Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Squeezing pimples

I have this bad habit of picking the skin and sqeezing my pimples, I know it's bad but I just cannot stop and i feel powerless. I have scars and I subconsciously squeeze and pick the skin on my nose and it's getting sore and I feel terrible. I know it's wrong and I shouldn't do it but I just can't stop I don't even realise I'm doing it. PLEASE HELP AS I AM GETTING UPSET AND DESPERATE!!
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Lots of young people have pimples and spots during puberty. It can be really difficult to not pick and squeeze them, but doing this can actually make them worse. It's really important to keep your skin clean if you have spots. The NHS website could help you find out more about your spots and the best ways to treat them.  

Sometimes when people are nervous or anxious they can develop habits which distract them from their feelings as a way to cope. This could be twitching their leg, twirling their hair or picking at the skin. These habits can become something they do without realising it.  

Have a think about whether there is a particular time that you are more likely to do this habit and if there is a pattern to it. It can help to replace a bad habit with something else that’s harmless until you can work out how to stop that urge completely. Every time you go to pick at your skin, try thinking about what you could do instead to replace it.

It might be that talking through your feelings with a ChildLine counsellor will help you understand your behaviour and your feelings as well. They are always here to listen to you.

I hope this has helped.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter