im 20 and ive been eating my finger skin all my life.

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January 11, 2009

This is so cool, i thought i was the only person in the world with this terrible problem. I'm 15 years old, and i've bin eating the skin on my fingers since i was 5 or 6...Like you it started off with me biting my finger nails. one day i decided i wanted to stop biting my nails, and decided to eat the skin on my fingers instead... i've tried to stop so many times, but its like i need to do it...when im stressed its my comfort,when im mad, it calms me down... when im bored it entertains me, it just is like an addiction i have.... i hate how my finger look though, especially when they're wet, it looks so disgusting. unlike you i dont eat the skin on my scabs, but i do eat the skin on my lips also...its sooo weird when i think about it!!! i really want to stop...but then again, i dont think i can...:(
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January 21, 2009

Sounds just like me! I haven't been eating or picking for 1 hour and 25 mins! We can do it! Tara B Stay Strong! Hope is not the closing of your eyes to the difficulty, the risk, or the failure. It is trust that- If I fail now - I shall not fail forever; and if I am hurt, I shall be healed . It is trust that Life is good. love
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January 06, 2010

Hi, i can totally relate and i felt like i was the ONLY one with this problem. I started when i was really young biting my nails and after stopping that habit i began biting the skin on my fingers....HOW and WHY i started i could not tell you. It's really weird and embarrassing but for some reason i can't seem to stop completely. I usually do it when i'm stressed, or have alot on my mind, it's such a weird addiction that i can not tell anyone but my mom knows. At first i was biting the skin off the first three fingers(nuckles, sides) and then at one point i stopped for like a year. I started getting really stressed out with school and started back again, only this time i just bit the first finger and sometime the top of the middle finger. It's so crazy b/c i find myself doing it without even thinking and it frustrates me bc i hate what it does to my fingers. When i did stop i kept myself busy working out and occupied. The crazy part is when i'm around someone, i don't even do it b/c it's quite embarassing but every once in a while i might catch myself trying too. One thing i will suggest to stop that helped me once was to wear gloves as much as possible that way you won't have accessibility to them. Also try to get involved in something that keeps you occupied. The good thing about the skin is it will grow back. Good luck
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January 28, 2009

I can totally relate. I've been biting my fingers as long as i could remember as well an im 28yrs old. Im still working on trying not. Finding this group has helped me a lot. Just reading and knowing that im not alone. I haven't even been a member for a day while i write this. LOL. But i've spent my whole day focussed on findig somthing that i haven't spent much time biting. So i hope that this is going to be a start of healing so i can focuse on taking my day at a time.
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February 02, 2009

Wow, I can't believe there is a site for this! I am a mom, my 6 year old daughter first started biting her nails and I guess when we told her not to she started biting her skin of the tops of her fingers. I can't help but think this is a stress disorder I may have have caused due to bad parenting. Did any of you have a stressful upbringing and do you think it may have led to your skin biting? Please help me help my girl.
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February 04, 2009

I to started to pick when I was 6 years old. I did have stress in my life. My grandfather at the time was dyeing from cancer and he was the only father I had in my life. I was being touched by an older man everyday. Lots of stress for a 6 year old.
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February 06, 2009

Hi! An obsession with fingers - I can relate to that. But eating? I believe that's called Dermatophagia (http://www.fingerfreak.com/related-disorders-and-habits/dermatophagia). Are you bored? Being a housewife, pregnant again can bring on some serious boredom, dissociative thoughts, and even depression - all a perfect reason to pick and bite at (and eat!) your fingers. Consider seeing a therapist for a few sessions to see if there's some mental cause of it. -- fingerfreak http://www.fingerfreak.com
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January 13, 2010

Thanks for the sight!
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February 06, 2009

I am 25 and I use my fingernails to pick around the skin above and around my fingernails, sometimes I bit and eat, but usually I just pick. I have done this for as long as I can remember. I have been trying to stop for years but I haven't been able to quit for more than a couple weeks at a time. Up until recently, I never even thought about what it must look like to other people. I try to hide it but it is such a natural thing for me to do. I pick while at work, when I'm bored, or when I'm stressed. I usually pick to the point where I make myself bleed and I have to carry kleenex in my pocket while I'm at work (Ew! That makes me sound so freakish!) I also bite and eat the skin on my lips. Sometimes I cut my fingernails really short, to the point where it is painful, because I know I will stop for at least a day or two. I did have a stressful childhood and I spent a lot of time alone. I'm thinking it was some sort of coping mechanism for me and now it is more of a nervous habbit. Never would have thought there would be a website for this problem! Good luck to everyone!
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February 06, 2009

