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The Sorry State Of Pickoderm

Aug 17, 2007
Chances are, as you innocently squeeze your blackheads, zits and any other foreign lumps on your skin, you did not realise that there are people out there who are actually addicted to the behaviour.

These addicts will squeeze their pores until there is nothing left to come out, and then squeeze several times more. They will have red marks on their faces, legs, arms and chests, or on any area of their skin where they prefer to pick. It may sound strange, but this is the plight of thousands of people who just cannot stop picking. Such addicts are called pickoderms, and the behavioural disorder has been classified under the umbrella of obsessive compulsive disorder.

While most people who are concerned with their skin are likely to engage in a little healthy blackhead squeezing once in a while, pickoderms have trouble controlling the amount of time they spend on such activities. Skin picking has become a compulsion for them, and for one reason or another, they find it incredibly difficult to quit the behaviour.

A pickoderm may start picking based on health reasons, or simply as a way to deal with stress or emotional imbalance. Whatever the reasons, the pattern of behaviour becomes very hard to break and because of this, very unhealthy. Some people have such tender, raw skin because of the disorder that they cannot stand to go out or wash the damaged tissues.

Skin picking is usually seen on the face, arms or legs, but it can also occur in unseen places such as inside the mouth. Unknown to those around them, and even family members and close friends in some situations, a pickoderm with this specific habit will use their teeth to chew and rip at the tender skin inside his or her mouth, leaving a trail of white, dead tissue along the line of teeth.

Whatever area of the body such a person focuses on, the behaviour can often be so out of control that the person is in incredible pain but cannot stop regardless.

If you have this compulsion, it is still very important to take proper care of your skin. No doubt the affected areas will be very tender and sore, so direct application of any moisturisers or disinfectants should be done very carefully. Try not to apply any products directly to inflamed skin, but if the sores are at least partially healed they will be able to handle gentle cleansing and moisturising, which are both essential in the healing process.

Severely picked skin is susceptible to infection and therefore you must be absolutely sure to keep the area clean and free of harmful bacteria. As often as you can stand it, wash with an astringent liquid and be thorough.

If you are like most pickoderms, you will go through cycles of picking and healing, so you will need to take full advantage of the healing phase and help it along where you can. Use an antibacterial wash, and use it often. You will also need to moisturise the area to help the skin cells rebuild themselves. Apply a very small amount of moisturiser several times daily until the sores have healed sufficiently, and then apply larger amounts until the skin is completely healed.

Picking your skin is a widespread habit, but it is a smaller population of people that pick to such an extent to cause permanent scarring or blatant sores. If you are one of these people, try to remember your basic skin care rules to combat scarring and take care of your skin.
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