12 Effective Ways To Stop Skin Picking And Heal Wounds

by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

It all started with the innocent desire to get smooth, spotless skin. You thought maybe picking pimples, body acne, blackheads, whiteheads, razor bumps, or peeling cuticles was the solution. But clearly, it was not. Picking skin only got you more bumps, peeling skin, the bonus scars, and an uneven skin texture.

Fortunately, it’s not too late to repair the damage. Here’s how to stop skin picking, heal the wounds, and get a smooth, flawless skin. Swipe up!

Why Do We Pick Our Skin?

Here are the reasons we pick our skin:

  • Skin Infections: Acne, psoriasis, eczema, or fungal infections could trigger skin itching and picking.
  • Skin Dehydration: Dry skin also triggers skin picking. Even your lips, cuticles, elbows, and the soles of your feet could go dry.
  • Wound Scabs: When a wound starts healing, a thick layer of skin is formed. This scab can sometimes be itchy and dry and trigger scab-picking.
  • Stress: Sometimes, anxiety and stress also cause the urge to pick skin. Biting the cuticles and constantly poking a bump on the face or body could get more frequent when a person is under stress.

Sometimes, skin picking can become a habit without an external trigger. Chronic skin-picking is also known as excoriation disorder and is a mental health issue. It can cause skin lesions and impact the quality of life.

Whatever the cause, one can reduce skin picking to a great extent. Here are the 12 effective ways to achieve the same.

12 Effective Ways To Stop Picking Skin

1. Consult A Dermatologist

Whether it is a skin rash, an infection, or extremely dry skin, if you are picking your skin or scratching it constantly, you must first visit a licensed dermatologist. Your dermatologist will be able to prescribe the right treatment for the skin infection or allergy. Taking the right treatment at the right time will save you money and keep you from hurting your skin further.

2. Talk To A Counselor

When it comes to mental health, seek professional guidance. A counselor can give you expert advice to help you tackle the urge to pick your skin. Whether it is stress, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or self-loathing thoughts, talk to a professional to get the best behavorial therapy or habit-reversal training, and practice the various prescribed exercises. You will not only stop picking your skin but also will have more energy, sleep well, and feel good.

3. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause the skin to become dry and trigger skin picking. Drink at least 8 ounces of fluids in the form of water, juice, fruits, soup, smoothies, etc. Hydration will make your skin softer and smoother, which will reduce your need to scratch or pick your skin around the nails, elbows, lips, arms, toes, and legs.

4. Exfoliate Your Skin

The upper dead skin layer should be removed at regular intervals to reduce skin picking. Exfoliating using a scrub or a chemical peel can help remove the dead cell layers and dirt and clear out the clogged pores. Exfoliation will also prevent acne bumps, whiteheads, blackheads, and the peeling dead skin layers. You can use lemon and sugar to scrub your feet and elbows, a mandelic acid chemical peel for the face, or a homemade scrub made of rice flour, yogurt, and honey.

5. Use Face And Body Masks

A good way to keep your skin healthy and keep yourself from picking your skin is to apply face and body masks at least thrice a week. A nourishing and hydrating mask along with antibacterial oils like tea tree oil or neem oil will keep the skin smooth and remove bumps. You can use an avocado face mask or mix curd, gram flour, and olive oil and apply it to your body. Wash after 20 minutes.

6. Moisturize Your Skin

Another great way to stop picking dry skin or cuticles is to keep them moisturized. You may have oily face skin but dry skin near your nails and elbows. In that case, use a water-based moisturizer for the face and an oil-based moisturizer or body lotion for the rest of the body. If you have acne, consult your doctor to know the best moisturizer for your skin.

7. Get Regular Mani-Pedi

Not getting regular mani-pedi can also cause the cuticles to become dry and hard. As a result, you may feel the urge to pick your cuticles, which will create uneven skin texture triggering you further to poke your skin. If you do not want to go to a salon, you can try this foot soak (it works!) or just soak your hands and feet in warm water, along with two pumps of shampoo and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Soak your hands and feet for 30 minutes at least once a week. Apply a moisturizer afterward. Cut your nails to avoid picking skin.

8. Use Hydrocolloid Patches

Hydrocolloid patches are pimple patches that you can apply to the bumps on your face or body. These will protect your skin and dissolve the pimples in about 8 hours. Here’s a list of pimple patches you can check.

9. Avoid Oily And Junk Food

Oily and junk food cause inflammation in the body by disrupting the omega-3:omega-6 fatty acid balance. This imbalance causes acne and clogs pores. The bumpy skin can make you squeeze the pimple or poke it, resulting in scarring and hyperpigmentation. Hence, avoid consuming fries, fried chicken, potato chips, burgers, sugary foods, aerated drinks, packaged foods, processed meat, etc.

10. Eat Healthy Food

Consume veggies, fruits, animal or plant sources of protein, and healthy fats. Changing your diet can also affect your skin in a good way. Fruits and veggies are rich in antioxidants and have antimicrobial properties, which help fight skin diseases and treat dry skin and acne.

11. Meditate Every Day

Stress, anxiety, and depression may also cause one to pick their skin. Meditation helps a lot if you have any or all of them. Start by meditating for a minute every day. Increase the time gradually to 20 to 30 minutes every day. You will see great results and will stop picking your skin.

12. Learn A New Skill

Learning a new skill is a great way to keep your mind off those things that are worrying you. Channel your energy to a more creative and productive path. Try pottery, painting, creative writing, learning a musical instrument, etc.

These are the 12 effective ways you can stop or reduce picking skin. But if you have skin-picking wounds, you must heal them as well. How? Here are a few ways you can fade the scars from skin.

How To Heal Skin Picking Wounds

  • Protect the wounds: Use a bandage to protect the wounds and prevent bleeding.
  • Keep the wounds clean: Dress the wounds regularly to keep them clean and prevent bacterial infection.
  • Apply topical ointments: Betadine is a topical ointment that helps heal wounds faster on the body. For acne and pimples, get a doctor-prescribed ointment and apply it regularly.
  • Apply topical natural remedies: For treating pimple and acne scars on your face, get a mixture of sandalwood and rose water. Apply the paste to the spots and wash after 20 minutes. This pack also works on sensitive skin. You can also mix turmeric after the pimple/acne dries up.

Final Thoughts

Skin picking is more common than you expect. We all do it – whether it is due to emotional distress, dry skin, or a poor lifestyle. Thankfully, following these 12 methods can help you gradually reduce picking your skin and fade any scars over time. Work towards taking care of your skin and staying stress-free, and the results will astonish you.

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.
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