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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board


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Old 03-09-2005, 11:30 PM   #1
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Question Picking my skin raw...

I've come to the conclusion I have an OCD problem when it comes to my skin. I'm obsessed with picking at anything and everytihg that looks like a pimple/blackhead etc. It gets to the point where i'm sitting for hours just picking at my legs and arms with a pair of tweezers. I know it's horrible for my skin, and I get very self concious about the way my skin looks afterwards, and have to hide my skin from everyone.

At first I thought it had to do with a drug problem that I had about 8 months ago..(I basically abused my brother's Dexidrine prescription and got addicted). When I would go a day without the drug..I wouldn't touch my skin.

So when I was clean off the drug....and started Wellbutrin...about a month later, it started up again, but not as bad. It's mostly my chest, shoudlers, and back now. Whenever I'm sitting at the computer, or watching TV...anywhere that I'm not doing anything with my hands...I'm scratchign my chest, or squeezing pimples until they're bloody, swollen, and raw.

I usually put bandaids all over my chest and shoulders...but I end up taking them off and start picking again. I do it whenver i'm bored/nervous...my mother, sister and aunt do the same thing. We're all taking anti-depressants...could this be the culprit? Because no matter how hard I try..I end up ruining my skin again and again...I can't wait low-cut shirts...tank tops...or anything.

If anyone else has this problem...or has had it and got over it..any help would be appreciated!

 
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:58 PM   #2
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Re: Picking my skin raw...

I spoke somewhat bluntly throughout this post, it might disgust some people. My apologies.

I know exactly what you are talking about, and I have for years felt the same way, except, as gross as this sounds, I have always had an intense craving to eat the scabs and skin etc, not just a desire to pick at them. It was a manifested habit, I assume a learned habit, from when I was a child..

Anyway, for a long time I would go through the cycle of washing my face, scrubbing all of the blood away, and attempting not to touch anything, hoping that my complexion would clear up by the following morning. But alas I would always break, and begin picking at myself again, causing my self esteem to go down in the process, making me feel daunted and defeated.

Sometimes I would not even conciously be aware that I was doing it, and often I would be compelled to do it while I was, like you said, stressed out working on home work, or sitting at the computer, because my mind would wander, my hands would always end up on my face as I read, and for some reason those crusted bumps were too much to resist.

In the past couple of days I have made the best strides of my life in quitting this habit, but only with the blemishes on my face and chest.. I still knaw my fingers up fairly badly, as well as scabs on my hands, wrists, and legs.. resulting in scars upon scars..

I think like any addiction, this one can only really be kicked with the proper amount of determination. I myself have plenty of bodily addictions, I bit my nails down below the skin for years.. I gave it up for the most part, however still chew on them now and then.
Sometimes it just takes a lot of effort and time to overcome such a habit. You need to keep trying until one day you feel the strong will to really commit to quitting. Then with every passing day you will feel more incentive to keep going.

I speak though, totally based on my own expeirences, and yours may be very differently founded than my own, requiring very different advice. Regarding your question of::

"...anti-depressants...could this be the culprit?"

I am affraid I am not qualified enough to answer it. But I hope someone who visits this thread will be able to.

As far as facial clenser goes once you make some progress::

1.New Clean and Clear OIL-FREE Continuous Control Acne Wash [in the purple bottle]

Probably the best stuff I have purchased.. But I wouldent recommend it if you have naturally dry skin, because this stuff might dry it out too much.

Good Luck to you!

- Pres

Last edited by Pres; 03-10-2005 at 09:10 PM.

 
Old 03-14-2005, 12:19 PM   #3
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Re: Picking my skin raw...

The clinical term for it is "dermatillomania". Don't let that scare you. I think it's a pretty common thing. I pick too, so does my dad. We both take antidepressants but we were picking way before that. I think it's more of a nervous habit than anything else.

 
Old 03-14-2005, 12:34 PM   #4
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Re: Picking my skin raw...

Oh boy! Do I relate..My pairs of Tweezers are my Best Friends! LOL..I am constantly picking at something on my body.Even pull my leg hairs out w/ tweezers.HAVE to pop ANY bump on my skin!.Once I do pick,I feel this weird release..Strange,I know
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:39 PM   #5
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Re: Picking my skin raw...

yes I think this a common habit, i pick at the skin around the tips of my fingers until they bleed. sometimes they hurt so bad I can hardly do anything with my hands. I have no idea what causes this. I read that some anti-depressants help it, but like you, I am on anti-depressants and they haven't helped or made it any worse that I know of. Supposedly Behavioral therapy helps, but that is such a broad term it makes me suspisious. If anyone knows a way to stop this plese post!

PS I have used liquid skin to cover the sores, it's not so noticeable and I worry about them getting infected

 
Old 03-16-2005, 08:08 AM   #6
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Blue102 HB User
Re: Picking my skin raw...

Hey, supposedly there's a book out called "Brain Lock", about how to stop OCD-like habits, but I haven't read it.

 
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