Hey everyone, For all you moms and moms to be out here, there's a really good reason to stop these bad habits! --- mine is a tad different since I'm a face and body picker, but not a nail skin picker, but I'm sure we're still pretty much the same! So I've been a crazy picker for about 12 years... and where did I learn how to do it???? My MOM! she wasn't a crazy picker like me or anything, but that's where is started. I'd see her pick something on herself, or if I had a pimple she'd pick it for me. Soon enough I'd start noticing things that could be picked, made it a habit, learned to enjoy it... and you know the misery that follows! So your children learn from you, obviously, but not just how you act and what you say, but they also learn the little things that you do. Even at a very young age! So is it enough then for some of you ladies to work at quitting so that you don't pass this onto your children and have them 20 years from now on this same forum, feeling cruddy like we all do now? For myself, I'm breaking my habits which is great, but I think it's helped that I've always known that I can't do this once I'm a mom, and that time is coming sooner than later... Hope this helps someone! It's helped me!
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February 17, 2009

I am a mother to a 5 year old girl who is biting chunks out of the skin on her fingers and toes. She has been doing this for months and I am devastated by the damage she is doing to herself. I can't believe there are so many people who do this and that there is a medical name for it. I have tried all sorts from bribery to punishment and from reading the comments on this page I will agree that none of this has worked and that the problem has just got decidely worse. I will be taking her back to the doctor now and will not accept that it is just a "habit" as I was told it was. Knowing there are others like me makes me feel a little bit better.
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June 22, 2009

I am 26 (male) and I have been a notorious nail biter for ever. Recently I have stopped biting my nails as people point out it's discusting. However, I have migrated to the skin around my finger nails including the cuticle. Like many who have already posted, I find long fingernails encourage me to pick. So by trimming back my nails reduces the amount of picking, but it also exposes finger skin. Here is where I differ from most of you. Instead of biting/picking the skin, I use nail clippers. I have them everywhere. In my backpack, in my work desk, in my key-bin in my living room, utility drawer in the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. I use the nail clipper to clip back the skin - Im sure it's more sightly than chewing, but the worst is yet to come... I eat the skin-flakes that I clip. I dont know why! Maybe I think there is some nutritional value to it... but as long as there are no finger nails, I'll eat the chewy skin. I have other picking-issues (ingrown hairs, pimples, odd-color hair, etc). But the finger-skin issue is by far the strangest and most concerning. Im glad there are people like me (I refer to myself a "A picker" when my Girlfriend or family tell me to stop). I usually can go a couple days without any picking, but once the cuticles and finger skin grow back it annoys me and I destroy it.
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August 04, 2009

Yeap, I can relate. Not to your degree but yes. I have my little tool kit of clippers/cutters near by BUT only at home. At one point I'd wait until out of the shower when the skin is raised and take a sharp knife and cut down/off the skin. Anyone that doesn't understand, can't. I feel your pain! Grrrrr.
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August 04, 2009

I to, share this disorder. I hate it and so sick of doing it. I start from around the edge of my finger then pull or peel my way down until there is blood or just too sore to continue. Then I will just move to the next finger. My right hand gets the brunt of it all, guessing because I am right handed. The skin picking did progress in small forms from scabs from the scalp and pulling from and around the lips. I am just over it! I want help!
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August 05, 2009

I was watching that episode on a&e to. I had no idea that this "self mutalation" as my husband calls it had a real name. Better yet, there are other people in this lonely world that have this to. I have suffered through some pretty severe trauma in my life, some self inflicted and some were out of my control. I cried myself to sleep last night after talking about it outloud with my husband. He loves me very much but he shuts down when he can't fix something no matter what the cost. I really want to seek help but i am very afraid to talk about the trauma. I put away to survive on a daily basis. I know i need help. I am still in shock. I truly had no idea that this was an issue. I have never heard anyone talk about this in a positive light ever.
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August 09, 2009

