Day 293 - Picking Safely

Every now and then I try and throw a new string of keywords at Google and see if I can learn something about dermatillomania I don’t already know. Sometimes it works, although less and less lately as I’ve become a real derma-nerd over the last year or so. Just now I found a really nifty thing I thought I should share: Guidelines on the Safe and Hygienic Practice of Skin Penetration.

This was published a few years ago by the South Australian Department of Health. It seems my countrymen are on the case! Now, this pamphlet is mostly aimed towards professionals like tattoo artists and cosmetic therapists, and mostly towards preventing cross-contamination between clients. But I’ve had a quick read and there are a lot of very important points that dermatillomaniacs should keep in mind, particularly to do with basic hygiene and preventing infection. In particular, the section on Risk Minimisation was an important reminder of the vulnerability of exposed wounds.

Here’s the thing: if you continue to pick, there are still things you can do to minimise the damage or potential damage that you cause. Dermatillomania sucks, but picking while keeping your skin, your tools, and your environment clean is LOADS healthier than picking with dirty, jagged fingernails, or a single sewing pin which is never sterilised and is left on a dusty windowsill for days at a time, not washing your skin after picking or protecting the wounds with disinfectants or bandaids. Yeah, it sounds gross when it’s all written out like that, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what I did for years at a time, and I bet it all sounds pretty familiar to a lot of you guys too. I wonder if I had practiced cleaner picking habits perhaps I wouldn’t have had so many little infected follicles, so many wounds, and so many scars.

Please pick safely, guys. Take care of yourselves.

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Day 59 - Memo to Myself

And to others, if others want to know. Just a few bits of information I picked up from a couple of forum threads which I thought fit together rather encouragingly.

  • Your skin regenerates every thirty days. I know this not only from my research but from experience: I stubbed my toe really badly just over a month ago and it’s just now become fully healed. Also, I was totally pick-free for about thirty days, and although my legs weren’t exactly silky smooth and still rather discoloured, for the most part they looked pretty damn good with the lesions mostly healed.
  • Following major surgery, it takes about twelve months for a scar to fade to its final state. As the scar does its job it changes in texture and colour over time and settles down finally after about a year.
  • A few derma threads mentioned laser scar treatments, specifically that they were advised by dermatologists that they’d have to have stopped picking for an entire year before laser treatment. This makes sense; I guess there’s not much use in fixing all my scars if I’m just going to create more of them afterwards. And I don’t know much about those lasers but they probably don’t interact well with gaping wounds.

So, if you can stop picking for thirty days, good on you! That’s a real landmark in skin health. If you can stop picking for a whole year, you’re a bloody legend. It’s another landmark; wounds are all healed, scars begin to fade, and if you’re still anxious about it you can seek more advanced treatment in banishing dermatillomania and its effects from your life forever. I might do this. Finishing off all my other moisturisers and scar treatments will take at least that long, and in the meantime I can start saving money for potential dermatology sessions. I might not, either, since a year is an awfully long time; I might have totally changed my mind about the whole thing, or I might have achieved that perfect, scar-free skin all by myself. But it’s something to aim for, y'know? A signpost in the distance.

anonymous asked:

I saw your post about the Innisfree sheet masks the other day and wondering which one(s) are your favorite? I want to get some but I'm not sure which ones... Thoughts on them please? Thank you!!~~

i actually only used the strawberry one once ;; this time would be my first time using a few more so I have ordered the lemon one, the black berry one and the strawberry primarily because I am super yellow, a really sickly yellow. but anyways i found this chinese site that explained the effect of each mask so here i shall translate them briefly 

  • cucumber: hydrates, calms skin, makes the face less swollen
  • lemon: helps to lessen pigmentation and brightens skin. I got this one because my skin is super dull and yellow
  • aloe: moisturising, calms skin, softens and brightens skin
  • rose: softens, hydrates and moisturises skin
  • strawberry: repair skin’s elasticity, hydrates skin, brightens and softens skin. I got this one because I have used it before and it smells amazing and it made my skin softer c:
  • green tea: easy to absorb, hydrates and softens skin, balances oil-water ration for skin, prevents oxidising and ageing 
  • kiwifruit:  helps to lessen pigmentation, minimises the size of pores.  I didn’t get this one because IT WASN’T IN STOCK FAR NOW IT IS OMG
  • honey: moisturises and hydrates skin. 
  • shea butter: strongly hydrates skin, diminishes inflammation on skin
  • black berry: softens and lightens/brightens skin. I got this one because I needed to get rid of my really sickly looking yellowness i need to look brighter otl i look really dull and sick - -
  • tea tree: helps skin to stay clean, it’s good for those who have pimples
  • bamboo: strongly hydrates skin, easy to be absorbed and brightens skin
  • bija: diminishes inflammation, good for those who has pimples returns skin to a healthy state
  • pomegranate: provides nutrients to skin, brightens skin, it’s good for those who has “tired” looking skin. Also helps those typical dull and yellow Asian skin. Also prevents oxidising and ageing. I didn’t get this one because I don’t think I am old enough to use ones that prevent ageing yet ;;
Day 335 - Makeup Shakeup

