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Re: So embarassing…but skin picking, anyone?

Re: So embarassing…but skin picking, anyone?2012-09-15T17:36:59+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Is It Just Me? So embarassing…but skin picking, anyone? Re: So embarassing…but skin picking, anyone?


Post count: 28

Wow! I just noticed this post is still going. Great that it’s generated discussion, though of course I’m sad for other people who experience this issue, too. It’s still a struggle for me, but better (there were times when I would not leave the house for days because of it, or I would call in sick to work).

Things that have worked for me:

*Let me stress that this is an ongoing problem for me. I have had huge improvements but still work on this on a daily basis. I have bouts of it, but they tend to be shorter and my rebound tends to be faster. As my therapist has said, this is something I will likely ALWAYS need to be vigilant of; I will ALWAYS have to manage it. That said, these are the things that have helped me manage it.

-limiting mirrors- just one in the bathroom and keeping the lighting dim so I can’t see all the pores. I don’t have mirrors anywhere else in the house despite the fact that they are a budget friendly decor item. It’s just the way it has to be for me; I can’t handle the temptation.

When we rented a vacation house I had to remove mirrors to avoid the temptation. Seriously. But then I don’t have to worry about it as much.

-my morning routine- I posted my strategy for my morning routine in a different post today (I don’t know how to link to it) but this is probably one of the most important pieces for me. I think becoming more “automated” in my morning routine may help to override the habit of picking. I’m less likely to forget and wonder what the heck I need to do next and oh well I might as well examine and pick my face. It still happens WAY MORE OFTEN than I would like, but it’s better.

-a vitamin A-based prescription cream that I use daily and I use neostrata products (Canadian) which aren’t cheap (they have good sales, though) but they help to keep my skin smooth because of the alpha hydroxy acids they promote exfoliation. I use these on my upper arms as well. I got my makeup routine down (and if you want I can share that info with you- just let me know) and this was also key. Keeping things simple, using the same products regularly has helped to eliminate distractions. I find if I can get the makeup half on, then I know I’m probably okay. But I’ve had days where I rewash and apply my makeup several times because of picking interference. Arghhh.

I have a partner who is generally supportive and has developed a sixth “picking” sense and will yell out or come and push me out of the washroom if I am perseverating on picking or tweezing. Sometimes I even have to yell to him to come and get me because I feel unable to pull myself away. I just yell out and tell him I need him to come up right away.

The other thing that helps is getting to bed at a decent hour (easier said than done) and also having a simple consistent night time routine. If I am having a bad day and feel like I will be too tempted to look up close in the mirror (at which point I know I’m done-for) then I might just take a wet washcloth and wipe my face in the hallway and go straight to bed; brush my teeth with lights off.

I have also worked a lot on my commitment to carrying on with my day “no matter what”. EVEN IF I have a crazy picking session, I carry on, put on my makeup (which of course can’t completely cover it, or might look “heavy” but oh well) and then I spend less time ruminating over the whole crazy mess I created.

And I also have made an unofficial rule I guess that once my makeup’s on, it’s done for the day and try to stick to it. I hate the fluorescent lighting at work. And don’t even talk to me about searching for the lovely rogue hairs that show up on my face as I age.

I have also been reading a book called Willpower by Roy Baumeister which is very interesting. It talks about how we have a limited reserve of willpower/self-control and also that we can work on improving it to some degree. I think some of this information might be helpful. Here’s a link to an article about it:


I’d love to hear tips from others, too. Hope that helps. :-)