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Old October 28th, 2015, 09:50 PM   #1
whiskey
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Default skin picking?

okay so first of all-not diagnosed, not even really self diagnoses, i dont think its ocd but its definitely a problem
I have a really bad skin picking issue where, it started out where it only happened when i was stressed or angry but i would started picking at the raised skin (not really pimples but sometimes theyre like white-heads) on the back of my arms, but then it escalated to it being everywhere and for no reason at all.
Now, and for the past two years i think, there will be times where ill go in front of a mirror and pick at every single blemish and imperfection on my skin all over my face and my back and my arms and my chest FOR LIKE AN HOUR. and after a while ill even say to myself that i need to stop and that im ruining my face and that im going to leave scars but i cant bring myself to stop its like i cant control it. and that happens usually once a day unless im with my girlfriend and she can tell me to stop or like im actively concentrating on not doing it.
but idk its not ocd but it is a weird tic that worries me.
please leave any advise or if you have anything similar going on or just wanna talk, thank you(:
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Old October 28th, 2015, 10:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: skin picking?

I actually have the same exact problem, except that I've been dealing with it for as long as I can remember and it's only escalated as I've gotten older (and my skin's gotten grosser). From what I've found, it's a condition called Excoriation disorder, perhaps more commonly known as dermatillomania. I pick compulsively, often without being consciously aware of it, at my lips, hands, feet, nails, face, back/shoulders, and if I ever have dry skin anywhere else (often on my breasts, but sometimes on my arms too) I'll scratch at that, occasionally until it bleeds - actually, all of those places bleed except for my nails, hands, and feet. When I was little, I only picked at my hands/feet/nails/lips, though I'd also pick at things like peeling paint. Now I've added my face, back, and shoulders or anywhere else I have dry patches on my body. I'll totally lose track of time doing it sometimes.

It makes me feel disgusting, so I try to avoid talking about it as much as possible. I also try to do things to compensate, like using excessive amounts of Chapstick or Vaseline or something to make up for how cracked my lips are as a result. With dry patches, if I can break out of the "trance" long enough, I'll use moisturizing cream to stop myself from being tempted. Sometimes nail polish or makeup (lipstick, foundation, etc., things I wouldn't want to mess up by touching my face) will work to that effect too, though not for long.

I haven't been diagnosed with anything, by the way. I've always just considered it a bad habit.

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Old November 4th, 2015, 06:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: skin picking?

Hi Whiskey,

first of all i would like to say that it is going to be alright. Continuous/obsessive skin picking mostly manifests itself in adolescent years and goes away in early adulthood. It is not a permanent condition for vastly everyone. Furthermore, albeit obsessive skin picking is indeed unhealthy and can cause substantial damage to the skin, in the long term most damage to skin heals, given that one has stopped picking the skin and a few years have passed. This especially holds true for developing adolescents.

I can testify to this myself, i have been continuously picking my skin for around 8 years. I have stopped skin picking about 3 years ago, my skin is as smooth now as anyone else, the scars and marks which there were there before have all healed up and vanished.

I think it is important to understand what skin picking is. Continuous skin picking is a coping mechanism, it is simply a tool to deal with stress. Therefore it is important to understand that skin picking is caused by other issues which drive one to skin pick in order to be able to deal with the stress generated by said issues. The way skin picking works is that the pain from skin picking provides one with a momentary relief, overshadowing other feelings.

Skin picking in a way has nothing to do with skin picking, it is a coping mechanism, a tool, which manifests as a way to deal with extensive stress caused by some reason. Therefore to address continuous skin picking one needs to address the reason which causes one to pick skin to begin with. This is essential.

It is also completely essential to learn how to cope with stress in a healthy way, aka developing a different coping mechanism, as even after addressing the initial reasons which caused one to skin pick, new reasons will likely emerge later in life which will makes us extensively stressed.

I can say that it is a learning experience to stop skin picking, do not get discouraged by unsuccessful attempts and do not stress too much about it, it is a trial and error thing that will come around eventually with time.

Hopefully this proves useful at least a bit. If you have any questions please ask!
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Old November 4th, 2015, 08:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: skin picking?

