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Compulsive Skin Picking (face, arms, legs, and body)
(THIS IS NOT AN ACNE PROBLEM!)
I have a really clean face and body, I just destroy every piece of it by doing this.

Well here, let me tell you my story. I'm 17 years old, the typical high school teen.I have the compulsion of looking in the mirror and standing there for hours looking at every pore on my face then picking. Then it over turned to my whole body, its gotten way worst since I begun doing this since 1 1/2 years ago. Its been putting me down a lot then turning into depression because I can't wear short sleeves or shorts in public without someone noticing i have multiple scabs, bumps, blemishes going everywhere and questioning me about it. I hate this because I thought it was nothing at first, but when I started noticing marks, scars, bumps and never healing scabs that were left after picking or messing with, its become embarrassing. I miss having a clear/clean body and face, but its like a urge to me. Its like an itch that has to be scratched, if you don't itch it, the urge will grow until so. So after I became aware of my problem, I took my time to see if other people had the same symptoms as me, and I actually found a bunch of people. Well I also found something called Compulsive Skin Picking. Which it is but if you search it up on Google, its more of a mental thing, not a hormone imbalance that a drug would take care of it. I recommend not to take any prescribed drugs for this problem, because I can already tell you NONE will work. Probably just a medication that would mess with your mind or make you depressed. Try these helpful hints that I'm going to be trying out also...

When tempted to pick, care for your skin by applying a moisturizing lotion instead.

Cover or remove mirrors if they act as a trigger and get rid of all implements such as tweezers and pins used for picking.

Consider the use of artificial nails to make picking more difficult, it may work for some.

Wear rubber fingertips or cotton gloves whenever possible if you feel the urge to pick.

Try replacing some of the sensory aspects of skin-picking with a more desirable alternative. For example, keep an object by you that you can manipulate (squeeze or pull) such as a soft rubber ball.
( I play with a rubber band around my wrist to occupy my hands when the urge comes.)

Keep your hands busy with something else such as a puzzle or knitting.

If you bite the inside of your cheeks try eating crunchy snacks when you feel the urge to bite.

Reward yourself for making progress with some kind of treat.

As you gain more confidence gradually begin to expose your hands, arms, face or legs to others starting with family and friends. You will no doubt benefit from their support but at the same time the negative consequences of engaging in your habit will be increased.

If all fails, get advice on skin care. If you have a skin complaint see a dermatologist.
(I went to a bunch of doctors and all they give you is acne cream or something along that lines. Most of the doctors won't understand until you explain every little detail of you problem that your having so they can get an idea of whats happening.)
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I'm so relieved, that I'm not alone. I'm 15 and It's a big problem for me, I have scars on my face, shoulders, chest, arms and legs. I'm so ashamed of it, i always wear shirts that cover everything, and i wear a bunch of make up to hide my skin. But I just can't stop. Especially when i have had a hard day, i go to the mirror and press every zit i can find and pick my skin. I have tried to stop it, but i couldn't. The longest i haven't picked my skin is a week, but then something happens, and i start to do it again. For me it's a way to relieve stress, i guess.
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I have anxiety.I pick my face and bite my nails until they're sore! My self esteem has gone down the drain as I continue to do this. Thanks for advice. It has showed me I am not the only one.
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And to think I was the only one. I never realized that this was an actual problem until today I got so fed up with looking at my blotchy face after I picked.

It started when I was around 14, I'm 21 now... I remember just picking the hairs on my upper arms one day, and I would just kind of go into a trance because the hairs would come out so easily. A few days later small bumps would form, and I'd pick at them like they were pimpled. I eventually would pick obsessively so much that my arms were so scabbed/scarred up. One day I was sitting in class, and being a nosy kid, this girl's just like "What's up with your arms, why are you wearing makeup on them?" In front of so many people, I was so completely embarrassed. The picking on my arms eventually slowed down when I was about 16, and that's around the time I became bulimic.

I hated every second of throwing up, but never had the will power to just starve. Eventually I'd watch into the bathroom and sit on my sink and pick at my face in the mirror. I think in a way I did that because I wanted to avoid purging.

There was a year that everything just kind of stopped. I  was at a very happy place in my life, very busy and I just didn't get the urge to pick or purge for that matter. Like I said, only about a year that lasted. I am now 21, and have recently got married to my high school sweetheart and moved across the country because he is in the air force. Not only has the bulimia started again, but the picking is ten times as worse. I had flawless skin on my legs, but now I find myself even picking there. I will disappear into the bathroom for hours and hes just like uhh where were you? I've mentioned it to him before, but it's a very embarrassing habit. I don't think he thinks its that serious. There's been times I've had to cancel plans because not even makeup could cover the mess I made on my face. I now also find myself picking at my head which is so weird. It causes scabs which I will pick over and over and over again.

I'm just so sick of it. If it helps at all, I've been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. I take Zoloft, and the psychiatrist prescribed me Zyprexa. But I think she was stupid for prescribing that to a Bulimic because it can cause severe weight gain. I've tried everything, covering my mirror, putting lotion on instead. I even painted my fingernails five times in one day because the urge kept coming back. It's literally driving me up the wall. :(
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1699033 tn?1443113373
I think you could benefit from psychological therapy.  This is a habit and all habits can be broken.  A psychologist specializing in behavior modification would be right up your alley.  You are so young, you need to get a handle on both the bulemia and the picking so that when you want to have a family you will be in great health and able to do so.  Bulemia rots the teeth and gums, can cause esophagus problems, stomach problems.  Get on the phone and make an appointment.  
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Gosh I so thought I was alone in this. I can't even tell you how many years I've been picking its been that long. I constantly picked @ my face,  back, legs & my arms are the worse. Basically I feel the same way all of you do & I thought it was only me cause I never seen or heard of anyone with the same problem. Its almost like smoking you gotta wean yourself from picking I'm still in the process of trying to stop.
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I have some ways to prevent and make u stop picking. I am also a picker for about 11 months and i know how frustrating and embarrassing it is to pick. I am 13 and so happy to find out that i am not the only one. I usually pick every time i go in the bathroom. I can spend hours in there just picking my back, face, breasts, and shoulders. Afterwards i feel awful and tell myself "Ok, this is the last time.", but i always end up doing it again and again. I have recently stopped because of these simple steps.

      1) DO NOT LOOK IN THE MIRROR!! (If you start to look at all the imperfections on your body, you get the sudden urge to pick, and when u start, u cant stop until your face and body is completely red.)

      2) IMAGINE SOMEONE IS WATCHING YOU!!(If you imagine someone like your friend, mom, crush, etc watching you, you start to feel really embarrassed and stop immediately.)

       3)DO SOMETHING ELSE!!!(The rubber band and squeezing your fists do work, but for me, this may be weird, but singing and dancing works too. O and don't sing too loud cause then your family will hear you and u will be really embarrassed haha.

I hope any of these things helped anyone who has been searching for a cure to stop. I can only advise you to keep a positive look on your body, but the rest is up to you to overcome picking. It may not work the first time, but reading other peoples situations really will motivate u to stop, for good. No offense to anyone, but reading some of these stories about people picking for 20 years really made me want to stop so i don't end up like one of them. GOOD LUCK AND DON'T GIVE IN TO PICKING!
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THANK GOD IM NOT ALONE!!! IVE ALWAYS BEEN A SLIGHT PICKER..(JUST FACE) BUT OVER THE PAST YEAR I HAVE BEEN AT EVERYTHING!!! MY BOYFRIEND IS ALWAYS YELLING AT ME TO STOP PICKING.. BUT HE DOESNT UNDERSTAND THAT I CANT!! ITS IMPULSIVE THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO TO CONTROL IT. IM SURE THERE IS BUT I CANT SEEM TO FIGURE IT OUT YET. I SPEND 3 HOURS EVERYDAY IN THE SHOWER WITH A MIRROR & A TWEEZER. I PICK AROUND THE DEAD SOFT SKIN, AND LATER ON REGRET IT BC MY FACE IS COMPLETLY RED AND DISGUSTING. I CANT LEAVE THE HOUSE WITHOUT POUNDING TONS OF MAKEUP ON TOP OF IT. ITS NOT EVEN LIKE MY SKIN IS BAD, I DO IT TO MYSELF. I AM OBSESSED W TWEEZERS I HAVE THEM IN  MY POCKET OR CLOSE BY AT ALL TIMES. AND NOW I HAVE TAKEN ON MY SCALP, ARMS (ONLY IF SOMETHING APPEARS) AND ANYWHERE I CAN FIND AN INGROWN HAIR. I KNOW THIS SOUNDS REALLY GROSS.. BUT I WILL PULL OUT LIKE 100 HAIRS DOWN THERE.. EVERYDAYY W/ A TWEEZER. I GET AN INGROWN HERE OR THERE.. BUT I NOW HAVE MADE EVERY HAIR INGROWN. NOT ONLY IS IT EMBARASSING, AND I LOOK LIKE ****, I AM DEPRESSED, I DONT LEAVE THE HOUSE, AND IT WASTES MORE  THAN HALF OF MY DAY, BUT MY BOYFRIEND IS REALLY HAD IT W MY PICKING AND MY ATTITUDE WEN I RESPOND ABOUT IT, AND THE AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND IN THE BATHROOM. I CANT GO IN THERE TO BLOW MY NOSE WITHOUT SPENDING ATLEAST 45MINS-AN HR. AHHHH!!! IM GLAD I AM NOT ALONE, BUT I WANT TO STOP. PLEASE HELP!!!!

i feel so relieved that there are others like me. i use tweezers and pull out hairs from my legs. i get bumps from it and i can pop them like pimples. that's my favorite thing to do, but i also pop zits on my face, arms, and chest. and more recently i discovered that i can pull out little hairs from my butt (ya, its kinda weird) and thats also something that i do alot. i've been picking since i dont even know how long. it started as just popping pimples and at bumps on my arms. my arms got so scabbed up that i never wore short sleeve shirts. in my sophomore year of high school i tried using my tweezers to pull out hairs on my legs because i thought it would be like waxing them, only one hair at a time. but i started getting ingrown hairs, which i would pop. sometimes i cant pop them, so with my tweezers (which are really sharp) i dig down until i can get to the hair and pull it out. i gave my tweezers to my boyfriend today (lukester1250) in the hopes that maybe that would at least help me keep from pulling out hairs. i really have no idea how to get over this. i've tried but i can only go for a few days before doing it again. if im not doing one thing, i'm doing another. i dont like all the scars that i've put on myself and all the blemishes, which sometimes hurt. is there anything i can do to make this stop?
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1699033 tn?1443113373
Here is a link to what I wrote in the beginning of December about skin and scalp picking.  Please check it out.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder-OCD-/skin-scalp-picking-disorder/show/1641481

My best...JGF
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Im 12 years old and i have a MAJOR problem with picking skin and scratching and i keep getting rashes and scars more around my face legs and arms!! i cant help it and doctors nvr help i feel like something is pinching my skin and wont stop pinching till i do something to it... I need help im only in grade 7 and i already have problems showing my skin around people, even my family!! the more i scratch and pick the more dry my skin gets and the more it makes it itchier... Help me please!
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1699033 tn?1443113373
Hi there.  Obviously your parents know about this because you have been to the doctors.  But I think that you probably went to a general doctor and not a psychologist.  The best thing for you to do is to have your parents make an appointment with a child psychologist.  This is something that you need to get a handle on now rather than let it go on for years and years.  There is help and I'm guessing you just haven't been to the right person for it.  Also, it may benefit your parents to become educated about this particular OCD compulsion.  The OCD needs to be treated so that you can be on your way to a better life.  Ask your parents for help, they will support you and get you to where you need to be.  When you hear "just stop doing it" remind people that you would if you could and therefore you need help to be able to stop.  My best.  
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I thought I was the only one.. Its heartening to know I am not alone.. this is a wonderful support group.. I suffer from mild acne and pick at the scabs on my face and so it never heals completely.. I make resolutions every new year, every birthday and so on that I am going to STOP but that only works for a few days.. the minute I let down my guard, sometimes even without being aware of it, the picking starts again.. I'm sure it looks terrible to an observer.. but I just can't stop. Its an addiction, an obession.. even though I know its harming me and making my poor skin hurt and look bad, I can't stop my fingers from scratching at scabs..
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I am 53 years old and I pick at my face, arms and stomach. I have been doing this since I was 11 or 12 yrs old. My face and arms are so scarred up I don't even care anymore. Just knowing that I am not the only one that has this problem helps a little.
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I am not a picker.  My child is.  My daughter has been an aggressive picker for two years, and she is 9 ½- years-old.  (For the purpose of this post, I will call her Annie.)  Annie didn’t start off as a picker.  She had extreme fears.  From a parent’s perspective, knowing what is normal and when we’ve gone beyond the boundaries of normal can be difficult to determine.

