Cuticle Picking & Biting: I need HELP ASAP!!!

I have a bad cuticle picking/biting problem. My boyfriend thinks its disgusting and insists on pointing that out until I stop and in all honesty I DO want to stop but i cant!!!! I have tried the Stop Biting polish you put on your nails but i would continue to bite and just tough out the bad taste!!! The only time i stopped the biting and picking was when i was in cancun for a week. I didnt bite because of the germs there and they healed up super fast from the humidty! as soon as i got back to calgary they dried up and i started all over again. its terrible and really hard to explain to someone who doesnt know what its like. Im going to try the ring spinning technique and see if i have any success with that. I need some advice, im afraid im going to get one of them extremely infected one day and end up with a more serious issue. Please help!!!!!!!!!

warning: somewhat graphic photos of my severe nailbiting problem and my progress are posted as links here. if you're easily bothered by gruesome photos of the damage that nail biting does, consider yourself warned and dont open the photos. my habit was severe, and im here to share my story for all of those who have severe nailbiting problems and are looking for inspiration. i am a 25 year old female, engineer, who's fought a severe nailbiting habit since i was born. i've tried EVERYTHING over the years - the nasty tasting liquid to deter nailbiting, acrylic tips, wrapping my hands in bandaids because i bit them so far down that there was nothing left to bite, nailbed and everything, full cover glue on nails, sitting on my hands, antianxiety medication to ease what triggers me to bite, i've tried everything. acrylic tips seemed to work the best, but id find myself popping the nails off after a week without realizing just to bite whats under them, and this practice only made my habit worse. it got to the point where i bit so far down that no nail salon would dare attempting to put tips over my non existent nails, because there was just no foundation to lay an acrylic tip on top of, and in june of 2012, i hit rock bottom with this habit. i thought no one noticed my hands and how bad my habit truly was, but i realized shortly thereafter that people would look at my hands in disgust and never say anything to my face about it. then people started to confront me, and i started to feel even more self conscious once i realized that, when you have a nailbiting habit as severe as i thought mine was, its impossible to hide. everyone notices, and i'd catch people's eyes wandering, staring at my gruesome hands, constantly in pain, and thats when i decided i HAD to do something. heres a photo of my nailbiting habit at its WORST, this was june 9, 2012 (WARNING: this is what my nails looked like at rock bottom, look away if youre queasy): so now you see from the above photo that i had no choice but to try something new after nail salons turned me away for acrylic tips. In july of 2012, a month after that photo was taken, i decided to try and teach myself how to do acrylic layover on nail tips at home, mostly because nail salons were opposed to helping me, and i was tired of spending $30 every week at a nail salon only for me to rip the tips off and bite whatever progress i had grown underneath them. after many failed attempts experiencing with different acrylic tip kits and mixtures, various sanders, buffers, and nail salon equipment in the comfort of my own home, i finally got pretty good at doing my own acrylic tips. after 2 months, i noticed my urge to bite or rip the tips off lessened as i started to cognitively realize how much time and effort went into doing my own acrylic tips at home. i know this solution wont work for all, and it wont be a feasible solution for many whose severe nailbiting habit is/was worse than mine, but it worked for me. there IS hope. im new to this forum, and wanted to share my story. as of this morning, may 25, 2013, i removed my acrylic tips and let them breathe. my nerves and nailbeds have tirelessly worked to regrow themselves after 25 years of abuse, and im proud to say that the hands in this picture are mine, not fake, not acrylic, but most of all, not PERFECT. but theyre getting there. heres a photo i just took an hour ago, all real, all mine, may 25, 2013: for all you nailbiters, please do not lose hope. i documented my nail and nerve regrowth process over the last year in detail, and will share progress photos if anyone finds them useful for inspirational purposes :)
I used to bite my nails all the time. Right now, Im only 13. But I would bite so bad I bled. I evebtually did stop because of the noise. Find something you find disturbing about it. It made mr stop when I heard the noise. Look at pictures of your nails up close. Try to disgust yourself into not biting.
Since I was about 12 (I am now 28) I have been biting my nails (not just biting, but peeling layers of nail off as well) and chewing my cuticles and the skin around my nails. I don't usually spit the skin out (which most people say is where trouble comes in), but I don't really have the urge to eat it. I seem to do when I am tense, like when watching an action packed or an "oh my god, what's going to happen next" kind of movie and I also do it when I am just plain bored. I have tried to stop and have been able to for short amounts of time (like while wearing fake acrylic nails) but not for very long. I bite my nails to the quick and they are usually very sore, I tend to make my cuticles and the skin around my nails bleed. In the few short times I have attempted to let my nails grow back, they are incredibly weak and useless. I can bend them fully, so of course, I just go ahead and chew them off. I've tried the polish that is supposed to taste bad and all of that, but nothing works. I discovered one night that after I take polish off with acetone remover, that taste lingers on my fingers and I really couldn't stand that taste, so I decided to soak my finger tips a couple nights a week in acetone to deter myself from biting, but after awhile I adapted to the taste and chewed anyway. I did some research and found that their is actually a name for this horrid habit we share, Onychophagia. I also had someone suggest to me to look up information of "flesh eating bacteria" she told me she had once been a nail biter (not to my extreme) and once she had read information on this bacteria, she stopped cold turkey. I read the information and while yes, it is freaking and good incentive to stop, I haven't. It is good to know that their are more people out there who suffer from the same problem because for most of my life, I thought I was just a kid with a nail biting habit gone wrong.
