Feet picking | SkinPick.com

Feet picking


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August 19, 2008

I can't really give you any real solutions, but I wanted to let you know that is the main place that I pick as well. The main reason I do this is that no one, apart from people really close to me, ever see them. It's only the bottoms of my feet. All along the bottom, never on the top. The tops of my feet that the world see are perfectly polished and pedicured. Most people would be shocked to see the bottoms of my feet. Anyway, I wanted to let you know you are not alone, which, to me, is an incredible thing. It has gotten worse for me in the last year or so as my life has become very hectic. I work full time, I am in graduate school, and I am a perfectionist, to say the very least. It is something that hurts me, but it somehow makes me feel better at the time when I am picking. My husband absolutely hates it because he knows it hurts me physically, and I know he worries about the psychological part, but he does not judge me, which is amazing. I am on anti-depressants, but I think I should switch maybe to something different. I am thinking of seeking counseling about it. It's so embarrassing! I hope this post finds you doing well.
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August 19, 2008

Hi and thanks for replying! Actually, the news is good... Being on this site and reading everyone's experiences (many of which seem far more serious than mine) has spurred me on to try and control my foot picking compulsions. I'm certainly foot picking a lot less than I was a few weeks ago. I have managed to reduce it to only one area on one foot so one foot is now virtually smooth and ball of the other is too. I just have the heel and sides of one foot left to deal with. I have found that if I can get to the point where an area is perfectly smooth I am not so tempted to pick it. I used a chiropody blade to get rid of all the old rough skin (though you have to be very careful with these) foot softening cream and pumice stone to help achieve this. Other people have also suggested on this forum that it's the temptation to pick at the rough bits of loose skin that has to be overcome and not having them in the first place helps. I'm now trying to get the other foot to the point where I can resist the temptation too. I read somewhere on this forum that someone else had had some success by limiting the picking area to one foot at a time and then gradually reducing it so I wonder if that would help you too as it seems to be working with me. As you say in your reply, the thing about the soles of the feet is that no one ever sees them, so, like yours, the tops of my feet are fine. I"m interested to hear you're a perfectionist as I definitely am too. I can't help thinking that there is a psychological relationship there as with other compulsive behaviour. I think stress is definitely a trigger factor with me but keeping very busy also helps as you can't pick your feet while your dashing about.... Your very lucky your husband is so supportive as sometimes the foot picking causes problems between us - though less so lately. This, of course, just exacerbates the guilt which probably heightens the psychological factors causing the foot picking in the first place and so the cycle continues... Thanks again for your reply. It is nice to know you're not alone.
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December 02, 2009

Wow. I am sixteen and have been picking and chewing on the skin from the bottom of my feet since I was 7 or 8. I never in a million years thought anyone else did it- I thought it was just some bizarre habit that was gross. No one else knows I do it- I remember my mom telling me to stop a long time ago when I was little, before I got better at hiding it- no one has seen me do it in years. I do it mostly when I am bored, and never though it had to do with psychological reasons. I have had a severe anxiety disorder since I was 5 or 6, and I have had some crappy stuff happen, but I never thought it was related. There must be a relationship between this and compulsive behavior, because I too havea very obsessive personality. I still can't get over the fact that other people do this- I always thought I was just crazy and gross.
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May 15, 2009

I am convinced that perfectionism combined with a fear of things somehow getting out of control is at the root of our problems and maybe a desire to self-destruct too...Maybe we're somehow not comfortable with ourselves and the world we live in and so live in a perpetual state of anxiety?? Thanks again for your post.
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September 02, 2008

I began picking in grade school. At that time, it started with the skin around the nails, and then began the slow and mentally aggravating fall into madness for me.. In short, it started with the hands....intially it was just the teeth picking at skin...then I got used to the chewing the skin after I pulled it off.. I learned that it was much more efficient to get nail clippers to clip off my skin, and for many years up through highschool, I used clippers to litterally take off most of the skin on and around the tips of my fingers, my thumb, and anywhere a callous happened to be. My hands hurt all the time and as such I started movign towards my feet. At this point in my late 30s, I still do clip a bit on the hands, but my feet are the primary area I attack...like most its just due to the fact that it's embarrasing to have people ask what happened to your hands. I have over the years leared how to shield my hands, but since they are in the open, sometimes folks to get a look.. So now, my feet are the area....I use my hands to pick of the skin...primarily on my heels, but do hit the toes as well...literally taking all the pad skin off...when I was younger my feet were worse off than they are now....And, I do chew & eat the skin....its fricken gross, and yet...i've never been able to stop myself...in fact if I go to long without any skin picking activities its like I friggen go mad....I stay up late just to make sure the wife/kids aren't around. It's sad to say, but ...there are times during the day when I know that my skin would taste good...dont want it too dry, or too moist...lol....holy f'ing grossness... and yet.....its my everyday.... So, I don't have any real help to give you as if I did I would be better myself.. I am just here to tell you your not alone. I wish there would be a day I wouldnt have to shield my hands, make stupid excuses, endure the pain walking on injured feet, wear socks to hide my shameful feet....( NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE has seen the bottom of my feet in ......well...ever I dont think....even my wife has only seen my feet without socks a few times in our marriage.. In anycase, that's my story...oh...and I am a perfectionist as well ... I am sure that has something to do with it.....
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September 02, 2008

Thanks Shmojo, Like you, I wish I could give some really constructive help. It is comforting to know you're not alone so thank you for your post. I was interested to see that both replies to my original post have been from self-confessed perfectionists. I am convinced that perfectionism combined with a fear of things somehow getting out of control is at the root of our problems and maybe a desire to self-destruct too...Maybe we're somehow not comfortable with ourselves and the world we live in and so live in a perpetual state of anxiety?? Thanks again for your post.
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September 06, 2008

Foot Picking ... I didn't realize anyone else did this ... and I certainly didn't realize that it was part of Self-Injury. I pick my feet. I have been doing it for a long time now. When I sat here reading, I started thinking when it was I first started. I started after my rape in 1995 ... I had terrible pressure and anxiety ... I felt lost and alone ... and I would pick at my toes and at my heels for an hour or more while I sat on the couch. I pick the skin off until the pain is throbbing and my heels and my toes are bleeding. I don't eat the skin on my feet ... I just pick forever like I can't stop until there is enough pain to make me feel some sick sort of relief from something inside of me. It makes me feel calm and ok again. The whole time I am doing it I tell myself to stop, I'm gonna hurt my feet and not be able to walk without a lot of pain ... but I keep doing it. No one knows I do it, it's invisible to the average person. You can't see it unless I'm barefoot and you see the bottom of my feet. I am a juvenile diabetic ... I'm 32 yrs old and have been diabetic for 29 years. The one thing I know is that open sores and cuts on a diabetic foot can take forever to heal ... and mine are no exception. I also notice they affect my blood sugars. I guess that's why I have concerns. I didn't know I was self-injuring. Is there a cure or is this something I have to deal with forever? Because I also pick on my scalp. No one knows that either, except my family. I went to dermatologists because I thought I had a scalp disorder, and when they couldn't figure out what was causing it ... I gave up. Until now, I never thought it might just be that I am causing them myself .... God help me. Are there support groups, or medications, or techniques that you can use?
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November 19, 2009

I have the same problem with excessively picking at my feet and using toenail clippers to cut dead skin off of my heels and other calus spots. I do find that the ped egg gives me the same satisfaction of "removing dead skin" from my feet and I would suggest it to any foot pickers you can realize that removing dead skin from your feet can be healthy not distructive. Good luck!
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December 20, 2009

WOW! Am I glad I found this spot. I am 63 and have done this off and on all my life. I was in a home with a verbally and emotionally abusive mother. I think I started picking my feet right around age 13. I also bit my nails while living with her. Once I got to college most of the nail biting stopped and was totally gone by age 20. I still had the tendency to pick at my feet... it seems to run in cycles. I think of it as coming on during periods of stress and anxiety. The easiest way for me to get this under control is to enjoy winter, wear socks and get pedicures on a regular basis. I have always liked my feet; they are slim, healthy looking and I love to wear sandals and flip flops. I once again am on the path to recovery and am so happy about it. GREAT HELPER: I see people mentioning all sorts of skin removal tools such as pumice stones, "pods", etc. I have a small Black and Decker sander called the "mouse." It is in my bathroom specifically for my feet. A mildly abrasive sandpaper (it is purple) attached to it is perfect for keeping skin smooth and your feet attractive... and quick. Try it! The paper can be the same grit as nail files and if it seems to be too mild go up one level to a rougher grit. I DO NOT go crazy with it... be sensible and you may find some relief. Good luck everyone!
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December 30, 2009

just to say what a relief to find i am not alone in this horrible habit. sometimes my feet have been so painful it's hard to walk. when i've had mandatory nursing study days in the summer i have to wear socks and trainers cos i cant let anyone see my feet when i'm on the bed being the patient. i also eat the skin, it's so gross, i hate myself for it.
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March 06, 2010

When I read this I cried. I started picking my toe nails about five years ago. I have to say sometimes I cant even walk if I pick long enough. It started when I dropped something heavy on my big toe. The toe nail turned an ugly color and I had to be in a bridesmaid for my sisters wedding and we all had to have french manicure toe nails because we all wore clear open toe shoes. I started trying to scrape under the nail to make my nail look perfect. The more I tried the more it began to get infected and after the wedding I just kept picking and eventually I had both of my big toes so infected that it hurt to walk. I would use pedicure tools to pick at the skin around my toe nails and so they would bleed. I want to mention that during this time in my life I was living with my boyfriend who was an alcoholic and abusive both emotionally and physically. This continued for months but if I had on shoes or if I was driving I couldnt pick my toe nails so I started picking the hair in one spot on the back of my head. I didnt realize I was doing it for a very long time but my sister noticed and she started smacking my hand away from my head. I eventually made a bald spot about the size of a silver dollar on the back of my head. The place was always inflamed and sore. If I went to get my hair cut I would be so ashamed when the stylist saw my head. I would only go to a stylist one time because I didnt want to tell them I was the reason for that place on my head. The stylist would always say did you hit your head recently and I would just say yeah it hurts. Eventually I joined the military and I had to wear my hair in a bun everyday and the bun was in the same place as my picking place so eventually it healed up. But when I went to bed at night I would wear socks on my hands because I would have my hair down and I picked in my sleep. My toe nails are better but it took years for me to stop hurting my feet. I was so ashamed of my toes but I started going to have a pedicure 2 or 3 times a month even though I had picked away almost all of my big toe nails. I found that if I let someone else take care of my feet and I just stayed away from them all together then I could stop picking them. All I do to my feet now and toe nails now is when I take a shower I use a nail brush very gently across my toes and when I get out of the shower I spray my toe nails with alcohol or peroxide. then dry them off and rub lotion on them. I dont let myself get close to my toenails and I try not to look at them closely because if I look at them I will find something wrong with them. So I have stopped my hair pulling and picking and my toenail picking but now I pick my face and I cant stop and it is so bad I have sensitive skin and I have scared my face. I pick my face until it looks so bad I get depressed and refuse to leave the house because I look so terrible. I started picking my face after I was raped in the military. Someone please help I need some advice. The face picking is worse than the hair and the feet picking combined.
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July 06, 2010

I have been doing this - and eating the skin - since I was 14. Before, I was biting my nails, but taught myself to stop because I needed nails for guitar playing. Before chewing nails, I was constantly chewing the ends of my hair, until my mother made me cut it short. I never felt I was abused, I come from a good home, and only now I realize that through all my years at home (I moved out at 26) I was very gently and constructively taught how to compensate for my shortcomings (of which I really don't have so many). I have splay feet, like so many other people, and I never liked them because they hurt me in high heels ("What are feet good for if you cannot wear high heels?"). Later I had an accident which totally wrecked my left knee so that wearing any kind of fashionable shoe is out of the question. My feet more or less vanished into oblivion. Still, I pick them from time to time, especially at times when my hands have nothing to do, like when I'm reading. - I bought myself a professional pedicure apparatus which can be used by diabetics, and every morning I check my feet for rough parts, which I smooth down. I use the Celiyoung foot cream which is very strong even on ultra-dry skin like mine. But what helps me most is that I keep a small jar of foot cream handy at all my "resting places" (like desk, sofa) and whenever the urge to pick comes (it will come whenever I feel the slightest roughness on my heels or balls) I take some cream and rub it in, instead of picking. It gives the fingers something to do, you still feel the rough foot under your fingertips, and it does not hurt the foot. So I manage to get by with only two or three deeper wounds per year. Which is pretty good for me...
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July 14, 2010

