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Default Mar 01, 2022 at 12:30 PM
  #1
Hi everyone, Iím struggling with skin picking yet again. Iím middle aged. Iíve always picked my nails, lips, & random scabs. In my teenage years I also started picking my skin. Iíve been able to stop for short periods of time, but it never lasts.

Luckily, at my job I can wear latex gloves to hide my fingers, but the mask mandate will be ending soon. Iím not looking forward to that, since my picking is out of control right now & I can hide some of the damage with a mask.

So I want to start a picking diary to have a place to keep myself accountable. Iím a book person, so I looked at my local library system for helpó77 libraries across 15 counties in my state & there is nothing about dermatillomania.

Okay. I remembered, from one of my many attempts to stop picking my skin, a woman I came across on YouTube: Annette Pasternak, Ph.D. She calls herself the ďStop Picking CoachĒ. Iím going to watch her videos & make some notes.
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Default Mar 01, 2022 at 01:57 PM
  #2
You are a brave and courageous person. I am both inspired by you and rooting for you!
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Default Mar 01, 2022 at 02:51 PM
  #3
Did you know there is a website called skin pick .com that host free webinars (theres a service you can pay for and the webinars are like trying to get you to pay for the service but they are also really good and really helpful.)
You just have to sign up with your email but I find it really helpful (the webinars). Just incase you didnt know about it.
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Default Mar 06, 2022 at 07:44 AM
  #4
Hello friends! Thank you Yaowen. Your support is very much appreciated, as usual. Thank you Pinny. I have heard of skinpick.com, but I have not visited in a long time. Your reminder is very helpful to me.

I have been able to pick a little less since I wrote last. Iím watching Annette Pasternakís videos on YouTube. She has so many, so Iím watching them from oldest to newest & finding them incredibly helpful. Per her suggestion, Iíve started meditating again. I downloaded a free app called smiling mind to remind me daily.

I havenít been sleeping well lately, which contributes to my picking urges. I do take melatonin before bed, but I may also start to take a magnesium supplement again. I fall asleep fine, but wake in the night and/or early.

All in all, so far, so good.
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Default Mar 13, 2022 at 10:16 AM
  #5
Hi again. Iíve been having ups & downs with the picking, which is 100% to be expected. I havenít meditated or watched Annette Pasternakís YouTube videos the past few days, so once Iím done here, I will do that. The mask mandate ended here yesterdayóso no time to lose. Iíve had some success keeping my hands busy with play doh & pulling weeds; all is not lost.
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Default Apr 10, 2022 at 10:01 AM
  #6
Hello again. Update: I havenít picked my fingernails lately, but Iím still picking the skin around my fingernails, my lips, & my face. I havenít meditated since I wrote last & I stopped watching Annette Pasternakís videos on YouTube. I have an alert on my tablet every afternoon to remind me to meditate, but itís easy to ignore.

I want to start drawing again though. Iím writing that here because itís relevant to keep my hands busy & not picking. I like the drawings I make on scratch paper & the backs of envelopes, but never in sketchbooks. Go figure. Iím making a commitment to draw (almost) every day for the rest of this month, even if itís only for 5 minutes.
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Default Apr 17, 2022 at 11:12 AM
  #7
Update on my drawing goal: Iíve added watercolor to my drawing goal & managed to do a little something every day this past week, even if itís only for 5 minutes. Iím not picking my fingernails, but Iím still picking the skin around my fingernails, my lips, & my face. Even so, it doesnít look too terrible.
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Default Apr 24, 2022 at 11:57 AM
  #8
Quick update. Successes: still havenít picked my fingernails & Iíve drawn every day, even if only for five minutes. Still picking lips, face, & skin around fingernails. Although I did have one day I didnít pick my face at all. Today is my day off. Iíve pulled all the clutter off of the floor of a closet I share with a family member to see what I am able to discard. I mention that here because it keeps my hands & brain busy, plus it may help lessen some anxiety in the long run which fuels my picking urges. Although it is very anxiety-producing in the short term.
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Default Apr 25, 2022 at 06:24 PM
  #9
Excoriation is the medical term, I think. Maybe there are books using that term. I have it, too. My life has been extremely stressed lately and my cuticles are literally raw. I'm 59 and in all the decades this time has been the worst. Thank you for your thread.

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Default Apr 28, 2022 at 06:09 PM
  #10
Hi Beth! Thank you for writing & the tip about searching excoriation on the library database. Iím sorry to hear about your picking too. Itís so painful when itís your fingers. Mine isnít the worst itís been at the moment, but it wouldnít take much to get back to that place, unfortunately.
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Default May 01, 2022 at 11:07 AM
  #11
Successes: still not picking my fingernails. Iíve drawn every day, even if only for five minutes. Iíve used a lot of drawing tutorials on Pinterest & I started listening to audiobooks online through my local library while I do it. I managed to scrape together a couple small grocery bags of clutter to discard while going through the closet too, a drop in the bucket.

I also found a bunch of yarn while I was going through the closet. Maybe I will start knitting again to keep my hands & brain busy, I donít know. I have the next week off & itís making me nervous. Donít get me wrong, Iím happy to get a much needed break, but Iím also apprehensive about being left to my own devices. Iím sure it will be perfectly fine though.

Things I want to work on: not picking my face, lips, & the skin around my fingernails. I have plenty of stuff to keep me gainfully occupied. I will start by brainstorming a list of things I can/will do this week so I have something solid to refer back to when Iím feeling lost. I can do this.
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Default May 04, 2022 at 08:00 AM
  #12
Iím still not picking my fingernails & Iím still drawing every day, even if only a few minutes. But Iíve been picking the heck out of my face the past couple days. Monday morning I went to the dentist for the first time in 8-ish years & learned not only do I have gum disease, but itís going to take multiple visits & thousands of dollars to treat.

Iím on vacation this week, so Iím off my usual routine & spending a lot of time at home, which is gross, dirty, & cluttered. I live with my family, so thereís only so much I can do about that. The rest I just have to accept. Let go or be dragged. Do what I can do. I have to call my work today to arrange more time off for the upcoming dental work & call my bank to give them a heads up.
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Default May 04, 2022 at 08:58 PM
  #13
I'm so sorry about the dental work you need. The cost of dentistry is ridiculous and there needs to be tighter regulation on that field.

I think knitting is a wonderful idea! When I was doing creative things I wasn't bothering my fingers nearly as much.

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Default May 12, 2022 at 01:27 PM
  #14
My increased efforts at dental hygiene are putting me in the bathroom in the evening. A place & time I usually avoid due to the increased trigger factor for picking my face. Sometimes just writing about it here helps me be more mindful not to fall into the behavior. So, weíll see. At least Iím having continued success drawing every day, if even for 5 minutes, & not picking my fingernails. Thereís hope yet.
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Default May 17, 2022 at 07:31 AM
  #15
Updates: Iím at five days in a row now that I havenít picked my face. Iím trying to replace picking my face with increased efforts at dental hygiene. Iím still picking my lips & the skin around my fingernails, but I havenít picked my fingernails for at least 37 days now. Iíve also drawn/watercolored/collaged for 37 days in a row now too, even if for five minutes. Iím feeling cautiously optimistic about eventually maybe replacing these picking behaviors with less self destructive behaviors. Itís a marathon, not a sprint though.
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Default May 20, 2022 at 06:38 PM
  #16
I picked my face a little in my car on my lunch break from work today. I was able to stop myself before too much damage was done. Iíve also tried squeezing a couple spots on my face at night while I was reading in bed, but it wasnít satisfying. So far, Iíve avoided leaning into the bathroom mirror & picking. Thatís usually where the majority of the damage has been done in the past.

Iím still drawing or doodling every day, even if itís only for two minutes. Iím trying to not focus on the results, but more on building the habit & concentration. Results may come later, if at all. Iím working through some art books I bought years ago and just never followed through on reading & practicing. Itís a challenge.
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Default May 24, 2022 at 07:49 AM
  #17
I want to see how long I can go pick-free starting now: Tuesday, May 24th, 2022, 5:45am. My picking has lessened since I started this diary. Iím just curious to challenge myself & see how I do.
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Default May 28, 2022 at 08:55 PM
  #18
I have never, in all the decades I've been tearing at my cuticles, had them as bad off as they are now.

How's it going for you, Float?

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Default May 29, 2022 at 05:34 AM
  #19
Hi Beth,

I keep meaning to update this, so thanks for the reminder. Iím doing okay. I have managed to not pick at my fingernails for a while, thatís still going well. I donít think Iíve picked my face since I wrote here last. I have a new evening routine to replace the picking with increased efforts at dental hygiene instead. I canít say that Iíve stopped picking my lips, but that has decreased noticeably, to the point my lips are smooth now & not scabby. Yes, the skin around my fingernails & my cuticles are still a literal sore spot. But Iíve definitely made progress in not picking overall. Thank you for asking!
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Default May 29, 2022 at 05:07 PM
  #20
It sounds like you're having some good success. That's great!

Do you find that putting lotion on your hands so they're not dry helps with picking your cuticles and skin around your fingernails, or does having softer skin make it easier to pick at?

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