Any tips on stopping picking at your skin?

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katwithhat
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15 Sep 2012, 1:15 pm

Geez, I have the hardest time stopping picking at my cuticles, bumps or imperfections on my skin. I noticed the other day that I can spend up to 4 hours a night straight messing with my hands or feet. I know it's a common aspie thing but has anybody had any luck with a way to stop it?


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PixelPony
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15 Sep 2012, 1:33 pm

Wow. Four hours. That's kind of impressive in a way.

Only tip that jumps to mind it cutting your fingernails really short so you can't pick effectively.



mljt
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15 Sep 2012, 1:42 pm

I do the same, although not for as long and it doesn't usually lead to any harm on my skin, so I don't try to stop..but maybe try getting something which can distract you? A stress ball or small toy to keep your hands busy until you forget about it?

Also cover up the skin you pick at? I do it on the tops of my arms when I have my shirt off, so I just put my shirt back on. I found that moisturising my arms helped with not being able to find things to pick at!



Last edited by mljt on 15 Sep 2012, 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

daydreamer84
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15 Sep 2012, 1:43 pm

I've been trying to stop this too.....it's related to anxiety and can be related to OCD. My psychologist told me to wear gloves so that I'd be consciously aware of starting to pick and could stop myself.....but I can't stand wearing them......they get really itchy after awhile.My freidn who is also autistic said to buy cotton gloves......which are hard to find though... apparently they sell them in china town. The other thing I'm supposed to do is file my nails every day......it does make it harder to pick but not impossible....also you have to remember to do it everyday.....it does help a bit though........



SpiritBlooms
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15 Sep 2012, 1:57 pm

No tips except that I've noticed I tend to do more of that when I'm stressed in some way, even when I don't realize I'm stressed, so when I notice I'm doing that I stop and do a little thinking about what's on my mind that's bothering me. Maybe some journal writing. Or I pick up some knitting to keep my hands busy. I also keep my fingernails really short, and I try to substitute the picking with something healing, like an herbal lotion or something.

daydreamer84 wrote:
I've been trying to stop this too.....it's related to anxiety and can be related to OCD. My psychologist told me to wear gloves so that I'd be consciously aware of starting to pick and could stop myself.....but I can't stand wearing them......they get really itchy after awhile.My freidn who is also autistic said to buy cotton gloves......which are hard to find though... apparently they sell them in china town. The other thing I'm supposed to do is file my nails every day......it does make it harder to pick but not impossible....also you have to remember to do it everyday.....it does help a bit though........
Cotton gloves would be best. I used to use them when I worked in a photo processing lab, so maybe they're available in a camera shop.

ETA: I don't know where you live, but it looks as if Walgreens carries them. And some medical supplies. "Disposable cotton gloves."



Filipendula
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15 Sep 2012, 2:28 pm

I have a really bad habit with this too, and worse, I include my face ( :) >>> :oops: )! ! But honestly, I can't for the life of me think that it's related to stress in any way.

I've been doing it a lot today, absentmindedly as I Google, but I don't feel stressed at all as far as I know. To me it seems more like a need to keep all faculties occupied all the time. To be truly content I need something to look at, something to chew on (usually food), something to think about and something to fiddle with. Only my ears are happy to sit idle.

I also sometimes try to substitute with things like knitting, but it's hard to always have something to hand. Plus, I hate my skin and my skin hates me so the temptation to war with it is quite strong.


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chris5000
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15 Sep 2012, 3:09 pm

I do it when I have nothing else to do, ill pick till theres nothing left to pick at or something else comes up.



katwithhat
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15 Sep 2012, 5:15 pm

daydreamer84 wrote:
I've been trying to stop this too.....it's related to anxiety and can be related to OCD. My psychologist told me to wear gloves so that I'd be consciously aware of starting to pick and could stop myself.....but I can't stand wearing them......they get really itchy after awhile.My freidn who is also autistic said to buy cotton gloves......which are hard to find though... apparently they sell them in china town. The other thing I'm supposed to do is file my nails every day......it does make it harder to pick but not impossible....also you have to remember to do it everyday.....it does help a bit though........


I've used those disposable rubber gloves but yes, I REALLY don't like them because my hands start to sweat and I'm not really fond of the way they feel. I put lotion on my hands and feet every night to try to soften up the rough spots but I still pick. I like having a little nail but I think I'm going to try to cut them shorter. Thanks everyone!! !


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15 Sep 2012, 5:19 pm

Wear oven mitts. What? I didn't say it was the *best* idea.


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15 Sep 2012, 5:40 pm

CrystalStars wrote:
Wear oven mitts. What? I didn't say it was the *best* idea.


Actually, this is a great idea - on top of keeping one's nails trim and nearly useless. My 82 yr. old dad found some extra long mitts that really help him not to pick. His skin is, or I should say was, riddled with sores and itchy spots from diabetes. I changed his diet, adding coconut and hempseed oils and his skin is much less itchy; much less a bloody mess.

I used to pick at my cuticles and bite my nails. I got manicures for awhile, until I could no longer tolerate the Dremel sensation. After that, I did my own manicures; no polish, just liquid vitamins that I brush on after filing and buffing. For some reason, this helps me not to pick.

Another thing I do when I notice I'm starting to pick at anything is to find something to do with my hands; work on a project (I have several going at any given moment.) I have a lot of hobbies as a result.

Beading, Scrapbooking, Quilting, Sewing (clothes), gardening, native plant propagation, woodworking, baking, cooking, cake decorating, recycling, repurposing...

and Wasteland Weekend!


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15 Sep 2012, 6:02 pm

I wore bandaids where I liked to pick at my fingers. I picked at the bandaids instead of my fingers, so I didn't hurt my fingers. Eventually, I weaned myself off the finger skin picking. I only pick at my fingers occasionally now. It used to be a big problem for me.



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18 Sep 2012, 9:38 am

I used to pick at my skin so badly as a teen that someone once asked me if I had leprosy :oops: Getting old and no longer getting loads of zits helped a lot. But I'm guessing you aren't there yet... I also pick at ingrown hairs on my legs and they are now utterly disgusting.

The best thing I've found for myself to do is keep BUSY BUSY BUSY. Don't give yourself any opportunity for down time in your bedroom. Also, try to turn off the lights early and just get in your bed. If you aren't sitting around looking at or touching your skin you won't feel compelled to pick at it.

Good luck!


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