Sorry I’ve been quiet, my fingers have been crossed too tightly to type - crossed for a prestigious new career at Parliament House, no less! A minor lifestyle change will be in order once/if I get the job. I’ve never been a makeup girl. I used to play around with some stuff when I was about eight years old, but since then I’ve worn makeup maybe five times. I’m not anti, just can’t be bothered. For real. There was a lovely girl in my year at high school who wore makeup like a gymnast every day and she was just gorgeous. But when she told me she got up at 4:30am to prepare for school I decided I’d rather have a bare face and a sleep in. But presentation is a pretty big deal, which means chaps should shave and ladies should wear makeup.

All the more reason for me to eliminate the picking totally. I haven’t picked my legs and arms in ages, but I still get the occasional pimple which I still find hard to leave alone. I’m a little worried that I’ll start picking my face like I used to pick my limbs, but I’ll do everything I can to prevent that from happening. I want to keep my ritual to a minimum, which I can do by eliminating the need for concealers. The less time I spend close up in front of a mirror, the better. I’m a little worried that since my skin is so unused to being covered I might have some irritation/dryness/eczema for a little while until I get used to it. I’ve got a voucher for a consultation at a fancy department store so hopefully I can get some advice in preventing damage which could then turn into picking targets. I think I’ll be OK. Fingers are crossed for a few reasons, it turns out.

Day 7 - A Midwinter Night's Cream

I thought I should add a bonus post tonight about the products I’ve been using on my skin this week to get those results. I hardly ever used to moisturise at all unless I was on an anti-picking spree, but I used to get really bad eczema so I’ve accumulated about a dozen different bottles of the stuff and I’m determined to not let them go to waste.

First, Cetaphil soap. Well, I call it soap, it technically isn’t, but it’s a chunk of stuff which keeps me clean so as far as I’m concerned it’s soap. Other good brands are available, but this is what I have right now and it’s fabulous. Damned expensive but worth it.

Calamine lotion is wonderful stuff, especially just after picking or anytime your skin looks all red and angry. If I’ve got time, I’ll put on a couple of layers of this before bed and when I take it off in the morning everything looks so much healthier. Let it dry between layers, it dries all pink and chalky so bandages are a must.

QV lotion is what I use when in a rush. It’s a rather thin cream so easy to rub in quickly without risking missing the bus.

Dermeze is my current favourite. It’s a pretty thick paraffin ointment so I can slather on a decent layer of the stuff and just let my skin drink it in through the night. Makes things a bit greasy, though, so again I cover it with bandages if I can. Golly, it’s good, though!

Day 316 - Anti-anti-inflammation

Just while I’m on the topic of the magical properties of blood, I thought I’d better mention a feature of dermatillomania we all are familiar with: inflammation. When you take a moment to zoom your vision out from an intensive picking session to look at what you’ve done and all your skin is red, angry, and sore-looking. It’s a serious wake up call that makes your want to reach for a cold flannel or some soothing cream pretty much immediately to take that horror down a notch. But there’s a good reason why doing that might be a little hasty and actually unhelpful.

Inflammation is a good thing. It’s not really pretty or comfortable to deal with, but it’s a good thing. What happens is that the brain recognises that the body has sustained some damage so it sends to the picked area a bunch of magical healing leukocytes. Those little beauties get to work trying to repair the damage and destroy any nasties which could get in the wound and cause an infection, which is great. Because they’re carried in the blood the area around the wound is turned red from having all the extra blood around. But we grab an anti-inflammatory like an ice pack to try and “fix” the redness, and if you read my last post you’ll know that the coldness scares the blood away from the surface and away from the wound it was trying to heal. Surely it’s worth giving the body a chance to heal itself by foregoing the anti-inflammatory methods?

Now, I’m not saying to never use extra healing remedies on your skin again. Often the body’s natural fixers just aren’t efficient or vigorous enough. Not to mention the itching - I used to get terribly itchy about an hour after a picking session, which only made things worse, which I why I started using calamine so much. Unfortunately, we ‘maniacs can cause the damage a lot faster than the body can fix it. But if you can bear to allow your skin to look a bit redder for a bit longer it should give those wounds a head-start at healing properly.

