Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Picky, picky...

Okay. This is a big one. Skin picking. Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about already. I mean, you already get that feeling in the pit of your stomach, because just hearing those words triggers a whole slew of vague but undeniable emotions. If you're a picker, you get it.
Those of you who don't get that feeling - consider yourselves lucky. Spared...!

Skin picking comes in various degrees of severity. And in its more serious forms has been referred to by more serious names:

Neurotic Excoriations
Acne Excoriee
Psychogenic Excoriations
Compulsive Skin Picking (CSP)
Self Injurious Skin Picking (SISP)

I am a reformed picker. I remember - back in high school - being curled up on the floor in my room crying because of what I had done to my face. I really shouldn't have been left alone with a magnifying mirror in those days!! Fortunately, I was eventually steered in the right direction by my first esthetician who said to me, "Juliana, you're a picker. Go to school." And I did. I channeled the bad into good. Now I use my attention to detail and my knowledge about the skin to help make your skin require less picking! But I deeply understand that compulsive need to get rid of the pain and imperfection of what sometimes pops up on the skin.

I don't recommend picking at your own skin. Especially if you have a tendency to overdo it. Most times when clients come in, I can see the damage done, and I know how much better their skin would be looking without the gouges. The key, I think, is understanding that ultimately you are causing more harm than good. Did you know that there is a little tiny sac under the skin where the pimple is that holds bacteria? And that you can burst it under the skin when you go after that zit? This leads to the spreading of bacteria and more pimples. Best thing to do is apply ice to help take down swelling and kill bacteria. And use something medicated to spot treat... perhaps a dot of salicylic acid, some tea tree oil, or a bit of Volcanic Clay (Epicuren Volcanic Clay Mask). And come in for a facial. We do extractions under ideal and sanitary conditions without causing damage.

If you are a serious skin picker, there are some good resources online. You may need support. And you should not be ashamed to seek it out. Read some stories that other pickers have shared. And realize you are not alone. It is more common than you might think.

Here are a couple of online resources: