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Like many of you, I am so glad to know there are others like me! I guess it's been about 10 years now that I've had this habit, it started about the time I was old enough to get blemishes. Before that (and I'd never really associated these things with it before reading this thread), I used to scratch my back (when I was about 6 years old to about 10), then after that, I would pick at my scalp, then the face-picking started.

I have to wear make-up ALWAYS (during the day, not at night). It sucks. And, like most of you, my complexion really isn't that bad when I don't pick.

It has gotten better lately (in the past year or so). Let me tell you what has helped. First, I don't go to bed with my make-up on, I used to. But, when I got married, I just decided, I'm not going to make a habit of going to bed with make-up on. So, my husband saw all of my redness. I tried to make sure the lights were always off when I went to bed at first, and then when the light came through the window, I would keep my head turned away from him. Well, after a while, I stopped picking as much because I was too embarrassed when he did see it. So, if any of you are brave enough to go without make-up in front of someone, maybe your husband, boyfriend, or mom, after a while, that will probably help. Also, they can tell you not to pick, that's the second thing that helped, my husband bugging me not to pick, at first it was simply annoying, but eventually, it has started to help. It calls my attention to it, as well as making me a little embarrassed, so I stop. The third thing that has helped is that I've finally gotten some things that help keep my complexion looking good, so I don't have as many blackheads (which I would always pick, because let's face it, those things take a LONG time to go away on their own), I got some facewash with glycolic acid in it (Serious Skin Care from QVC or HSN, I can't remember which one is good, there are also a couple of cheaper brands). That was the first thing that helped. I got it to a point with that where I could at least go to see the dermatologist. She gave me Cleocin solution, a topical antibiotic, and that has helped. I also got some urea cream that I use occassionally when it's oily, and that helps. She also lectured me on not picking which helped (I guess the more outside sources that call your attention to it, it helps).

I think the main thing that helps is admitting you have a problem to someone else, it solidifies it in your head, and then the person you've told can help you fight the problem. So, step (1) is admit you have a problem :) (Why do I feel like an alcoholic? Oh, side note, my mom did used to be an alcoholic, I guess that's it's own obsessive-compulsive disorder in a way, maybe it's partly hereditary)

Susannah





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