The desire for perfect, blemish-free skin is one everyone in our modern society strives for. You see pictures of splendidly perfect skin everywhere on Instagram, Facebook, magazines.

But what’s that, you say? More acne? Scabs? Dry skin? It sees like no matter what you do, you are stuck with pimples and bumps.

Some may resort to picking. At least that way, you have control over something. At least that way, you can see a difference, feel a difference.

Picking at your acne can be a form of self-harm. The actual name for it is Dermatillomania and it affects many people with acne and even some without the acne.  There are two kinds of Dermatillomania, one of them is an addiction and the other is a compulsion.

A compulsion to pick stems from feeling a sensation in or on the skin that makes you want to pick at it to make the sensation go away. This sensation stems from factors usually inside the body like bad reactions to food, medication, stress, and lack of sleep. People with a compulsion sometimes don’t even realize they are doing it. They just go at it when they get an itchy feeling or some other trigger.

An addiction to picking comes from trying to manage stress in an unhealthy way, or simply because picking feels good. The desire to pick generally comes from wanting perfect skin, so the picker will use any means necessary to even out and flatten blemishes. They believe this will help their appearance when the opposite usually happens. People who are addicted to picking will feel a general sense of relief or a rush when they are finished picking. Think of it like a form of managing stress; they do it to escape their thoughts or problems for a little while and in process, damage their skin.

The need to have some sort of control over reality is often a big factor for people who pick at their skin. It is also a form of perfectionism, and sometimes it may be from other underlying factors like OCD, although that is not always the case.

Managing picking depends on whether you are addicted to picking or if it is a compulsion but the remedies can be very similar.

With an addiction, it’s best to focus more on reconditioning your mind and thoughts that lead up to the picking. Many of the ways to remedy this are similar to other addictions. Changing up your routine, avoiding people and places that make you want to pick, and even changing your diet can all help tremendously in managing the picking tendency.

To manage the compulsion to pick, there are usually a few environmental factors that need to be changed in order to stop. Adding consistency is a huge step. Sleeping and eating routines should be carefully looked at, as those can cause the “itch to pick.” Also considering what foods and medications may be triggering the desire is helpful so you can manage them better. Looking at what goes into your body will help you better understand any imbalances within that lead to compulsion.

Having a guide to help you work through these issues is important to not feel so alone when dealing with an addiction or a compulsion. Sometimes it can be hard to see that there is a problem and having someone else there to show you what the problem is and how to deal with it, is extremely important. But the most important factor of all is that YOU decide to quit. It’s not about anyone else until you make the decision to stop.

The only way to stop picking is to realize that you want to stop. But it doesn’t hurt to have some help along the way. Call us at 801-800-6602. We not only help with acne, but we offer support to those who want to quit picking and get clear skin in the process. We can help you manage the stress that comes from picking by making acne less of a problem. Whatever assistance we can offer for you to obtain clear skin, free of acne and picking scars, we are here to help.  Making an appointment is the first step!  UtahAcneClinic.com.

A Staph infection can be tricky to spot because it can look similar to acne. The difference lies in that Staph quickly becomes incredibly inflamed and there isn’t an obvious border where one lesion ends and another begins.

It’s important to know that the Staphylococci bacteria lives on the skin of 20 to 30% of healthy adults but only affects a small percentage of the population. It usually only causes infections and disease if the immune system is compromised (HIV or diabetes) or if there is a cut or abrasion on the skin and the person is a carrier of the harmful strains of this bacteria.

It can be a scary thing to deal with, but it can be dealt with. It can occur more frequently for people who shave a lot and accidentally nick the skin. Also for people who workout, particularly if the workout is in a martial art where skin is rubbing against mats or against other people’s skin, where it can be transferred easily. Showering after any workout is also a must.

As mentioned above, Staph bacteria is typically harmless. Most people live with it on their skin in some form or another and it never bothers them. There are over 30 different strains and only a couple of them are dangerous. So how do you spot it?

It usually looks like a boil or a giant pimple. It can also look like a rash and is quite painful. If it becomes hot to the touch and spreads rapidly, it could be infected with the dangerous strain of Staph bacteria so it’s worth it to get a second opinion. It’s also worthwhile to note that this bacteria lives mostly on the skin and inside the nasal passages, as they are more sensitive areas.

If you think you may have a Staph infection, you will want to speak to a doctor on this issue. Many times, they will recommend an oral antibiotic which should help immediately with the infection. They may also suggest that you are hyper diligent with your hygiene and keep your bedding and clothes as clean as possible. Depending on how bad the infection is, the doctor may also see about getting you an IV drip for supportive care.

Getting this checked out early is of the utmost importance because if the most virulent strains of Staph infect the blood somehow (via cuts or food poisoning), symptoms will be more severe and require immediate medical attention. For these reasons, never extract or squeeze pimples or boils as they can become infected with the Staph bacteria and it will spread rapidly. The more critical symptoms include but are not limited to; fever, chills, pain in the abdomen or on the skin, blisters, impetigo, redness, diarrhea, nausea, and swollen sores that ooze pus.

This bacteria is no joke! Getting help if you think you may have a Staph infection is crucial to long term health. However, they can also be recurrent, meaning once you stop taking antibiotics, it could come back. So catching it early and taking the proper precautions to avoid future infection is very important.

It is imperative to talk to your doctor about this condition if you have these symptoms or have a boil or rash that just won’t go away. It could literally save your life.

Here at Skintherapy, we are Master Estheticians. We are not doctors and we cannot treat Staph infections in our clinic. However, if you come to an appointment and we feel like your acne may be coupled with suspicious infected lesions we will make a doctor referral for you prior to working on your acne. Give us a call at 801-800-6602 or visit our website to book at appointment to treat your acne.

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