I'm 19 years old and have been doing this since I was probably about 7. It started as just biting my nails, but then it progressed to biting my cuticles and even the skin under that to my second knuckle. I have seriously chewed the fingerprints off both my thumbs and I always bite until it bleeds. I don't care how much it hurts, I just have to. My family always makes comments about staph and how disgusting it is. I know how gross it is, I hide it from everyone. My boyfriend and I have been together for a year now and on the days I see him, I smear Healthy Hooves (a really awesome protein cream they use for horses. It's an overnight fix for painful, bloody cuticles, by the way) on all day so they look better. It's just like I'm hiding a drug addiction and I feel pathetic. I wanna fix this, any way I can.
Wow, thats some strong stuff you use. I can tell you, There are ways to stop, It takes ALOT of effort and commitment, its not an easy thing to do, but it is SO worth it, it takes a while to complete kick this habit/addiction, it has taken me 2 years and I still haven't completely gotten over it. You've taken the first step to help your hands, and that is by seeking help. Well done. that can be one of the hardest tasks. NOW, you need to continue with your journey, the second step is to identify the reasoning behind your picking, you need to ask your self "What am I doing when I start to pick?" "What causes me to pick this much?" you need to find out the cause and then work on that, it could be a WIDE rage of reasons, it could be anxiety and Stress, it could be hereditary, which means you inherit that habit, it could be a cause of a traumatic event from your past, there only a few examples, you need to work out what is the reasoning for your picking. Once you figure that out, then you need to make your self aware of when you are doing it, so when you catch your self biting at your cuticles, force your self to stop and change it with a new habit, one that you are happy having, maybe you buy a nice smelling hand cream, so you can swap the biting with rejuvenating your hands. rather then trying to kick the habit, you replace it with a new one, one that is going to benefit your skin. One thing your really going to need is support, as MUCH as you can get! we are here for that, and I'm sure when you feel comfortable a friend or family member even your boyfriend will be understanding and supportive. These are only the first steps, it helps to keep a journal, you can always start a new topic on here and write how your feeling each day, this is helping alot of people, then we can all write positive things on your post and help you over come this habit :) Keep in touch, all the best :)
I've been biting my fingers for few years if not a decade. I have not touched my fingers now for 4 days you know how!?!?! On our local news station they talked about "Flesh Eating Bacteria" I started to do research on this topic and found out that if you have a small scrape or scar this bacteria can attack you and you either die or have your arms or legs amputated. I naturally freaked out and told my self that I can stop. And so I did.. If you want to stop biting your fingers etc read up on "Flesh Eating Bacteria" and I'm pretty sure this will make you stop. My 0.02 cents =)
Jenny, I understand your comments well. You are describing me. I am thinking about buying the book but I am not convinced yet it will help. Did you buy it yet? How is your cuticle obsession going? I don't even like referring to this on myself but I DO, chew and it has become ridiculously irritating to myself. I am trying to monitor the time I do it, presently, and see if I can STOP. It sounds like I need help.
I'm passing this along onto the most recent threads. Don't lose hope!! Everyone should give this a shot, I'm going to pick up some NAC tomorrow. Its an over the counter supplement. On November 3rd, 2011 kgolden1234567890 said: I have had a LOT of luck with the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine, which is sometimes sold as N-acetyl L-cysteine, for my 11-year-old daughter who severely picks her skin (arms and legs). I'm hoping that everyone on this group will check it out. We started out at 1200mg each day, 600mg in the morning and 600mg in the evening. Then we worked up to 2400mg, 1200 mg in the morning and 1200 mg in the evening, within about 3 or 4 weeks. The study that was done in 2009 showed the best results were after 9 weeks of continuous treatment with this amino acid, also just known as NAC. We saw great results after 6 weeks. Please consider trying it. I am not a doctor, so please weigh out the risks for yourself. It has truly been a godsend. My daughter used to pick to the point of staph infections. She has scars all over her body. It works by regulating the URGE to pick. You can download the summary text of the 2009 study on this website - The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.