When she was seven, we reached that point and entered therapy.
Therapy is a rewarding but difficult path.  The challenge is to find the therapist who works for you.  Unfortunately, too many people quit after the first try.  When I searched for my own therapist years ago, it took me six therapists to find the right fit.  You have to know what you are looking for, and to determine that, you have to know what you don’t want.  For Annie, we started with a child therapist, Lisa, in the same group as the therapist I was seeing.  We went to Lisa for about three months when we determined that she should be evaluated by a psychiatrist (you should get recommendations here too or shop around).  She is now on her third therapist and is quite happy with her.

Post-eval, Annie was diagnosed with anxiety (not a surprise, as I have a similar diagnosis) and placed on medication.  Relief was immediate.  Then the picking started.  Her fears were masking her OCD.  And, another phase of our life began.

Annie is a BEAUTIFUL girl—scabs and all.  She’s goofy and unique; she sings as she walks down the hallway; and she loves to draw.  At the moment, she’s not embarrassed by her scars and sores and scabs.  We try to cover them with band aids mostly to prevent the spread of MRSA.  But that doesn’t mean she’s not affected.  Because of her personality, she’s always been a target of bullies, and, although she will deny that other’s notice, children in her school will call her “scabby girl” or “band aid girl.”  Lately she’s been more and more depressed—and that’s what she is hiding.

We have tried to teach Annie that what she has is a medical condition, one for which she is seeking treatment.  If others have a problem with it, it is their problem, not hers.  Some people’s challenges are obvious to the eye, and most educated people will have empathy and try to understand.  But when it comes to those hidden within the mind, people are judgmental.  Annie has had to thicken her skin.  She’s working on her condition.  She’s fighting back—fighting her illness and public opinion.  She has started to share her condition with others.   We don’t want her to keep things hidden in shame; she has nothing to be ashamed of.  Hiding things are dangerous.

People who pick have a reason to pick, and it is usually buried deep in their past.  Willpower alone might not be enough.  Seek therapy.  Talk to a psychiatrist—it doesn’t mean you have to take medicine, nor does it mean you’re crazy.  I am on many medications at the moment (our household is a very stressful one to live in—Annie has another diagnosis as well, and I have severe anxiety/panic disorder and depression), but I don’t consider myself crazy. Get educated.  There are a number of resources out there. And, there are a number of new drugs.  Luvox is specialized for OCD.  Paxil is a close substitute.  Most have side effects.  Bu,t there is no miracle drug.  Nothing is going to make it go away on its own, just like no anti-depressant is going to make me happy.  I have to make me happy.  But my meds sure do help.   Don’t suffer in silence.  

Nothing will work on its own.  Medicine won’t do it.  Therapy.  Willpower.  But put together with time—that’s what my family is hoping for Annie.

If you are a child, talk to your parents, your counselors at school.  Talk to someone.  If cost is a factor, there might be free therapy groups in your area.  If you want help, you should be able to get it.  But, you have to ask.
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1699033 tn?1443113373
Well said...thanks for sharing the story of your beautiful daughter.  I did a separate write up on here regarding picking but I don't think people paid any attention to it.  Everyone usually says the same thing "I thought I was the only one."  I asked that people start a thread with success stories.  I hope somebody does that one day.  I think it will be a great help to others.  This thread is so old and long that I don't think people want to take the time to really read what other people have written.  
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Hello...I am a Dad with a 8 year-old daughter that is addicted to picking.  She is a beautiful little girl and I am beginning to see the impact it is having on her physically and mentally.  I believe we will try the rubber band idea to see if it helps.  We have seen dermatologist and they seem to help the healing process...only to be needed again the next time something pops up and is picked.  There has to be more to this problem...?  I know I need to do something and do it now...before long-term damage is done...

Someone please give me some ideas...kids should not have to deal with things like this....

Dad...

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1699033 tn?1443113373
Hi Ed.  What she really needs is to see a child psychologist if that is possible and one that deals with OCD if you can find one.  I think it is more common nowadays.  You are right....getting it early is the best way.  You could probably sit in on some sessions so that you both can learn how to help her stop so you can be her reinforcement so to speak.  Her fall-back on person when she needs to talk about it.  What you don't want to do is tell her "just stop doing it" because it is so hard without the proper tools in place such as cognitive behavioral therapy or behavior modification techniques.  She most likely has some anxiety that needs to be deaelt with as well.  Good luck.  

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1987963 tn?1326698693
   Everything you've said, I have experienced as well. I understand your fixation with tweezers, leg and butt picking, etc. I have managed to subdue my impulses, except for on a few occasions.
   Since our fixations seem to be very similar, my methods of quitting may help you.

1. Cover/ get rid of mirrors. This alone won't cure you or solve your problems; it will only serve as a constant reminder and possible help drive your incentive.  

2. Stop carrying tweezers with you. Its a hard step to take but is crucial in transitioning back into a life without picking.

