21 Oct 2008

At least 3-5 times a day I see people who suffer with some form of acne or another. It may be pimples or blackheads. Hormonal cysts or little red bumps. The one things they all have in common is picking. It seems to be a functional issue with those who suffer.  I try and understand and to be compassionate. After all I too have suffered with acne for sometime. It is hard to walk around with a white head or any extra, non-essential spot for that matter. So we pick. We push and push, hoping for even the smallest release of the foreign body that has overtaken our g-d given beauty. When finished the skin is swollen and red and the bump has become a mound and now even camouflage wouldn’t conceal the damage done. But alas this doesn’t seem to deter one from continuing the cycle.

The other concurrent side effects to picking can be permanent scarring, repetitive breakouts, discoloration and prolonged outbreaks. I really should not argue with this psychological behaviour because in the end it turns into dollars for me. I mean once you have created enough damage that you can’t stand to look at it further, I will usually see you in clinic for more than just your acne. Even so, I felt a little education on this subject couldn’t hurt.

Picture  underneath the pimple as a little pocket of dirt. When you squeeze and potentially see a small amount of white produce on the surface, you have more than likely broken that small pocket and sent the rest of the dirt into the surrounding cells, hence producing continued outbreaks in the same spot and potentially the surrounding area too. This usually starts a cycle of repeating the offense, because with the bothersome picking the pimple never gets a chance to fully heal. Eventually the spot will become permanently raised and discolored.

Some people don’t even realize they pick, either that or they lie. Either way the end result will inevitably be the same. I wonder to myself often, if one picks this probably means pimples and spots bother them. Once you have picked once or twice you are probably already aware that it makes it worse….so why keep going?
Maybe it’s time to take an entirely different approach? How about trying different products, or having a acne type peel. You have a much better chance of getting the relief you are looking for when putting some science behind your acne as opposed to self-imposed damage.

Just something to think about for the next time you find yourself in front of your magnifying mirror (x10).
Step back and take a look at the big picture. If you are standing a foot away from the mirror and see a small pimple, try some concealer and let nature take its course. If it seems to be the beginnings of Mount Everest growing off your chin, maybe it’s time to make an appointment. Either way picking is ‘not’ your answer, so try and think twice, close your eyes and remember, short term for the long term. You only have one face, try and take care of it.

Blog ya later,

Shawn

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