I too thought I was the only one who did this. We are all pretty good at hiding our hands so no one sees what we've done to our fingers! I'm 50 and started biting my finger nails when I was about 8. My dad put an awful tasting cream on my nails so I switched to biting the cuticle and skin around my fingers. It's an OCD as a result of abuse trauma when I was a child. I know why I do it, stress, anxiety, lonliness, fear and I'm slowly working on all those issues. I have a great debate going in my head when I see a flakey, dry piece of skin and the bad guy usually wins and I bite & pick till it's raw & sore then beat myself up for doing it. I regularly need to get a script for antibiotics from my GP to kill the infections I get in my fingers. I've tried acrylic nails but my body became toxic from the chemicals used so I had to take them off. I tried a toxic free false nail however they pealed off really easy and I went back to biting. I've had hypnotherapy which didn't work. A good quality hand cream helps to reduce dryness but then I have to remember to use it. The more work I do on developing my connection to spirit and finding out who I am is helping. I am biting less often and hope that as I move on my spiritual path I will one day be able to say I value myself enough not to do this to myself anymore. Hugs to everyone.
I think after reading so many comments with people out there like me, I finally thank goodness stumbled on the site that might help me with my issue. Even while typing this I feel calmer and at peace knowing other silent nibblers are out there fighting this crazy ridiculous habit. Boo hoo I am going to check back here more often. I am going to buy some of the amino acid N-acetyl or at least research it more at my health food store. I wonder if now I experienced something as a kid that I compulsively like to feel the soft rubbery feel of my cuticle chew which was my moment of peace as a kid. Aka. like a pacifier substitute or something..or trauma. I had a wonderful childhood though with loving parents. huh, things to contemplate and I AM GOING TO FIGHT THIS! Thanks for the words and help everyone! Maybe that is why I love carrots!
Hi, I've been biting and picking my fingers for as long as i can remember. I'm now 31. Every single one of my fingers is sore, sometimes so bad that when i touch something, or pick something up, my fingers hurt. I don't know when i started it and don't know why. I find that i do it more if i'm nervous, stressed, scared etc but also when i'm bored or just sat watching tv. I've tried the liquid plaster you can get, but found that i would pick that off and then just go back to picking/biting my fingers. My OH is good, he tells me when i'm doing it, as quite often i wont know until its bleeding or too sore to touch. I'm embarresed by them as they look horrible. I work with children and if they see them, or see me doing it, they obviously ask questions. I found that wearing a plaster on each finger works, but these don't stay on for very long and make doing day to day chores quite hard. Plus with my job, i'm constantly washing my hands. I have bought a 'tangle' toy, to try and keep my fingers busy by playing with that, but that didn't really work either. I'm still looking for ways to stop as they are getting worse and at the minute, this is the worse they have ever been. I have also found that wearing false nails stops you, but this is only temporary, so need something more perminant.
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I am SO happy that there are people out there who actually do what I do. For a while, I seriously thought I was a freak of nature. I am like you. My boyfriend thinks its disgusting, and anytime someone looks at my fingers they ask me "what happened"? I've been doing this for as long as I could remember. I believe I was about 4 years old. I remember my dad telling me to "stop playing with my boogers", but I remember thinking "I'm not" and I was actually picking at my cuticles. I've come to face a dilemma with this issue because I am now in nursing school and have open skin on my fingers, which is not okay in the hospital. I'm nervous about one of my instructors seeing it. I still do not know what the cause of this is. I've just recently been comfortable enough with researching it to try to find out why I do this and why NO MATTER WHAT, I cannot stop. Its embarrassing because in any situation I have to pull my hands away so people won't notice. I feel like it is a deep rooted anxiety issue, which I have suffered from anxiety my whole life. I have tried fake nails, which help temporarily. However, I cannot have fake nails in nursing school. So my one outlet is no longer available to me. I go many days in a row telling myself that "today I'm not going to pick or chew on my fingers" but I end up doing it before I even realize it. I really hope I can find a solution to this problem. But most of all, its definitely nice to know that I'm not alone in suffering with this issue. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal probably to most people., but it has become almost like something that has control over me. Being in nursing school, I am very paranoid about getting infection or the possibility of causing long term tissue damage. Worrying about something that I have no control over doesn't help with the anxiety--which in turn causes me to pick/chew even more.
I apologize for not exactly helping you out with the situation. I was just INCREDIBLY relieved at the fact that other people do this. If you haven't tried fake nails, I would try some of the other suggestions people have left. Its worth a shot!
I bite the skin on my hands. My thumbs are the worst. My callus completely covers my entire knuckle on my thumb. My callus goes down to my second knuckle on my pinky finger. I also bite on the inside of my hands where the second knuckle would be. Does anybody else have it this severe? I have been doing this for over 15 years. I wear fake nails but because I bite instead of "pick" it has no positive effect other than distracting from the hideousness red callus. I have used the bad tasting stuff, and even got a higher strength one from the doctor. It's even more unattractive when I go swimming or take a bath. I'm just wondering if anybody else has it this severe or knows any tips that could work for the biting as opposed to picking.
I do this too, it's lasted me 13 years. My hands are very rough all on the inside, ESPECIALLY my thumbs. I bite the skin off of my fingers. I stopped there, and then moved to the outside of my fingers, where the first and second knuckles of each of my fingers are. It's REALLY noticeable, so then I moved back to biting the inside of my hands. I'm always really embarrassed when my hands get soaked with water, because they look disgusting. I moved my habit over to chewing gum. It has helped A LOT. I still bite sometimes, but hardly ever now. They finally have a chance to heal. Before, it would take years because of how much I would bite them.
Thank you all. I am a 50 year old male and I realize most of the people here are women. I have the same problem with peeling my finger and toe nails. I too want to stop but I just do it without realizing. I'll get mad at myself and stop for a moment but I am back to it without even realizing. All my nails are pealed all the way to where there is no real nail hanging past my skin. I am constantly feeling for somthing to peel, it's a nervous habbit that I have no control over. I've only noticed this for the past few years, and don't remember doing it when I was young. I find it discusting but just can't stop. I'm preaty sure it is because of my mental state as I am out of work and have been for some time. I think this started near the time I was laied off. Im not sure how to stop, but I feel for all you who struggle with these terrible nail problems. I will continue to monitor this site for help and if anything helps me I will share it. For me I think it is a mental thing but I sure apriciate any advice. Thank You
I'm so relieved to find out I'm not the only one. When people notice me biting my fingers and ask me why I do, it's hard to explain because it's come to the point where I don't realize I'm doing it most of the time. I'm 16, and started biting my nails about a year ago. But since this summer, I started biting the skin around my nails and trying to take care of it has become an obsession. I keep using a cuticle tool to keep my cuticles down, but it gives me hangnails which I bite and pick at when I get nervous or bored. I wear bandaids a lot to help them heal faster, but I've gotten so used to doing it that I can't stop biting my fingers even when they're almost all the way healed. I've really been trying to stop recently though so my nails and fingers aren't all torn up for any holiday events I might have to go to. Something I've found that really helps is Burt's Bees lemon butter cuticle cream. If I try to use it at least once a day, it really softens my cuticles and helps the skin around my nails grow back faster. I wish i knew when this got so out of control
I had low thyroid hormone which can lead to dryness of skin. Not sure if it's related but my hands got a lot better when I got thyroid replacement. Still picking out of habit, but the dryness makes it easier to pick. If you haven't had your T3/T4 checked, ask your doctor to have the test ordered. Just a thought.
I'm 48 and have always picked the skin around my nails, trying to smooth out whatever snag I searched out. My fingers are even more likely to have rough spots now after years of pulling and picking. Finally I started using a tactic I remember my mother doing a lot, which is filing the rough spots with an emory board instead of pulling...and I think that just might be helping. I just need to make sure I have one handy by the TV and at my desk at work... where I do most of my damage. One other thing I want to share is that I've figured out that a major contributing factor to making my fingers the most pickable is when I've had more milk than a serving or two (ie.. calcium increases the hardness of my finger tip skin) Just cutting back on excessive dairy allows my wounds to be left alone and heal up. Primrose oil also seems to help soften them. I expect fish oil would do the same too. Good Luck
I'm 48 and have always picked the skin around my nails, trying to smooth out whatever snag I searched out. My fingers are even more likely to have rough spots now after years of pulling and picking. Finally I started using a tactic I remember my mother doing a lot, which is filing the rough spots with an emory board instead of pulling...and I think that just might be helping. I just need to make sure I have one handy by the TV and at my desk at work... where I do most of my damage. One other thing I want to share is that I've figured out that a major contributing factor to making my fingers the most pickable is when I've had more milk than a serving or two (ie.. calcium increases the hardness of my finger tip skin) Just cutting back on excessive dairy allows my wounds to be left alone and heal up. Primrose oil also seems to help soften them. I expect fish oil would do the same too. Good Luck
I have been biting the cuticles on each one of my nails until they bleed for as long as I can remember. I was amazed to find this site and all the comments on here. I was actually searching for a way to stop and I came across this site. I am 27 years old and the only time in my life I have ever stopped ripping the skin around my nails were the 3 years I was wearing fake acrylic nails. My nails and skin were so gorgeous. Then I took my nails off about 4 months ago to let my nails grow out for a bit and I'm back to ripping worse than I ever remember. It's so bad today that I think my middle finger on my left hand is badly infected. I put hydrogen peroxide on it, but now it's just red and really hot. On another note, my boyfriend and I just became engaged a few days ago :) It's so exciting and the ring is beautiful, but it's embarrassing to show people because I feel like they're focusing on the skin around my nails. My boyfriend... well now fiance, really wishes I would stop doing this. I honestly do not do it on purpose and really want to stop. I feel like the only way is to get fake nails, which is fine for a while, but expensive and I can't do that for my entire life! Any suggestions are welcome and I've been thinking about loading my fingers up with tons of cuticle oil that won't taste good... I'll keep you posted if I find something that works.
