Post # 1
I just spent the better half of 20 minutes trying to make this anonymous. But I also remember reading anonymous posts and really wishing we could stay who we were so we could just…be us. Well, I guess I get my wish!
I’m afflicted. Just starting to look into it but I always thought that I would grow out of it and it seems I am not.
Behaviors: When I am stressed or bored, my hands are instantly on my skin to find something amiss to ‘fix it’. The disturbing thing is when I am driving my car or in a boring meeting (aka can’t do what I want) I literally fantasize about finding something to fix. It started when I was 16 with my face and nail biting. I grew out of nail biting and rarely pick my cuticles but I am voracious on my scalp and hairline. And my chest. I F*CKING HATE THIS.
I can’t think of any way to stop it. It’s related to anxiety. The easy thing would be to reduce anxiety, right? Ya……go ‘head…fix my anxiety, I welcome you to.
Anybody else? There appears to be counseling to find the root cause of it. Might go check that out but I thought I would open the board for someone who had some other tips.
Post # 3
Oh and I am a milder version. I know others whose body parts are TRASHED. I am very lucky…but it’s still very alarming.
Post # 4
You’re not alone! I definitely think it’s an anxiety disorder. I have noticed that certain medications make this a thousand times worse for me, basically any kind of stimulant. I have never been diagnosed with anything, but I definitely have a few scars from this. Tweezing my eyebrows can turn baaad very quickly.
This was a big problem for me when I was under a lot of stress. I am now much better, so maybe it’s situational?
In any case, you’re certainly not alone, and I admire you for posting this.
Post # 5
Do you know your triggers or causes of anxiety!?
Dont feel like you need to go anonymous! We want to help you if we can.
Post # 6
I can relate. I don’t know if I am this exactly, but I am very OCD about pimples. I see one and I’m like YOU SHALL NOT PASS. I wish I had better advice (my best idea, sticking a post-it to my mirror saying “Don’t be an American Picker. Be a Pawn Star!” didn’t work very well) but I do want to see what sort of advice you get. Maybe some of it will help me, too!
For the record, I also suffer badly with anxiety. So there’s that.
Post # 7
I do this : ( I have scars all over, mostly arms and legs. I don’t find myself super anxious but I recently realized my mom has done it as far back as I can remember and used to always tell her to stop. But now if I have a raised haIr follicle or mosquito bite or pimple I am demolishing my skin and I will pick at it for weeks. Just created a disgusting scar on my left hand whichmakes me sooo sad cuz I’m currently in waiting : (
Post # 8
Thanks for posting! Yes, stimulants make it worse, but only if I am stressed.
Post # 9
You sound just like me! Drives me nuts but I can’t seem to help myself…and mine seems to come out when I’m bored too. I know it just looks so gross to others so I really try to resist the urge, but yes I am always messing with something! Picking scabs, popping zits, squeezing blackheads out, scratching my scalp while looking for something to mess with…god, it sounds disgusting, but I can’t seem to stop! No real advice but wanted you ton know you’re not alone. I currently have a few small scabs on my face from popping zits that weren’t ready; I cover them with makeup but all day my fingers are itching to pick at my face!
Post # 10
I do this too, but I never saw it as being caused by anxiety, other than the anxiety that having a bump on my skin causes. I seem to do it even when I’m at my most relaxed. I pick at my face/lips and cuticles the most, although I’ve been getting better with the cuticles (I found that getting regular manicures/giving myself regular manicures and getting rid of any excess cuticles that I picked at before has kept me from picking at my cuticles). I just don’t like having bumps on my face and rough skin on my lips. It does unfortunately create a vicious cycle where I have to keep picking to get rid of the scabs (although my lips don’t seem to scab, they just get rough again). I wish I could stop though…
Post # 11
I never really broke out when I was a teenager, but at about 22 I started breaking out on my face and my back. I can’t help but pick and I hate it. I know it makes me break out worse, but I’m really struggling to stop. About two weeks ago, FI challenged me to stop wearing makeup (I never wear much- just coverup for my carnage) and to try to stop picking. It’s been really hard!
I’ve been doing okay, but I have good days and bad days. I kind myself picking when I’m not paying attention.
Post # 12
@WillyNilly: I have it. Started when I was pretty young. I give myself “rules” to limit the damage, like only picking on a certain number of spots, like 5; no picking scabs; pick only where it will be covered, etc.
There are drugs that are supposed to help, if you want to go that route. I’ve personally just kept mine pretty under control and I don’t want any pharmaceutical intervention, so that’s a motivation for me too.
Post # 13
I don’t know at all if this would help, but maybe try to find something else to do with your hands when you feel the urge? Like play with your rings, or wear a rubber band around your wrist and take it off and play with it instead.
Like I said, I have no clue if that helps, but I like to play with things when I’m feeling anxious or bored, and if you could retrain yourself to pick at a rubber band instead of your body it would probably be so much less damaging.
I don’t mean to trivialize the issue… I know it could be something much deeper than that :/ But I’m just trying to help!
Post # 14
I used to pick my face (and not to brag, but I have amazing skin, I don’t know why I did it)…bite my nails…I still bite my cuticles and fingers A LOT. Everytime FI and I go to a movie, he has to tell me to stop biting more than once. I keep cuticle nippers with me at all times so I can trim instead of bite. I hate making them bleed… I am sure the people I work with think I am a bit kooky. Regular manicures help, and since I discovered the UV gels, I think it has gotten way better.
My mom has picked her face like a crazy lady since I was a kid. I mean, she thinks she has acne when there is nothing there…maybe a small blackhead, but she goes to town on that bitch. Maybe thats where I got it
Post # 15
I think I have a particularly mild version. It is limited to fingers/toes, and is worse(/sadly more satisfying) around dry skin. It’s a LOT better now that I’m older, but I kinda figure it’s a lifelong deal for me. It certainly bothers me less these days because I can control myself more–these days most of it is at least while I’m at home or alone. I started to get manicures and that has helped a lot because I’m motivated to keep the manicure looking nice. It’s worse when I’m stressed about a deadline or something, but I’m a generally laid back person so I can’t blame it on anxiety even. Weird thing though–DH has some very,very mild psoriasis on his scalp, and it takes all my resistance not to pick at his plaques.
Post # 16
Yes, I do this. I used to be on a lot of medication for it. The doctor put me on Seroquel at night because that’s when I had the most time to pick. I took zoloft during the day, and klonopin when I was having anxiety during the day. My legs looked really awful at the time. I also used to buy magnifying mirrors which made it worse. I eventually got off the medication because I hated feeling like a zombie. I still pick my face and arms, but one thing that that seems to help me is exercise and doing crafting that takes my attention. I knit scarves and such, and it takes my mind off my skin.