does anyone pick their thumbs? | SkinPick.com

does anyone pick their thumbs?


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April 18, 2011

Hey sorethumb, That's amazing in the sense that I do the same exact thing. I am getting lower and lower an d lower on my thumbs. I do the same thing to my middle fingers...the sides. And then it's just painful to do anything at all...cooking hurts and my thumbs and fingers are always throbbing. and yes, as I type this...I just finished doing a "number" to my thumbs. I barely let them heal a day or two before going at it again... Sigh, I've tried stoppicking websites, which didn't work. I tried liquid bandages...also didn't work. Do you have any tips? At least it's nice to know...you're not alone!
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April 25, 2011

I do the same, although it doesn't tend to hurt me, -unless I go really far- as I've been doing it for so long now (I'm nearly 30 and been doing it from an incredibly young age, for as long as I can remember) that the skin on my thumbs is scarred (pinky white) and toughened. I do it all the time without thinking, my cuticles are at an angle as I only pick at one side of my thumbs (on the inside edge, nearest to me palm, around the cuticle and sorrounding skin. My mother's know about it for a long time, and only recently mentioned that my Grandad also used to do it, I also pick at my face too and have to stay in for days, my mother also has facial picking tendancies I think, so I definately think the theory of heredity holds some water. If I know how to stop, I'd have done it myself, my boyfriend hates me doing it, it's like fingernails down a blackboard for him, so that's a good suppressant, but I stil do it (and the face picking) alone. :/ At least I hope it helps that you're not alone.
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April 25, 2011

Hi, Sorethumb-- If misery loves company--I'm right there with ya. I've been doing the exact same thing as long as I can remember. The skin all the way around my thumb (mostly my left) has gotten so thick and calloused that if I don't peel the skin off after it heals, I can barely bend it. I've tried filing the excess skin off in the shower with a heel file, or clipping it all off with nail clippers, and even shaving the skin off with a razor. Works for a day or two, but eventually I will rip, pick or chew the skin off until it bleeds somewhere (usually profusely). Recently, when the skin on my thumb is gone, I've started to make my way down onto my palm, which is concerning...when/where will I stop? The most upsetting thing about this affliction for me: I cannot for the life of me remember when/why I started doing this. I'm in my mid-40's and all I know is that I have been doing this since "sometime" in my childhood. Which makes me wonder what the #$!@% happened to cause me to completely blank out the moment I first ripped into my thumbs. Which makes me worry about how sinister the underlying cause of this might be. Which makes me want to do it even more. Hate this as much as you do--and don't know how to stop. I'm not any help, but thought you should know you are not alone. --RMF
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April 29, 2011

Does anybody chew, too? I do this all the time..I do it when I'm bored, stressed, or just daydreaming. I know how you feel about the wedding photos thing too..my boyfriend and I talk about marriage and I dread the day I have a pretty ring on my ugly fingers :(
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May 03, 2011

I am 36 and have been picking all my fingers my whole life. They are always bloody and I am always embarrassed of my hands. My dad is the first one who has noticed. My husband didn't notice about my problem until I was married to him for at least 5 yrs. I am on medication for depression and it doesn't help. I am so glad I am not alone, but sure wish I could stop. It really complicates my life.
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May 07, 2011

You are not alone. I have been doing the same and have no idea when or why it started. Thumbs on both hands are constantly bright pnk now and at work people are constantly asking what i swrong with hands. Most are concerned that I have burns! I never know what to say or how to explain it. Would love to have a manicure someday but am so embarassed by the state of my hands that I never would.
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June 02, 2011

Wow. I am shocked at the amount of thumb-picking going on! I have never met anyone with this problem before. I remember starting to pick and peel the front (inside?) of my left thumb when I was about 10. I am now 26 and there has never been a time that I have been able to stop it. It drives my mum crazy.. she tells me to "stop mutilating" all the time. I wish it were that simple. The sick thing is that I enjoy it. I don't go further than this one thumb, and will stop when I've hit what feels like a raw f*cking nerve or peel such a deep bit of skin that it can't be pulled off easily and that's when I'll bite it instead. I am anxious about holding hands and always have band aids in my bag so I can cover it up if I'm out and its all bleeding and stuff. I am interested in the psychological reasons for this behaviour. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 18 and have OC tendancies. I was also sexually assaulted on 3 different occasions as a child and have struggled to be around men let alone date them even now in my 20s. I have always felt that my 'man anxiety' is linked to my thumb picking as a sort of release whenever I am in a situation where I feel anxious. However I now pick pretty much all the time. I read this awesome book called "You can heal your life" by Louise L. Hay where she talks about how your thoughts, words and emotions literally shape your life and health. She talks about a heap of different dis-eases/syndromes and the usual corresponding thought patterns that are associated with them. Super interesting stuff. I highly recommend the book and am using some of its principles in overcoming my own thumb/anxiety issues. Take care everyone, warmth, Mala.
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June 02, 2011