3. Do something to prevent yourself from spending unnecessary time in the bathroom (including shower time and any other time you could use to pick). You could: not bring tweezers and a mirror into the shower + set an alarm telling you when to get out. Bring your boyfriend with you, or talk really loudly (yell) to yourself as a constant reminder when alone.

4. Start decreasing the surface area where you allow yourself to pick. For instance, gradually put aside picking your face and anywhere else that is visible. Hopefully this will help to increase you confidence and provide yourself with continuous encouragement. What you're aiming for is to break the cycle. In order to not relapse, you're going to have to REALLY want to stop. A word of advise: even though it isn't visible, I suggest you try to stop picking/plucking your butt. Out of all my scars, the ones on my butt have healed the worst. Not only that, I think scars on your breasts, butt and face will be viewed as the most unattractive. You will likely regret then the most.

5. When you are alone, wear thick, white moisturizing cream on your blemishes. This may not be your style, but it helped me to stop scratching at my cuts. When I left them alone and moisturized, they could then heel better. Keep in mind, using cream to cover your skin could become your new obsession (to reduce this possibility, switch creams every so often). This brings up a good point; an easier way to quite is to develop a new fixation. Albeit, you would only be substituting one addiction for another.

6. Pay heed to the advise of others on the chat. I have tried many of the methods that are suggested. From experience, i have learned no method is superior to another, it is a matter of what you will benefit from and can find relief in.

7. Mind you, this struggle, healing process and mental reprogramming took place over the course of 1.5 years. You won't be cured overnight. However, with this in mind, don't cut yourself any slack. Be diligent, committed and motivated.

  -- I am 14. I have struggled with CSP since the age of 9. The progress I have made was made alone, so I can contest to it being possible to provide the support for yourself in order to quite. It is important to primarily account for the psychological struggle, invoked by CSP. If you truly want to stop, do not stop hating it. If you give in to excepting it, you will have nothing more to hold on to.


*Best of luck and wishes.  
  

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I am soo happy i found this! i honestly thought i was alone with this "habit" i started pulling out my eyelashes when i was about 7. my eyelids were completely bare at some points and i was so embaressed. i finally stopped that habit when i entered middle school but once i stopped that habit it was less than a year before i found the next habit of squeezing bumps on my upper arms. ive been doing this for years now.(im currently 15) and i always have to hide the scars that cover my arm. i use only my finger nails and have tried countless times to stop. ive tried keeping my nails cut really short or using long, fake nails to make it more difficult for myself. ive tried putting lotion all over my arms to make them to slipperly to pick when im alone, but none of things have worked i always find my self back picking. i hate that im too embareesed to wear short sleeve shirts. i leave the rest of my skin alone, i have no acne and i would say i have really good skin untill you look at my arms from my elbows up to my shoulders. i really wish i could stop and seeing this and that this is a real thing gives me hope but i still cant stop! helpp!
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I love the sun, but it hurts me.  I pick my arms in sunlight. I have been known to pick my face but my arms have received the worst of my csp.  I also have to search for light and airy long sleeved blouses for the summer.  It's so frikin painful, inside and out.  I can't seem to stop.  I am 51 yrs old.  I just recently found others like me, and I am grateful to find I am not alone.  I was surprised to find how little awareness there is around this problem.  It baffles me on a daily basis.  Thank you all for shaing and letting me share too.
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God I do this too. My face chest legs and back are disgusting from scars and open wounds. I find I do it most often when I am on painkillers. Specifically OxyContin and Obama. It's like I get in this mindset where every imperfection has to go. So I'll spend hrs in front of a mirror tearing my skin off. I bleed a lot and it leaves horrible open wounds. I have to wear concealer just to cover it up. I feel really stupid wearing makeup as a guy. I can't take my shirt off in public and forget sexual intimacy. I think the reason I do it so much when I'm on the painkillers is I don't have the pain response from my body to tell me to stop. It's good to know there are other people out there with this problem.
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1699033 tn?1443113373
I get the sense from a lot of people that you are relieved to see that others also have the same problem but it really is treatable if you seek out professional help.  The best place to start is a psychologist.  You may feel like the "damage is done" but better late than never.  Take care.  
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Along with scalp picking does anyne have a spongy scalp
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She may have high anxiety as this is where my stemmed from when I was a child around her age. I was also a perfectionist Virgo with many things in my life and it was mainly driven by a generalised anxiety.
Just a thought.

Good luck!
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I can relate to this SO much,im 16 and suffering with this ever since i was lil,it started when i was like about 6 or 7 i think.I have exzemah(idk how to spell it),but i have really nice skin that can heal really well but i have a terrible habbit of destroying my skin on purpose almost everyday.my face,arms and legs  still has old/new scars,some look alil faded because I've been using some skin treatments,but people at my school thinks it's because of bad acne,but it's not,believe it or not but I've never had acne,I've gone to my pediatrician a while ago and he has took a look at my skin and said its just a possible skin irritation due to my exzemah,or could just be the pollen,because i also have bad allergies,and i use to play outside and when pollen was on my skin i would itch,but the strange thing was when i didn't even have an itch i would still pick my skin for no reason,and my parents tried alot of things to pull me away from picking my skin,such as gloves,socks,cutting my fingernails,even tried yelling at me to stop picking my skin ,because i guess they figured yelling would make me stop picking my skin but it didn't.I myself have tried things that i thought would work but didn't.,ipick& scratch my skin alot .I still damage my skin alot when im tempted to pick my skin.I have scars on my legs arms and face and they're embarrassing :{ my father tells me to stop picking my skin but i can't.I've been gettin frustrated with this so i have been doing research to see if there is any reason for me picking my skin,and try and find ways to make it stop.i don't like to where short sleeves because of this because i don't want anyone to see my skin and to question it,my mother use to put skin medicine on the spots I've picked at and covered it with bandaids and i had alot of bandaids on my arms and legs and this was elementary school so kids would ask "whats that","ew" and say mean things and pick on me because of it,and it ruined my self-esteem,and when people asked "what happened?" I would tell em that i got inna car accident,just to avoid being looked at as an outcast because some people took it better if i told them a lie rather than the truth.When i kept getting picked on i told my mother that i no longer wanted to wear bandaids,because people made fun of me,she bought me longsleeved clothing,.I cant stop,i see a scab or anything like that im tempted to reopen the wound and regret it later.I sometimes make fresh wounds on clear areas of my skin.I looked at other research on this and it says this can be caused by anxiety,stess,bordom,etc. And is self mutilation and i believe thats what it could be because im going through so much right now and doing this is what i do to find release.I think that my older brother and my twin sister has this disorder as well,but i have it the worst.Me and my twin have been put on skin medications to try and help our skin clear up,but my mother hasn't been keeping up on getting our prescriptions anymore, Anyways the next time i visit the pediatrician im going to let him know about this issue to make it stop.
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Hi. I am so relieved that there is more than one of me. I started noticing my habit when i was 13 and I probably been picking since i was 11 years old. I dont like to talk about it to my mom because when i tell her she makes me feel like there is something wrong with me, like I'm some Emo child who picks themself because Im depressed all the time. I get sad like everyone else, but when I pick i do  it without really noticing I'm doing it. Mainly when I'm on the toilet. Never in public. Then I'd realize that I'd be sitting on the toilet for 45 minutes picking my legs. It doesnt hurt but i get a shiver when i feel I've taken a scab away from my skin. If its a bump or a scabb on my skin it will get picked. Im 16 now and skin matters. My skin is scared bad and i cant wear shorts, skirts, dresses, or anything pretty. Crying right now just thinking about it. I want help but who do i tell? Im not crazy, i have habits like everyone else. My habit it just more bizzare cause people think "who would want to damage there skin?" Nobody wants to do it. Its that moment when you look at your skin andgo.. What happened?
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I've never had acne in my entire life. I have to lie to people and tell them i have a bad skin condition where i get bumpy dark skin..
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1699033 tn?1443113373
What you want to do is seek out the help of a psychologist.  Tell you mom to take a look at the following web site

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatillomania

This is a real disorder with a real name and it can be treated with the proper help.  Have a sit down with your mom, look at the site, and then make plans to see a child psychologist.  Make sure they have experience with Dermatillomania and the ways it can be treated.  
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I just got done sitting infront of my mirror by the window so i have day light to pick my face...there is only one spot on my face that i pick and it has been there for months and months, because i just cant leave it alone..it scabs up in the morning and when i need to get ready and put make up on i have to pick the scab off so i can put my foundation over it cause it looks worse with the scab on, then when i get home, i end up going upstairs and picking the scab off of it and going after these white things, and im pretty sure they are my pores, my satisfaction is that i pull out these pores and see how big each one is and then i put them on my little mirror...i know that sounds extremely bizzar...but that is what i do and i think i have a major infection because it feels like i have an abscess around the area, i dont think its just scar tissue...i found neosporin with a pain relief in it, and it really helps, but im trying my hardest to let it heal, but everytime something gets me upset or triggers me, i go after my face, even though something might not even be wrong, i still find myself infront of the mirror...i need some advice, i try to keep my hands busy with something else but i know that i have it on my face...and once im done i will leave it alone for the rest of the night, it usually wont be touched till morning, and all i do is take the scab off...i dont go after the pores, cuz i cant be late in the mornings for where i go...but i have had this problem for years, and i cant make it go away...it really ***** and i hate people staring at me or asking me what happened to my face...
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2161212 tn?1336896762
This describes me exactly! I really thought I was the only one out there. I feel weird and everyone I run across tries to associate it with drugs! It's awful! I've always picked but now at 26 it is really really  worse with association to the same problems. I realize there is more to learn out there and it's not just me. One thing that does help though is finding something to keep my hands busy and to stay out of the bathroom of course. Try scrapbooks, writing, or cleaning, these seem to help me and keep things off my mind :)
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Yep. My problem exactly. I honestly thought I was the only one too.

Basically, picking any little bumps I see, etc. I get red sores everywhere I picked but just tell myself that ill look better in the morning. Then I wake up, and it's not completely healed and im afraid to go out in public and be seen

I picked my arms the worst. They get very red, and they are bumpy. I don't know how to cure it, or how to relievve the redness, except that when I rub the skin, the redness goes away for a while, I'm guess that the picking had ruptured tiny veins that allow blood flow, so the blood just gathers up wherever I once picked at them.

I'm so mad at myself, and im scared to go short sleeved now. Im trying many creams on my arms and nothing seems to be working.

If anyone knows of a good cream or natural remedy for my problem, please comment on this chat.

Thankyou, and god bless all of you who are going through this problem

P.S. I have stopped picking completely because of my arm problem. It finally got to my head. Honestly, I want to pick every second of the day when I'm at home. Especially when I'm in the bathroo in front of the mirror, seeing any kind of blemish. I'm on the road to recovery, I just hope to god that I haven't permanently made my arms red and bumpy foreverrrrr :(
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Yep. My problem exactly. I honestly thought I was the only one too.

Basically, picking any little bumps I see, etc. I get red sores everywhere I picked but just tell myself that ill look better in the morning. Then I wake up, and it's not completely healed and im afraid to go out in public and be seen

I picked my arms the worst. They get very red, and they are bumpy. I don't know how to cure it, or how to relievve the redness, except that when I rub the skin, the redness goes away for a while, I'm guess that the picking had ruptured tiny veins that allow blood flow, so the blood just gathers up wherever I once picked at them.

I'm so mad at myself, and im scared to go short sleeved now. Im trying many creams on my arms and nothing seems to be working.

If anyone knows of a good cream or natural remedy for my problem, please comment on this chat.

