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Skin picking on face

Community Member

I can’t stop picking my face. I’m obsessed with bumps and spots and it impacts my daily life. I don’t have acne but I cant resist the urge. 

does anyone have any tips or help? 

7 Replies 7

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome


This is a good topic for discussion for many people especially those younger even with acne.


I'm no expert on this topic however can understand the possible reasons the urges come about. Some people are obsessed with their appearance be it acne, hair, flaws and this can lead to obsession. For this reason in an ideal world getting some professional help could be a master stroke because therapists can change your life in such basic learning sessions.


Start with your GP, it's worth it. 


I hope you find a solution.



Community Champion
Community Champion

Eliza V,


Thank you so much for posting here on the forums, welcome.


I just happened to read your post as I'm picking at my lip, so I'll follow this thread as well.


I've always had these tendencies - if it's not picking my lip, I'm picking my nails, I used to pull my hair out or chew my nails when I was younger. There could be many reasons that we develop these kinds of tendencies, one of which is when we're feeling anxious. Have you seen a GP, therapist, or psychologist before? They may be able to offer some professional tips for managing skin-picking, if you find that it's debilitating. If anxiety is a factor, it may be a case of replacing this tendency with a healthier coping mechanism, such as occupying your hands with a stress ball or fidget toy.


It's good that you've noticed that you're doing it, because often it can be subconscious. Perhaps if you notice yourself doing it, you can give yourself a word or phrase to say that can temporarily stop you from doing it. If you start saying it every time you do it, you'll get into the habit of stopping yourself. You could also try rewarding yourself with something every time you have the urge but resist it. If there's something you like to eat you could reward yourself with this, or if there's a show you like to watch you could watch one episode every time you resist. These are a few examples.


Wishing you all the best, and please feel free to keep chatting with us. We'd love to hear more from you.



Community Member

I also struggle with compulsive picking, my technique to combat the compulsion is to

a) set a 10 min timer to pick in, and only allow myself that time. This only works if you commit to honor the time limit. 

b) shower/be around mirrors only in low light or candlelight. This is relaxing but also makes it harder to see the spots, so you can’t get stuck picking when you should be doing something else. 
c) if you use tools (tweezers, pins ect), get rid of them. Keep your nails super short or, I’ve found that having acrylic nails makes it harder for me to pick. 

mainly just figuring out where/when you get stuck picking, and changing the environment to make it harder for yourself to give in to that compulsion, or getting rid of the trigger itself. for me that’s usually mirrors, so, if I keep the lights dim, I won’t be triggered and fixated. 



Community Member

Hey! One thing that might help is finding alternative ways to keep your hands occupied, like carrying a stress ball or a fidget spinner. Also, consider setting small, achievable goals for yourself each day to resist picking. Reward yourself when you succeed—it's crucial to celebrate those victories. If the urge gets overwhelming, try to identify triggers and find healthier outlets for stress relief, like deep breathing exercises or walking. Take care!

Community Member

I totally hear you about the struggle with skin picking. It can be like a bad habit with a bulldozer attached, wreaking havoc on our faces!

For me, fidget toys were a game-changer. They give my hands something else to do when the urge to pick strikes. There are even some specifically designed to help with skin picking anxieties. The other thing that helped me was tackling the root cause of my stress. For a while, it felt like my face was a billboard advertising all my worries! Talking to a therapist was a big step, but it helped me identify the underlying anxieties that triggered the picking.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Undynews, I agree with fidget toys being a gamechanger.


I'm glad to hear that you've been tackling the root cause of the stress and that it's been helping, that's really good. 🙂