Since dermatillomania is relatively new in the public eye (since the OJ trial...just..look it up). I may as well explain some things. Before I do, to those reading this should answer a question: are you a bit of a hypochondriac? If you are, and you have acne...my guess is you pick at it, dont assume you have dermatillomania right away. People have a tendancy to roll their eyes at self diagnosed OCD disorders (I have yet to tell anyone in my life.) Soooo...heres some of my very limited knowlege of this little OCD-esque disorder.
Scroll down if you want some of my tips. There arent many but they helped me out.
Dermatillomania (also known as compulsive skin picking or CSP) is an impulse control disorder and form of self-injury characterized by the repeated urge to pick at one's own skin, often to the extent that damage is caused. Dermatillomania can be a compulsion of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
(google search strikes again)
It almost says it all right there. Im pretty sure I have it...(jury is still kind of out on it though). I have picked and prodded at my skin obsessively before I even had acne (no its not the cause..I wish it were that simple.) So here's a bit of a personal view. Im doing this because all the websites I have seen on the subject are for books you should buy...or web definitions.
As I have said in a previous post, Im always conscious of how I look due to my acne...because of this im always conscious of what imperfections are on my skin the second they appear. It doesnt matter if they are invisible to anyone else (because most of the time they are) because I know they are there. It really is a compulsion to be rid of it. Ironically 85% of this picking makes these imperfections worse, yet myself and people like me continue.
There are websites dedicated to picking and squeezing pimples for the enjoyment of seeing it. Im not really like that, I stumbled upon the website and to be honest was kind of grossed out (if its your thing by all means, continue). BUT when I get rid of a pimple, and I know I got rid of it..I feel pretty victorious and theres a relief from knowing Its out of my skin and that it will heal faster because I did it. Its kind of like an addiction to that peace of mind, unfortunately not all battles are won this way...I currently have huge scars on my face due to my acne kind of winning this whole war.
After the relief goes away (and that is....almost immediately) theres guilt, then a f___ it attitude to do it again since my skin is already wrecked. Im not saying I know what its like to be a heroine addict...but I do seem to be chasing a high that may or may not be 1/54656891354468767th of the drug.
ANYWAYS...while I was living with my boyfriend I tried my best not to pick, because frankly I look like hell for hours (with or without makeup) after I walk out of a picking session. So being my sneaky self, Id pick before I go to sleep...ninja. Now that I am home and have no need to feel or actually be attractive at any time of the day, its a free for all. But while I was moved out, there was a month where I didnt touch my face (um..much). That was how I didnt have any scars for two weeks when I didnt have any new breakouts and bam- perfect skin. Then my acne came back but I still didnt pick for a while..then I eventually caved. Tomorrow I plan on ending my picking again, and in all honesty Ill probably 'relapse' again but it will have to stick eventually, right? So here is what I did to help stop my picking urges during that month:
Disclaimer: Some of these things are a personal preference to me, but Ill try and list off some other options for a general public.
1: Mirrors are the allies of the enemy...so..the enemy! I personally just avoided looking in the mirror for the most part unless I had to get ready to go somewhere, and I never pick right before I have to leave my house so yay?
2: Unfortunately looking in the mirror for the imperfections is just part of the compulsion, its not reaaalllly vanity but try thinking of it that way. Think about how many times you looked in the mirror instead of looking for imperfections you see in it. Basically guilt yourself out of the vain act of continual mirror use. If you bought a small compact mirror specifically to make the impulses easier to follow (like me : / ) Get it far away from you. Throw it out a window, anything. Well...dont break it if youre worried about the seven year thing. Ive broken enough mirrors for a lifetime of bad luck, maybe thats why I have acne....ugh
3. Keep your hands busy...Its part of why im typing this. Im an artist so drawing does a pretty good job of that. What else can you do hmmm....eating certainly does the trick but thats probably the worst substitute I can mention. Play an instrument, fiddle with something that clicks and pops (thats not a compact mirror)..im so bad at coming up with these..sorry.
4. Keep your hands clean from touching all that random stuff that keeps your hands busy ..and unconsciously touching your face. Ive read one touches their face anywhere from 250 to 3000 times a day (guess where I fall in there?)
5. MOST IMPORTANT for me. Every time I had an urge to look in a mirror or touch or pick my face, I drank water. I had a huge water bottle beside me all the time and like I said, Id drink at every urge. Not only was I not picking, I knew I was helping my skin with all the water. I drank a lot of water that month..
6. Stop looking up acne solutions...Itll make you think about the poor state of your skin and want to 'fix' it. Anything youre trying will take months to take effect anyway, what you look up that day wont do any good.
7. NOT a good idea...but dermatillomania, I find, is more than skin picking..it involves hair removal too...Its like a perfectionist on steroids (should have mentioned that earlier). If had a weird eyelash that was crooked, eyebow hair...thing-gone. And it doesnt just concern the face, but the body as well. I still continued to pick at parts of my body because there was virtually no damage done, so I took the attention off my problem areas..that is such a bad idea though...why did I even type it...
I wasnt exactly "cured" for that month. But it avoiding my face made me feel so much better. I looked so much better too..Ill probably have better recommendations the more I try at this. Again, sorry for the long post. Whoever is reading this..youre a trooper and im impressed.