Thankyou, and god bless all of you who are going through this problem

P.S. I have stopped picking completely because of my arm problem. It finally got to my head. Honestly, I want to pick every second of the day when I'm at home. Especially when I'm in the bathroo in front of the mirror, seeing any kind of blemish. I'm on the road to recovery, I just hope to god that I haven't permanently made my arms red and bumpy foreverrrrr :(
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So glad to know I'm not the only one. I thought I was. I'm 29 and have been picking for many years. Started with my face, then my legs, then chest and so on. I look for every pour that may have something in it! I even pick at the stubbles on my legs. I found the hair closer to my ankles pop out of the pour in a way that intieses me. I can't stop once I start and spend countless hours doing so. Low cut shirts show the top of my breast were I've made many dark spots. I can't weare shorts or skirts because of the dark scars and new red marks. I have 4 boys and I'm very busy but my anxiety kills my self image. I have a beautiful body and I should show it off but I am embarrassed. I have tried so many things to occupie my hand but nothing worked. If I don't pick something I see on my body I go into a panic attack. My kids are now noticing this behavior. I used to hide it but can't any more. I'm ashamed, embarrassed, and lost. Not to mention sweating myself to deth because I have to wear pants all the time. I'd love to be the other moms in their cute cool outfits sitting at the soccer and baseball games, or to go swimming. Thank you for sharing. I don't feel so alone any more!
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1699033 tn?1443113373
Hi there.  Have you ever sought treatment for this disorder?  It has a specific name, dermatillomania, and it really is a habit and as with any habit it can be broken.  Also, that anxiety you feel when you don't pick, there are many ways to combat that as well including cognitive behavioral therapy and/or medication.  It is never too late to seek help.  This is nothing to be embarassed about.  Many people have this disorder as you now know.  My own OCD problems are habits as well, it is just that you can't visually see what I do to myself.  Please seek treatment because it really is not too late and you are so worth it.

Take care.  
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iv been picking my arms and face for years (15) and sometimes i look like i have really bad chicken pox iv picked soo bad. couple of tips, dont expose your skin to hot/warm water after picking (it makes it look worse) lag your skin in cream (if its greasy you wont be able to pick, i use nappy creams with antiseptic formulars to help the skin heal quicker and epierm emollient) i have also found that having fake nails helps because i literaly can not pick then. for your face, use a mild exfoliating face wash twice a day with an antibacterial moisteriser in the morning and a skin healing (anti ageing) cream at night. keep your skin covered in tight clothing that you cannot role up until your skin has healed and try not to look in the mirror. hope this helps? im getting married in 3 weeks so im trying really hard atm as i want to be able to expose my arms and feel good about my self and this all seems to be working X
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I also have the same problem of picking/plucking/ anywhere... mostly my scalp, nose, pubic area and arms.
A few years ago I had an ingrown pubic hair that hurt so badly and had my boyfriend pluck it out. He's done it for me for years.
But this time my labia swelled and hardend so badly that I ended up in the hospital for 1 week on Vancomycin IV and then I had to have it incised because the Vanco wasn't really making any difference.
My pcp said to use hot compresses and this should help the inflamed hair eventually come out on its own.
Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.
The common thread I find with all of us is: Depression, Anxiety and Bipolar.
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After a really ****** week at work, I did what I always do: went into my room, took off my shirt and picked the hell out of my arms, back and chest. Then I went online and started typing "picking bumps" into Google. What a surprise/relief to see all the results come up. I had thought it was just my dad & I who suffered from this. He's the one who got me started on this as a kid, asking me to pop pimples on his back. Then as an elementary schooler, I noticed these weird bumps, and started picking to get rid of them. Then it became a pleasure thing. I remember at one point having this raging deep infection on my upper arm, and just picking at the scab so the pus would come out.

I pick most when I'm tired/ angry/ stressed out. My mom tried to help me, but did not understand at all. She dragged me to this social worker in high school. Long story short, I'm still doing it. In retrospect, I was not ready/ willing to stop.

Today I realized that I am really angry at both my parents: my dad for starting me on this and my mom for saying **** when I was young, like "they're all staring at your arms," and "If you keep this up, no boy is going to want to go out with you." Thanks a lot! I've never shown my breasts to anyone (I'm 23 now). I wonder what they'd say, "Oh ****, did you get mauled or something?" Haven't worn sleeveless in years. I can look at old school photographs, and be like, ah yes, there's that scar, I remember the scab, and the little hole that it left when I had squeezed all the pus out. People say I'm pretty, and I just think, if you only knew what was going on under all this clothing you'd be saying something different.

Maybe I'll go back to a therapist or something. It was good to find this community, and see that others suffer through the same thing. I wonder if there are conventions where I could meet other pickers. It would be amazing to see others who look like me.
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Wow I mean, reading all these comments make me feel a lot better knowing that I'm not the only one out there with a picking problem. I am 14 years old and I started picking my arms when I was about 6 years old. It used to be so fun to pick my arms because I had nothing else better to do. I still pick my arms, legs, face, and ect. I've always just wanted a clear body almost all my life, so I can be seen in public without people noticing my arms and legs. I have to wear longsleves in the summer and jeans, so I get the feeling people notice somethings wrong with me. Im going into high school soon and I keep on telling myself I'm not going to pick! But some how, I always end up after taking a shower with red bumps on my arms, legs and face. I get depressed because of it, and I envy girls who can wear shortsleves and cute cloths, when Im stuck with winter shirts. My mom isnt really a help with things, she HELPS me pick my body. She's really the one that got me started with all of this. I would be wearing short sleves, if people didnt ask me about the scars and scabs. :/ I've tried so hard now not to pick and just when my arms start to clear up again, I screw them up. I know how I can help myself from picking but it seems to never work. Also, the thought of having scars on my arms after Im though with picking, (and my legs and body) hurts. Doctors dont understand, nor does anyone in my family... they know I only wear longsleves and never shorts or shortsleves, but they dont know what Im hiding. The only people who know about my picking problem is my mom, my sister, and a friend of mine that well, isnt my best friend. I wish I could tell my two best friends and not have to hide after that but I cant, I always have to have some excuse when I go swimming and wear boy cloths or when I wear a jacket on a hot sunny day. It makes me depressed and all Ive ever really wanted for myself was to get better and not have this stupid picking problem. Thank you all for sharing your stories so it could give me the chance to maybe start new... godbless everyone.
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1699033 tn?1443113373
Hi Bri....do you pick in public or do you have that measure of control?  
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i dont do drugs either its when im nervous or thinking, i am recovering little by little i will pick at face body, where there are ravor bumps from shaving i pick
do i need medication?
S
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Im soo glad im not the only one !!!! Just want to find more info.
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I have scars on my legs from picking at scabs and now they look like dark spots all over my arms and legs what do I do?
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Guys, I am so happy to have found this community. Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I think I have been picking my face compulsively ever since I was maybe 15, and I am 28 now. Strangely enough, it is only now, today, that I have decided to google this issue as a disorder and check if anyone else has this type of matter going on. It is just so crazy to me now as I am writing this to you that throughout all that time (13 years!) I was somehow convinced that I am alone with this issue, that what I do is disgusting, and to shameful to share or even look up. There was so much shame linked to that. I find it quite surprising myself that even though I have also been compulsively eating (binge eating disorder) ever since I was a teenager, this disorder has been so much easier for me to admit to others. I mean, there are friends, not many, but there are a few, to whom I have opened up about the fact that I have been eating compulsively, whereas there is no one whom I would tell about picking my face like this EVER. I mean, my parents and brother knew, because I did leave with them at the time when it all started, but they themselves where completely in the dark about how serious it was and just criticized me harshly for doing what I had been doing. (Needless to say, that was of not much help, I felt even worse and even more like a weird stranger). But other than them, no one ever knew, I would share this with no one ever. How crazy is that, right?