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Day 267 - Shopping for my Slightly Older Body

Yeah, I’ve been in a pretty lousy mood lately and haven’t felt like posting in a while. Sorry. But I perked up today because it’s my birthday, hooray!

The reason it’s relevant to derma is that my wonderful boyfriend’s lovely parents gave me a gift card for The Body Shop, and of course I have to spend it wisely! Heaven knows I have enough moisturisers (which I hardly ever remember to use regularly anyway) so I wanted to see if they have anything good for scars. It amazes me the broad spectrum of products they have, ranging from utter bullshit to simply wonderful. For instance:

They have Smoothing Serum, which as far as I can tell is just a tiny bottle of olive oil that somehow costs $45 *cough*!bullshit!*cough*

Then there’s the Shiso range, which I’m unsure of. On the one hand it says it’ll “perfect” and “minimise” dark spots of the skin, but then it says that it works by reducing melanin signals before pigmentation. So, probably it’s too late for me.

Then there’s the Tea Tree range, which I’m more partial towards at this point. It’s apparently designed to improve the appearance of blemish-damaged skin, which sounds more like it. I don’t know if it was designed to tackle the extent of damage I have, but it could be worth a try.

Anyway, I’ll do some shopping in the near future and conduct an experiment. I’ll try and be clever and scientific about it, maybe try the stuff on one leg and see if any noticeable contrast develops. And publish the results for your peer reviewing pleasure of course!

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Day 251 - Shaving (Ugh)

I haven’t been picking, but my stupid razor has been! The downside of these super uber close 15-bladed safety razors is they’ll take off that last layer of dead skin, that ghost of a scab that was protecting a wound which is now fresh as ever. God dangit. Still, the damage is minimal but it’s so annoying having bandaids on again after all this time.

I know I could just not, but the awful thing is I don’t want to. Yeah, I know I’m a product of my 21st Century Western society upbringing but I just love the feel of smooth hairless legs. And if I can’t have smooth I can try for hairless. I do occasionally go without for a few weeks at a time so as not to aggravate my already angry skin, but I don’t like it much. Girls can get away with it, though. Just wear stockings or clothes to cover your legs or underarms and nobody will notice or care if you haven’t shaved.

What about blokes? It seems to me most professional guys are expected to be clean shaven, there aren’t a lot of decent full-on beards around (or maybe they’re just not around me). When I was in highschool we had a PE teacher whose face was just covered with scars. Pretty much every inch of skin from his eyes to about halfway down his neck was just icepick scars. I realise that he probably had a bad time with acne picking when he was a young'un, but tonight I wonder what it must be like shaving such skin every morning (at all stages; the acne, the picked wounds, and the pitted scars). My heart goes out to all the derma blokes out there. Bless you, boys!



It’s so dry everywhere! The longest winter has weaseled its icy way into our homes; reaching its frosty fingers through cracks in doors and old, buckled windows, forcing us to crank up the heat and veritably singe our formerly baby- soft skin and silky, shiny hair into something that resembles, we don’t know, beef jerky.

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Day 302 - Tea Tree Experiment Update

Yesterday I went to the chemist and got a big shiny bottle of Bosisto’s 100% pure tea tree oil. It’s time to intensify my experiment! I got a little empty bottle as well and into that I put about 50mL of tea tree and 50mL of regular baby oil, and I think the two complement each other nicely. At least it feels that way. It certainly smells a lot stronger than the stuff I was originally using! And I haven’t had any sensitive skin reactions, which is good because that’s really the last thing I need but there’s a risk of such with 100% tea tree.

I’ve probably got a few months’ supply mixed up here, so there won’t be much for me to share about my little experiment for a good long while. Do ask questions or give me some input if you’re interested. And don’t let me forget about it!

My daughters wedding.

My daughter got married last week and was kind enough to pay for a make up artist to do my make up for me.  The make up looked wonderful on the younger girls who looked beautiful and fresh;  unfortunately on a more mature face it didn’t fit the bill.   I tried to say that delicately because yes I am the mom of an adult daughter so I am not in my 30s.  I noticed after a few hours it was caking in my laugh lines and under my eyes.  I unlike all the others am not an ivory skin tone so i looked pale and washed out.  I am in no way criticizing this lady because she did a wonderful job with the girls I just think she wasn’t’ prepared for more mature skin.  

My daughterinlaw remarked later in the day that my Mary Kay CC cream holds up better on my face and looks more natural.  So I have learned something from this whole episode.  I love my Mary Kay from skin care to cosmetics and it is very important that you speak up during the session and ask how their make up will hold up after a few hours on mature skin.  

If you are interested in learning more about Mary Kay skin care or cosmetics.  please visit my site and send me a message I will be more than happy to speak with you about your concerns.  Just remember ask questions don’t let that caked look happen to you.