Love it, hate it, but you can’t ignore it. No matter if you feel happy, sad, anxious, or just plain indifferent, you can’t resist yourself from picking your skin. Doesn’t it sound like an addiction? An alarming state of a maniac who’s lost it all!
There are many of us who are addicted to skin picking. A habit dear to you right from your childhood. The pleasure you gained in picking on your skin around the nails and lips was enough to keep you busy throughout your childhood. And now, it has grown into an impulsive control “disorder”. Can it really be cured? Well, cure isn’t the correct word. Let’s say, we can help you stop or break the habit of skin picking by the following ways.
Know what causes it
If you accept that it is a disease and you need to come out of it, do a thorough research on it. Skin picking disorder or dermatillomania is caused due to external as well as internal factors. Tanning, dust, smog, and exposure to harmful microbes – bacteria and virus – can be the external factors.
Your diet, water, or other supplements that you have can play a role as well. It can also be passed on to you as a hereditary syndrome. But the most common cause is deep inside your head; as the coping mechanism to deal with high levels of turmoil, anxiety, or stress.
List down things that relax you
Note down the things and activities that help you relax. Do some painting. Play your guitar. Do yoga. Go for a sauna. Read magazines, novels, or books. Watch a movie. Listen to music. Or perhaps take a nap. It will help you curb the anxiety that compels you to start skin picking.
The Hate Approach
It may sound funny, but try this. Many in the world have found great relief in doing so. Take a large picture/poster of your favorite celebrity and paste it in your room. Take a red marker and draw zits and scars all over their face. Now sit and watch it. Then, using the marker draw a bold and dark cross all over the picture. This will remind you what “NOT” to become.
Idle hands are the devil’s workshop
Quite self-explanatory in this case. Keep your hands occupied. Take a squeeze ball or those popular Chinese Caomaru balls. To prevent biting around your nails, apply a bandage in that area or apply some fancy nail paint (for girls). That way, you will be less tempted to dig on your skin. Another reliable practice is to wear gloves. That way your hand remains covered, and your grip on any other object to pick skin completely wears away.
Inspirations on the go
Stick inspirational quotes and sayings everywhere you go. The kitchen (refrigerator) door, toilet door (preferably the inner side), car’s dashboard, or cupboards of your room. In this digital age, you rather set the quotes as wallpapers of your laptop and cell phones. This way, wherever you go, you will be reminded “NOT” to do it.
Keep loneliness at bay
When do you pick ideally? Whenever you are alone doing nothing! So, better we take this “loneliness” out of the scene. Try to remain engaged in something or the other. If you live alone, try to hang out – go to some departmental store, visit your friends, go partying, or go to some fine restaurant and treat yourself with whatever you like.
It all boils down to the same fact again and again – “A healthy lifestyle is the key to happy well-being”. Do regular exercises – yoga, morning walks, jogs, simple stress-relieving exercises like aerobics, etc. This will refresh you and lower your anxiety level.
Avoid eating too much fried junk food and instead go for nutritious food like salads, sprouts, juices, soups, raw vegetables, and fruits. Water is a great detoxifier, hence drink plenty of water. This will prevent the growth of acne and other scars on your skin. No acne, no picking!
Who doesn’t like the sweet fragrance of flowers? So does your skin. Aromatherapy has emerged as a great way to revitalize your skin and open the blocked pores, thus cleansing your skin.
▶ Take a vessel filled with hot, boiling water and add 2-3 tablespoons of aromatic herbs or oil in it.
▶ Place a wide towel over your head, covering the bowl and create a steam tent.
▶ Inhale the fragrant steam for about 5-10 minutes.
▶ Finish the process by washing your face with cold water.
Tip: Use lavender oil, lemon oil, or apricot oil. For herbs, you may choose chamomile, basil, mint, lavender, or rose petals.
One is always motivated to attain more when the inspiration comes from an alter ego. Try to be friends with fellow chronic skin pickers, and both of you can take it as a challenge to get rid of the disease. Competition, this way, is a healthy practice. Or you can use the social network to join forums where you can interact with people who have overcome a similar condition. Direct motivation from a veteran would do wonders.
Keep a track of your progress
Make a habit to log and register every bit of your growth as an anti-skin picker/peeler. Starting from day one, note down the frequency of your picking, the most susceptible areas where your pick on, and what ways are you trying to cope up with the urge. After every week, take stock. You will really feel happy and motivated by your progress. Plus, this documentation might come handy for others when you turn a ‘Once-a-Picker’.