Cuticle picking problem

Hello I guess I'm the first one to post around here. I hope new folks will join soon... Anyhow I found this website by mistake while looking around the net for information about cuticle picking. I have been doing it since I'm a child, and never seized doing it. It's actually become a problem, since my fingers sometimes get to the point when it looks grotesque and ugly. I always thought that this problem I am having is just a bad habbit, but after I read stuff about it I begin to understand that it might be some inner turmoil inside me that has to do with it, and brings me to self distruciton will again and again. I notice that the picking picks in times of stress. Anyone has similar problem?
I just came across this post and, like others that have posted, it makes me feel relieved to know there are others like me out there. My brothers and I all have skin picking issues. One brother is obsessed with pimples and scabs on his face, the other brother and myself pick at our hands. I've been picking for most of my life. Recently, my husband has noticed how often I pick at the skin around my nails and has become irritated by it. He keeps telling me that I should just not do it. I tell him that most of the time I have no idea I'm even picking. It's definitely a coping mechanism for me. I pick when I'm stressed, nervous, or bored. While I pick at all of my fingers, I pick two the most. They look really bad now. My right ring finger and left middle finger are both swollen and scaly. When I have the time, I file them down but this just seems to make it worse. It causes inflammation, which makes me what to pick even more. It makes me sick that I do this and I have cried on several occasions out of frustration. I sure wish I would have stopped a long time ago because now I feel like I'm stuck with these gross, self-inflicted wounds forever.
Just to be like everybody else I too am glad that I'm not alone. I'm only 18 and I have this problem. I've tried to have a good think about what could be the underlying issue that causes me to pick but nothing ever comes to mind. I find around exam time they get really bad and in times of stress or sadness. My cuticles are red raw, covered in scabs, painful and I've started to pick into my actual finger pad too. I also found that acrylic nails stopped me from picking but as I play netball, every winter I have to have short nails. All my friends think I'm weird because I do this and I'm so embarrassed about how my hands look. Sometimes I hide them in a long jumper so no one can see them
I picked my cuticles for years and, after researching the disorder for a psychology class, found out that behavior modification is an effective treatment for some people. It worked for me, so I wrote a how-to article about it. If you would like to read it, it's posted at: http://www.ehow.com/how_7975725_stop-picking-cuticles.html It did take me several attempts over a few years and a couple of times of "falling off the wagon," so don't give up!
Male, 34, started with my right hand ring finger about 18 years ago. When I was about 23 a girlfriend noticed my one finger and urged me to stop. A few years later that finger was still bad if not worse and my thumb had the same problem. Now both thumbs and that fingers are very pistachio or washboard or whatever u call it. I pick the cuticles on all my fingers, but only 3 are really affected. It's likely because I go at those ones a little harder and damage the base. I'm not really a biter, I use objects. At home it's usually the cuticle clipper, and I think this helps to reduce the aggressive attacks. The problem is when I'm lost in thought at work, which is often, I don't even realize that I've picked up some objects and started to did. The worst of the objects are tacs, as I will go at the cuticle from the top and try to slice anything that's rough or uneven or just looks like a juicy piece of cuticle. Other times I will use scissors, and when desperate without an object I'll use whatever including a folder piece of thick paper. So many have suggested the bad tasting nail polish, which obviously won't help if I don't actually put my fingers in my mouth. After I have scarred up my nails or they grow out with ridges, they collect a little dirt which discolors them, so that they are a little yellow and almost look like they are a little fungal but are not. I'm a solutions man, I've solved my watch allergy problem and a few others but this one has escaped me since my early 20's. In order to lessen the appearance of bumpy discoloured nails I've used a filing technique to the surface of the nail. It works great as a temporary solution for a few days. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, as the nail gets soft in the shower, and I get a divot in the middle of my nail, which becomes discoloured with dirt and looks really bad. I am willing to try anything. Can Men go and get Acrylic nails cut short to look like a Man's nail? Bandaids help a bit, but they need to be replaced every few hours, and I hate the sweaty smell that appears in just a day of wearing a bandaid. If it wasn't for this I would wear them all the time, but they are just not practical, and really don't stay on the thumb well. Also, the bandaid will keep the skin soft, as soon as I take it off, it's so primed for picking I often can't help myself. I've never considered myself to have real anxiety or real ocd, but maybe this is the case. I guess I'm posting all this to see if anyone has any ideas for a solution to any of these problems. Or just answer how men go and get acrylic nails?
I first started picking dry skin on my lips when I was in elementary school. I stopped for a while, but started doing it again recently. If I have dry skin, I remove it. I pick at my cuticles and sometimes they turn red. I also have a drying condition on 1 foot where my skin drys off and I peel it off. I apply lotions because I am diabetic and my feet need to be taken care of. When I was a child and had sunburn, I enjoyed peeling the skin off. I don't know if this is a fetish, but I have a problem and want it to stop!
