If you don’t have a habit of picking, squeezing or obsessively touching your skin, then skip this section. If you do then please read on!
I often get asked if it’s okay to squeeze a pimple or to get facial extractions. The answer is absolutely not – in no case is it ever okay to squeeze a pimple.
An acne inflammation is a bit like a pipe in the way that it has an opening at the surface of the skin and an opening below the surface also. So when you squeeze the inflammation, you are also squeezing the acne bacteria back under the surface of your skin and into your bloodstream. This often results in more pimples appearing around that same area some days later.
You also will potentially cause something to look a lot worse than it did before squeezing it. We’ve all been here before – we squeeze a blackhead and inflammation until it bleeds, gets angry and red or starts weeping. We’re then left with something that not only looks worse, but it’s also a lot more difficult to cover up and it’s going to take longer to heal. Covering up a scab is a lot harder than covering up an unbroken inflammation.
How To Stop Picking
There are varying degrees to this problem. You could just be an occasional picker because you don’t like the look of pimples when they form a head (fair enough). But if you’re picking everything (including blackheads), and spending a lot of time in the mirror, then often the problem goes deeper than simply attempting to heal the skin.
Excessive skin picking is a form of obsessive compulsive disorder and it’s a habit that needs to be kicked.
Usually when we obsessively skin pick we are doing it because the extreme focus we have on that particular spot forces our monkey mind and all of our obsessive thoughts to temporarily get pushed away. When we skin pick we’re truly in the present moment, and that feels good!
A Two Step Process To Healing
The first step is to bring in new activities that you can do in order to get this same satisfaction of feeling in the present moment. This could be things like dancing, breath work, meditating with intention, or anything that requires the body to be active in movement. Often when we’re active we fall into enjoying the present moment.
The second step is to go on a “picking detox” for a period of time. I suggest starting small to begin with so that’s it’s not too overwhelming. Begin with 24 hours and see how you go. If you fail then don’t judge yourself for it – just begin the 24 hours again and eventually you’ll get there!
After you’ve successfully been able to go through 24 hours, then try for longer. If you’re brave enough then aim for a week this time. If that seems to much then just go for 48 hours. This can be a difficult process in the beginning but you’ll be surprised at how quickly you kick the habit.
I also highly recommend you read the Stop Picking On Me website. It was a vital part of my own personal healing with a skin picking habit. Click here to visit the website.
There is another great website that offers counselling sessions and a bunch of quizzes and useful information. You can check it out here: Skin Pick