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11 Common Pimple Popping Problems

Updated: Aug 3, 2019

We've all done it. You're getting ready for bed, brushing your teeth and then... oh no! A giant white head has planted itself on your chin and you can't help but notice it as you're passing the mirror. This monster keeps you in the bathroom until your chin looks like a disaster zone. Has this happened to you?

It probably has (come on everyone, don't lie) and you're left wondering: 'why do I continue to pop my zits when I know skin-picking just makes them worse?'

Now that you're picturing this annoying scenario, imagine something a little, or a lot different. You have dermatillomania, a mental health disorder that causes you to compulsively pick/scratch/pop/pull/tear your skin when feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or sometimes even bored. This may seem like a rare or "made-up" disorder, but approximately 13% of U.S. adults participate in BFRBs (Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors). [1]

Other BFRB examples include:

  • compulsive nail-biting (Onychophagia)

  • compulsive hair-pulling (Trichotillomania)

  • compulsive hair-eating (Trichophagia)

  • compulsive skin-biting (Dermatophagia)

  • compulsive nose-picking (Rhinotillexomania)

  • compulsive hair-cutting (Trichotemnomania)

  • compulsive nail-picking (Onychotillomania)

  • compulsive scab-eating [2]

Although BFRBs may affect up to 10 million people in the United States alone (minus the unreported or minor cases), they receive little media attention. This may be due to the physical damage or scarring occurring as a result of BFRBs. [1]

Someone with dermatillomania may spend hours in the bathroom picking at their skin, despite the increasing pain they feel. Picking at your skin can almost feel pleasurable to someone with dermatillomania, kind of like finally being able to scratch an itch (except you can't stop).

Whether you pop the occasional disaster zit or suffer from dermatillomania, we all can relate to the struggle of wanting good skin. Keep reading below for 11 common pimple popping problems that everyone can find relatable!

11 Common Pimple Popping Problems Everyone Can Relate To


1. Embarrassment

Red spots, scabs, and scars on your face and body can feel a little embarrassing when you go out in public. I try to use makeup to boost my confidence, but sometimes makeup just makes me feel worse... does anyone feel this way? Comment at the end of this post or send over a message!

Social anxiety may accompany BFRBs like dermatillomania, or skin-picking, because often sufferers will feel uncomfortable or even fearful of going into public.

2. Facial Scarring

Yep, if you've ever popped too many zits then you know scarring isn't an 'if'- but a 'when'. Facial scarring has been a huge issue for me personally because I find it hard to manage the picking and the scarring at the same time (I'm pretty sure it's impossible). If I'm skin-picking then I'm creating scars, but if I'm going through a "good season" (refraining from compulsive picking) I try to let my scars heal.

reduce facial scarring, skin picking, pimple popping

Do you have any tips for reducing facial/body scarring? Leave your two cents in the comments section at the end of the article & we might share it!

3. Sleep

I wake up for work at 6 AM every morning, Monday through Friday. Usually, I try to go get ready for bed (which could take me 10 minutes) at a decent time in the evenings. However, I have dermatillomania and during "bad seasons" my bedtime is delayed up to 3 hours because I can't pull myself away from the bathroom mirror.

A loss of sleep is another common problem for people who pop their pimples. Many pop their zits at night, and if you carry on too long you may cut into your beauty sleep time!

4. Time

Speaking of time... free time feels non-existent when you suffer from a BFRB. Much of your time is taken up by having stress or anxious thoughts, engaging in BFRBs, and recovering from the physical (and often emotional) damage. This may not be a problem for those who pick or pop occasionally, but for others BFRBs suck up hours and hours of the day.

5. Pain

My face hurts right now... that's all.

6. Money

How many skin care products can there be on the market?? The answer is a lot, but if you zoom into the percentage of people who experience acne you'd realize they buy many kinds of acne-clearing solutions. Then zoom in further to the people who pop pimples and need not only acne-clearing solutions, but now skin-healing solutions as well.

Zoom in further to the BFRB sufferers who need all of the above in bulk. Where did all my money go (and how am I supposed to afford makeup after that)??

7. Self-Efficacy

Oftentimes I feel weak, powerless, and helpless when I'm in a "bad season". When I can't stop compulsively skin-picking I lose a little bit of my self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief that you have at least some control, power, or say over the happenings in your life.

Want to know more on self-efficacy? Leave a comment below to let Rose-Minded know and we'll see about creating a new article.

8. Self-Focus

We can find ourselves worried about how others may judge us for our appearance, even when we've only popped a zit in the middle of our forehead. Constantly focusing on yourself may come naturally when you feel you have something to worry about, but this self-focus can actually make matters worse.

Don't fall into a vicious cycle of self-focus! Connect with others, forget about your acne and scars for a little bit and enjoy the world around you. This practice of mindfulness may help reduce your compulsive behaviors!

9. Counter Space

So now that all my money is gone (see problem #6), my bathroom counter top is covered tile to tile in drug store skin care products. "Where shall I set my toothbrush?" I ask. "Where are my candles and cute decor pieces supposed to go?" I wonder.

Have you run into this problem? You've bought every product on the market to help treat your face/body and now you just have way too many. Serious #firstworldproblems though...

10. Insecurity

Becoming insecure from your physical appearance seems closely related to problem number one, embarrassment.They are similar struggles, but insecurity takes that uncomfortable feeling of embarrassment in public and makes it fester privately in your mind. Insecurity can affect someone's lifestyle choices, relationships, mental health, and so much more.

11. Makeup

There are three emotions I've come up with that describe how I feel about putting foundation on. Depending on the condition of my face, my attitude about foundation could shift constantly. If my face is covered in acne and scabs, I hate foundation. It is the stupidest thing to ever exist because I know I shouldn't put it on my acne but I also need it to help me feel less insecure and embarrassed.

If my acne is clearing (or has cleared) up and just the scars remain, I love foundation! That is the prime example of a situation requiring foundation because application won't be painful or damaging and foundation can cover scars smoothly.

If my acne is gone and I have clear skin, pretty rare, then I don't see the point of foundation. Usually I will use it anyways to complete a makeup look or just out of routine, but then I feel as though I'm wasting my foundation! Seems like a lose-lose situation to me...

Although these problems are common and can be relatable, I don't wish the skin-picking disorder, dermatillomania on anyone! Take care of yourself and your mental health with plenty of self-care and find resources as soon as you think you may need help.

Rose-Minded reaches more audiences when readers comment and share the articles they enjoy! If you have enjoyed an article, found resources that help, or just simply like the website, please considering sharing an article. You never know who may be struggling!

11 Common Pimple Popping Problems, skin-picking disorder, dermatillomania


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