Hello All - new to this site, and glad I found it. Let me tell you, I have had a nail biting and cuticle picking problem my entire life .. and now i am approaching 60 years old and a male ... and have had only marginal success combating both issues. My nail biting issue is, for the most part, under control. From everthing I've read in this forum, Iv'e experienced them all ... shook my head in acceptance ... nodded in agreement ... and fortunately felt relieved that I'm not the only one out there with this embarassing behavior. Believe me, I've done it all, and experienced it all. I rotate between cutting them short .. letting them grow out .. experiencing a tear or rough edge .. biting it off .. and them making them all uniform. A few years ago, I noticed that the overall condition of my nails and cuticles was much better in the summertime for some reason. I concluded that it was because I used suntan lotion (oil or cream), and that it supplied the necessary moisturing recipe that I desperately needed. So, I started using that as my daily lotion, and before I went to bed at night, and it seemed to work. I now use neosporine or vaseline .. each and every night ... and it does help tremendously! Who wants to go to bed smelling like the Coppertone girl! However, my cuticle picking has been my #1 lifelong issue. It truly is a nervous or anxiety condition or trigger that brings it on ... but it is constant! I've picked; cut; hidden; band aided; gloved; bled .... to the point where I stand like Prince Charles with my hands wrapped around my back when in the company of people. To many, this is show of confidence .... "if they only knew the TRUE reason!" My thumbs are horrible, with deep horizontal ridges because I pick at the cuticle base, and sometimes literaly "tear" away the skin! Iv'e removed every Stanley Knife and razor knife from my desk arsenal, but I still seem "to get the job done" with just about anything that can get that little bugger! I am slowly, but surely making progress, but there is no doubt permament damage to my nail beds, and my finger tips are somewhat discolored. Another thing I do that also seems to help a bit is to place a little nail polish remover on a washcloth, and then "scrub" my finger tips in it. Make sure to get a good brand of remover, as these can help growth, but can dry you out if used too much! The one thing it DOES do, is it will sting if you have some deep and open cuts! It's a good reminder just much you NEED to stop! A little tough, personally injected reinforcement like this every day is good thing, and highly recommended! So ... looking for any other good hints out there to help me with this long term, and life long obsession.
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June 16, 2011

Don't worry, you're definitely (and very obviously!) not alone. :) I've had body-related compulsive disorders since I was in seventh grade. I'm a senior in highschool and have only started realizing that I'm not alone. I have trichotillomania (pulling out my eyebrows... thankfully I've got that mostly under control after severe self-discipline) and dermatillomania (I scratch open the skin on my arms; I've got some gnarly scars!). It seems like as soon as I get one of these compulsions under control, a new one pops up. Now it's ripping off the skin on my thumbs. I've ripped off so much skin from my left thumb I no longer have feeling on the pads. I enjoy it in the sickest way possible. I actually use tweezers to yank the skin off, and sometimes it gets very deep, and very painful. My thumbs are constantly sore (which proves to be a bigger pain in the ass then people would think). The skin is red and sore looking. Whenever I shower, they look awful! The thing that's worked best for me is putting hot sauce on my thumbs and leaving it there. That way, if I start picking, it stings like crazy. I'm so glad to know I'm not alone. It's truly an embarrassing habit.
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June 16, 2011

Hi sorethumb! I know EXACTLY how you feel! (As do many other people according to the responses!) I am 22 years old, female, and am constantly picking at my thumbs. I also will last about half a day to let them heal, but them be right at it again. My thumbs have to look awful, and I also wonder what other people must think of my hands; not only post-picking but also while I'm picking. "Why is this girl pulling at her hang nails this entire time??" --people must think that. While you, I, and obviously so many others suffer from this problem, I wonder what others have done to try and solve the issue?? I have heard of using "gross tasting" nail polish to diminish nail biting, but me, and everyone else, doesn't really bite, but usually just picks instead. What have others done to stop picking????
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December 03, 2014

Hello sara23 my thumb heals very quickly when I put medical cream and a bandaid over it. The cream will heal and the bandaid keeps you from urging to pick at it
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June 18, 2011

I am like that too but i pick all my fingers and nails. It hurts. Sometimes i have to shower with one hand cause the other one is cut too much. It is hard to stop. i have tried and failed but i will keep trying. :D
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July 19, 2011

I have the same problem! I have been told it is an OCD issue - but do not know whether medication to treat OCD would help or not. Anyways, the only thing that seems to help me is to have acrylic nails put on - the acrylic nails are too thick to allow you to pick. Within about a week or so your skin will be healed up. I would also suggest with the acrylic nails to put oil on the cuticle bed a couple of times a day to keep the cuticles moisturized. Personally I do not like having to go to get the nails re-done every two weeks, so I just live with the raw skin. However, if you are really concerned about your raw thumbs at your wedding, I would suggest giving the acrylic nails a try. Good luck!
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October 27, 2012

You are so right about the acrylic nail fix...it works for me too.
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July 22, 2011

Yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean, I have the same problem, except mine is with all of my fingers AND toes as well...I hope this forum will help me quit
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October 29, 2011

OMG! I thought i was like the only one in the world that had this problem!! Appearently not! It embarasses me so much to have raw skin on the sides of my thumbs. They are all pink and bloody and is so not attractive. I'm only a young teenager but have had this problem for a long time. My dad gets on me alot for it. I tried to wear band aids over them but I just pick the band aids and then they fall off and go to no use. Any tips to help me stop this. I get questioned eveyry day "what's wrong with your thumbs" "that's nasty" I just can't help it!! I catch myself doing it and i don't even know I am! And the worst thing is a pick the skin off then eat it and it's surprisingly a comfort thing for me! Please help!
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March 24, 2012

I shave the skin off the sides of my thumbs. it is not painful. i do not go deep enough to draw blood.
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June 02, 2012

I thought i was the only one. I pick my skin around my thumbs and on the side of my big toe.
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February 22, 2014

You are not alone
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June 03, 2012

I'm reading your post and thinking that I could have written that! My thumbs are always a mess and I am usually sporting two band-aids. It's SO hard to stop, but I think keep it moist helps. Either lotion or neosoprin - it's the dryness that gets me going! Good luck on stopping before your wedding - you can do it!
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September 06, 2012

It can be done!! I've made it over 1 month without biting my thumbs longest in my entire life. Now the urge is almost completely gone! The first few weeks I bit the skin on my lips, I know I was just trading one area for another but it helped, plus the skin on my lips completely heals in one night. By the third week I started using chapstick and lip gloss everytime my lips felt dry to make the possibility of biting lower. And now I just find something to chew on and it's helped me this far. Good Luck everyone.
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October 27, 2012

I have the same problem...I am female...the only way I have found a fix for the problem is to go get my nails done with fake ones....then I cant pick at them because they are not sharp enough to cause any significant destruction...but as soon as they come off....Im back at it.......my thumbs look raw ,even bloody at times,hurt even and over all horrible.I dont understand why my obsession with this picking of the skin around them.... but getting my nails done again will be the only fix... let me add some info here...before making a embarrassing trip to the nail salon and them seeing my mutilation of my thumbs...I will get a loofah scrub pad you use for your feet and scrub them back down smooth to were they are not as jagged with skin hanging off and are more smooth...then I put as much oil and lotion on them to make them look a presentable as possible before a trip to my manicurist...I wish i knew a way to stop doing this besides getting fake nails...but thats the only solution so far Ive came up with that truly works...at least while they are on.
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October 28, 2012

I am so happy to find this site and read about people who have been dealing with the same issues I have for my entire life. I am 40 years old and have been picking my thumbs since I was a small child...as long as I can remember. The sides of my thumbs and cuticles have no feeling except when I pick until I bleed, which is often. I am constantly covering my bloody thumbs with bandaids and my hands always look gross. My picking is not limited to my thumbs...I pick all my other fingers too, though not as often. I have also graduated to picking the skin on my heels and the outsides of my feet, often untill I bleed. I have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) and have read that the dermatillamania is closely associated with anxiety. I agree with some of the posts I have read...acrylic manicures help a lot because the nails become too thick to do too much damage. But I cannot afford to keep up with it. Any other tips on how to deal with this thing would be greatly appreciated:) Stephanie Crystal
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December 10, 2012