I have recieved help and encouragement beyond my wildest dreams through phone meetings of Skin Pickers Anonymous. No one can truly understand what I'm going through like another skin picker. No one understand the nightmare of picking body and face and not being able to stop whether I need or want to. My picking over time has only gotten progressively worse and caused me all the pain in the world. I have felt like a monster forever but like many people who have shared here, it's a living nightmare. It's pure insanity. I started at six and I'm 30 years old and I pick everywhere on my body. I pick anywhere I can reach, sometimes for hours, and I pull my hair from my legs, chest, stomach, pubic area, and anywhere else I see "imperfections" I also pick my scalp and have had several very bad infections. It's a double life and it takes so much time an energy, because on the "outside" I look like I've got it all together. I tried EVERYTHING to stop and over the years it's only gotten worse. I've tried cog behavior therapy, habit reversal therapy, talk therapy, blockers, abstinence, group therapy, online programs (not free) and every SSRI on the market. However, I recently found a 12 step group for skin pickers and now have HOPE and people I can reach out to for support. I have experienced repreive from my picking as I never have before! Today, I'm not facing this devistating illness alone and I no longer have to "figure it out." It's a HUGE relief. Today I don't have to struggle like I used to because the 12 steps work for picking. I have seen MIRACLES of healing and recovery and I know there is hope because I know there is a solution. It works, it really does. Please call in if you need support. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. SKIN PICKERS ANONYMOUS PHONE MEETING - Sundays at 7PM EST. Call in #: 1-270-696-2525 / Access Code: 12128
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August 11, 2009

I am trying aversion therepy. I pick/eat my fingers and wearing rubber bands and using koosh balls & lotions to ease the urges when they come over me. I have been doing very well until a trip to the lake Sunday when my fingers pruned & was virtually impossible not to chew/pick on. I am back on track and understand this is a day to day task and some days are worse than others. But WHATEVER works, works! Thanks for the number for the meetings. I may join one night.
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November 11, 2009

i just recently found out that there was a name for something that i thought nobody really had i was shocked that it was basically almost an OCD ive been eating the skin around my fingernails for as long as i could remember there has been times that i tried sooo hard to stop and it will work for maybe a month but then out of no where i would start again without even noticing it i also bit my lips and inside of my mouth but never to the point that i bleed but my fingers yes i do go through alot of pain with my figners and get so embarrassed but i dont know how to stop at all. i have even tried acrylics and it works sometimes but i hate wearing fake nails and i dont have money to be getting them done every 2 weeks and they get so annoying ....i actually dont even no why i bite my fingers either. im 18 years old and i dont want to be those people who are 30 or 20 years old with this horrible habit. i saw that on average it takes about a year to recover from this any suggestions.
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November 16, 2009

I have the same problem and have been doing it for over 20 years. I'm so tired of having to hide in the house after a bad biting session. I'm so tired of being in pain and not being able to prepare dinner or clean without gloves on. I'm tired of worrying about germs entering my open wounds and getting sick or losing a finger. I'm tired of not being able to use Purel without intense pain. The original poster mentioned future problems with the skin on the fingers. Yes, I'm already seeing it. I have thick callouses, oddly shaped cuticles (when they manage to grow back in) and some clubbing from the constant pressure on the joints and nailbed. The amount of time wasted and money wasted buying antibiotic cream and band-aids is unreal. It's horrible. I wish to be free of this and am collecting as many ideas as possible in order to prepare myself for the fight. There's no way I can continue on like this and be happy. I won't accept that it's going to be a permanent part in my life. I hope you all are finding success.
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November 19, 2009

I pick my fingers too.. I eat at the skin.. and I chew my nails.. my fingers look like nubs. I also have a scab picking problem that I can not control... I eat them too.. I know its nasty.. but I cant help it. You may have a compulsion.. although Im not sure if you do... simply because if you can stop the scabs, cutting, and biting nails.. then I feel confident you could stop this too... and then again.. you might not be able to. I tell ya.. it sucks to be like this... but at least we know that we arent the only ones. I wish you best in tryin to beat this demon! Good luck...
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November 19, 2009

I pick my fingers too.. I eat at the skin.. and I chew my nails.. my fingers look like nubs. I also have a scab picking problem that I can not control... I eat them too.. I know its nasty.. but I cant help it. You may have a compulsion.. although Im not sure if you do... simply because if you can stop the scabs, cutting, and biting nails.. then I feel confident you could stop this too... and then again.. you might not be able to. I tell ya.. it sucks to be like this... but at least we know that we arent the only ones. I wish you best in tryin to beat this demon! Good luck...
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January 04, 2010

