In plain and simple terms this is pickers acne.
Des Jeunes Filles means Of Young Women.
It’s a skin disorder arising from mental factors.
Actually my skin picking problem was the reason I entered treatment in psychiatry in the first place.
My appearance was important to me. I was young, getting fit at the gym, sometimes getting cosmetic procedures done, and here I had these picked at lesions that turned into crusty scabs at times all over my face.
On the job as a 25 year old nurse it was becoming almost impossible to refrain from picking and when my co-workers found me to be missing in action, they could frequently find me in the bathroom facing the mirror.
At that point I had no choice. My symptoms were interfering with my job, many other co-workers were on meds and in treatment themselves.
I wanted to look better and also keep my job.
That presenting symptom, crusted scabby lesions all over my face(the lesions resembled impetigo), was only the very beginning.
I believed I had OCD which ended up being true. The picking could go on for hours in the bathroom and it became ritualized.
I was married at the time and my husband would try to distract me. I believe he was in pain for me, and I would order him out of the bathroom because I was compelled to finish in privacy.
After the picking was done I would wash my face and use astringent praying not to get an infection.
When I applied foundation make up that was another ritual in itself.
I would use a thick corrective make up that would take the red out of my over treated face.
Sometimes the make up didn’t offer enough coverage.
I would just do my best to keep a brave smile on my face and hold my head high.
I was pretending that nothing was wrong.
I would be getting gas at the gas station and the attendant would ask me, “What happened to your face?”
I would reply in a confused way with a, “What do you mean?”
This overtook my life and I took the wonder drug Accutane several times over the course of 20 years.
Accutane really dries up a persons acne to the point that acne is no longer made.
If nothing is there to pick at, the problem goes away.
An article I read explains that people with pickers acne often times have OCD, Anxiety, BPD, or NPD.
The article went on to say that the picking can indicate anger, rebellion, and self loathing.
My problem finally got better once I went through menopause.
I still encounter acne from time to time. Yes I have wrinkles and acne both.
I was lucky to not wind up with much scarring. I accredit that to always trying to hold back when picking.
Luckily, I had a small amount of self control.
Having this problem was very painful and isolating.
It was like I couldn’t stop and if I was invited to an event or party I would have to refuse because my face was so bad.
I found that water from the shower hitting my face and also drinking plenty of water would help me to heal faster.
Also using products with salicylic acid.
In my case I had to outgrow this. For the most part it’s over.
Hoping this blog post can help someone else who is suffering.
And yes men can have this problem too.
I’ve seen it.