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Q&A

I just had someone send me in a wonderful question but to keep their privacy I chose to answer privately; however in case the answer could be helpful to someone else I will include a copy of the question & answer below:

I was just wondering if you had any advice. I’m going to (destination) tomorrow with my music school, and I wanted to ask if you had any suggestions for coping with my derma while I’m there? :/ Do you have any recommendations – distractions, coping techniques, how to hide it, especially considering that there’s a beach (meaning swimwear :/), I’ll be sharing a dorm room and I’ll be around other people 24/7?

Wow that sounds lovely 🙂 I hope you enjoy your trip!!

Ok when it comes to distractions it’s a matter of keeping your hands busy as much as possible… by the sounds of it playing an instrument would come in handy! You can also try fidget toys (beaded bracelets, bottle caps, stress balls, etc. as these are everyday items that wouldn’t really stand out); writing/drawing; wearing gloves at night (pretend you’re giving your hands a moisturising treatment if anyone asks); and perhaps try painting your nails as wet polish tends to decrease the urge to pick (so maybe apply a clear top coat every time you get a strong urge to pick).

How to hide it… Wear long pants/long sleeves if weather permits. If you’d like to go swimming but don’t want to bathe in swimwear alone you could always wear board shorts or ¾ pants over bikini bottoms and a polo shirt over bikini top. I have done this before and only had one little girl ask me why I was swimming in clothes… I just said I don’t like showing skin. Other excuses I have used for not going swimming is “it’s that time of the month” and “I don’t own a swimsuit”. As for hiding the picking… if I’m around people I try and limit my picking to when others will be asleep or a quick session in the toilet/shower. I would also wear pyjamas that covered my marks and apply makeup as soon as I woke up and after my shower or before going to bed. For peace of mind you could always carry around a little pocket mirror and a stick of concealer with you for touch-ups.

I find that when I am around people 24/7 my picking lessens quite dramatically because I become acutely aware of my actions and am more mindful than ever not to pick. Sometimes the urges do become overwhelming though and that’s why I suggested trying to limit the picking to when you are alone in the toilet or shower. I also find that having to keep makeup on also really limits my picking because I am aware that I have makeup on and so I don’t want to accidentally rub it off and I also hate the feel of it under my nails. I know wearing makeup, especially to bed, isn’t the best thing you can do for your skin but it’s a temporary solution just to get you through the trip!

Hopefully you will be enjoying yourself that much & be that distracted by all the activities on offer that you won’t think so much about the picking! I hope some of this helps… good luck!! Xx

Also for anyone that’s interested I have a page on this website titled “How to stop picking at your skin” that contains a compilation of different tips you can try straight away as well as strategies for the long term.

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JUST STOP!

So apparently, according to my mum, I can just stop? I picked at my chin tonight because I am stressing out about a date this week. So yeah obviously the smart thing to do is pick at my skin because we all know that makes me look so much more attractive and makes me all the more confident ha! Anyway it’s my coping mechanism, not that it really helps, but seeing my chin like this has pissed my mum off. She became annoyed with me and said I should be able to just stop, to which I replied “If it were that easy I would have stopped already”. Of course she had an answer to this “I used to have OCD and I stopped”. Yes mum I also used to have severe OCD and I was able to control that and I’ve also managed to quit smoking but quitting picking is a whole other ball game! Well apparently she doesn’t believe that it is that hard to stop! *facepalm* hold on one second while I go and bang my head repeatedly against a brick wall … there much better!! Now where were we? Oh yeah that’s right JUST STOP!!! -_-

Shopping for Fidgets

Have finally decided to buy myself some fidgets in the hope they will help me in this stop picking journey! I’m shopping online at TLC’s Trich Store and am going on a little bit of a spending frenzy! My checkout total is already at $104.90… ooops! Here’s what’s in my cart so far:

FOREVER MARKED: A Dermatillomania Diary by Angela Hartlin

A TLC student membership

A Zipper Bracelet

An Adjustable Multi-Colour Beaded Bracelet

A FlexiBox Fiddler

Mala Bead Bracelet: India Agate Prayer Necklace/Bracelet

Unfortunately postage to Australia is a bit pricey which just goes to show I really need to set something up for sufferers over here!

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