There is a somewhat disturbing article in the October issue of Elle about the author's recent battle with a bout of dematillomania, also known as acne excoriée. Call it what you will, but many people pick at their faces. Some of us gently extract in a magnifying mirror, while others perform minor surgery until we draw blood. Dermatologist Frederic Brandt discusses the degrees of the problem, cautioning:
Scarring depends on the severity of infection and how adamantly people go after them. And inflammation, if you break out or do enough extracting, can lead either to a lightening or darkening of skin color.
So there you have it. One false move, and your problem just went from bad to worse. There are multiple things that can be done to try and rehabilitate a picker. Like getting regular manicures to stop nail biting, a newfound devotion to skincare can help (think regular microdermabrasion, treatment with bacteria-killing lasers, Retin-A). Or if it's an OCD or Body Dysmorphic Disorder issue, therapy can help. Have you ever had picking problems, and what has helped you?