Nothing's better than a cool dip in the pool on a hot summer day. But for some of those with Dermatillomania, simply putting on a swimsuit and cannon balling into the water doesn't seem possible. Swimming can lead to a whole mess of anxiety and uncomfortable feelings. Check out our list of tips to help ease those feelings and make swimming a little bit easier.
Focus on Positivity
Wearing a bathing suit with Skin Picking can feel intimidating. Try to surround yourself with supportive friends or family that lift you up, and steer clear of negative people. Be prepared for any comments by coming up with a strategy beforehand, like informing the commenter that 3% of the global pop. lives with this or asking a friend to have your back. Re- member, you deserve to have fun and enjoy your time in the water just as much as anyone else.
Check Out Alternatives
If you’re not quite ready to show your skin just yet, try opting for suit alternatives. There’s plenty of cute, long-sleeve or legging style swimwear online!
Another option if you’re not yet fully comfortable showing your picked skin is to wear a cover-up before you jump in the water. This can also help if you’re tempted to pick at exposed areas.
Have an open sore or pesky trigger area? Cover it up with waterproof bandaids to create a barrier.
Dry Off Thoroughly
To avoid your skin drying out after a dip, towel-dry well and apply a hydrating spray-on moisturizer.
Sunburn is so easy to get during a day out in the water and dry, flaking skin can be a huge trigger. Finding an SPF (preferably spray-on to minimize finger-to-skin contact) that’s waterproof and remembering to reapply according to the directions is key. Try setting a timer on your phone or a waterproof watch as a reminder.
If picked skin on your face is your trigger, try using a waterproof concealer or foundation.
You Deserve This
Skin Picking can feel shameful and can often stop us from doing things we really want to do. Because of scars, spots or dots, you might feel unworthy of wearing a bathing suit, being carefree with your friends, or just relaxing in the sun. Please know you are whole, beautiful and mighty just the way you are. Your scars do not define you.
Create a list of goals you’d like to work towards, starting off small. Cover your space with positive messages like “you look cute in a swimsuit!” or “you’re more than your skin.”
The journey of self love and skin acceptance isn’t an easy one, so make sure to take time to acknowledge and reward your strength and perseverance. And remember, it’s normal to have setbacks or feel frustrated. Focus on progress, not perfection.