You know that you are not supposed to pop a pimple because it will make it worse and most likely leave a scar. However, you cannot stop popping one pimple after another. The severity of skin popping varies depending on individuals. Some pick their face occasionally while some have a full-blown disorder. Whatever the case, learning ways to stop picking your face is significantly important.

How to Stop Picking Your Face


Determine the Root Cause

One major reason why people pick scabs is the gratification they get from it. They know it is not good for their skin but picking scabs comes with a huge release with a very good feeling. Hence, they keep doing it. Another reason is that whatever they are picking is painful or itching. Sometimes pimples, hangnails and scabs are painful and picking them seems like the best solution. The part being picked may create pressure under the skin depending on its location. Picking it seems like a good way to relieve the pressure. Some people pick scabs to overcome anxiety just like some people smoke or twist their hair.


Determine Your Most Frequent Kind of Picking

Determine the description that fits you from the following categories:

  • Unconscious picker: You touch or pick your face when reading, working on your computer or watching television. This type of picking is dangerous because you do not realize when picking your face.

  • Bathroom mirror picker: You spend time picking and popping your face whenever you go to the bathroom.

  • Idle picker: You pick your face whenever you are idle like when talking on the phone, in traffic or waiting for the bus.


Involve a Nagging Friend

In terms of how to stop picking your face, a friend can be of great help. Ask a friend, sibling, spouse or anyone else to make sure that you are not picking your face. Allow them to scold you wherever you pick your face in their presence. Or you can ask them to check on you if you spend more than five minutes in the bathroom.


Educate Yourself

Learn more about acne scarring, the effects of picking, and treatment for acne. Most acne types do not leave scars if left untouched. Acne scarring appears because of gouging, picking, and irritating the skin. Look for images on the internet for acne scars to understand the potential damage picking could cause on your face.


Develop an Anti-Picking Habit

Take a deep breath and focus as much as you can on a positive phrase or word like peace, love or joy whenever you get a strong urge to pick your face. Keep repeating the word and keep your mind focused. It is better to create a new habit and think positively than focus on a bad habit and punish yourself when give in to it.


Keep Your Hands Occupied

  • Wash your fingers and hands thoroughly using antibacterial soap and avoid picking your nose. Your nose has many bacteria that can spread on your face.

  • Another tip on how to stop picking your face is to keep your hands in your pocket when walking and on the table or your lap when sitting at a table. You can also place them under your thighs or sit on them. Try this even in a restaurant or during an interview.

  • Use bitter nail polish if you chew the skin around your nails. The bitter taste will keep you from chewing the skin.

  • Keep your hands and skin moisturized to remove any dry patches that encourage picking.

  • Find fidgets that you can touch wherever you have an urge to pick your face. Useful fidgets include stress balls, bottle capes with plastic liners, beaded bracelets, bubble wraps, silly putty, spinner rings and play dough.

  • Always keep your hands busy with activities such as video games and crossword puzzles when waiting at the bus stop. Massage yourself when watching television. You can also start knitting at night.

  • Place NO PICKING signs in the places you pick your face often like on the TV remote, bathroom mirror or your compact mirror.

  • Wear gloves and ensure that you keep them clean. Wear them overnight if you sleep while placing your face on your hands. Place bandages or tape strips on your fingertips as an alternative to gloves, or wear finger puppets or band aids as physical barriers to remind you to stop picking your face.


Find Professional Help

Talk to a professional if you have a problem with picking your face. Do not be embarrassed or think that you are the only one with the habit. Many people have the same problem. Your doctor will not judge you but give you different tips on how to stop picking your face. You need to find profession help if picking keeps you preoccupied during the day. Seek help if you pick your face alone every day or if you keep increasing your cover-up to conceal the damages on your face.


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