I'm 20 and I've been picking my cuticles for as long as I can remember but I think its been getting worse. My thumbnails are really weirdly ridged and awful looking from it. I've gotten good at hiding my hands but whenever someone notices they're revolted by it. My boyfriend only properly looked at my hands the other day and his reaction really upset me. I've tried so hard to stop but it's impossible. Even if I make it two or three weeks without picking I can't keep it up. I don't notice myself starting but once I've started I can't stop. My nails are so messed up now that I sometimes can't even pull the skin with my hands and I've started using tweezers or unbending hairpins to pick and pull bits or skin off. It's just so gross but I can't stop. I get a real physical feeling of anxiety if I leave any pieces of skin at all sticking out so it's pretty much an unbreakable cycle.
my name is rebecca, im 18 years old. and ive been picking since i was about 5. i have also tried to put fake nails on and it was alot harder to pick.. but one theyre off my fingers are picked down to the muscle. raw. its embarrasing and i hate it. after i shower or wash my hands they bleed really badly. and when i sleep..... well i shred my fingers. idk how it happens. i always wake up with bloody fingers. and ive been trying to stop my disorder for years. someone please help me :(
Your right it is a habbit. I've been picking at my fingers for many many years now, and for the longest time I thought I was alone. It gets worse in ttimes of stress and hardship. I also like to bite at the loose skin that I have picked, am I weird or are there more people outa on the world just like me? Huh?
i agree.. it does get alot worse when ur stressed. and when i cry. thats what i do to look down from everyone so i dont feel akward.
W.O.W. I had no idea other people suffered from this!!!! I just found this site and went yesterday for a manicure. I've kept my acrylic nails on for years to combat picking my cuticles until they bleed. I don't even realize I'm doing it when I have nails off. I just found out that I have to take them off for a few months because my nails/cuticles are in such bad shape after years of acrylics. I'm very nervous about not having my acrylic nails on because I will probably start to pick my cuticles again. I usually pick my cuticles until they bleed when I'm nervous or stressed. :(
I've been picking my cuticles ever since I was a young girl and I always wanted to have nice looking nails but I can't because of my cuticles. I was told that bad cuticles interferes with the nail growth also. I pick them to the point where they bleed. I am 57 y.o. and I had to get braces on my teeth and now that I can't bite my cuticles I still find objects to pick at them. Does anyone know of a good cream, oil, etc. that I could use. I notices I pick them most during the change of season.
Hi, I'm 19 and I'm a student living away from home for the first time. I've been biting my fingers around my nails for years, since primary school. I used to bite my knuckles as well but stopped that when i was about 15. My fingers however, I feel like I'm going to be doing it forever. I find it so embarrassing and I've tried so many things to stop. My family obviously notice it and my mum always has a go at me about it, but no one else has ever said anything even though i know they must have noticed. Even my bf hasn't said anything to me. now that I'm living alone i've noticed it getting so much worse. i really hate it :( I feel so stressed out all the time and I know that's why it's getting worse, the urge is just too strong to stop. My mum just tells me its a bad habit I need to get out of but i know that it's more than that cos I feel like my teeth need to bite my fingers and my fingers feel weird when I try to stop myself. It's definitely getting out of hand.
I can completely relate. Its weird how people so close to you are able to watch you doing something so destructive to yourself but not take it seriously enough to help you properly. You know, I have read through everyone's comments on this site and I have tried every single idea that has been given. I lived by my acrylics for years because they make your nails too thick to be able to pick and they look so good that you feel too great about your hands to pick, although, I soon discovered that I could use my teeth instead, as well as tweezers. The other downfall was that I got a fungal problem as a result of my hands being constantly in water ( I am a mother of two and work in a bar) so my real nails (the very things I was trying to preserve!) were starting to lift so I had no choice but to take the false nails off to save my real ones. Once my acrylics were off I was back to square one, constantly stressing myself out over how ridiculous and disgusting I was to be picking, biting and tearing the skin around my nails for reasons that still somehow escaped me. The "moisturising cream" thing - definately helps. So does the "keeping nail clippers handy" idea - helps also. As does the "false nail" idea - although, you cant keep those things on forever, and believe me, I am living proof that old habits never die...which leads me to my idea. I'm thinking that if you have a habit like this, or something else that you know is way beyond your control then perhaps it makes more sense to find what is triggering such a behaviour rather than just trying to fix the "surface".I Iust think that if I am lucky enough for one of the above suggested ideas to work for me, I know that the underlying cause of my aweful finger picking problem is still there, and may possibly show itself in yet another way that I will yet again have to spend my time and energy having to deal with. I don't know why I pick. I know that it makes me feel aweful, embarressed and unattractive which is something I don't want want to feel. I must be angry at myself for something. Ill look inside for a solution instead of concentrating on the surface and let you all know if I have any luck....my goodness I can talk! I hope I haven't been completely useless to you all....I desperately want this to end!!
