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How to Stop Picking – Top 13 Tips

How to Stop Picking – Top Tips

dermatillomania guy Dermatillomania or pathologic skin picking (PSP) is basically an impulse control dysfunction that is closely related to obsessive compulsive disorder and parallel to substance abuse disorder as well.

Unfortunately, there is no single “cure” as of yet, but by going through this list and compiling all of the things that work, you can come up with a really strong battle plan that will teach you how to stop picking and cure your compulsive skin picking urges.

Medical Breakthrough Helps Cure Picking Compulsions Naturally

So just to clarify: not all of these things will work for you. Eliminate the ones that don’t, but give everything a try!

  • Identify triggers, e.g. mirrors, acne, boredom, stress, anxiety, depression, dry skin, etc.
  • Eliminate triggers as much as possible. Cover all mirrors (try to get your family on board with this). See a dermatologist and get a unique skin regimin to combat acne/blemishes and keep your skin as healthy as possible. Invest in some fidget toys to prevent absent-minded (“boredom”) picking. VERY IMPORTANT: See a psychiatrist and/or therapist if you feel that you have symptoms of depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness because these often make picking worse and get in the way of recovery!
  • Nails 1) Keep them as short as possible to reduce damage and make them harder to pick. However, some people find this frustrating, so it leads to more picking, in which case you could try: 2) Keep them long and make them look nice—picking hurts more so you may not pick as long, and no one wants dead skin and scabs under their shiny nails! 3) Fake (acrylic) nails. This makes it much more difficult to pick (without screwing them up) and creates distance between your fingers and the sensation of picking.
  • Tell people. I know, it’s hard. However, speaking openly about your picking with close friends and family who will NOT judge or criticize you lifts a huge weight off your shoulders. Not only that because those people can keep an eye on you. (It is harder to break a promise to someone else than to disappoint yourself.)
  • Write encouragement notes to yourself (or ask others to make some!) and leave them where you pick. Force yourself to read them.
  • Keep a journal of when and where you pick. Record details such as how long, your emotions, and the severity of the picking. Track this over a period of time to see if episodes of picking coincide with certain things in your life.
  • Don’t wash your face with bare hands. Use a gentle washcloth or something similar so that you do not feel potential triggers on your skin.
  • Cover up: long sleeves, long pants, hats, gloves, band-aids, acne patches, etc. Create some barriers between your urge to pick and your skin.
  • Set a timer in the bathroom. When you go in to take a shower or whatever set it to a reasonable time, and when it dings you must get out! If this means you didn’t have time to wash your hair, you’ll have to leave, come back in, and reset the timer for only how much you need to finish up.
  • Celebrate your victories, don’t get down on yourself! With Dermatillomania, a victory can be as simple as stopping. It doesn’t matter if you had a really long picking session. Instead of feeling crappier and more likely to pick, realize that the important thing is that you stopped.
  • Focus on the “now.” Tracking a number of days or worrying about the future often does not help. After a relapse, this can make you feel much worse. By always focusing on the exact present, you can remind yourself that you really do have control over your picking! Say you messed up and have been picking for ten minutes. If you remember the “now” rule, you may be able to pull yourself away (as opposed to saying screw it, I’ve already picked this much, might as well enjoy it). Even if you only stop for a second and then notice yourself picking again, you can repeat this method and try to postpone, slow down, and reduce picking as much as possible. With practice, it will become more automatic.
  • Therapy: even if you consider yourself mentally healthy aside from your picking, professional help is a great tool and you can learn things like CBT, DBT, habit reversal training, and other approaches. See what works for you and talk with your therapist about things that contribute to your picking.
  • Medication: See a psychiatrist who knows your medical background and is in touch with your therapist. There are certain medications that have proved to be helpful with some patients. Try them out as directed and see if you are pleasantly surprised! Be patient and allow the time given to you by your doctor to see if the medication has an effect.

I hope some of these tips have helped you!

 

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