I AM HERE TO TELL MANY OF YOU THAT I HAVE FOUND A CURE THAT WORKS FOR ME AFTER 50 YEARS OF PICKING MY THUMBS!!!! I have been seriously been picking (the sides of my thumbs mostly) for the last 50 years. I couldn't stop and it drives my husband insane. The only time I quit was when I had acrylic nails (because they are not sharp enough) but I couldn't wear them all the time because my nails are so weak. Within a couple of days of getting the nails removed, I would be back at it, bloodying my thumbs down to the first knuckle! My index finger is always stroking the side of my thumb, looking for roughness to pick, because somehow I think picking it will make it smooth! I have been doing this since I was 8 years old and I was always trying to quit but couldn't and I know how ugly it is and my husband finds it so disgusting and just doesn't understand. I also have been chewing the inside of my cheeks for as long, and have not figured out how to stop that, so if you have any ideas, let me know!!! Anyway, what is working for me is my EMERY BOARD. I have gone 6 months without picking. I carry an emery board with me everywhere I go. First bandage the thumbs for a couple of days to let them heal a little and let the pain subside. Then remove the bandages and let the skin dry out. Now they are in the condition where normally you would want to start picking. Instead, take the emery board and file down until the skin is smooth. If you are still a little sore, go as far as you can. Any time you feel your finger searching for a spur to start picking, take the emery board to it. Once you get them smooth pay attention because a callous will develop because of the years of picking. Just take your new best friend (the emery board) and file them down till they are thin and pretty. Keep your hands soft with lotion too. I use it on the edges of all my fingers where you get a little point of skin that is tempting to pick. Well, I have been so excited about my success that I wanted to share this in hopes that it my help a lot of you. I can't tell you how exciting this is for me after doing this for 50 YEARS!!! Please let me know if it works for any of you. Good Luck!!
WOW!! awesome suggestion!! i am starting this tomorrow!!! i have been biting/picking my fingers/cuticles since forever (im 30 now) and a nurse at my job FREAKED out today bc my 2 fingers are soo infected!! i decided to do some googling and came apon this... GREAT IDEA!!!!!!! THANK YOU!! :)) :))
Oh my gosh, yes! I have used that emery board faithfully also. I have to remember it though or I will attack my cuticles on site! After I use the emery board I also have used AmLactin alpha hydroxy lotion. It is a bit costly (now up to $20 a bottle) but it really helps at night with moisturizing. (I am not sure about the natural nature of this lotion however; as they say to only use it twice a day!) I still believe this finger mouth obsession has "something to do" with being a kid that was quiet and watched a lot...having older sisters that just were running the show and me being much younger and not important enough in their eyes to listen to a "kid". I just became a "watcher" and drawer and focused inward. I have to work on the spiritual stuff also. Thanks everyone!
I have been biting and picking my cuticles for as far back as I can remember. As I child my fingers would go in and out of infection constantly. I am now in my late thirties and would continue to bite and pick if it wasn't for acrylic nails. Artificial nails have been my saving grace to this uncontrollable picking problem. I have been wearing artificial nails off and on for almost 25 years now. It's not because I love acrylic nails, it's because it's the only thing that stops me from picking my cuticles. The acrylic nails work because they are not sharp enough to tear the skin, so needless to say the picking part stops. After about a week of so you will notice a huge difference in the healing process. By your second week of wearing the nails your hands will be pretty much completely healed even if you do find yourself biting a little bit. The other thing is your hands start to look pretty again and you begin to lose the desire to bite them. If you are to embarrassed to go to the nail salon because of your raw cuticles, simply put band aids on your fingers and go anyway. Ninety percent of the time the technician is not going to ask you anything. If she does, simply tell her you burned yourself cooking (hot water) or whatever. Or even tell her the truth, I'm sure your not the first customer she has seen with that condition and you certainly wont be the last. Hope this helps.
I am so glad I found the forum. A few years ago I discovered that this nail biting/cutile picking "habit" was more than just a bad habit. The first time I knew it was when, one day, I was staring at my cuticles and there was this little piece of dry skin. I looked at it and I told myself "you can't pick at it" but it felt like something was urging me to keep at it. I had an internal struggle with myself for about two hours until I finally gave in and pull the little piece of skin right off. I am really lucky because I have yet to get an infection on my fingers. I have tried lotions, but they do NOTHING because I wash my hands every time I use the bathroom and then have to reapply the lotion. I can't seem to explain to anyone the feeling I get when I pick at the skin. It's like - relief? I read a previous post about supplements to help lessen the urge - N-Acetyl L-Cystein - has anyone else tried that??
I have had a LOT of luck with the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine, which is sometimes sold as N-acetyl L-cysteine, for my 11-year-old daughter who severely picks her skin (arms and legs). I'm hoping that everyone on this group will check it out. We started out at 1200mg each day, 600mg in the morning and 600mg in the evening. Then we worked up to 2400mg, 1200 mg in the morning and 1200 mg in the evening, within about 3 or 4 weeks. The study that was done in 2009 showed the best results were after 9 weeks of continuous treatment with this amino acid, also just known as NAC. We saw great results after 6 weeks. Please consider trying it. I am not a doctor, so please weigh out the risks for yourself. It has truly been a godsend. My daughter used to pick to the point of staph infections. She has scars all over her body. It works by regulating the URGE to pick. You can download the summary text of the 2009 study on this website - The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.
Have you noticed any side effects of the supplement? I see my children and I don't want them developing this habit. Does she have to continue on the supplement forever? I wish you and your family the best.
The only possible side effect that I noticed is a bit of nausea, but she does have that from time to time anyway, so I'm not sure if it was caused by the NAC or not. I don't know if my daughter will have to be on this amino acid for the rest of her life, but I'm only thinking about "now" at this point. Maybe later, she will be able to have more control over her behaviors than she does at her current age of only 11, but I know the temptation to pick is overwhelming no matter what age. She has learning disabilities as well, so her age is probably closer to about 8, in my opinion. Thanks so much for your question, and the best to you and yours as well. :-)
I have this issue too, as well as trichotillomania (hair pulling) I recently googled trich and found a book that a mother used to treat her daughters brain imbalance (dylexia, autism, aspbergers, add, adhd, etc) and she noticed that not only did it correct the autism spectrum issues, but she stopped the obsessive chewing and pulling. The book is called "disconnected kids" and at 42 I'm ready to try anything to be normal. (I took a "fun" aspbergers or geek? Quiz the other day and it said I was past geek and into aspbergers :( ) I've been divorced twice, have two kids, own my own house and two cars, but can't make friends and am obsessed with certain subjects, numbers, sequences, patterns, etc. Should check out the book. I'll keep u posted on how well the program works (been listening to mozart to build my right brain up, but there are exercises to do this as well)
I've been biting my cuticles since I was a child. I don't even realize I'm doing it most of the time until I see my thumbs bleeding. I even wore out the enamel on my front teeth and had to get bonding, so I moved over to different teeth. It's embarassing and I don't know how to stop.
I have also been doing this for many many years. I have been told that like the rest of you have that's its a side effect of obsessive compulsive behavior. I am so embarrased. I am 27 years old, married with 2 children and also a nurse. I'm in a time of my life through situation where I am noticing flaws that I never did before and this is one thing that I cannot stand. It is disgusting for others to see, embarrassing to look like and really strips me of my femininity. Seriously. Behavior therapy did not work for me but I was prescribed a steroid cream that "calms down" the inflammation. It works great, but as soon as my skin dries up again I start picking. What it does is really calm down the inflammation and makes even the worstly chopped up skin very smooth but tender. If u try to still pick it feels sore in a way related to raw but soft. If u can get ur doc to give u some, and use it consistenly throughout the day it will help tremendously. The only problem is that this truley is a chemical inbalance behavior and the only way to treat that is to get therapy. There is no cure for this, it just takes self control and some good creams.
This is my temporary remedy... Soak ur hands in warm soapy water until ur cuticles are white and big Use cuticle nippers and go at all the white skin (never clip dry skin. It will make it bleed and then get even drier) Once your satisfied that there is no more dead skin, wash your hands again and towel dry (air drying will dry your skin more. Towel drying leaves some moisture which is what u want) Use vitamin e oil or cuticle oil of choice on the nails and cuticles Follow with a heavyb hand cream. I like neutrogena norweigan but only before bed because its super greasy Keep cuticle oil with u at all times and use as u feel yourself about to pick or your cuticles are getting dry For women.. using a clear nailpolish on your nails afterwards will make them very pretty and might temporarily help u avoid picking. Lather up with vitamin e oil or a heavy cream overnight, do not use gloves.
I am in shock at the number of people just like me. I am 25 years old and I have been biting and picking at my cuticles for as long as I can remember. I had no idea this was considered an obsessive compulsive disorder till I read this forum. I just thought it was a gross habit I have. I work at a hospital which makes it all that much worse, sence I'm always washing my hands and the soap they have there dries your skin out like crazy. Sometimes I pick at them till they bleed, and I know I'm working with so many germs, but I don't stop. My fiance always gets annoyed with me when I do it. Like everyone else here, half the time I don't even realize it. Or I try and justify it by thinking I'll stop after this one time lol. It sounds kind of crazy when I put it down in words. This may help the ladys, the only time I have ever been able to stop is when I have had fake nails that were filed to have soft tips. That way no matter how hard I try I can't break the skin and eventually I will stop. The issue with that is I actually have really nice real nails and I don't like the way the fake ones destroy them. Also I'm not supposed to where fake ones to work. I'm getting married in April and I really want to stop. I thought I was just going online to see if there is a product I could use, and I found all this other stuff about it actually being a disease. If anyone has anymore tips that would be great.
I thought I was the only person in the world that did this, I have never seen anyone else do it. It is miserable. I have been doing it for 20+ years. My fingers are disgusting they are scabby & red & they bleed all the time. I do it all the time. Most of the time I don't know I have done it until I am wondering where this blood is coming from. It is so bad at the movies I take napkins in with me cause I already know what is going to happen. I keep these slanted cuticle cutters with everywhere I go and I can do some real damage with those. I need help to stop I already take depression meds & meds for adult ADHD. Lotion doesn't help because I can't handle the greasy feel on my hands. I am lost on what to do, but at least I am not the only one. Even though I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
I Rip out my Cuticles Till they bleed Then my fingers are infected help me im scared
I can't believe others do this, I have felt soooooo silly for so long doing this to myself. Funnily enough, after reading the comments a day or so ago, I have been really conscious and quite good with not picking/biting. My husband also helps me by alerting me to the fact I am doing it. I dont know why I do it and I want to stop. I have found some great stuff, Creative Nail Design Cuticle eraser. Its such a good consistency, and so soothing. the only thing that works so far anyway, we are all in it together!
Thought I was the only one with this habit. I have been doing it since I have been a child. The past year it has become very bad. I find that being nervous is what sets it off big time. I find myself doing it all day and the first thing when I wake up. I hate it.
Same here. It's infuriating and I'm so used to doing it now that I feel uncomfortable when I don't.
I laughed when i found this site. mainly because i could relate 100% to what everyone was saying. I have been picking at my cuticles FOREVER!!! so 17 years haha. Im a junior in high school and my hands are the most embarrassing thing ever!! i hate putting them on the desk or writing with them or holding someones hand or anything because i know that people can see them. Even if no one really cares i still find it to be absolutely disgusting!!! AND IT HURTS!!! i havent been diagnosed with any disorder or anything i just cant stop doing it! I do agree with the fake nails thing. I recently got fake nails for junir prom and i couldnt pick at them but what i could do was take clippers and still attack them. My mom has the same problem and we both laugh at eachother because whenever we see eachother picking our fingers we hit our hands to stop eachother. We just think WHY DO WE DO THIS!?!? i have tried a wierd clear liquid band-aid thing but then i would find myslef peeling that off in little pieces. I have also tried wearing gloves but i am an avid texter and the gloves make it impossible to text so i just end up taking them off. I religiously put on lotion and have a giant bottle next to my bed, in every bathroom, and in my back pack but they just seem to always be dry. My friends notice the picking and they always tell me to stop and i know that i really should but nothing works :( ITS GROSS!!!!! but i'm really glad that i found this site because i know that other people share my ebarrassment :) like a big huge pick your cuticles till they bleed family :] <3
I appreciate the comment about the ridges on the nails, because I have this on my thumb nails, which are the nails where I push back the cuticles and pull the cuticles off and even bite the skin around it, I can't stand to have hangnails or rough skin, so I bite cuticles and skin around my thumbs until the surface is smooth. I hate getting manicures, because I'm embarrassed at how pruned up my thumbs are after being soaked in water. I have been doing this since before I can remember, and I am ready to stop. I hide my hands all the time, my husband said to me the other day, "That's self mutilation." I catch people staring at my hands sometimes too. I wonder if I can ever get my thumb to heal. I feel better knowing that I am not alone! Thx.
Yeah, my mother accosted me not too long ago and said it was self mutilation with the ferocity in how I pick at my face, scalp and back all the time.
I'm 58 and can't remember a time when I didn't have a problem with my cuticles. In the past few years I have come to realize that it is self mutilating behavior. When I was very young I would pull individual hairs out of the top of my head. When I stopped that behavior my compulsion to remove my cuticles began. It is a daily activity that my husband hates. My real fingernails are so destroyed by the behavior that I MUST wear plastic artificial nails to keep from looking like my hands are diseased. I glue these nails on myself. And sorry to say they have little to no effect keeping me from destroying my cuticles. I don't bite my nails or cuticles. I use nippers and tweezers. I have completely removed the cuticles on every finger, though my thumbs are the ones I "work" at the most. I have to say that there is something exquisite about the pain involved. At times when I can't rip my cuticles off I find myself fantasizing about doing it. As soon as the cuticle begins to heal I feel compelled to pull off the new dry skin. I will find the slightest cuticle edge, grab it with a tweezer and slowly pull off the new cuticle skin. Being able to remove the cuticle in one slow pulling motion is thrilling to me. I find myself fascinated by the look and feel of the pieced pulled out; especially the wet feel of the connective tissue. (even though i was only about 5 when i used to pull my hair out, i remember that the fascination was the tiny bit of pain pulling a hair out of a follicle, but also examining and feeling the little white bulb of the strand removed from my scalp). I don't like it when my cuticles bleed, and I have learned out to avoid it most of the time. The raw cuticle edge always weeps some clear fluid for a while which I will wipe away. I then will run a fingertip over the newly sore area over and over again, sometimes for a couple of days until the area heals up enough for me to start all over again. I have taken to pouring some peroxide over the fresh torn area to avoid infection. It bubbles up and stings a little...but that low level pain is pleasurable. I know this is whacky. It is humiliating and I can't bring myself to tell my Dr. about it. I'm already on anti-depressives.. Effexor XR, and Wellbutrin. I can't tell you how much time this behavior takes up in my life. I also have an identical twin sister. She and I have talked about this. She has admitted to me that she has an obsessive thing regarding tweezing facial hairs, (which she does every night with a huge magnification mirror). it makes me wonder if this OCD is genetic. Nothing keeps me from doing this..even if I stop for a few days... I eventually am back to it. Whew. Kind of a relief to get that out. Thanks for "listening". I wonder are there any psychologists, psychiatrists or behaviorists reading the posts on this site?