I have a problem where i use tweezers to rip off my cuticals from my finger nails. I think i do have a problem because 3 times a day or more. I don't know how to stop, someone please please help me find a way to stop :(
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December 14, 2012

I use tweezers & scissors for the satisfaction of removing the scags. x
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December 14, 2012

I'm so pleased to have found this site. I really hope there are people using it frequently as I need help. I am almost 32 & have been lucking my cuticles, the sides of my nails where they join my fingers & my finger & thumb skin, for as long as I can remember, at least 20 years but probably more. My thumbs are the worst & my right hand is usually a lot worse than my left. I am right handed so put this down to using my right hand more & therefore the skin get harder quicker so has to be removed for that smooth feeling! I bite, pick, pull, gnaw & cut to get all the skin off. I can peel large layers off at once. The sides if my thumbs are always red, raw, painful, hard to bend, bleeding & if I'm honest, permanently damaged, as is my right middle finger to the point where my nail bed has been damaged & my nail doesn't grow properly any more, it's completely mishapen. I've NEVER googled the problem until today. So here I am. My husband nags me & says really nastily that I look like I have dead hands. He shouts & gets stroppy when I say I can't stop. He doesn't understand but doesn't really want to. My sister does it & although I have no contact with my Dad, Mum says he did it too. Genetic?!!!
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December 29, 2012

WOW, I thought I was alone in this world. I have been picking and biting and tearing at my thumbs for years. I have caused so much damage to my nail beds that my thumb nails grow with horizontal and vertical deep ridges. I start picking and don't even realize that I am doing it until I notice blood and wonder where it came from then I see the mess I have made of my thumbs; my right thumb seems to always be worse as I am right handed. I have tried to keep them moisturized but nothing seems to really help soften the skin long enough. I most recently had acrylic trips on them but had to remove them due to fungus caused by an inadequate seal. People say "Just stop picking already" but they have no idea how hard it is; it's like telling a smoker or an alcoholic to just stop. I find myself picking while driving in the car or like yesterday while talking to a friend who came back home to visit for the holidays. I turned to finish my shopping and the throbbing started; I looked down at my thumbs and thought "Why? boy you did a number on them this time." I have pictures of myself with friends and you can see me picking at my right thumb with my ring finger...
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December 30, 2012

I'm 17 and I do the same thing to my thumbs. I won't even realize I was picking them until my fingers start to get wet, then I realized I picked enough for them to bleed. Sometimes I'll realize i have been picking so I'll put a band aid over them but that usually doesn't do much. I've been doing this for as long as I can remember. I don't get harassed or asked why. Only one person tries to make me stop. My thumbs are often sore and red with scabs all of the inner sides. Both thumbs. Usually tend's the be the thumb I can get a better grip on. I don't think I know anyone else that does this. I tend to find satisfaction out of pulling up the rest of the skin that I have already started picking at. And I don't think I'm quite able to stop.
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March 11, 2013

I have been picking the skin and chewing it off my thumbs! Its like smoking or drinking i cant stop. And the bad thing is im 13 and i want a Girlfriend its hard to get one with red all over your hands. But now i've found a solution GUM! its cheap and easy just chew it should help the habbit. however you might do it in your sleep so
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March 13, 2013

I'm going to have to reiterate what others have been saying in that I'm really glad I've found this website/forum..didn't know it existed and that there are loads of other people going through the same thing! Alike sorethumb, I've also been picking the skin along the sides of my thumbs. I think they're the worst off, followed by a few other fingers..but my problem is that most of the time I don't notice that I'm doing it because I'm so preoccupied thinking about something else, and I only notice once it hurts or I start bleeding..! Which is annoying considering I've been trying to stop for a long time! I don't quite remember when I started, must've been during my early teens, and I'm 23 now. Really hoping to stop, and trying to keep mindful about it as well, to no avail! I would really appreciate any suggestions =) Many thanks everyone! This forum is so helpful to me already!
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May 25, 2013

there is the perfect cream called PolySporin Anti- Biotic Cream. You put the cream on then put bandages and continue this for a week. Then after a week your thumbs will be brand new!
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May 25, 2013

there is the perfect cream called PolySporin Anti- Biotic Cream. You put the cream on then put bandages and continue this for a week. Then after a week your thumbs will be brand new!
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May 25, 2013

there is the perfect cream called PolySporin Anti- Biotic Cream. You put the cream on then put bandages and continue this for a week. Then after a week your thumbs will be brand new!
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March 23, 2013