Thanks for this post. I have been picking as well for about 4 or 5 years. This is the first time that I have told anyone. I pick until I bleed sometimes, mostly my heel until I get up to my mid foot, which can get pretty painful sometimes. It is worse because I love distance running and this interferes with my most loved hobby! It really sucks, but I hope writing about it will guide me to recovery. It may be a stress induced activity for me, but I am generally a happy guy. For some reason when I drink alcohol, it becomes worse. I am not sure what that is about. I hope to read some more posts from everybody! Thanks
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July 15, 2010

I'm afraid that I do this too. I had no idea it had a pyschological cause. I do it because of cracked heel skin, and once I start the uneven skin compels me to keep going until I reach the middle of my foot and it bleeds or starts really hurting. I limp for several hours / days afterwards and use plasters to protect the cuts. I have also picked at spots / blackheads / scabs all of my life. All of my relatives, and my sons, pick and bite, but none of us have suffered any abuse. However, there is depression, dyslexia and ADD in the family. I am really scared about seeking help as I'm scared that the medical profession will think that my sons (and I) are self harming for some deep psychological reason, when I think it's just a compulsion that's hereditary. Does eating the scabs / pieces of skin mean you have the disorder? Does anyone else have this problem in their family?
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February 08, 2011

Wow, I am very glad to read all of these comments. I am 18 years old and have been picking the skin off of my heel for the past 5 or 6 years. I have always believed it was just a bad habit but recently it has gotten much worse. I will literally get a needle or sharp object in order to pick at the skin until it bleeds or becomes really sore. I can feel the pain but it's almost like I am "determined" to continue what I am doing. Afterwards it hurts to walk and I limp around until I can finally start picking again. I feel like the motivation for this is because I feel less stressed and it takes my mind off of other problems whenever I'm pulling skin off of my foot. I even have mastered driving with my left foot so I can pick the skin off of my right while driving. My friends and family all think it is disgusting and whenever I get a pedicure done I am told I need to "see a doctor about my condition" also it is embaressing to go to the pool in the summer and have my feet get wet because the skin swells up and turns white. It's hard to explain to others what's happened to my feel. Also, whenever I'm not picking my heel I am either picking my fingernails, chewing the skin off of my gums, biting my nails, biting my toenails, or pulling my cuticles off. The only things that have ever helped my stop are: getting acrylic nails done (prevents me from being able to grab on to the skin), cutting my nails short, wearing socks, or staying busy all day. I am really glad to have read all these comments and to finally share my story with people who understand. Good luck to you all!
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March 17, 2011

yes, its nearly the same with my feet. Good luck to you Greets Laura
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February 13, 2012

Never thought about getting acrylic nails to prevent the picking. It's difficult because I'm an artist and my nails tend to get destroyed easily because of what I'm working on. I really want to find a healthy replacement hobby so I don't pick my feet. I was nodding a lot reading your post because I do get "determined" to pick skin even when it hurts or bleeds. Does that make me a masochist?!
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February 27, 2011

CAN ANYONE HELP ME!!! im 19 years old and i pick my skin and toenails off of my feet to the point that i can hardly walk..my feet are infected!i dont even realise im doing it until theres a pool of blood in my bed or where ive been sitting! my boyfriend thinks its like a self harm thing but its really not.It really bugs me when he tells me not to do it because i feel i have to,does anyone else have the same problems i feel so alone...it sounds disgusting but sometimes i even stick knives in my feet to dig skin off and even clip my skin with nail clippers.i dont have dry feet theres no reason why i shoud do it i just have to plz help xx
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February 13, 2012

You have to realize that is in fact a self-harm thing. You may have to search for the reasons why, but if it's that intense, there may be a problem not being addressed. Do you have any issues with depression, anxiety, stress? I was being treated for anxiety when I mentioned my feet-picking to my counselor. I just wanted tips for the "bad habit" when she informed me it was in fact self-mutilation. I was shocked because I would have never thought of it that way. There's no shame in it, but I would advise at least trying some counseling or visit a doctor to see what they say to help. Might even being as simple as not handling stress well or something. Use your boyfriend as support, it sounds like he cares about you a lot :)
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March 29, 2011

