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So embarassing…but skin picking, anyone?

So embarassing…but skin picking, anyone?2010-04-02T16:36:29+00:00

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

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    I used to be a nail bitten, but they are extremly, almost inhumanly tough. So i had to stop since it would hurt my teeth. I do pinch zits, mine everyonce in a while i’ll go nuts, and if i spot one on my hubbys shoulders or back it extremely hard to leave it alone. Thanks to school i have found another much smellier task that has the same saticfying feeling, emptying a dogs anal glands. Also with lawn maintainence pulling out dandilions with a ‘weed hound’ puller thing when the root comes out and it kind of has a wet popping sound that has the same good feeling too. You know?


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    The some of the posts on this site cause me to think that the anonymity afforded by this site can be truly a blessing. 😯 . . . because I’ll never know when or if I meet a TotallyADD member on the street. :D


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    omg I’m a mouth chewer and foot picker too! I thought it was just me! I love this site! I am currently recovering from a wound in my foot I caused trying to thin down a callous. Too funny. I noticed no tips for stopping the mouth chewing though. People think I’m a freak. Anyone overcome this one? I don’t care about the feet; I can wear shoes. But I always push on my lips to be able to nibble the insides and I look like an idiot.


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    LOL Babyjo.. I do the SAME thing!!



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    Let me just start by saying that I am so grateful to the person that started this forum, because I’ve always wondered if other people had the same face-picking addiction that I do, but it’s not exactly something that you can talk to people about, unless you know they have the same issue…otherwise it’s a bit embarrassing. I also have pretty much every other horrible habit that has been brought up in this forum as well…nail biting, chewing the skin on my fingers, chewing the inside of my mouth, chewing the skin on my lips, picking at the callouses on my feet, etc. The nail biting is one that I have stopped almost completely because I ended up chipping one of my bottom teeth because of it (its so small that no one knows its there except me, but it was enough to scare me into not doing it anymore, for fear I would end up with a bigger chip in my teeth one day). Anyway, I’d say my two worst habits are the skin picking and chewing the skin around my fingernails (sometimes until they bleed). I wish so bad i could just leave my face alone…because I’ve had moments where i could control myself for a few days or a week and not touch my face, and my skin starts to look SO much better and doesn’t even break out as much…and every time, I swear I’m stopping for good, but I always end up right back infront of my magnifying mirror eventually….that thing is evil lol. And of course the next morning, I always regret it, because i have to try to cover up the damage that i did the night before and it always makes going out or getting ready for work such a chore…and usually makes me late too (trying to get my cover up as perfect as possible). And when you have A.D.D., the last thing you need is another thing that makes you late lol. And as for the finger chewing thing…that’s directly work-related for me….i do it at home too, but rarely…at work, its constant. I don’t know if there is ever a time when I’m at work and I’m not chewing on my fingers, lips, or the inside of my mouth. And my coworkers comment on it from time to time…stuff like “stop chewing your nails” or “are you hungry?” …and its embarrassing that almost every time someone walks by, there I am, knawing away. But i know its stress related…I have A.D.D. and I work in a cubicle for 10 hrs a day, doing mind-numbing work and having to multitask…need I say more? LOL. …Not that I actually spend anywhere close to 10 hours actually working…lol…but thats a whole other topic for a different forum.

    Anyway…not sure why I can’t stop these horrible habits…don’t know if it’s the A.D.D. playing a part in all this or not (saw a few posts explaining that it can sometimes be caused by OCD, which is interesting…i’ll have to look into that)…but either way, wish i could just stop…I logically know that it worsens my appearance and that i will regret it later, yet i still do it.

    Anyone have any advice? or any little tricks they have found helps their self-control infront of the mirror or in times of stress?


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    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. :-)

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