Whether it is a pimple, a cuticle strip around our nails or even some dried up wound, we all have that urge--that instant impulse to touch it or peel it off. But why though? Why do we pick at our skin, knowing that it'll harm us?
TBH, there isn't any reason behind it, except perhaps a bad habit. But when do you know that your habit is doing you more harm than good? Let's find out.
Skin Picking And How To Stop It
We may or may not realise but all of us pick at our skin in some way or the other. You can be popping those pimples or just peeling off cuticles around your nails like some sort of psychopath (yup, that's me!). But how much is too much? Let's try to categorize these skin pickers.
Mild Skin Picking
If you pick your skin once in a blue moon or if you have a habit of peeling off your skin but only when you see some dead skin or pop a pimple once in a while, then you have mild picking habits. It is really not an issue but don't do it. No, seriously!
Intermediate Skin Picking
If your hand straight up goes to any form of skin or texture that can be removed/peeled off from your skin, then you have intermediate picking habits. Some may also say that you love picking your skin to pass time.
It may look harmless but you won't even realise when this will become something as serious as an addiction. Plus, it's always going to make matters worse-- leave scars or make your skin bleed again.
Severe Skin Picking
This is rather serious. If a person is picking their skin a lot, even if there's literally nothing to scab out or peel off, then they have severe skin picking habits. It can be something like pulling out your facial hair or even digging your blackheads. You may not even realize it when you're doing it and it is something that cannot be ignored.
You can either be doing it as a coping mechanism from all the worrisome things happening around you or you're anxious and may not realize anything at all. This extreme behavior is also known as BFRB; Body-Focused Repetitive Behavior which is a self-grooming repetitive behavior in which the person 'attacks' their body consciously or unconsciously.
How To Stop Picking At Your Skin
To stop picking at your skin, the first step is to accept that you need to stop and seek help. The longer you deny it, the more serious it might will become.
To quit your skin picking habits in the 'early' stage, try these:
- Try to divert your mind to do other things and keep your hands busy. Playing with a stress toy or even a fidget spinner might help.
- You can wear gloves! Keeping your fingers covered might eventually help you keep your skin picking habits in check.
- Apply a face mask to cover your face or paint your nails to avoid pulling off your cuticles.
- Keep your nails short so that you have a difficulty in getting hold of anything that can be peeled off.
- Take care of your skin. If you have a habit of peeling off dry skin, then pay extra attention and keep your skin hydrated. Invest in amazing lotions and skincare items and try to heal the situation instead of making things worse.
- Develop a hobby, as people tend to pick their skin when they're alone or getting bored.
- Keep your scissors, tweezers or other things as far away as possible. In fact, ask someone to only give them to you when you actually need them.