Hello. I am 16 and have been picking the skin around my thumbs my whole life, as well the skin around my other fingers, but like you, my thumbs are the worst. They are red and raw, and constantly bleeding. I have done it so often, it hardly hurts anymore. I am embarrassed to go to a nail salon, and when my friends offer to do my nails at parties, I hurt their feelings by saying no, and then taking my hands from them. If people notice my torn up thumbs, I lie and say I cut them. I know people notice, and it is awful when i catch them staring at my thumbs. I am interested in becoming an actress, but i know i can never follow my dreams with my fingers torn up like this. I try and stop my self constantly, but i don't have any will power. Occasionally, i will wake up any the wounds on my thumbs and fingers will be partially healed, and i think to myself, this is it, time to stop, but i just reopen the wounds. Most of the time, i barely notice what Im doing until i draw blood or i hurt myself. Please help me stop.
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May 25, 2013

oh yeah me too i dont have any control and will poer to stop! :-(
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March 23, 2013

I am sitting here with band aids on with neosporine. I just cannot believe there are other people out there with this problem. I am embarrassed all the time and hide my hands. My thumb nails are so destroyed I cannot even get fake nails. My hair, make up and clothing is perfect to a T every day but my thumb nails are disgusting. I am a nervous nelly and cannot sit still for two seconds. I am 48 years old and my mother is constantly telling me to stop picking... I have been doing this for as long as I can remember.
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March 29, 2013

I have this too, I am In my thirties and have been doing it as long as I can remember, my thumbs are sore, to me they don't look too bad, I only realised that this was not normal today! When I got married this was a big fear for me also, I got acyrillic nails and I could not pick with them! It was great! I got them a couple of months before so that my thumbs healed up, I have kids now and they are not practical for my everyday life but my wedding pics look good! My son hates it when I pick, he tells me to stop and he's only six!
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March 29, 2013

And I only recently found out 1 month ago that when I pick at my eyelashes that a condition also! Seriously no one talks about this! I have both and just thought it was a bad habit! Thank you skin pick.com!
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May 20, 2013

After another weekend of picking the skin off around the cuticles on my thumbs and making them bleed I decided to google and found this site with people who have the exact same problem. I'm mid 40s, male and have been a picker and biter for at least the last 30 years. I managed to stop biting my finger nails about 12 years ago so my fingers have healthy and normal nails but this has made my thumbnail picking even worse (transferred the compulsion?) to the point that the nails themselves are warped and no longer grow straight. They are red with skin missing on the inside and cuticles and a constant source of shame. I have developed many ways of hiding my thumbs from people including my partner of 10 years who has never noticed them. My previous partner gasped in horror at the site of my thumbnails so I have been sure to avoid this since. I also have same level of compulsive disorder with my face and seem to always focus on one particular area... for 7 years it was in in-grown hair and cyst under my chin, now a cyst under my eyebrow which I cannot leave alone (the one under the chin has gone). Like others on this forum, my behaviour feels like one of a perpetual cycle - picking makes me feel that I am 'fixing' the affected area to achieve perfection, it makes it worse, and then I pick even more to fix the faults I have created. I know that I need to break the cycle but know I cannot do this without help. I was wondering if there existed any help/support groups out there?
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May 20, 2013

I've been picking my thumbs since I was little. I'm 36 now and I can still at any given time, especially in the winter, look down and see purple peeling nail beds and skin all down the sides. We tried medicated lotions and band aids but nothing works. I will agree, the only time I don't pick is if I'm wearing fake nails. I read somewhere there's a paint-on Nu-Skin or something that helps the skin lay down and regenerate but I figure I'd just pick at that too. My boyfriend is noticing me doing it a lot lately, and I've started to actually become worried there's an underlying issue especially after reading thru this site. I pick my thumbs, all my fingers, hangnails, any bumps on my body, my face, acne, it's not good. My face clears up and the scars go down but I'll have another monthly small breakout and make it that much worse messing with my skin, without even realizing I'm doing it. I pick at stickers, fingernail paint, anything around. I've resorted to cutting my nails short and paying attention to what my hands are doing. I'm also doing fake nails again this week to see if that helps my need to pick go away. I'm relieved to know some of you have found yourself able to get past it and stop! Thank you!
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May 21, 2013