Just found this website, looking for tips to help control the picking compulsion. In my case it's a recent development, a side effect of one of my medications, either vyvanse or lamictal. I pick my cuticles and more recently started on my knuckles. I noticed a few posts from people who suddenly developed the problem, and thought the information about side effects might be useful. My daughter developed a hair pIucking compulsion when taking Vyvanse, her doctor found another med, but so far nothing works or me as well as Vyvanse. I know other people on various mood and ADD meds who've developed tics and compulsions, so look into side effects (ask your pharmacist, the doctors don't know as much about drug side effects).
WOW, this just explained a lot to me. I cant stop w my fingers even after it is absolutely painful... Has never made sense but oh well... When I was a kid my mom always had to keep my hair SUPER SHORT bc I would pull it out. Until age 8 my hair was long enough to look like a girl, short enough that I couldnt get enough space to twirl and pull... I guess the compulsion had always been there I just fixated on y fingers after the hair... I work at a plant, where bandaids HAVE to be the SHINNY BLUE Metal detectable type... so it is hard to hide them... I DID do the "medical tape" around ALL fingers while in school during finals week. I looked crazy but it kept me from my fingers... id mess w the tape and whenever it would fall from picking at it... id wrap it again and start over. It helped a lot... but I cant show up to work w taped fingers =S I loved finding this site.. i didnt even know there was a name for this.
I MAY HAVE HELP FOR YOU! I used to do this for years and made myself quit with the help from a few products. I always kept Aveeno hand cream with me and applied it every time i washed my hands. I used a Revlon metal nail file to file smooth my cuticles whenever i got the urge to pick. They are a little more expensive, but worth your money!! For the nails I picked at most, I kept bandaids on them 24/7 and before long, I got perfectly smooth skin! Some of my hands are a little pink around the nails still which will take alot longer to go away. if it helps, you may want to clip your nails short so its almost impossible to pick at anything, but i found this too frustrating. Good luck!!!
I never had much of a nail biting or cuticle picking problem until this summer. I'm 54 so strange that it should start so late in life. My wife used to do it a lot but has not for some time. I believe the problem began while working on a huge lawn recovery project all summer. Wearing work gloves almost every day for weeks irritated my cuticles in some way. I began to pick at them to "fix" them and got caried away. Now it's a constant issue for me several months later. To prevent infection I rub in some triple anitbiotic ointment in the morning and at night. I also rub in Burt's Bees cuticle balm most days. These actions help keep the cuticle healthy but they are still targets of frequent "attack" by tooth and finger nail weapons. Reading all your comments is somewhat helpful and I will use my will power in the future to reduce the attacks. Sounds a little weird maybe but if I think of my cuticles as helpless children who need someone to fight off constant attacks from bullies then I might feel I am being protective of them. Maybe my natural instincts to protect the helpless will defeat the sinister cuticle attacker inside me. I'll keep you posted...
As many before me have said-thankful to know I'm not alone. I was reading comments just to see if anyone had a cure for it and I saw someone's post about therapy. I did see a therapist because of this one problem, nervous that I was possibly suffering OCD or that maybe she could help-according to the therapist I saw, she said it was just a nasty habit. I'd be curious if anyone else had seen anyone for help and if they had said anything. She said she blamed anxiety, but that it was a habit that had just been learned over the years and relied on. Unfortunately no cure for me yet. There are times when I can go up to a week without touching my cuticles, but it's nothing permanent. I've been reading up on ways to quit bad habits. A big thing they said was rewarding yourself. I tell myself all the time that if I can stop i'll reward myself with a really pretty manicure where my nails will look beautiful, because I have nice nails and ugly cuticles-and I can't bring myself to get a manicure because of the pure embarrassment. So nothing for me yet :(. Best of luck to you all..
Does anyone pick their cuticles to the point they're picking around to the pads of their fingers? Hope I don't need to be finger printed any time soon.
I do that on my thumb and index fingers. The worst part is that i will pick all the way up to my knuckles on most of my fingers. Having neosporin and bandaids are a must... People ask me why i have bandaids on my fingers, and its hard to explain this type of convulsion. :( A few times this semester i picked my thumb until it bled. Thankfully i had tissues in my backpack, and just wrapped it around my thumb thinking no one would really care/ask. I've tried wearing gloves. My boyfriend gives me a glare when he sees me picking, and he will sometimes ask me "whats wrong" or grab my hands for me to stop. And i almost have a slight panic attack because I could not finish picking that last little strip of skin. Its so intrusive in daily life. ._.