There was somehow, right until this moment so much conviction in me that this is just *way* too disgusting to share, and something so weird (because just like some of you mention, I am also not quite sure *why* I do it), something that I am likely the only person on the planet busy with.. that I just would not share this with anyone ever before.

My compulsion comes and goes, there are times when I don't do this at all, and others when the urge takes me over (like just right before I have found this forum).. But I remember even once when I was living with my boyfriend at the time, and of course my face would be just all red, even violet, and devastated after a super long visit in the bathroom and even then, even when it must have been straight obvious what I have been doing, I had never shared or talked to him about that. Even I would share my bed with him, but I would still be too ashamed to talk about what I had just done.. Hmm, I guess what I am saying, is *thank you* so much for posting here, you may not know what a relief it is for me to now, after all this time find out that there are people just  like me out there, who struggle and often fail, and that I am somehow not alone with this. I guess, if not with tackling the OCD itself, seeing your posts helps me at least  deal with the shame aspect of it. And that's big to me already.

As far as the picking is concerned, what I find strangely interesting about it is that - similarly to compulsive eating - you are both the one who does the damage and the one who is the victim. At least that's how it is in my case. That's kind of peculiar, would you agree? I mean, the fact that we must have some sort of 'split mind' in that moment of urge, where there are 'two' of us, two 'Is', to 'me', the one who punishes and one who is being punished.. I'm entirely sure how to express that, but that's just largely how it feels in my case.

Just like in many of your stories, I see that the urge to pick comes from some sort of subconscious place, the level of the mind when it is really something you absolutely *have to* do, some sort of survival or coping mechanism. If I was to compare this matter to compulsive eating (which is not active in my case at the moment) then I'd say that the urge usually comes when there are many thoughts, anxieties about other things going on in my head. In a way that's probably what's so seductive about picking, compulsive eating or any other addiction for that matter; is that it gives you 'time out' from your problems, that it is a moment that you are totally out there, hypnotized, as many of you guys here put it, that in those hours, minutes etc. nothing else matters, none of our (or at least mine) problems seem to exist.. That's a powerful temptation to resist. Only it does not solve the things that were bothering us in the first place and also the shame and guilt about the action itself, once what was there to be done, is done, seem just unbearable.

If I were to point one thing that I learned from your brave and honest posts guys is that picking seems to be just a cover up for something else that's going on inside us, inside our minds, and that's just a way we (or at least myself) express those bothering thoughts and emotions for lack of a better way to deal with those.

But here's an idea. Maybe instead of harsh, we can all just be gentle with ourselves.. I know, this may sound naive especially since this is such a serious issue for all of us posting here, but hear me out, please. One of the things that really seems to have helped me let go of my compulsive eating thing is.. I ALLOWED IT. I MEAN IT. I JUST COMPLETELY ALLOWED IT. Of course first for years I had been trying to stop, but then at some point I think I just accepted it as a part of me, part of who I am, I just stopped thinking that it would be bad to have an attack and good not to have one. I just GAVE MYSELF A TOTAL PERMISSION TO DO IT. I imagine this may just sound like giving up and not asking for help, but to me in fact it was quite the opposite. I had been doing therapy at the time (not for this issue in particular, but generally about my stress level, relationship with my mother etc.), I have been for quite some time practicing meditation, I exercise frequently and do also a lot of small fun creative things, which I notice have been helpful also. And so I just said to myself: 'Look, there are things you control and things you don't control. How about you do all the things that help you and that you are able to control, keep meditating, exercising, dancing etc. And if the thing you cannot control - compulsive eating - happens, then it happens. End of story. Your job is to do the things you can do. And not to stop doing things you have no control over'. And with that approach, somehow, with time, the compulsion just LEFT ME. I somehow thought maybe you guys would find this angle useful in some way.

I think really a big part of our problem/case etc (or at least my personal case) may be that we're so ashamed of what we do, ashamed that others would find out, ashamed that we cannot control ourselves, convinced that we do something we shouldn't be doing. But what if we skip all that. What if we allow ourselves completely to do what we do, and just focus our energy on all the other activities that do get us better, like exercise, meditation, therapy, or even coming out about it to friends. In a way it is crazy that we expect ourselves to be able to stop it, if we ourselves don't have control over it in the first place, isn't it? If we did have the power to stop it, if we had this kind of control, then we wouldn't have started it in the first place, right? I mean, we just put additional pressure on ourselves by 'trying to stop'. I think what I'll try to do now, just like previously with eating, is just to *allow* it to be instead.