I'm 21and I clip off pieces of skin from the bottom of my feet too, always with a nail clipper. Usually I'll clip little pieces, all in a line, and then I'll grab onto those pieces with my fingers and just pull and peel off whole sections. It's oddly satisfying and I've been doing it for years, probably since elementary school. Once when I was about 12 I was sitting on the sofa barefoot and my parents noticed how raw the bottom of my feet were, I said they were just dry from swimming. Idk how my mom has never noticed the blood on my socks or on my sheets around the foot of my bed. Like others have said, I just feel carefree when I do it, almost as if it's the only time I can seriously clear my head. Plus that feeling you get while you're peeling off the most perfect, sizeable piece of skin...it's great! I've also been biting my nails and the skin and cuticles around them for as long as I can remember, I guess these habits come packaged together. So fucking weird!
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July 07, 2011

Wow! I can't believe how many people do this also! I've been doing this for as long as I can remember! I also use nail clippers and I won't stop till I bleed! I'm 36 now and always think I'll outgrow it. It's something I cannot stop. It doesn't hurt until after I'm done and out of the zone and then I start walking and then I'm like fuck! So I'll put bandaids on the worse parts and wait until the skin grows back and do it again and again. I'll keep the skin in a pile and when I'm done cannot believe all that came from my feet and I'll play with the chunks of skin and try to see how big I can get a chunk at a time.. this is so wierd saying it out loud! But.. I have NEVER ever eaten it. Never even crossed my mind and to think about it is gross but so is pulling the bottom of our feet off! Good to know I'm not alone!
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July 09, 2011

I feel so crazy right now! I have been picking one of my feet for a year now(I thought that was long!). Tonight my boyfriend mentioned my foot again. I refused to show him because he makes me feel guilty. He pointed out how far it has spread- from just the heel to about 80% of the bottom and later side of my one foot is a dark red-probably more red because I've been picking at it since I got home from work (about 10 hours ago). It aches more than it usually had and I didn't even make it bleed this time. My foot has also been having the feeling of falling asleep this week and that's a first. Does anyone else have this problem? Probably disrupting the nerves.. In my first time ever search about foot picking, I found a youtube video of someone picking at their foot and it was just disturbing!! And reading a few of the comments on here disturbed me further! First, how are you able to continue picking for so many years without damaging nerves like I obviously have? Second, why in the world would you eat it?! I'm replying to bluebutterfly77's post because I agree that it never crossed my mind, but my dog does enjoy eating the flakes of skin I leave behind..UGH it's just so gross! What do we do about the fact that it seems to calm us down or whatever? I am not OCD, but I have noticed that I always feel the need to do two things at a time. I cannot watch tv or read without doing something else. Lately, it's the foot picking or sudoku. I'm addicted to both. Luckily, maybe this addiction of ours is saving us from a more dangerous addiction? Very possible. Anyway, just please let me know if anyone else has had a problem with their nerves getting weird or the foot falling alseep. Thank you!
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February 13, 2012

Interesting, I also have to have two things going on at once. Since getting my laptop as a graduation gift in high school, I developed the routine of watching tv and being on the internet. When I'm doing one or the other, I crave the second to complete the routine. Just thought it was a habit, but might be part of my anxiety problem. I do realize now reading your post that most of the time, I pick my feet when watching tv or sitting quietly. Maybe I need to make sure there's something else there so I don't do that. If sudoku is your other habit, maybe when you find yourself picking stop and grab the sudoku book instead. Might help trick yourself into wanting sudoku more???
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September 03, 2011

same here..
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February 13, 2012

Nail clippers are a fun tool for me too.
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June 21, 2011

I can't express how relieved I am to find out I'm not alone in this. I started picking my feet probably around the age of 8, I haven't stopped ever since. Fortunately I haven't come to the point of bleeding but I have done some pretty weird things just to remove dead skin, not to mention I usually put it in my mouth and chew on it afterwards. It started off on the fingers, but when I started getting small callouses on my feet I began picking there. At first it was just with my fingers on the toes, but moved onto the entire underside of the foot. Now I have huge callouses covering the undersides of my feet and I'll do a variety of things to remove the dead skin. Sometimes I scrape scissor blades along the underside of my foot and sometimes I just cut into the skin with a sharp blade, thankfully I've never drawn blood or injured myself seriously but I've always been worried about it. I'm 18 now and I still can't stop it, sometimes I'll even eat and I don't even know why, it just comes naturally... After the fact though I always find myself disgusted with what I've just done, but no matter ho much I try to resist it, I'll take the nearest sharp object, be it a knife or a sharpened pencil and try to peel off the skin. I'd like to say again that I'm glad I found this place, at least I know that other people are going through the same thing.
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August 22, 2011