I've been biting the skin off of my nails for as long as i can remember and now that i'm in college the stress of school had definitely made it worse. I'm glad to see that I'm not alone. I also twist the hair at the front of my head ...sigh
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January 10, 2010

hi, im 14 going on 15 in a few weeks, and i pick/bite the skin around my fingers to the point where i bleed, i know gross! it is so amazing to read everyone's story and know im not a gross freak! im always worrying about people seeing my fingers and freaking out. and when my friend saw them he wouldn't leave me alone about it and i had no idea how to explain it to him. i don't know why i do it, i just do. and i ENJOY it! i also bite my lip to the point where im almost severely bleeding, and.... i know how gross this sounds...... i then i kind of suck on my lip to..... drink the blood! and i like the taste....... alot. maybe it's because for the majority of my life my family hasn't done so well financially, and there is never really anything to eat. so i think part of the finger picking/lip biting problem is mentally, because i pick my fingers when im anxious, and i bite my lip when im hungry and really bored. is it wierd to like the taste of blood? honestly, with all the phiobias and disorders, i think im pretty lucky for only having what i have, but one of my resolutions this year is to stop picking or biting ( or both! ), so im going to find a way that works for me to quit! oh and btw, anyone know a solution that doesnt involve having short nails? because i've always had short nails ( i used to bite my nails, but i stopped by always having short nails so there would be nothing to bite! ) but that doesnt seem to help me stop picking the skin around my fingers...... anyway! thank-you to everyone for your stories! i took them all to heart and i recieved a great deal of comfort by discovering im not the only person out there with this "bad habit", because i've only met one other person with it, and lets just say he's not much of a talker, but yea..... thank-you so much! i hope i don't have this problem until im 20! here's hoping! (5 years to go.....) XD
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January 13, 2010

Hey Im Kristin- I posted pictures of my hands on my blog that I just started on 43things.com My user name is krawckri. I am 22 this Friday and live in Michigan. The pictures are only from 4 days of NOT touching my fingers what so ever! Every night my boyfriend- who encouraged me to stop- "files" my fingers lightly with a nail file and then rubs Gold Bond hand lotion on them. The longest I have ever gone NOT biting/eating/picking my fingers is a month about a year ago. Then of course stress got to me and I wreaked painful hacov on them allllll over again. Im trying to find some earlier pictures of my hands where they were REALLY bad, like bleeding or just red as hell. (gross) In my daily life I cup my hands when I write to hide my fingers, wear hoodies alot with thumbholes to hide my hands, and always have my hands in my pockets, balled up in my lap between my legs, or wrapped around my stearing wheel tightly. I have been fortunate to never been made fun of for this condition and didn't even think it WAS a condition untill about a year ago when I began seeking help online. My whole life I've only know 2 other ppl to have issues like me with biting, gnawing, or chewing on the fingers. Good to know we are not alone! I think I started biting when I was about nine. My cuticles would peel and I would bite them off, then then ripped along my finger more and more. This would hurt so I would start to gnaw on my finger applying pressure with my teeth. Before you knew it, it felt good- that is until I continued to bite and rip the skin off and pain, puffyness, and scabbing kicked in. It developed into a form of stress relief/boredom cure for me. My OCD. Recently I decided to grow out my nails too. It sucks cuz I wanna show off my nails. I paint them bright sparkly nude colors so they stick out just enough to remind me not to bite them. I do this cuz I know ppl will notice my hands. I see them noticing and it's just a big uncomfortable reminder how bad my hands look. The pigment is already down a from red to pink, to now light pink/nude. And my fingers are sooo soft! Like I said I put pictures up on 43things.com please take a look. (krawckri- category, stop eating my fingers) I hope more ppl will also join me, post on blogs, and upload pictures. This would greatly encourage all of us to finally see progress "FIRST HAND".
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January 13, 2010

http://www.43things.com/person/krawckri/photos Photos :)
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January 19, 2010

wow i never would have thought so many people had the same problem as me. im 15 and have been biting the skin off my fingers since preschool. i also used to do it to my toes! its just so hard to stop. as well as that i used to bite inside my mouth, but my dads a dentist and told me to stop because apparantly after a while ( a long while mind you) its possible for it to become cancerous. so a word of warning out there to you others. i also bite my nails but not as frequently as my fingers. as well as that i always curl a little piece of my hair at the back right hand side of my head. ive tried a few things to stop these, but the main one i want to fix is my fingers. if anyone has any suggestions please email me at [email protected] thanks :)
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January 27, 2010