This turned out to be a super long post, but I just felt compelled to share some of my thoughts with you guys. Who knows, maybe they resonate and help. For me it was really wonderful to read your stories today, so consoling, just lovely. So big thanks for that.

Lots of love and good luck loving yourselves with the beautiful pimples, anxieties, obsessions and disorders that we have; just as we are,

hanka_sss
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I have so much pimple marks and scabs on my face and it's really ugly.. It embarrassed me when the lights are too bright and I can't go under sunlight because i'm afraid someone would notice how horrible my face is.. Reading your stories helps me a lot.. and it changes how i look at myself now.. thanks a lot guys!! :)
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Wow. I am absolutely amazed reading thru these stories!  I swear you have been following me and beat me here to tell my story! I have known forever that I have had OCD.. i also have bipolar & severe anxiety (to put it mildly). My mental health dr told me thats what caused me to start drugs 20yrs ago (before I was diagnosed and she said I was self medicating) but thats when I first started the picking.  Im off the drugs now.. been 10 yrs. But he picking obsession stayed.  Dr says it is part of the OCD. Longest ime in front of the mirror?  4 hrs.  My arms are totally scared completely.  I am forever trying to find anything to pop on my back. Im constantly running my fingers over my face seeing id I missed anything from the last check 2 min before.  My and poor ears suffer the most. I hate summer. Can't wear short sleeves when it looks like uve tied up with cheeze on your arms in a mouse cage. My family dnt believe I am still clean. I only have the severe relapse on picking when I get really stressed so I can look fine for months then boom. Im a hot mess whwn they see me at a family gathering and the questions begin.  I think people at work are used to it. I catch them staring sometimes but if they dnt ask I jusy ignore them. Only my closet friends know the truth. Cause really I am obsessed with finding zits or blackheads (or what I think could become one soon or someday) but also am always on the hunt for any corse hair that may be growing on my arms, neck, chin. Anywhere. If I find one.. its gonna be a bad if it wont come out easy and it rare they do. Because I will dig till I get it out creating horrible sores.  I am an extreame case. Im a nervous wreck. And I just thought he picking was another part of my one of a kind gifts that keep my doctor in practice.  Im really glad I came accross this page!! I may not know any of you but I no I am not alone.. thanks to all of you for sharing! !!!!!!!
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I keep picking my arms and chest and it looks like they are getting infected
what should I put on them, they are red and sore.  I remember i did this
before on my face and caused a bacteria infection and the dr told me to quit picking at it I could get Mersa. I can't seem to stop...
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Wow im not alone !!!! Im 32 years old and have this horrendous obsession with picking and mainly my legs bear the brunt. It started like many of you when I was 13 I got very badly bullied at school and the self loathing kinda started from there.  The bouts have sometimes been wore than others but I can say its the only realise I find that eases my anxiety.  I just pray to god I could stop this OCD as its ruining my life.  I have had a few bad years and i've suffered depression and anxiety and the picking its at its worst.  I spend hours picking squeezing at generally nothing but the sores and scabs I create are horrific and for the last 2 years ive been unable to wear dress or skirt or more shamefully take my 3 year old daughter swimming ever.....!!!! Im so ashamed and need help.....What can I do?????
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Hi yes hello my people!!! Okay so like other's I feel relieved to read these words of yours cuz I'm 16 & have the exact same problem. I'm not sure why but I am addicted to picking at my skin (mostly my face/forehead) and in a word… I might even say I enjoy the sensation it gives me when I know I've successfully picked at a bump/pimple. Though immediately afterwards I hate myself for doing so cuz I've come to know the consequences of these actions. I don't have acne & in fact I am told that I should be having perfect skin… now we know why I don't. I have ADD & am currently drinking 72ml of Conserta… I think this is what'a making it even worse cuz the pill enables me to focus on one task and to really zone in on what I'm doing. I also have depression and used to cut as well. I do not drink pills for my depression and therefore I need to find something to take it out on, unfortunately it's my face :/ my parents have tried a lot of things to make me stop but none of them really help.

When picking at your skin & you've successfully popped a pimple or breaked a bump the puss or yellowish water which escapes from it clings to your nails, fingers and also seeps into your unblocked pores and as a result you get more infected areas & it just all worsens. It's a cruel and never ending circle which is really hard to get out of.

Moving mirrors of covering them doesn't really help cu you know where they are so you'll just go back to them anyway(been there done that). Something which helps me is the fact that a have a fringe that hangs all the way over my eyebrows and covers half my face so I don't really see the blemishes when it's hanging over my face(it also helps to regularly wash your hair then cuz a dirty fringe carries oil and the oil can also cause blemishes). Unfortunately for me I'm in a school which requires us to wear uniforms and have neat hair so I have to pin my fringe back so everyday after school I get to look in the mirror and see all my blemishes and so the whole cycle starts over.

Help? Any recommended lotions I could try?
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Hi, I am 28 and have picking at my face since I was 19. I have lived most of my 20's in this depression caused by skin picking. However, I would have 'relapses' where I could go up to a month or even 2 (the most) with 'clear' skin. But, this last year it has been nonstop, no good days in a whole year. Every day I try to start anew and tell myself today will be the day you will stop and now I have a large one on my face that is not healing...I am going on vacation in 2 days and I don't even want to go. I wish there was something I could do to get my life back...
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I am on Effexor and Wellbutrin an I have heard that Wellbutrin can cause some irritability and possibly anxiety.  It is used to help keep those of us on the depression meds that kind of make you blah.

I am trying to stop Obsessive Scalp Picking. It started when I was about 7 or so years old.  Never have been able to curb it fully.  Trying again now, hopefully I can kick it this time.
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I'm a smoker and always sexually frustrated. I've been picking since I was really young. I don't remember when but before I was 10 years old.I started smoking at 11 years old. I masterbated as young as 7 years old. I wonder what happened to me when I  was growing up. I can't remember anything before I was 7 and barely remember much as I have a really bad memory even after that age.. 27 years old and still have the same habits.
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1699033 tn?1443113373
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