So many people here have described exactly what I do to my feet. One post literally I kept going 'oh I do that....and that....and that...and that'. I don't really know why I pick the bottom of my feet. I've always picked at/bitten something since I was about 6 (I'm 18 now). I've always bitten my fingernails, but when I managed to stop doing that at around the age of 10/11, I started picking the skin on my head under my hair, and I used to have big areas of scab that I would then pick off and my head would be bleeding a lot of the time. Istopped doing that when my Mum found out and told me off every time she saw me doing it. But that started the fingernail biting again. Then I began to bite the skin around my fingernails too and I still do that. But the foot picking has only been going on for just under a year now. And sometimes I just have to limp around the house because I've hurt it so bad, and it burns in the shower when it comes into contact with hot water and soap. I avoid showing people my feet at all costs. And I have a pair of scissors on my bedside table, in case I can't get the bit of skin off with my fingers. I told my friend ages ago and she told me I was disgusting and that I ought to just stop. So I never spoke to her about it again. Can anyone suggest any tips to stop doing it? My feet don't often bleed from it, but when they do, I put plasters on them, and then my Mum noticed once and I lied to her and said I cut my foot on some glass. I just want to be able to stop. And at the moment I feel like I can't. Is it psychological?
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February 13, 2012

You know, the first bad habit I've really had is pick my nose (I know, gross!). The next was chewing nails. I love picking zits, including my husband's and when he won't let me I tend to get irrationally angry, like I'm being deprived of something. I now pick my feet and pluck hairs a lot (don't know if that's also a problem). I think stress is always a trigger. My feet picking gets so tempting sometimes, I've actually picked my feet in public and rather than being embarrassed, actually felt justified! Anybody else do that? As for it being psychological, definitely. I myself suffer from an anxiety disorder and depression but it could even be as simple as means to relieve stress.
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September 02, 2011

hi guys im new to this and didn't even know a site would be out here, im sat here now with my feet killing i have been picking most of day im in agony and made it bleed this morning x
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September 15, 2011

Like many of you here, i am glad to know that i am not the only one to do this. However, I compulsively pick the skin on my feet with anything sharp. Be it a pin that a literally drag across my heel to make and incision in my heel allowing me to pick at it. And sometimes I use a knife which a saw across my heel to remove the hard skin, cutting myself on occasion because ive cut to deep. Does anyone else use tools such as knives? i feel like an evil torturer to my own body :(
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February 09, 2012

Yes , I feel that way too, cutting into the skin and then picking, it seems so wrong, but I feel comfortable when I do it. I uses knifes, pins, toothpicks, scissors, anything that's sharp.
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September 22, 2011

This all brought me to tears. It is so comforting that I no longer feel alone with this dreadfully satisfying habit. Comforting and sad too, that so many people suffer from it. I've been ripping the skin off from under my feet since I was a young child. As the callouses developed over time, it took more than my nails to pierce the scar tissue and I would use pins, scissors, razor blades, knives or just about any sharp pointy thing I could get my hands on to make incisions. I usually focus on the bottom half of the flat of my foot but I've begun moving upward recently. It's to the point that sometimes when I do it, my feet bleed and I can barely walk for a couple days. I can't wear whole shoes, only sandals now, I can never show anyone my feet and I'm slightly embarrassed when I go for a pedicure. I only go about twice a year when I've mucked things up so badly that I can't stand myself. Another thing I do, and please try not to be grossed out, is ripping off my toe nails. Usually the baby toes, but on my right foot I've managed to destroy the nailbed of my second toe so badly that the nail all but refuses to grow back. I love the feeling of the flesh and nail being torn and I love the hot cool feeling of the blood pouring out. I know something is wrong with me...I hate and love it, if you can imagine that...I guess I'm off to read more testimonials now and to learn more about this...Thanks for a safe place. Much appreciated.
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February 13, 2012

It's always embarrassing to go get a pedicure and have the pedicurist ask you what happened to your feet. Glad I'm not the only one! I cut into the corners of my toenails to rip out a slight hangnail, but to do so I end up cutting out half the nail. Makes me toenails look really bad. I don't like the bleeding per se (that's usually when the shame kicks in) but the brief moment when you can rip out that nail or that chunk of skin feels really good. And (excuse the grossness) I love chewing on the skin afterwards.
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November 08, 2011