I'm 27 and it's so crazy how much I have in common with the people in this forum. as a child I would see how much skin I could get off all 10 of my fingers in a certain amount of time. now I pick on my fingers, lips, and feet. it's very painful and extremely ugly. It's most embarassing when people ask "what happened to your thumb" or "what's wrong with your lip". How do you answer that? I've tried many ways of quitting but I just can't. My husband doesn't seem to understand that it's harder then "just stop". I have quit smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day going on a year and 1/2 now so he doesn't understand how I can't stop doing this. I have overcome many difficult things in my life but it makes me angry that I can't hurdle this one little thing. It's literally rules my life. I would be so beautiful if I didn't have big holes all over my skin.
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March 14, 2010

Ive been picking/eating the skin around my fingers since i was 11. Now almost 18, I still have to habit- it has only gotten worse. It really began when my family starting having problems. Big problems. I know its gross and terrible. I know my fingers look awful. I wear band aids now to try to kick the habit- but i just cant. its a relief in a way to know im not alone in this. No one else seems to understand that "just stop" isnt an option. Its so difficult. I do it when im nervous or anxious or even bored. If you have any ideas please post! I hope eventually they will figure out some cure or something!
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March 14, 2010

you are young and are researching your problem and seeking advice early. this is great. keep reading. keep researching. use the information that makes sense to you. make a commitment to conquering it. talk to your doctor and/or a counselor. connect with others that have a similar problem. it isn't easy. i have struggled with my compulsions for many years and would rather see you nip this in the bud now rather than later. make your own cure. i doubt if one will be found. it will take internal strength and determination along with knowledge, understanding, support, and commitment. life is not easy and is full of problems. learning how to deal with life's stresses so that you don't take it out on yourself is very important. again, keep reading and researching. you're on the right track. all the best to you!!
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March 23, 2010

I also bite primarily the skin around my fingers, as well as the bottom of my palms. I always thought of myself as a freak for enjoying the sick skin biting/eating obsession i have. It's like heroin. I know i shouldn't do it, and that i will regret it, but i love it as the process is happening. It's like a high. I feel terrible that others are like me, (such as yourself) because i know how embarassing and self destructive it can be. But it is also a personal relief knowing i'm not the only one! On a couple select occasions over the past 20 years, i've stopped for a week or so and i will feel my skin getting smoother and softer, and will be sooooo proud of myself. Then one day, the dark urge comes back w/ a vengence and i start the process all over again!!! That's when i really feel like a failure and get depressed. Your case sounds so close to mine. If you find a way to stop, or even a way to cut back, PLEASE let me know!!!
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March 23, 2010

With my years of experience with this obsession I believe I can say with “some” authority that there is no magic bullet. It took me a long time to come to that realization and I don’t wish that upon you. What you need first is to come to the realization that Dermatillomania - which your behaviour is a symptom of - is essentially an action of choice however subconsciously made, and it will take a conscious decision, effort, and dedicated commitment to overcome it. To make the decision, mind over matter will have to overcome the passion, the addiction, you have for the act. Perhaps you are ready now since you are investigating your issue, but perhaps it has to get worse before that point in time comes to you. I hope it is the former and things don’t have to get worse before better. Your health is primarily at stake risking serious infection at any time. Research the importance of your skin for a better understanding of this. Knowledge is important in making the decision. If you are there, that is, ready to change your behaviour - if your words “If you find a way to stop, or even a way to cut back, PLEASE let me know!!!” are sincere, then rise above your obsession once and for all and take action to find all the techniques you need to also employ besides the hard core decision to quit it, and commit to everything that it takes to do it. But understand that commitment is imperative. There is lots of information in the menus and posts on this site that you need to read and find "your" solution from. Please do that and understand that this could seriously be with you for years and years if you don’t. Again, I don’t wish that upon you and wish you all the best with your efforts.
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April 16, 2010

I know exactly what you mean about the high! I swear it has to have some effect on the brain because I feel as though I get warmer and my mind just goes blank for a second - almost like a feeling of relief
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April 01, 2010

