pick at). And it’s gotten to the point that if I want to eat and I know she’ll see me, I put on makeup just to conceal my regretful deeds. And I’ll even put makeup on for midnight snacks, even though I’ll take it off as soon as I get back in my room. Seriously I can’t even function. 

Okay! Sorry for venting! But I just really need help(I’m already seeing a counselor about this..). Is there anything that I can do to reduce the visible redness and swelling and broken skin in a short amount of time? Honestly, I know once my face is healed, I’ll stop picking. 

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controlling inflammation in the short term is a simple yet somewhat difficult problem I've found. I went through something similar, and eventually, I landed on Dapsone gel. It is a prescription topical gel, and it works great for inflammation. A little goes a long way. If prescriptions aren't really an option, some calming lotions, such as those containing colloidal oatmeal can curve it. Aloe vera does work, but in my experience it needs to be re-applied far too often to really really make it a "practical" option. Unfortunately, the best option as you already know is to not pick. Because essentially once you pick you're creating micro-tears in the skin, and just a mess microscopically. the skin needs to heal and that takes time. Best of luck to you!

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Remember that if you pick, you are going to worsen the situation much more further. It might end up with more infections that might led to scarring. Leave it alone, and it will go away in a matter of time. Patience is virtue, the more you fret about it, the more it’s going to affect you. Stop looking at any mirrors as it’s not going to be a miracle that they would go away upon everytime you are facing a mirror. Accept that it is a part of you, it might be hard, but always find someone whom you can share your thoughts about. You might want to try out on Hydroquinone, Elomet. Consult a dermatologist about it, as it’s a steroid cream that is effective but still, it comes with certain side effects. Use it wisely and a small amount will do it’s job over the night. I wish you the best of luck and hope it gets better from here! Will be keeping track of this post and I look forward to your replies. 

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Okay so I haven’t been picking!! It’s very hard not to but I just keep pushing through. Ugh, but it’s very tempting. I can’t get any creams right now(father recently laid off and I’m in college not employed yet) so I haven’t the money for it. But when I do I’ll try them out! Thanks so much for helping me out, means a lot!! (And I’m working on letting my eyebrows grow out too... ugh). But here’s progress! The scab on my chin is from a cystic pimple. And I couldn’t even look at myself in the camera... such shame I got. Anyways! Thanks again!!

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