I'm nineteen and have been doing this for a couple years, I can't believe how many other people do it, I was always embarrassed and thought it was weird to, especially when swimming and it becomes more obvious, I think somebody else said this to. Never considered it being anxiety related but that does make sense for me. The only thing i have found is that false nails help a little bit if you can afford them as you are less able to pick,
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November 10, 2011

False nails.. that's probably the best idea right now for me until I get myself into therapy. Thank you.
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November 10, 2011

They say it's not always necessarily an OCD thing but an aftermath of using methamphetamines, having a substance abuse problem, depression/anxiety, or having a family member with a substance abuse problem. Thankfully it's a recognized disorder and there -is- treatment for it (both pharmalogical and behavioral). Good luck to you.
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December 12, 2011

I'm a 12 year old boy and I've done skin picking since I was 9 and I just want to stop cause at school weave got Dance and P.E and that's barefoot and I try and sit at the back of the room to try and hide my right foot. I'm glad I'm not alone in the UK and I feel more comfort when I talked about my problems when someone has them anal. I just want to stop because if my son/ daughter says what's that on your foot daddy I'll feel disgusted. Can anyone help ;(
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January 10, 2012

listen im one year older than you and first off my grammar is bad. when your this age your just starting to like girls and your going threw hormones. i promise it sucks. but the main thing you need to think about isn't being embarresed it should be about how to get the girl haha. for the longest time i would wear long sleves in the summer. and thats been since i was in the 3rd grade. i know its embarising when people see them but you have to embrace it and say i dont care about what you people think i am happy about who i am thats the frist step to healing. be proud of yourself is always important. i am a 13 year old girl and i have put up with this always. i stopped for a while but i am starting again. i am getting back to stopping. i hope this has helped(: *i will stop*
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January 30, 2012

I'm a 50 y/o female who has been peeling/picking skin from my toes, heels/bottoms of my feet since I was 18 or so? I peel the skin so badly sometimes that it's hard to walk because of the pain. It's so disgusting to me-the peeling and eating of the skin. I go into a "zone" like I'm in a trance when I'm picking and eating. I know it's anxiety-related and it's humiliating and embarrassing. I had no idea there was a clinical term for this. I go through periods where I leave my feet alone, use a pumice stone to keep them smooth, but then there's the impulse to peel and pick around my toe nails. I'll try keeping my toe nails painted and taking care of my feet, then I'll go off and not take care of them any more. I hate this compulsive behavior. I used to pick my scalp and form scabs that would bleed. I would pick and eat those also. It was so rewarding to have a big scab on my head to pick off and eat. I quit that as I got older and my hair thinned and it was visible to others when I had these sores on my scalp. I was sexually abused by a family member when I was a child. I've also suffered from anorexia and bulimia. Sigh. I also have keratosis pilaris-bumpy skin on my arms and legs primarily and I have picked the ingrown hairs from those tiny bumps for so many years I can't remember. I have scars on my arms from picking those areas also. Wow, I feel pretty fucked up. What's more fucked up is that I'm pretty limber and I can actually put my foot to my mouth for short periods of time to chew on my toenails--wow. I admitted that.
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February 09, 2012

I'm a 12 year old boy in new Zealand. It started from when I was cutting my toenails, I began to also cut away the skin around my feet. I pulled it out and ate it. Now I pick ate it whenever I'm sitting down barefoot, even sometimes cutting open the skin so it's easier to pick at it. When I do physical education or just run around I have to go bar effect and I'm always afraid to show my feet. Help me!
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February 13, 2012

I tend to cut destructively at my toenails as well as feet picking. Didn't think there was a connection!
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February 13, 2012

I am 23 and have always been obsessed with picking zits, scabs, blisters, etc. In the last year or two it's focused on my feet. Any loose skins and I'm pulling on it until it bleeds. Some times my feet hurts for several days and I worry I will get a serious infection someday from doing it. I've been trying to keep them healthy with lotion and other things so I'm not tempted by loose skin but it's difficult because I often start picking without realizing it. I get satisfaction by it when I'm able to pick skin off, then shame because I've hurt myself. For about six months now I've been being treated for anxiety and depression and I know those conditions have contributed to my bad habit, but I'm getting sick of it. I looked up methods to treat it tonight and found this site and hopefully I'll get some hints to stop doing it. It's hurting my husband because he hates to see me in pain and it's not healthy.
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July 12, 2012