I appreciate all the honesty and courage of people sharing their habit, or disorder. I too have been eating my nails since I was around 8. My Mom and Dad tried to stop me but it was just impossible. I remember doing it in class before lunch, perhaps I was hungry. First it was just biting off my nails, then I started biting around the nails, the cuticles, and eating the skin. I did go through a traumatic experience at age 8, actually two, so they could be factors. Recently my Dad admitted that he had the same habit, so it could be genetic. He overcame it with pure will power. He also overcame smoking. Is it that I lack will power? I've done my best to stop. I've felt so proud when I've gone weeks without the habit, but then it comes back unconsciously. I've always been self conscious about it, my fingers are pink around the nails, sometimes they recover slightly but I think that it will take years for them to turn back to normal. My main question is regarding the digestion of skin. I have noticed that eating the skin of my fingers alters my stomach making me bloated at times, mainly when I have an empty stomach. I don't have any information about this other than my wife telling me that her Mom would tell her brother that if he didn't stop eating his skin from his nails he would have a sack of skin sitting in his stomach. If anyone has any information about the digestion of skin and it's relation to digestive disorders please share your knowledge and experiences.
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April 04, 2010

im 15 and i bite off the skin in and around my hands as a way to deal with my parents divorce. sometimes they bleed and i only chew when im nervous or excited. i guess u could say im addicted to chewing. also im a football and baseball player and sometimes i cant play because i caant feel the ball in my hands. im also afraid to hold my girlfriends hands or touch her because im ashamed of my habbit
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April 14, 2010

I'm 18 and have been eating the skin around my fingers for as long as I can remember. I think it began with nail biting but quickly progressed to skin eating. I use to pick the skin then eat it but now I clip the skin off with nail clippers then eat it. It sounds like that's uncommon...does anyone else here clip/cut the skin off? I don't make myself bleed...I just clip a little. It does look bad, though. I don't know why I do this...I use to struggle with mild depression and got really obsessed with losing weight at one time, so does anyone think this could be related to those problems? Seems more like a bad habit to me than an "I do it because it makes me feel good" thing.
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May 18, 2010

ive been wanting to find out if anyone else had this problem like me, i know its not the best thing to do but i feel comfortable now that i know other people do this to. ive been doing this for a very long time. im 26 and the 1 time ive actually stopped i was able to control for about 2 months but then i started again and it got worse. i chew the skin around all my fingers, both thumbs on the backsides of fingers and the front, all day long and i cant figure out why. everytime ive brought it up to my doctor, he just tells me to put something on them that smells and tastes bad. tried it, unsuccessfull! i only talk about this with 2 people, but i get so embarrased when people notice, and then ask questions about my fingers. what happened to ur fingers? omg! i usually lie and say i burned them! i always try to hide them, it sux! especially after getting out of the shower or a pool. i really need help with this, i need to stop! any feedback would greatly be appreciated. and out of curiosity, is it genetic, i have a 2 year old son and i hope he doesnt do it! thank you fellow skin biters, lol, !
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May 31, 2010

I am 26 and I have been picking the skin around my thumbs for as long as I can remember. It started with biting my nails, then it turned into a picking habit when I tried to stop bitting. I pick out of stress, boredom, and half the time I don't even realize when I am doing it. I am convinced I even pick in my sleep at times. One year I had immense amount of stress and my thumbs were so bad I physically could not pick them anymore and then I moved to my feet. This has started a horrible new habit, I pick my thumbs till they are bleeding and my fingerprints are gone. Then I move to my feet and pick at them till it is painful to walk. I am at a loss of how to quit. It's embarrassing and my husband just doesn't understand how I can't stop. Some how it feels like I am accomplishing something when I pick that I am making it "better" but I know it makes it worse. It's insane to have both pleasure and displeasure for an almost involuntary act. I truly have tried to quit, I will mentally stop and tell my self "no" but I continually go into a daze as if my mind is going behind my back to subvert my own efforts to stop. I've tried bad tasting things,but now I just use my nails.I've tried worry-rings. I've tried band-aids but the moisture swells the skin and just makes it easier to pick. I started smoking to start another habit, didn't work. The only thing that I have ever done that helped at all was getting fake nails, it makes it so much harder to pick. My hands are constantly contorted to pick my thumbs and I have developed Carpel Tunnel. I NEED TO STOP. Has anyone ever taken medication to ease the urge????
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May 31, 2010

