Coping Cards

Skin Picking Makes My Skin Less Healthy

I think we all know and agree that skin picking makes our skin less smooth and less healthy.

Nevertheless, we pick scratch and bite, intending to smooth out our skin. I personally find it rewarding and soothing when I remove a scab or pop a pimple. Again and again and again … 

My fingers and eyes are always looking for the slightest imperfections on my skin. I tell myself that getting rid of blemishes will speed up the healing process, and then my skin will finally look good.

It is such a paradox because my skin looks worse after I’ve tried to make it better. When I see the damage I’ve done, I feel angry with myself, defeated and helpless. And the healing process feels like it takes forever.

This BFRB coping statement helps me remind myself that blemishes heal faster when I leave them alone and let them heal naturally.


Positive Grooming Aka Self-care

In the book “Overcoming Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors”, the authors talk about how hair pulling and skin picking can be viewed as “healthy/positive grooming behaviors that have gotten out of control”.

As I read this, a lightbulb appeared over my head. I always thought I was doing myself well by getting rid of all the bumps on my skin.

Also, the tricky part is that popping pimples and picking skin feels great and rewarding in the heat of the moment.

But after seeing the damage I did to myself, I feel like sh*%t most of the time. My skin is bloody, red, and looks a lot worse than before.

Little did I know that I had developed unhealthy and self-harming grooming patterns.

Since that realization, I’ve been trying to introduce healthier grooming habits into my everyday life; bringing a bit more self-care into my suuuper minimalist bathroom routine.

These are some of my new positive grooming habits (this list will evolve over time):

1. If you’re picking your fingers like I am, I give you the advise to moisturize your fingers as if your life depends on it 😉 Regularly moistening the cuticles prevents dryness and cracking. I use hand creams, cuticle oil or lotions for severely dry skin.

2. I struggle a lot with nail-biting. Although I can grow my fingernails a bit longer at times, I know they’re gone as soon as I get a little more stressed or nervous. To avoid unnecessary disappointment, I cut my nails twice a week on set days.

3. I show my skin a little more love by cleaning, exfoliating, and moisturizing it regularly. Exfoliating especially helps to remove dead skin cells and prevents clogged pores. Not only does this lead to fewer breakouts, but it also makes the skin feel smoother afterward. My goal is to improve my skin, in order to improve my skin picking.

Skin Care 101 Videos

Skincare can be very overwhelming and scary. I can only recommend Hyram’s Skin Care 101 Videos. They have helped me better understand the basics of skincare.

Tiny adjustments in the daily positive grooming routine already make a significant difference.

It sounds a little silly, but my biggest “win” came from juicing a lemon with my bare hands without my fingers burning! Since then, I’ve been using juicing lemons as a good indicator of how healthy my fingers are.