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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Face - September 29th 2017, 10:22 AM

So most of you all know that I have been self-harming since I was five years old. Well I have been cut free for almost 6 months and that is amazing and hasn't happened in years, but that isn't why I am posting this thread.

Lately I have been scratching at the flaws on my face, like pimples or bumps. Right now I have 4 scabs on my face, and I can't seem to stop picking at them. Two nights ago I had this bump on my face next to my chin and I was scratching it then I couldn't stop scratching it for the life of me until I had made it bleed. Anyways now I have had to put a pad and neosporin on it to keep me from picking it. But I still find a way.

My face looks so damn gross right now, and I hate it. I mean I have always been ugly but now with all these scabs I am time 100% uglier. I don't wear make up, but I will probably start if I go out to try and hide these.

I am just so pissed at myself that I can't seem to stop my scratching and making scabs and it's all on my face. A lot of it is a compoltion and I don't even realize I am doing it until I am already at a certain point.

I guess this was just a vent I don't really know if there is any advice anyone can give me.


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Re: Face - September 30th 2017, 12:22 PM

I went through something similar last year and it's awful when you just can't seem to stop scratching and picking and yet it all it does it make things worse.

I don't have much advice, but try to pay attention to when you are scratching. For me, I could be absorbed in something like reading/watching something, or I could be bored or anxious about something and I wouldn't realise that I was picking at my face. But when you do realise, it's best to make a conscious effort to not pick or scratch.

I found it helpful to remind myself that if I scratch and pick at my face, it will look worse and maybe even bleed or get infected, and that helped when I was tempted to do it. But another way you could think of it is that you want your skin to get and look better and the only way that is going to happen is if you try to avoid picking and instead help your skin get better by treating it well (e.g. using Neosporin if necessary).

I know that it can be easy to start blaming yourself and feeling frustrated that you can't stop. For me, it helped when I tried to re-frame these thoughts and tell myself that I am struggling with picking but I am also trying to stop. It helped to give me a sense of control over it, even if I still picked at times.

And also, best to try not to spend too much time looking in mirrors if you feel that seeing the scabs in the mirror makes you want to pick or makes you feel bad in some way.

Also, well done on being free from cutting for almost 6 months


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Re: Face - October 1st 2017, 01:31 PM

Holly's ideas about trying to pay close attention to when you're scratching your face and reminding yourself of why not to do it are good ideas.

Something else you can try for a similar experience is looking into face masks you can get, particularly the kind you peel off your face as opposed to scrubbing them off or using a sheet mask. That could give you a similar sensation and it could be worth a try when your face heals enough to use a mask.


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Re: Face - October 1st 2017, 05:00 PM

Hey there Essa,
I'm sorry you're having such a rough time with skin picking and scratching. It is great you've gone 6 months cut free but from what I'm hearing you're frustrated that you're still self harming in other ways.

This may sound a little odd but, as someone who was skin picking since toddler age, I noticed there's different ways to get pimples and bumps etc.
The obvious I'd the self induced scratching that turn into scabs. But I noticed for myself there's an ebb and flow of how much acne I get on my face and such as if I'm getting my period or if I've been eating unhealthy food.

On other parts of my body I would skin pick at mosquito bites and that starts in the summer but sometimes the wounds get picked at all through the winter.

Part of me feels better when I pick so I hate bring told to use acne soap and whatnot but there are ways to reduce acne and interestingly the ways to reduce acne and pimples are often the simltonaously the way to reduce anxiety (ie: eating healthy/reducing foods hard on stomach etc)

Realizing this helped me because I can reduce acne without manually applying soap or mosquito anti itch cream or anthing that might trigger me to want to pick more.
Using my eating habits to make my skin better has been empowering and it made me motivated to nit relapse into my eating disorder behaviors as well. But that in itself is a big struggle so I understand if that's not something you can do on your own. Are you working with a professional currently?

I hope this helps a little. I have not figured out how to stop completely but I hope that you can be patient with yourself. It is a very hard thing to stop and you're already taking out one coping method which is cutting so it can be that your mind isn't ready to go 100% free from self harm. You're fighting this battle and that's already a lot.
   
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