Category Archives: Picking

What causes Skin Picking Disorder?

What causes Skin Picking Disorder?

“The cause of this disorder remains a mystery. However, research shows that some animals also pick or chew at their bodies, causing great damage. Because of this similarity, and the fact that in some women skin picking can fluctuate with the menstrual cycle, many believe that skin picking has an underlying genetic or biological cause.” – TLC

More research needs to be done to find out if there is an underlying genetic or biological cause because if there is it could pave the way for an effective treatment plan and/or cure. My family dog chews and licks at his skin to the point he is covered in lesions and loses hair because of it… the vets say that he has allergies but he has tried EVERY medication, steroid cream, and oral treatment there is and he STILL does it! Like my skin picking, which developed after I moved states from NSW to QLD, his skin chewing/licking developed after we moved states from QLD to WA. Just a coincidence?

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Why Can’t I Just Stop?

Why can’t I just stop?

Why can’t I just stop?

WHY CAN’T I JUST STOP?

The endless commentary that continually runs inside my own head!

I WANT TO STOP SOOO BAD!!!

I’ve had enough of this damn derma!! ENOUGH ENOUGH ENOUGH!!!

I can’t stop picking 😦

I try so damn hard but I JUST CAN’T STOP!!

And it gets me down!

SO SO DOWN!!!

Don’t Suffer In Silence

Really upset tonight after hearing a fellow Dermatillomania sufferer is in a critical condition 😦 This highlights just how much we all desperately need greater awareness, education and acceptance of mental health issues and Dermatillomania. DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE! If you are suffering… REACH OUT! If you know someone who is suffering… REACH OUT!! We need to be in this together! ♥

Sometimes all we really need is a little push…

So you know how I was having a bad day… WELL I decided to put my big girl panties on… managed to do the grocery shop just fine and even buy meat! Then when my son suggested we head to the river before dinner I just had to say YES! And boy was it worth it! Check out that sunset:

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Then like the BIG KID I am, I just had to have a go on the swings:

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And there’s no faking that smile! I had butterflies in my stomach and I couldn’t stop laughing! Plus I didn’t stop there… I played chasey in the playground with my little boy and squealed going down the big “scary slide” with him, I even had sand in my shoes at the end of the evening… always a sign of good times had.

So I guess what I wanted to share with you all, is that even though my day started off plagued with depression, anxiety and all things Dermatillomania, I somehow managed to have the BEST afternoon I have EVER had with my son! And I laughed… I really laughed!!

Sometimes we build these things up inside our head to the point that they seem insurmountable but if we just push ourselves that tiny little bit then the possibilities are endless. Let this be your little push for today…

Relapsing

Having a not-so-great day today. I’ve relapsed since coming on holidays. Most people find holidays relaxing – I, on the other hand, find that having nothing to do actually makes me incredibly anxious and allows my depression to creep back in a little. I didn’t want to get out of bed today. I felt sick (I suffer from medically diagnosed Irritable Bowel Syndrome with the possibility of also having chronic appendicitis) so trying to push past the pain/discomfort barrier was a little difficult this morning. Since then I have spent the last 3 hours picking at my face… mostly while sitting here on the laptop but I’ve also headed into the bathroom a few times to have a session in front of the mirror with my tweezers. This is what my face looks like now, it is the same on the other side:

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I’ve been trying to figure out what about today is making me so anxious that I feel the need to pick. I’ve hit on a few things… someone is coming over today to feed the birds so being “skin-ready” for visitors always makes me anxious, I need to go to the shops to get something for dinner & because my OCD also manifests itself in the form of fearing all food is contaminated with bacteria, especially meat, food shopping is really nerve-wracking for me and I then need to cook dinner which is also making me incredibly anxious.