I've done that and had to be fingerprinted a week later. When the woman saw my finger prints, she looked at my fingers with clear disgust and said I had to come back once they were healed to do it again. It was highly embarrassing. And of course, to cope, I picked more.
I have been biting my nails and picking and biting at the skin around them for as long as I can remember (I'm in my late 30's now). I guess I'm really lucky that I don't have terrible scars, though the skin is now rather pink around a few of my nails. I could probably still grow my nails out and have "normal" looking hands if I really wanted to. I almost always have one or two fingers that have scabs on them, though. I don't even realize I'm doing it most of the time, though I will often chew and pick at them until they bleed. I never even thought much about it being a "disorder", other than possibly a nervous habit, until recently. I remember picking at the bottom of my feet as a child, but I stopped doing that many years ago.
I'm so glad I'm not alone in this. I've picked, bit, and torn my cuticles raw for as long as I can remember. I can remember leaving the movie theater on several occasions having blood streaming down my hands and not even realizing that I had been doing it. I hate that I do this and have tried so hard to stop. There comes to a point where the cuticles start to heal and become dry when I can not resist the urge to pick. There's a method to my madness and I find myself using tools (cuticle cutter, tack, pin) to help execute this filthy habit to my satisfaction; I'm repulsed by myself when I'm like this. It is both physically and emotionally painful yet relieving at the same time and I have not been able to shake it although I've tried. I have tried bandaging them which leaves me with one unbandaged finger which ends up being more embarrassing than the cuticle picking itself. I have tried hand wax treatments and medicated lotion but nothing stops me. It seems out of my hands which is so frustrating and makes me feel as though my ability to control my actions is completely out of whack. I'm not a nail biter really, it's just my cuticles that seem to suffer. My family and friends recoil at the sight of my swollen, red, and scabbed fingers and it's humiliating attempting to explain this bizarre and completely irrational habit. Working in a customer service position where I am constantly shaking hands and helping clients fill out paper work has made this so much harder to deal with it. I always thought it was a coping mechanism but it's become clear that it's so much more than that and I have lost complete control. I'm uncomfortable holding hands with my boyfriend, getting my nails done, and partaking in everyday tasks that others would consider trivial. Counting my money to give to a waiting cashier makes me not only anxious but judged and embarrassed. I can't keep living like this, I've tried everything. I need some advice that can stop this once and for all, I'm tired of failing time and time again.
Hello, I just wanted to let you know I have possibly found a cure for the skin-picking problem. Or at least, a solution to control it. I have been picking at my thumbs for about 15 years (I am 30 now) with very nasty results- scars, fingers always bleeding and injured- and the whole aspect of my thumbs was just entirely horrific and disgusting. Because I now work in a environment where my hands are seen and I get in contact with a lot of people, I started to feel very embarassed when some people just made faces while looking at my fingers :( or even turned their eyes away I decided I had to do something to stop or control the problem at least in some way. So, after reflecting for a while I realized that if I had sometinhg on all my nails or around my nails, something like a foreign-object-feeling on my fingers, I would not concentrate on the skin-picking but on the strange feeling around the fingers and I would probably stop pulling the skin off. So I decided I had to try some acrylic false nails, some sturdy ones, that would turn my attention away from the skin that tempted to be ripped. And, fortunately for me, it worked perfectly. I could no longer pick because the false nails have no sensitivity of are not fine enough to detect the small pieces of skin that you use when you start to pick and....I stopped. Officially, no picking for about 16 days now and still no sign of the embarassing habit going back. I hope it stays that way. I now see that false nails have worked for others too, although those were mostly nail-bitting people....but I believe the two are in some way connected. Anway, it is worth trying, as means of limiting the picking. It seems you simply cannot pick with false nails..... Of course, the solution is, unfortunately, only applicable to the female pickers :( , but I hope it helps at least one other person than me. And one more thing: first get the nails longer, at least a few days, until the urge to pick settles a bit. Than you can also use the shorter nails.
I tried the acrylic and I just picked at that and I tried putting on false nails myself and picked at them.
