QUESTION: hello, so i've read some of the posts on here but i dont think i can classify myelf as a obbsessive skin picker, except for this one bad habit...so a couple years ago i dont know how it started but my middle finger on my left hand has one side of the cuticle bed next to my nail that is constantly hard like sandpaper, then it dries out and flakes off and at that point i start picking at it and i will pick and pull until all the hard skin is off leaving it red and raw flesh and bleeding and then i will repeat the process. i am a bad nail chewer and this is how i think it came to be. i am looking at a way to fix this problem, i just cant handle when its sandpaper feeling and hard...anyway to soften the skin? thanks
ANSWER: First off I'd say anyone who picks to the point it is a problem is a skin picker and all the general advice would apply to you. I don't know what would soften the skin but I have another approach for you. One great resource to try is Liquid Skin or NU Skin. It is a clear liquid that comes in a small bottle from any drug store. Paint two or three coats over the area when it is dry. It stings a bit but forms a smooth clear shell the breaks the picking cycle for many. Another way to use it is to put some on another neutral area and pick it off instead. It is not the answer for everyone, but has been very helpful for many. Of course using it as part of a comprehensive treatment program is best.
Ted A. Grossbart, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA