“Stop picking at your face”, I told my daughter. I noticed in the last week or so she is constantly touching and picking at her face. She has always had the habit of touching her face inadvertently. I do understand that it is a hard habit to break. Without even realizing she always leans her face in her hands when she is sitting at the table or watching television. When she laughs she has always covered her face with her hands. More recently I noticed her picking at her face with her fingernails. I am not sure when and why this picking habit developed.
As I mentioned, she has always had a tendency to touch her face, which is not something that we haven’t talked about before. The amount of germs that are carried on your hands is unbelievable. There is really nothing worse for acne that contributing germs from your hands to your face. We have had this conversation before every single acne treatment regime that we have started. “Keep your hands away from your face”, is the best piece of advice I can give her, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.
I reminded her of how germy her hands are. My worry is that she doesn’t regularly wash her hands during her school day. When I am not there to hound her about it she probably forgets. Eight hours of germy hands that have touched desks, books, money, toilets food and bus seats without being washed more than once can definitely harbor some serious germs. I asked her to think about how gross it would be to put your face on a bus seat, just to try to illustrate my point. Of course she thought that was a disgusting thought.
This picking habit is eventually going to make her face look worse. Picking at zits usually results in red blotchy spots and sometimes even causes the zits to bleed or scar. Applying an acne treatment to broken skin is not comfortable or effective. I asked her why she was picking and she said she didn’t know. Of course she probably doesn’t know, but I wanted her to at least be aware of it so she can stop doing it.
I can’t control everything, especially when she is at school all day, but I can try to help her pay attention to the things that are going to make her acne worse. I picked up a few tubes of antibacterial sanitizer and told her that every time she realizes she is picking at her face she should apply some of this to her hands. Maybe I can help her to break a bad habit by starting a good habit.