Hi, i'm new here. I do this to an extreme where my fingers gush blood, I give myself infections, and have caused nerve damage to the point where I feel like i've broken bones in my fingers. I'm trying therapy but in the meantime I thought i'd share some things that somewhat help. Clear tape around cuticles at all times Moisturize hands to prevent hangnails Also - I wear latex gloves a lot for work so being sure to wash really well afterwards because the powder can be irritating and make me want to pick. Keeping busy in general. Have a pad and paper to doodle on while watching tv.etc and just try to always be doing something with your hands. I also pick my lips so if it's something two handed that helps for that too. I'll admit, these things are hit and miss and I have to be strict with them because when i'm not, I end up like I am now with freshly peeled lips and blood soaked bandages on all but three fingers and 5 toes. :/
I used to be fixed on tearing away at my big toes, I'd clip the nail away real deep on one side and it'd end up growing back out wrong and cause it to bleed and scab up then I'd pick at that until the scab was gone. I'd do this about everytime I clip the nail down, I stopped doing it and I'm careful not to clip the nail too short now. I hope you learn to stop soon. :)
Omg...I thought my brother and I had to be the only people in the world who pick..he also bites, and peel. Me on the other hand..I have a serious problem!! I cant stop stabbing and digging in three main cuticles... My inner thumb, pointer, and middle fingers...not to mention, I love digging the inner corners of my big toes...I feel sooo bad but it seems like it feels so amazing. The sensation I get is unbelievable, mesmerizing, and hypnotizing...I really need help. I'm so ashamed of my hands! They look terrible...I always find ways to dig and stab.. I even let my pets nibble on those fingers...and i always have to stab them with sharp objects.. and the worst part of it all is when I try to stop..I fell this incredible urge and tingle in those areas to dig..smh!!!!!!!!
I am SO GLAD I FOUND THIS SITE!! I thought it was just me. My husband will put his hands on my hands when I am just sitting there reading, studying, watching TV, whatever, to try to get me to stop pulling and picking the skin on my cuticles. And I CANNOT STOP!!! Solar nails DID help me, but they present other problems. I suppose I need to have those put back on because they did reduce the picking. The nails prevented me from picking the skin on my feet, also. I have picked for as long as I can remember. I think my face was first. I had MILD acne, but it was persistent. I thought it would go away if I just squeezed it (even though I really did know better), and it made it worse. After four different antibiotics, the dermatologist put me on Accutane to get rid of it once and for all. It worked. Next was the skin on my lips (and I have been doing that again some lately). I bite it and pull it off with my teeth. I really don't know I am doing it. Lipstick makes it worse, and aquaphor helps a LOT! This summer when we were on vacation, I pulled all of the skin off the bottom of my right foot. I think it was helping me relax. Weird, huh? On vacation...you would think I would be able to relax. But my cuticles are the worst. Aquaphor does help them, too. I keep Neosporin on them as much as possible. I do wash my hands about 40-50 times per day, so that probably makes my cuticles dry, too. I have some things going on....more about that later. But I want to know what makes me pick and how to stop once and for all. It is gross and I really do hate doing it. I apparently love doing it, too, because it must provide some sort of relief. I read in another post where someone did not like scabs, etc. I am the exact same. I have an awful chicken pox scar in my head because I picked at the place for about two years when I was seven years old. I don't want anything rough on any part of my body or it just has to go! I don't want scabs (although I don't pull them off, but I used to). I need to be able to just feel smooth, blemish free skin. Maybe someone on here can correspond with me so we can help each other deal?
ME!!! I pick and bite at my cuticles something awful. It is so embarassing, but I just can't stop. I HATE the way my hands look. I have a very ugly raised red callus on my right index finger which takes up most of my first knuckle. There is also a callus on my left thumb, but it is not as bad as the right finger. It is horrible to feel like I have no control over it even though I really don't want to do it. I showed my mom my hands and she said I always would chew or pick my fingers. Maybe I will look into getting some cotton gloves I can wear all the time I am not at work. I do pick a lot at work though, so I would have to come up with something there. I also suffer from depression and more than occasional anxiety, and I am a lip and zit picker. Luckily my boyfriend doesn't harrass me about it, or even seem to notice, and I am sure he would help me if I asked for help.
Please see my comment above!
As a child I was a bad nail biter. My parents put all kinds of ointments and creams on my nails to make me stop, but I would eventually get used to the gross taste and bite anyway. And then one day I stopped biting and started picking my cuticles. I do it, my Mom does it and both my sisters do it. We all have beautiful long nails, but with open sores around our nails from picking our cuticles - I laugh to myself when we are all in the same room together talking and I notice we are all doing it simultaneously without realizing it. In an effort to stop I put acrylic nails on for the past three years. Since I had no feeling, I couldn't pick my cuticles, so instead I started picking at the nails underneath the acrylics weakening them and making them pop off and ruining my bi-weekly manicures. The constant hand movement and loud clicking was driving my husband crazy and he recently said to me "You aren't ever going to stop picking at your f***ing nails are you?". I often don't realize I am doing it. So, I just removed my acrylic nails to stop the loud clicking sound and within days only three fingers have been spared of my incessant cuticle picking - the rest are a bloody mess with loose scraggly skin around them. I thought seeing my nice new cuticles would keep me from picking but not so - the urge and sensation to pick was too great. I keep putting cream on my hands to soften the cuticles but it doesn't last long. I started wearing cotton gloves at night while watching TV, but after a while they get tight and I lose circulation sometimes. I am picking right now as I type. I don't think I will ever stop.
Wow! I can't convey the relief I feel at finding this site. I have picked my cuticles since High School and thought it was just some weird habit of mine. I haven't seen a doctor about it yet, but have been considering it. What would you suggest first? A derm or a therapist? I pick them until they bleed and my husband is constantly telling me to stop chewing on my hands. I pick with my teeth and fingers. Has anyone tried the stuff you put on your nails to stop bitting them?
Wow! I am glad I discovered this site and am reading all these comments. Yours, in particular, sounds very familiar. I do exactly what you do!! I think it is a need to "fix" all the ragged edges whicih, in the end, are never fixed!! I have such scar tissue now that I wonder if I will ever have normal skin. Thanks for your comments!!
Okay Cuticle picking problem is far from my ONLY picking problem: - cuticles til the bleed and sore and look terrible even though my nails grow beautiful and long. - I picked a whole in my head in fifth grade - scabs are not a good thing for me to have. - I never had pimples as a kid but as an adult I do so guess what - pick them - I have scarred myself terrible. My whole thing is not necessarily feeling a sense of grooming but more about feeling. I can't stand lumps, scabby feeling stuff, white dead skin on nails etc. I pick until smooth and then I feel better. I wish I could STOP!!!!! I even say STOP IT- just this last one pick and no more - yeah right!
Has anyone been to a therapist about this cuticle picking problem? I have been a nail biter/cuticle picker since I was a little kid and have been through many phases where it's gotten better, but the habit always comes back. I'm at the point where I feel that I need professional help with my head, not just the physical habit. My main problem is that I pick my cuticles with my fingers when it's not a good time to have my fingers in my mouth, but anytime I'm able I use my teeth to bite the cuticle (and nails as well), trying to "fix" them. Any little thing that feels rough or ragged HAS TO come off. I have a little manicure kit and i do try to use the cuticle nipper sometimes, rather than biting, but usually I only do that when I've been gnawing and picking at my fingers all day and they're still not "fixed". Luckily I'm not one of those people that chews their nails down to the quick - I have long nail beds and they look gorgeous during the short periods I'm able to stop. Another thing that worries me is that since I do use my teeth to pick my fingers, I might make myself sick or get an infection in my hands. It hasn't happened yet, but it's still a concern. I recently got engaged and have this beautiful ring - and it's mortifying to have to show it off knowing that people are looking at the whole picture of my hand, not just the ring. I am desperate to stop this compulsion completely as soon as I can so that my hands will do my beautiful ring justice, and so that I can be rid of the shame and stress this is causing me in addition to the anxiety and stress caused by planning a wedding. If anyone has ever seen a psychologist about this problem, I'd love to hear your feedback. I'm not thrilled about the expense of going this route, but honestly I'll do anything at this point.
I am very glad I came across this site, and pretty encouraged that so many other people have this problem. I have had a cuticle picking problem for years, and it doesn't seem to satisfy me unless I bleed. I have really never known why I do this, and no matter how bloody and sore my fingers are, I just keep picking and peeling my skin off. As I am typing, I have bandages on 3 of my fingers with the blood showing through them. I always thought that this was a mindless habit, like nail biting or hair-twirling. It seems like more, though. My fiance hates it and thinks of it as a form of self-mulitation. I'm not sure what to think of it. Anyone else have a similar story?
Yup, me too. I am 54 and have done this all my life. I've read it's a form of OCD - over-grooming. This is why some people will pick or pluck or scratch other areas of their bodies - always looking for "perfecting" that area. My dad used to say (he had it too - runs in the family) "I picked that cuticle piece all the way to my elbow." Other people in my family over groom other areas. Mine is the cuticle picking. Bit my nails when I was very young. Quit that a long time ago. I have beautiful long nails and ugly red cuticles!
