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The Self-Care Plan

While our Qualifying Behavior List tells us how not to interact with our skin, our Self-Care Plan does the opposite. It tells us how to interact with our skin in a healthy and positive way. Our Self-Care Plan lists activities that we do to care for our bodies, as well as how often we do these activities.

We cannot escape from our skin; it will always be with us. What we can do is change the way we interact with it. For example, our Self-Care Plan may say that we wash our face twice a day, do a face mask once a week, or clip our nails once every two weeks. It may also say that we use a washcloth in the shower to avoid touching our skin directly, or that we use a certain kind of face or body lotion.

As skin pickers, we cannot be trusted to make these self-care decisions alone. In order to create our Self-Care Plan, we seek the advice of medical professionals like doctors, dermatologists, and dentists. We ask them questions about how to care for our skin. For example, we might ask a professional what a good skincare routine looks like, how to treat wounds and scars, how often we should clip our nails, or how to wash our faces.

Many of us have created lasting damage to our bodies, so it is wise to ask for advice from a professional about how to care for our skin. We may even have professionals perform our self-care activities that cause trouble for us, like tweezing our eyebrows or getting our nails done. It can be difficult to make these appointments and have these conversations, so we discuss our plans with our OSPA sponsor or a trusted OSPA fellow. Remember, it is the professional’s job to perform these tasks and to do it well. They are also usually willing to answer our questions concerning our own self-care in between appointments. When feeling fear or reluctance, we have found it helpful to bookend these appointments with another fellow.

We do not make changes to our Self-Care Plan without first speaking with a sponsor or another fellow, as well as to a professional, if needed. We have found that surrendering our Self-Care Plan to a professional and our sponsor is a relief. It means we no longer have to make decisions about our skin on our own.

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