So I’ve since put on some makeup, brushed my hair & changed out of my PJ’s in the hopes it will encourage me to get off my ass and finally face the day:

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However even with the makeup on you can still see the pockmarks on my skin 😦

Fading Scars

So when my sores start to vanish I start to notice my scars a lot more. This photo doesn’t really do the scars justice but you can still make them out – they are the purple spots on my arm/hand. The colder it gets or the colder I feel the more pronounced these scars become. And I have them ALL over my body. Legs, arms, face, back, stomach… bottom… you name a body part and I can guarantee you it is covered in scars. It gets me down. I know I shouldn’t let it get me down but it does. Even if I stop the picking I still won’t be able to enjoy my skin because I have essentially wrecked it. However I have heard somewhere (not sure where) that skin renews itself every 7 years. So I’m going to hold onto the hope that I won’t always be scarred… or at least they won’t always be so noticeable. In the meantime I am using this:

It is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula (with Vitamin E) Skin Therapy Oil. It has replaced Bio-Oil as my new favourite scar treatment. I found Bio-Oil quite greasy, you couldn’t put it on open sores and I didn’t overly enjoy the smell. This stuff, on the other hand, smells FANTASTIC (rosehip fragrance), is light & non-greasy, it doesn’t mention anything on its packaging about it not being suitable for use on open sores AND it’s gentle enough to be used on the face! WINNING! And as an added bonus not only is this stuff available for sale in the US and UK but also Australia and a few other countries! I’ll keep you updated on how well it goes on improving the appearance of my scars; in the meantime they have a website you can check out: http://www.palmers.com/

Sunshine and Scarring

Sunshine and Scarring

It’s Winter here in Perth, Western Australia but you wouldn’t know it! The sun is still shining and there’s hardly a chill in the air so yesterday I decided to catch a bit of the sun’s rays while they’re still hanging around.

I decided to take pictures so you could see the different types of scarring I have on my body. There’s the white lumpy scars on my belly. The dark purply brown scars on my legs. And then of course as soon as my skin is exposed a bit of picking is bound to happen. In that photo, not only can you see the freshly picked spots but also the white and brown scars. If I tan, the brown scars fade but the white ones stand out and if I remain pale the white scars aren’t noticeable but the brown ones are. So I can’t win either way really!

Minor Relapse plus Genetic Precondition?

Sooo I’d finally managed to get my face clear and then last night while I was reading a book I started to pick at it again. I attacked the spots that were almost healed (they were dry and flaky) and I don’t know if subconsciously I did it because I still wanted there to be something to pick at on my face. :/ So now I can not wait for my fidgets to arrive! TLC sent me shipping confirmation today so I am excitedly waiting for my parcel!

On a different note while I’m sitting here writing this my 6 year old son is picking at his lip. He’s a lip picker but ONLY when there is dry skin there to actually be picked off. I’m telling him to stop because it will hurt if he rips it off and he gives me a cheeky smile like he knows that’s what’s going to happen but he wants it off anyway. So far I’ve kept his hands busy with a drawing & writing activity and I’ve told him to drink water to hopefully rehydrate his lips but I guarantee you he’ll pick at them later when I’m not looking. I also went to visit my nan last night with my mother and while I was sitting there picking at a spot on my back, my mum was sitting there scratching at her face. Genetic much?

Dermatillomania – My old skin care routine

Video 3 is live! Titled “Dermatillomania – My old skin care routine” it was filmed back in 2009 & I was demonstrating the routine I used to follow for my skin. At the time I was using The Body Shop’s Vitamin E range but switched a couple of years ago to their Seaweed range which is super light on the skin which means no breakouts for me yay!! I’d also forgotten about the Aloe Vera gel for the open wounds… I now use Bactroban cream, prescribed by my doctor, if I get an infection. Last year I was getting LOTS of them thanks to the huge amount of stress I was under. Thankfully this year has seen improvements all round ♥

Educating the Uneducated

Why are people so damn naïve? And why do people keep saying “God can help you”? *facepalm* -_- I suppose this is what I get for jumping on the Dr. Phil bandwagon haha! For those who have no idea what I’m talking about:

Dr. Phil featured a fellow skin picker April on his show not long ago and reran the segment yesterday… unfortunately he portrayed April as having Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) instead of Dermatillomania. This has upset a lot of derma sufferers because it has made our condition look as though it is all “made up in our heads” despite it finally being recognised in the DSM5 as a condition in its own right. Soooo I decided to comment on his Facebook page underneath the post “Could YOU be suffering from body dysmorphic disorder” and of course the ignorant comments are now flowing in.

Here’s a link to his Facebook page where the above mentioned post is featured:

Dr. Phil’s Facebook Page

And here is a link to Angela Hartlin’s article where she interviews Dr. Phil’s guest April about her experiences with Dermatillomania:

Angie Asks: April, Guest on Dr. Phil

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