I was so excited to run across this site. I have been plagued by picking my cuticles since I was a child and am now 45 years old. I work in the medical field and cannot afford to have open sores on my fingers, but I cannot stop picking. Sometimes when I look at my fingers and they look great, I know it won't last long and the picking will begin again. I cannot see a piece of dry skin and not pick it off, as hard as I might try to stop myself. When I begin picking I have to pick until that piece is picked completely off, even if that means I have caused intense pain or bleeding. I realize this is so sick and am just realizing that this might be a type of OCD. I do take Prozac, which I just started about 6 months ago, but not because of this but because of some muscle aches and pains I was experiencing, and headaches. I believe it has helped to some extent. I also have no problems when I am wearing acrylic nails and I almost laughed out loud when I read that on other posts. There are others in my family that pick like me; my son, my brothers, my dad, and my nephew, so feel there is some genetic factor involved. Let me know what works for others to stop this awful habit. I have tried Burt's Bees, which helps if you continually put it on. I have grabbed the little jar and rubbed it on my fingers when I had the urge to pick, but it is greasy and not too practical when trying to study and turn pages in a book. One of my fingers is especially bad tonight and I just cannot leave it alone. Thanks for listening.
I also work in the medical field. I'm 65 and I have been fighting picking almost all my life. But within the last few months, I've been able to cut down long enough to have OK looking fingers and nails. I have been in therapy for 9 years. My therapist never said a word about how my hands looked or even mentioned she noticed that my cuticles were damaged and red from bleeding. I take medication for an anxiety disorder, an SSRI and an anti-anxiety med. I chew and pick my cuticles when my anxiety level is high. The medication reduces the anxiety so that I can stop for about 24 hours at a time. I have a few other ways to help myself: instead of allowing my cuticles to grow, I use a good cuticle scissors. Otherwise the roughness of a loose piece of cuticle will begin the picking. I use rubber gloves for long cleaning jobs. The loose soft skin from soaking can begin the picking. I chew gum. I eat something crunchy. I use zinc oxide (just like the baby ointment) to reduce the redness of my skin where I have drawn blood. It dramatically reduces the redness overnight. If I have to dress up or go out to a place where someone will notice my damaged fingers, I use flesh colored make up (Cover Girl is good) on my cuticles. It also aids healing them. I then feel more relaxed in public and less likely to attack my fingers in public. Picking is a symptom of a larger problem but in itself it is not life threatening. I do not get more colds, flu etc. from infection than other people. It is a habit I learned to reduce my anxiety when I was very young. It reminds me to wash my hands. It is not harmful like drugs, over- eating, or smoking. It is only embarrassing and reminds me to be mindful of my stress level, to slow down, take my meds, stay in therapy and be kinder to myself. Find a kind councillor and be kind to yourself.
I thought i was such a weirdo until i found this site. OMG I have been picking for about 15 years now i starrted by chewing thew inside of my cheeks since i was a kid but then i moved on to this... (i still chew my cheeks sometimes too.) I am on 3 antidepressants and still nothing. sometimes i pick until i bleed and then wear bandaids to hide it. i know my friends at work probably wonder why i have bandaids on all the time. i am hoping that just rewading some posts and being able to write about this will help me. i seem to be worse lately because i am not happy with my life and i have no friends outside of work and i am stressed and bored. right now i am trying really hard not to pick and i want to get a manicure to see if that helps. i just can't take it anymore!
I am going to get acrylic nails put on tomorrow, even though I hate what they do to my own nails, because it helps me stop picking. In my profession I cannot afford to have open sores on my fingers but they really don't want nurses to have fake nails either. So, I guess I'm going to get them anyway and just keep them short. I figure it's better to not have sores. We'll see, but I was glad to know I wasn't the only "weirdo" that does this.
hi im 27 coming up for 28 soon and i have bein picking since i was a child far as i can remeber im soo over the moon i found this site skin pick i know now im not along n a freak . my mum used to always say to me that my fingers would fall off if i dident stop picking . still from this day forward i still do it but its mostly my arms i pick and time to time its my fingers if i have any scabs i find it really hard to stop it gets to the point now were i have to sit on my hands to stop me from picking but it dont always work .n i pick till i bleed then i stop then i just do it again . every soo often my partner catches me n tells me to stop it . and im like i cant its a bad happit i used to always think that . sum time i pick till i cant pick any more . sum times my arms look a mess n i need to wear long levess or wear a zipper soo i dont pick its when my arms are coverd that when i dont pick . and when my arms are uncoverd i dead to pick n find it really hard not to . can plx any one give me any advice . is their anything for it . i feel is if i get older it may get alot worse .