Yeah I'm 17 and have the same problem and I only do it to my thumbs.Though there is no one I know or have ever met has this and I've tried to stop especially when I get embarrassed by my family commenting on it and making rude remarks.
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February 21, 2014

Male or female? Em ale? Try getting gel or acrylic nail, it stops me. They are thicker and I can't pull up,skin
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May 25, 2013

i agree! im 12 years old and i have been peeliing my fingers since i was 6. In my first school, BridleWood Public School, nobody knew i was picking my fingers. In my second school, nobody knew i was picking my fingers there either! (i was in grade 4 that time). i stayed there for a month then i moved to Sts.Cosmas and Damian. Through Grades 4-6 nobody knew... til grade 7. Ms.Nocera saw me peeling my fingers and she told my friends about it! and now 15 people know i pelel my fingers! Whenever Teresa ( my friend) saw me peeling my fingers, she would go to the office and get me 3/4 bandages! 2 on each side so i wont pick my fingers! and if i keep this up i will get infection and im might need a new hand. (a perfect cream to heal your thumbs is PolySporin Anti-Biotic Cream) put it on everyday for a week also put bandages on after you put the PolySporin Anti- Biotic Cream on and after a week your thumbs will be good as new)
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May 29, 2013

I'm 16 and I've been doing the same thing, but I can't remember when it started. It wasn't until recently I began to pick at just more than my skin on my fingers but also my eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, and even my scalp. My family doesn't really notice any of this either. My mom saw the aftermath one day after I had a field day with my eyelashes, but that was only because I take eye drops 3 times a day, so she was bound to notice sooner or later. My mom told me it wasn't normal and to stop because my eyelashes are there to protect me, but her pep talk didn't help much, she even said I looked like a freak but it hasn't stopped me yet. I can't really control any of this though. I know what I'm doing to myself, but I don't seem to care at the moment I'm actually doing it. I've literally bitten down all my finger nails and my thumbs, and parts of my other fingers, are super raw and sensitive to touch, I'm scared that I'm messing my fingers up, but I keep finding myself picking even though I have no nails to pick with now. I read somewhere that it's a way to keep your hands busy and your mind quiet, and they're right. The moment I was picking at my thumbs I was watching TV, and when the show was over I had a bunch of skin and nail bits all over my lap. It's getting worse, I know it is, but I don't really wanna tell anyone because they won't do anything anyways besides tell me I'm not normal and to stop, and to be honest, I wish it would be that easy. To just stop and be "normal".
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May 29, 2013

Also, today I had to use tweezers to actually get the job done with the skin around my thumbs because my nails have become too short and started to hurt after a half hour of picking at skin and nothing came along...The tips of my thumbs are beat red and aren't feeling to good about being stripped down a layer or two...
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May 29, 2013

I do this constantly to my thumbs as well. The only thing that seems to help is carrying around mini finger nail clippers. If I can clip the hang nail or skin before picking, I can sometimes stop.
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June 06, 2013

I have read so many of these comments and am utterly shocked and relieved at the same time. I am 40 years old and have more or less mutilated my thumbs to the point of no return. I have torn the cuticles, nail beds, nails and skin all around my nails to such a deplorable state. I can barely remember when my thumb nails didn't look this bad.... I have trashed my cuticles so badly that when my nails do grow, they are dented, ridged, deformed and horrible. I always have band aids with me to cover them up in emergency. The state of my nails/skin is so embarrassing and awful, I feel so ashamed. The rest of my nails are actually quite nice so it makes me even more self conscious because my thumbs truly stick out like a sore thumb!!!!! (excuse the pun, but it's fitting here) I really want them to grow back and have 10 lovely fingers, but I can't seem to stop. It's horrible. I recently got engaged and everyone wants to see the ring and all I can focus on is hiding my thumb by nearly making a fist. I've tried the fake nails, clear polish, etc, but nothing seems to really help. I always go back. I really feel awful about this. My father seems to have nearly the same problem, but he just rips the skin off the sides along the nail so that his thumb nails are arched and really narrow (but equally ugly). Has anyone tried anything with any success out there?? I'm so desperate to fix this...
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June 23, 2013