I think you hit the nail on the head (okay, that was a stretch, but no pun was intended) when you said that there is something "equisite" about the pain. To my husband I tell him "Honey, it's a 'feel-good' kind of pain that I just can't explain. It just hurts so good". I feel exactly like you do. At one point I would "collect" the pieces of skin in a small vial to see how much I had 'accumulated and conqured" in one day. I eventually threw it away because I didn't want anyone to find it.
Its good to hear Im not alone with such a serious nail problem ! I am a chronic nailbiter, a habit I have always been addicted too, most of my nails are less than 2mm ( 1/8th ) long, they bleed and throb for days on end, Its impossible to have acrylic nails fitted as there's hardly any natural nail for them to adhere to ! I also ( i know its gross ) bite / pick my toenails, which are almost a short of my fingernails ! the picking gets tiny pieces of nail available for my teeth to get too, the obsession is I must get all my tiny nails the same length so they will grow together ! how silly I know, I am constantly biting or pick them to make them all the same. sometime I wish i could have my nails all removed, so my problem wouldn't be there. I wonder if anyone else bites or picks there nails as chronicly as me ? I'd love to buddy up with anyone who does, maybe try and encourage each other ? lucyharris(AT)
Just cut your nails really short. You can't bite or pick with short nails right? And ring spinners don't work. You need to do something else with your hands in place of the picking and biting. Perhaps a new hobby that could make those "itchy" fingers go away like crocheting, video games :P, or other things. Hope this helps!
i'm so glad to have found this site. I cannot stop picking my left middle finger. It started as urges to pick at the cuticle about 7 years ago now, there is pretty much no cuticle to pick at as the finger itself has swollen into this ugly callisce like mound around where the cuticle once was. I, however, still manage to pick out any little bit of cuticle that grows back. It's really gross and i wish i could stop. My boyfriend thinks it's disgusting, he calls it my 'retard' finger and I am very conscious of it. When i go out for coffee, or put my hand on a railing, I now, almost subconsciously, tuck my mutilated finger under my hand. It is uncontrollable and i catch myself doing it if i am mindlessly watching TV. Going to sleep the other night i even caught myself mindlessly picking at it. It's so bad i wish i could stop! I fervently agree with everyone on this site that yes, acrylic nails are the only thing that has stopped me from getting to it and picking it out. However, that brings up the other issue of how i dred going to the nail salon. I was there about 3 weeks ago getting my nails done and the girl doing my nails looked at my finger and started laughing then, almost disgusted by it, only painted the top half of the finger as if she didn't want to touch it like it was diseased or something! It was horrifying! I never want to go back. Please help me stop picking at my finger, i'm scared the mound is only going to keep growing where i pick and one day i will have to get it amputated. I ever happy to have found this site. I've never met anywone with the same problem as me. Nail bitting maybe...but this seem even worse. I've been picking and bitting my cuticles since I can't even remember. My first memory of it was my mother bringing me to my familly doctor's and asking what could be done. Well, I'm 28 now...and still bitting. It's sooo consuming. Hidding it from everyone. Most people that are close to me have noticed, and it's humiliating. Even some people at work. Well the cuticle cream is what saves me a lot. I'll get weeks where it's really good and I hardly pick or bite. But I'm always scared to book a manicure apt. because of it. I also find the glove thing help too. I work alone a lot in a chemical lab and try to leave my cotton gloves on with some hand cream so I don't distroy my fingers. I also try to use motivation like a date or vacation to not pick and want my cute hands again. The worst part is I really love having nice nail polish on...but on my bad days don't want to attract attention to my poor fingers :( I'm actually thinking of talking to my doctor...I can't keep doing this!
I've been picking my cuticle until they bleed since I was about 13. My doctor says its caused by social anxiety disorder /obsessive compulsive disorder and perscribed zoloft. It seems to help alot. If you want to stop doing without any meds try clear bandages (less embarressing ) . I keep them on my thumbs, first and second fingers. My husband reminds me if he sees me picking and I don't have bandages on. Hope that helps.
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