Skin picking and hair pulling (kinda graphic, tw)

I’ve had acne since I was about 9 and I’m 20 now. Since then I have always struggled with touching and picking at my face/acne. I’ve tried so many times to stop. I wash my face on a mostly regular basis, but I guess I just have the genes for oily skin. When I try to stop picking at my face (which now also includes my neck, back, and shoulders) I often scratch my head. I don’t pull out hair from my head, but I drag my nails across my scalp and collect dandruff or pop acne that’s hidden in my hair. My face, neck, shoulders and back all have scarring because of this. Recently (about 6 months ago), I started picking at my leg hair. I know popping pimples is pretty common, but this is the part I’m honestly kind of ashamed of. I’ll use my fingernails or tweezers to pull out ingrown hairs on my legs. It started out as not a big deal, but now it’s turned into pulling many hairs, and pushing out the stuck hairs with my nails so I can pull them out with tweezers which sometimes causes bleeding. So I now also have scarring on my shins. I try to pass it off as bug bites (I also pick scabs but not as often) but I’m ashamed to wear shorts in public or talk to any of my friends about this. The only person who knows is my partner and other than counseling I don’t know what to do about it because I don’t know anyone else who has experienced this. When I do these things, sometimes it’s out of habit or boredom, but other times it relieves anxiety even though I don’t even understand why I have anxiety over it in the first place.

ps i also pull my eyebrows and eyelashes, sometimes for cosmetic reasons but now it’s a habit and i dont always notice that im doing it


It’s definitely because of anxiety. You need to figure out where your anxiety comes from and a counseler would be very helpful. I’ve seen one and it didn’t help much with my anxiety sadly, but keep going and you’ll find someone that will understand how you feel and will be able to help you. Don’t give up, I’m sure you can get over it.

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Yeah, some of these habits i’ve found i just have to start catching myself doing and forcing myself to stop no matter how tempting. I still get a bit of acne at 23 but 16-21 was when it was worst for me, just another patience game and getting some prescription stuff and using it right. Being outgoing and lively will cause people to not even notice, i’ve found. They hated it when i said i was ugly. Very hard to get over but I promise you can as you continue to mature.


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