I started doing the same thing since I was like 8 or 9. I would pick at my arms, and, like you, I would need to tell myself that I needed to stop, but sometimes doing just that didn't work so I would have to fight myself to stop. I kept picking until I was around 15 or 16 when I actively tried to find some way to stop myself because I was tired of having to wear longsleeves everyday to cover up the scars in my arms. What I ended up doing was trying to think of something else to divert the temptation to pick, or if I was changing or something, I would try to change as fast as possible so that I wouldn't be tempted to pick as well.
I haven't been diagnosed with OCD or anything like that, but it is something that I have struggled with as well.
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Old November 18th, 2015, 06:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: skin picking?

I just posted about this, and saw this thread afterwards. I've started obsessively picking my skin about 5 months ago, and, even in my sleep, I scratch until it bleeds. Sometimes I'm at school and people point out the blood dripping from my legs... It's extremely embarrassing.

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Old November 24th, 2015, 02:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: skin picking?

This is not necessarily OCD but can be considered a symptom of it because it's a compulsion. I've been picking at my skin since I was about... seven years old? And yeah, it started with acne for me. It was just there to pick at so I did. Now it's turned into something I do when I'm stressed or when I don't have anything else to do with my hands. You might benefit from speaking to someone in order to find more healthy coping mechanism. Because I can tell you that it scars just as badly as cutting or any other form of self-harm does. And it's not fun to live with even if sometimes it feels innocent enough.

For me it may be a manifestation of OCD because I see a blemish and it has to be dealt with even until I'm bleeding. But that's not always the case. For you it may just be stress. But either way, definitely seek out help even if it's just from a family doctor or a counsellor at school to see what ways you can keep your hands busy instead.
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Old November 29th, 2015, 10:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: skin picking?

since i was around 12 i have picked at my skin really bad it's like i couldn't stop i used to spend hours every night picking at my skin on my shoulders face and neck i would tell myself come on you do't want to have scars your face is already covered in sores just stop and i would try to distract myself but before i knew it i was back to picking at y skin again without even realizing it luckily for me it got better when i found a face cream that got rid of most of my pimples i still spend hours picking at my skin but now it'sot as often every once in a while i find myself doing it in public and i force myslef to stop cause im so embarrassed

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Old November 30th, 2015, 02:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: skin picking?

I have awful problems with skin picking, mostly as a result of OCD for me personally

I pick at acne, but also my legs and arms. Sometimes until they're bloody/raw/have deep wounds

I also chew the inside of my mouth.

It's not actually caused by stress for me personally, it is the actual discomfort brought on by imperfections in my skin. Likewise, I scrub my skin raw in showers sometimes because I don't feel clean

It's actually very rare for me to feel clean in showers

I also pick at moles, hives, big bites, rashes, and raw skin, and I'm a bloody uncomfortable mess a lot of the time

I pick at my nails and cuticles
I scratch the fuck out of my scalp because it feels like it's crawling with disgusting things.

It can become a serious problem if you don't learn how to deal with it.


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Old December 28th, 2016, 06:33 AM   #9
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Smile Re: skin picking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiskey View Post
okay so first of all-not diagnosed, not even really self diagnoses, i dont think its ocd but its definitely a problem
I have a really bad skin picking issue where, it started out where it only happened when i was stressed or angry but i would started picking at the raised skin (not really pimples but sometimes theyre like white-heads) on the back of my arms, but then it escalated to it being everywhere and for no reason at all.
Now, and for the past two years i think, there will be times where ill go in front of a mirror and pick at every single blemish and imperfection on my skin all over my face and my back and my arms and my chest FOR LIKE AN HOUR. and after a while ill even say to myself that i need to stop and that im ruining my face and that im going to leave scars but i cant bring myself to stop its like i cant control it. and that happens usually once a day unless im with my girlfriend and she can tell me to stop or like im actively concentrating on not doing it.
but idk its not ocd but it is a weird tic that worries me.
please leave any advise or if you have anything similar going on or just wanna talk, thank you(:
Sometime I bite the skin on the side of my finger nails. I think its my OCD kicking in because when I see the price of skin sticking out it triggers me and I hate to keep on biting it off until its all clean or seem clean. I can relate to you so much
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Old December 28th, 2016, 06:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: skin picking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trevor. View Post
Sometime I bite the skin on the side of my finger nails. I think its my OCD kicking in because when I see the price of skin sticking out it triggers me and I hate to keep on biting it off until its all clean or seem clean. I can relate to you so much
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