i am skeptical about thinking there is medication that is specific enough to stop one behaviour. there might be a medication that will numb the senses enough to stop probably every behaviour but who would consider that successful. antidepressants are used commonly but i have been on many and they never stopped my picking and some i believe worsened it. hypnosis sounds like it might be able to target specific behaviours more successfully and behaviour therapy is specific to that purpose, changing behaviours. the latter two sound more promising to try. perhaps along with a calming medication. talk to your doctor. but i think the most important element in the success with any of it is, your brain. understanding the compulsion, understanding your denials and delusions about your part in it, accepting the responsibility for your proper care, and committing to a plan to beating it. i don't believe that there's any magic bullet for this. but i do believe in the power within us.
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June 11, 2010

im new here and like many of u i suffer from the same habit..im looking forward to reading, commenting, even learning about other ppl who's goin threw some of the same things as i. I thought i was alone and i feel so much better now that i know theres others like me out there looking praying and hoping for sumthing to help us..im glad to be here.
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June 24, 2010

I appreciate everyone's honesty. Who would have thought there was an actual term for this 'condition'? I have chewed and eaten the skin around my nails from as long as I can remember (now aged 29yrs). I use to bite my nails also but stopped this when I started wearing acrylics; however it is extremely embarrassing when I go to the nail salon because the nail-lady has to see my chewed fingers up close. I don’t personally know any other person who does this self-mutilating habit; which is hard at times because I chew without even thinking about it – mainly when I’m stressed or bored. I can often bleed and can cause minor infections to the wounds. When my fingers are in pain this only encourages me to chew more. My mother said I have ‘old lady hands’ because of the calices; I hate to think what my fingers are going to look like when I’m older if I don’t stop eating my skin now.
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December 23, 2010

I agree with everything here! When I was younger, my mom used to tell people that I picked the skin around my fingernails and everyone just looked at me weird, and I never knew that it was necessarily bad. As I grew up, I started to notice that my fingers never looked like other girls' and noticed that I wasn't acting "normal". I have yet to find a way to make myself stop, other than repeatedly getting acrylics put on, because they make it impossible to pick the skin away. I oftentimes will bleed and need bandaids and my fingers look all sorts of torn up but it really gets to me now I don't even enjoy it anymore I just do it because I can't stop. I guess that classifies it as an addiction, huh? But I am with you, I don't know of ANYONE else who does this. I never knew it was a real disorder until recently, I thought it was just something I did!
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July 05, 2010

hello im espanolablue im 38 yrs old . me too i been pick my skin off for 35 yrs since i was 5 yrs old. it's so much damage the colors of my skin. it's not a scar tho. cuz i look at my fingers it is ocd that you have just like me so I dont know how to stop doing it. cuz I think i shuld get help cuz im too anxiety worry angry sad crying all that make me want pick my skin fingers and eating skin and scab too only it's drying out mostly i always rip my skin off so badly it's keep blood i do suckin my blood all the times and i dont know why and i do think about it i just keep do it for so many yrs from now. it's sad i know.. yea it is very seriously i have. i always hide from them sometimes i put band it on it all of my fingers i dont pick thumb skin very rarely most of skin is front of my skin fingers not skin bottom for 35 yrs sometimes i do pick my skin lip or feets very rarely and most are my skin fingers all the times.. my ex fiance or my family tried to tell me to stop and i can't stop cuz I'm nervous breakdown a lot there is no way make stop it. becuz it's been too many years ever since i was 5. but i need some help cuz i dont know how to stop. . I've been feel like a trap when i get stress out like that. cuz that something control over me.. it is too damn hard! it's scary for me. tho. i always end up bleed for like 4 mintues then stop cuz i suck my blood up and put alcohol pads on my fingers oh boy it's hurt like hell too many times.
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July 23, 2010