I have picked the outside of my thumbs for years and years. In fact there is no skin on each side of my thumbs all the way to the thumb joint. My thumbs scars are exactly symmetrical. Today I picked both until the scars are red, so I googled this problem and am here. Today I received some especially distressing news so it wasn't an unconscious act as it usually is. I hate having these disfigured thumbs so I really thought about what MAY cure it........................................................................................................................................... 1. Realize when you are doing it and more importantly WHY? I picked mine because of bad news and I don't remember picking when I've had good news so I think it is important to address the root cause............................................................................................. 2. Always clip the nails that you use to pick very low. Since I use my index finger's nail on the outside cut it at an angle to reduce picking ability................................................................................................ 3. Put tape around your fingers until the urge to pick subsides. I have medical 1/2" tape by 3M that I have used. Now you will be picking at the tape which feels ridiculous but at least it makes you aware............................................................................ I'm still looking for a cure but today provided the most important finding for me - WHY am I doing this to myself? Anxiety, depression, loneliness, regret, despair. Picking my thumb skin won't help any of those symptoms unfortunately, yet I pick like it will. Time to stop.
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July 03, 2013

Hi! I could never have imagined that there are umpteen number of people who suffer from the same problem! I started picking my thumb when I was seven... Both my parents were working so they never noticed! My sister was not too old either so even she ignored it! I used to hate my bad looking thumb... But could never stop! In 6th my best friend noticed it and said she would tell my mom..she told me not to pick again or she won't talk to me for a week.... I tried to stop but years went by but I just couldn't ...Now I'm 16..last year my mom and dad saw it and told my aunt who is a homeopathic doctor....since then I started asking myself how do I feel when I do it? Why do I realise when I've already done it... I noticed some of these things and told my aunt....1. I did it when I was idle like watching a movie or sitting in the class.... 2. When I peeled the skin I was so focused that my actual conscience mind was lost so deeply that I could only realise it when it started bleeding. THE FIRST THING THAT I DID WAS TELL EVERYONE AROUND ME THAT WHENEVER U SEE ME PEELING MY THUMB STOP ME!!!! because sometimes I myself did not know I'm doing it.... I applied a mixture of honey and turmeric and wrapped it with a piece of cloth just like a bandage... Trust me my thumb looked pretty ugly and the yellow tinge due to the turmeric made it look even worse but it heeled my thumb.... From then I regularly applied a homeopathic cream calendula and over it I applied petroleum jelly every night and the results were phenomenal! My dad used to say that If I don't stop then maybe they would have had to cut my thumb!! During my 2 months summer vacation I did this regularly and during the day applied pet. Jelly whenever my thumb felt dry and picky...now the 2 months are over! Just like all of u I never imagined I could see a perfect thumb ever.... i still apply petroleum jelly whenever it feels dry......but REMEMBER :GIVE IT TIME BECAUSE YOU,VE BEEN DOING IT FOR SOO LONG! I waited 2 months and did not pick in this time...... Whenever I felt the urge I covered my thumb with a bandaid or put pet. Jelly.... First of all tell ur family to stop u whenever they see u doing it...don't worry ! Ur no different !! If I can control myself for 2 months to finally see a normal thumb y can't u ??? Don't think because that satisfaction of seeing ur normal thumb is so much more than the one u get when ur picking... ALL THE BEST TO ALL OF U FROM MY HEART! :)
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November 20, 2013

I am 68 yrs old and began picking the skin around my thumb nails probably as a young teen, msybrt even younger, I don't know when exactly.I really enjoy picking and tearing and try to do it gently so it won't hurt. Sometimes I pick and tear for hours at a time...even lying in bed. I tape my fhumbs every day and nite, but always pick the tape off so I can start again. Sometimes I tape one thumb and pick the other one. I really love to do this! It feels good to me My thumb nails are not normal because I have damage the nail beds. I have been doing this alot for the past several months, before that I did it rarely. I do not know how to stop and feel I need God to intervene. I smoked many years ago, and the picking is kind of the same, bad for me but I enjoy it as long as they are not sore . I am under treatment for bipolar and depression and this picking is getting worse.

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