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My Battle with Dermatillomania – Part 2

This year I challenged myself to do 5 things that push me out of my comfort zone. One of these things was to speak openly about my dermatillomania and ‘get a facial’.

Before you jump into getting a facial, whether you have acne or not, I would highly recommend having a consultation with a skincare professional. These lovely people can usually be found in the skincare clinics themselves and will diagnose your skin so that they can help you create a suitable plan of action to tackle your skin concerns.

After coming to the end of my salicylic acid toner bottle, I decided I should speak with a consultant before buying any more to see if the side effects I’d noticed were normal and if it was even the best course of action for my skin.

My consultation cost £20.00 (around $26), I explained my issues with my skin and describe my current skincare regime. She gave me some great suggestions of things I can do myself and a plan of treatments I can get done in the clinic to stop the cycle of breakouts.

I’ve explained my full treatment plan in my post about adult acne and also the treatments she recommended.

It was uncomfortable going to the consultant. I didn’t really know what to expect and I had to walk the 15 minutes there with no makeup on, then sit discussing my skin all the while being aware that someone is assessing my skin condition.

But I although I was uncomfortable with the situation, the consultant was amazing. She didn’t judge me and gave me some great advice. I’ll be booking my first facial within the next couple of weeks and no, I won’t be buying anymore salicylic acid!  

Tackle one thing at a time

Recently I’ve realised that the cause of my acne is probably not just one thing. But trying to change everything all at once would be overwhelming and cause me to fail. So, I am going to start with the advice given by my consultant and then start tackling the other things on my list.

Everything is connected

It’s worth saying that each item on my list is linked to other things which all interconnect until you end up with a spiderweb of issues. So If you’re visually-minded, I’d highly recommend creating your own mind map to help you see the bigger picture.

This isn’t a traditional mind map; it doesn’t have a centre. Start by writing down the things in your life that play on your mind. These could be things like weight gain, drinking too much caffeine, tiredness, acne, financial stress. Then start linking the issues with arrows. You’ll probably end up with arrows that go to and from issues, crisscrossing over each other depending on what you’ve written down.

For example, for me, dermatillomania is linked to acne and low self-esteem, but anxiety is linked to/causes dermatillomania. My anxiety is also linked to consuming too much sugar but caused by/linked to 3 other issues.

Next steps

From my mind map, I identified 2 main issues that appear to be linked to many other things in different ways, that is ‘Tiredness’ and ‘Too much sugar’. Which could also be linked together – you see where I’m going with this.

After implementing the steps suggested by my consultant, I will begin to tackle these two problem areas as they are ultimately linked to my dermatillomania and acne and will empower me to tackle the other things on my list.

If you are suffering from dermatillomania you are not alone. It can be hard to take that first step to get help, but your GP or skincare specialist will understand and can help you break the cycle. I’m not a trained professional, but if you want to speak to me about dermatillomania you can reach me on Facebook or Instagram.

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