I'm now 20 and I've been biting the skin off/around all of my fingers since I was about 5. I stopped once when I was little due to my parents making a deal that they'd buy me a computer when I stopped. I started up again almost instantly, and now its horrible. Im always hiding my fingers under tables, chairs, in pockets. One thing that does help a bit for me is skiing, because you wear gloves all day, there's no temptation. But I hate it so much, it looks foul. when people ask what it is I say I fell off my bike or something along those lines. I've always had this theory that If i stopped doing it I would loose heaps of weight. Random, somewhat even hopeful.
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August 09, 2010

oh my! if only internet was available to me during those years i wasn't immature anymore. i knew this was a disorder, never knew it had a term and that many do the same things i did. nail biting for me was more common to other than eating finger skin. so i presumed nail biting was more "normal" than the latter because i never see anyone do the latter as compared to nail biting - be it compulsive or just to remove some extra length immediately for lack of a nail cutter on that moment. I'd like to comment because i know this would help a lot of people. My compulsion to eat skin finger didn't start from eating skin finger. On my childhood, i can remember eating skin from my feet's SOLES!!!! yes that's right! Others may be shocked or would laugh at this but it's true. and since just now i found out i'm not alone in this compulsion to eat finger skin, i think i'm not alone at my experience on that sole skin eating. The reason for me telling this is because I WAS ABLE TO STOP eating sole skin but NOT (YET) the finger skin eating. What did i do to stop the sole skin eating? It was not self-help but it was due to the fact of what my father said to me. It was something along this lines, "Eww yuck you enter the bathroom in barefoot and then you eat your soles afterwards." It got me to think of all those germs,feces etc everything dirty connected with bathroom,toilet that i totally stopped eating sole skin ever since. After seeing this site and seeing i am not alone in this, it got me thinking why have i not applied that to my finger skin. That's why i said YET because i know this time i will finally be able to rid myself of this disgusting humiliating compulsion. I will think of the nasty places that my hands can usually go to the germs,bacteria etc I hope my experience can help others. Thanks and God Bless.
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September 16, 2010

Nice! I bite the cuticles om my fingers (not so much anymore, but I still do), but I also had a weird habit as a child: biting the cuticles on my toes!! Hehe! I forgot about that until you mentioned your soles. And I also remember what made me stop. Sadly it wasn't anything anyone did or said or even a choice - I just couldn't reach anymore! I wish there was as simple a solution as that for all of our other habits...
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December 18, 2010

i used to do that too! my feet would have dry skin and calluses from running around in soccer and playing outside and i would love to pick at it then eat it! though i always kept it hidden. ive quit, not really sure how i did though, just wouldn' t let myself do it. however, i pick my hands, chest, and face now, so still working on it. anyone ever wonder why we don't just pick, we eat it too? b/c i know if i pick but don't eat, its not as comforting....thoughts?
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August 09, 2010

My whole life I thought something was wrong with me since I had never heard of anyone else picking at their skin on their fingers. I thought I was the only one, I was so embarassed by it, and have hid my fingers my whole life (im 22). I was so good at hiding it, no one has noticed, until now. My husband noticed my weird habbit and Ive always wanted to stop, i just didnt know how. Its so addicting I cant stop. It somehow calms me to pick at the skin around my fingers even though it looks horrible! Its cool that I am finally accepting it and looking for help...glad to know im not the only one....I just want to STOP one day....i am a pretty girl but my hands look horrible....
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September 14, 2010

Im so glad im not alone here. Ive been chewing and eating the skin around my fingers since i was 13 im 20 now...i really cant stand it idk why i do it if i see a piece Of skin hanging i bite it Off and keep going for hours.. My skin is so dry and always has skin hanging and i alwys bite it Off. My gf hates it And smacks Me everytime i do it but it doesnt help i do it without even knowing. And when I do it i get into it And excessivly bite until i bleed sometimes even. I hate getting out of the shower and seeing My hands all pruny and nasty from where ive chewed i constantly hide my hands because im embaressed. I need to stop :( idk what to do
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October 23, 2010

im only 14 years old and i have this problem. i want to stop so bad but i just cant and i dont no why. i think it started as a nervous habit when i was 13 and ever since then its become an addiction. im only 14 and i dont want to have this problem the rest of my life.
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October 24, 2010

I'm a 23 year old male. I do this occasionally, started once when I was clipping my finger nails and for some reason started clipping off the skin around the nails. I don't do that anymore but sometimes I'll bite the skin off, but it happens randomly and not often. Sorry to hear about your problem, at least its on your hands and not your face where it's a lot easier to notice. Have you tried improving your diet? I've been improving mine more and more, picking organic natural foods that are good for the skin, good for your liver, nothing with sugar in it, etc. If anything I feel better knowing I'm healthier. :)

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