Hi everyone - Nice to know there are others out there that do this. I'm a sales-rep and find myself picking in the car, in meetings, at home, visiting with friends, etc. I've done this forever, and I hate it. There is nothing worse than a client grabbing your hand and saying, "Wow, what's wrong with you?" I do take an SSRI and have found no improvement in picking. I HAVE found that acrylic nails do wonders to stop the problem; however, I play the guitar and can't play with the acrylics. I have found one more thing that some of you may like to try: I found at a beauty supply store callus remover and artificial pumice, made by "Mr. Pumice." In the morning in the shower I put a small amount of callus remover on each finger and sore and cuticle and then scrub each like crazy with the pumice. It has the same satisfying feeling that the picking does, and leaves each finger extremely smooth. Then finish with a thick cream after drying hands. To those of you that can afford having nails put on, do it. Your problem will stop. Good luck everyone.
wow! i was looking on the web for reasons why my nails (specifically my thumb nails) have ridges and look so disgusting...in my search i determined that trauma to the nail bed can cause this. when i was 13 i started getting acrylics put on my nails and once i stopped around age 15 i began "picking"! picking like crazy only my thumb nail cuticles. i too pick till they bleed... use tools to get to that hard to grab piece of cuticle and continue to pull and pick even when it hurts and i know it will bleed. i've often wondered if this is why my nails look the way they do. i dont pick any other cuticles and all my other nails look fine. i've tried to file down these terribly ugly ridges on my nails, use creams, and wear band aids to hide both my ugly nails and even uglier, red and puffy cuticles. i've never met anyone else who does the same thing. and i'm so embarrassed that i keep my thumbs tucked into my fists to keep people from noticing. what do i do? i need help! does anyone else have this weird nail issue as a result of picking? i'd like to know if the two are related.... HEEEELP!
im glad im not the only one. i constantly pick at my thumbs untill they're raw and start to bleed. even now as im writing this i have a bad urge to pick at them. i feel helpless i also have tried band aids, lotion, clipping off excess skin with a nail clipper, and the only thing that really helps me to not pick at my skin is too acrylic nails. i constantly look at other people's hands and i wish i had pretty hands like them. ugh i just want some way of cutting this out!!! the funny thing is whenever i do pick at my skin i know i need to stop but i just can't bring my self to stop!
I also pick my cuticles until they bleed! I have never seen anyone else with fingers that look as bad mine, so I am glad that there are other people out there that have the same problem. I have noticed that my mother and grandmother also do the same thing (not to the extent that I do). I have tried everything (neosporin/bandaids, baby oil/lotion and gloves, etc.) and the only thing that has helped me is having acrylic nails put on. The nail is too thick to break the skin. It keeps my cuticles from being attacked. The first time I get them on, it hurts really bad, but it goes away by my next appointment. The downside is the minute they come off my nails, I start to pick at my cuticles again. I am willing to try anything that will help, if there are any other suggestions!
I found this forum over the weekend and just joined. I didn't realize how many others go through this. Just tonight, I talked to my T more honestly about what I do. It didn't gross him out like I thought it would. Anyway, neosporin and bandaids are how I heal my fingers temporarily...what also helps is having solar nails because they are too thick to break skin but then I found my cuticle cutter. I should throw that away I guess.
Man-O-Man - I thought I was the only "freak" who self-destructs their hands like this. Ever since I can remember, I have chewed my thumbnails and shredded the cuticles on the thumbs - I mean down to the nubs and blood. Like more than 20 years, okay? The other eight fingers fare well, except I keep the nails very short (with my teeth). Not TOO short, though. I'd love to find a way to stop this nonsense. My co-workers and friends are wigged out. Sigh.
I was just looking on line for some kind of cuticle cream that might make my dryness go away so I will stop picking. I couldn't believe it when I saw that other people have this problem too. I always thought it was from being nervous, bored, etc. I have stopped off and on picking my cuticles and when they heal, they look beautiful. After I got divorced I stopped picking for a long time. Then I started again. I am so embarrassed about it, i try to hide my hands. I always see women with beautiful hands and nails and I get so angry with myself. I have long nails but they look awful when I pick my skin around them. I also had acrylic nails put on a few years ago and it did stop me from picking. But then I let them grow out because I have beautiful nails without ruining them with acrylics. When I started picking again non stop, I decided to get acrylics again. This time, I was able to pick with them. Now I am in the process of letting them grow out. I find that when I get manicures every couple of weeks, I tend not to pick because my handls look so much better after the cuticles have been cut by a professional. I put solar oil on my cuticles and baby oil with aloe in it on my hands every morning and let it soak in. My hands are so dry. I work with a lot of paperwork and I think that makes them dry too. It's good to know there are others like me around. It's so embarrassing. My father also picked his cuticles and I thought I inherited this bad habit. Neosporin does help if you rub it into your cuticles before you go to bed, it helps the soreness from the picking. I just want some medicine to make it go away -- I don't want to go see a therapist about it. I know I can stop - I have before many times. Once I stop, I am good to go for a long time, but when I start up again, I can't stop.
For information on the skin picking disorder (Dermatillomania), symptoms, causes and treatment methods, get the Complete Guide to Skin Picking Disorders.

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