Thank you for sharing your story. I honestly didnt think that other people suffered with things like this.. but about the doctor visits.. have they and are they helping you to stop?
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February 14, 2012

I am always picking skin off of the center of my foot. I really thought I was the only one who did this but now after coming here I have realized that there is a whole sub-culture of people who have the same habit. I have OCD so I assume it is from that and according to alot of the testimonials here I realize that alot of you do as well. I don't know if anyone does this also but I love sticking the bottom of my foot on sharp objects like the corner of a table or anything with a pointy end, not something that is too sharp where is will actually cut my skin or draw blood but with enough of an edge to make a mark. Alot of times I will just leave my foot there and grind the corner into the middle of my foot. After a few minutes I will remove my foot and rub or scratch the area of my foot that was on the corner. For some wierd reason when I do this it feels amazing to me and actually helps me focus and almost puts me in a trance. It also helps my picking because after continually grinding my foot into a sharp object for a few days in a row a callous forms and I am able to pick away at it. I have gotten to the point to where anytime I see a table corner or something that has an edge all I can think about is poking my foot into it. It is a wierd habit but I do enjoy it and I am not hurting anyone so I really don't feel too bad for it. To me there are alot of worse habits out there I can be doing.
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March 18, 2012

I do this as well and it is extremely embarrasing. I find that I pick much less if the skin is smooth. I have discovered a way to fix the rough patches: diaper rash ointment. I know it sounds weird, but it works. Buy the A&D ointment (not the white cream/lotion). It is yellow and waxy. Rub A LOT of it onto your entire foot and put a sock on. I do it at night so that the skin has a lot of time to absorb the ointment, but I suppose you could do it during the day. I hope this helps.
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June 17, 2012

I am 8 years old and I pick my feet and it is good to know that I am not the only one.I live in Minnesota with my mom and 3 cats and 1 hamster.I pick my feet every 2 days after my bath.I stop when my fingers or skin hurt. I can not remeber how long I have been doing it.
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June 17, 2012

I am 8 years old and I pick my feet and it is good to know that I am not the only one.I live in Minnesota with my mom and 3 cats and 1 hamster.I pick my feet every 2 days after my bath.I stop when my fingers or skin hurt. I can not remeber how long I have been doing it.
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June 17, 2012

I am 8 years old and I pick my feet and it is good to know that I am not the only one.I live in Minnesota with my mom and 3 cats and 1 hamster.I pick my feet every 2 days after my bath.I stop when my fingers or skin hurt. I can not remeber how long I have been doing it.
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July 12, 2012

I am a 21 year old female. I have had this problem since I was about 8 or 9. after my father died, I found myself having a more angry outlet and things and then began to nervously pick my hands. At first it was just my nails then the skin around my nails now that its been years... its worst. i used a sanding stone that they use for pedicures on my hands and feet to keep the skin smooth after i pick at my hands and feet.. I hate myself a lot of the time for having even started. The fact that i play the drums and have been since i was 6 i have rough hands and used to think picking them would make it easier or better. But it actually over time made things worst. I cant even sweat too much or get my hands wet without them turning white. People ask me sometimes what happened and want me to show them but i get defensive because im embarrassed. I thought i was alone in the world that i just was an outcast. Ive had girlfriends and theyve been fine with it, and try and make me secure for the most part but i only show them a select part of my hands. its both hands and both heels of my feet.. if anyone knows of a way to help the healing process, id be forever grateful, Thank you to those who shared your stories and information :)
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July 19, 2012

I just stumbled upon here while searching for help on Google. So glad I found all of you. I have been really hoping to get some ideas on how to stop. It's gross and embarrassing. Especially after a particularly bad bout when I have to wear bandages and make excuses about what happened to me. "I cut myself", or "I hurt myself" usually suffices, but for those close to me, it's not enough. ;( I also have periods where I destroy my hands in the same way. I never eat the hands skin though. Weird. I just don't know WHY we do this. I'll read up some more and come back later. So glad to be amoung "friends". Very thankful and hopeful.

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