Cuticle Picking & Biting: I need HELP ASAP!!! | SkinPick.com

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


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March 30, 2008

You could try putting something potentially hazardous on them so that when you're itching to bite you know something bad will happen when you do. It's kinda like training a dog, or a human for this matter. 2 types or training: Perform and reward or Perform and punishment. Since there was never any kind of reward you could get out of this habit you can only punish yourself to help control your problem. What you could put on your fingers would have to be worse than that polish since you can bite through the taste. Hope this helps. -Biscuit
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April 01, 2008

My problem is more with picking my skin, but if there is nothing else to do, I will go for my cuticles. I have dry thick cuticles that grow very quickly. I have recently found a product called disapearing act instant cuticle remover from Bath and Body Works. It is made by TRUE BLUE SPA. It works better than any other product I have used. Using this a few times a week and pushing my cuticles down right when I get out of the shower with my terry cloth towel has eliminated my cuticles so there is nothing to pick. I also keep my cuticles moisturized so no dry skin begins to appear. I hope this will help, and hope it is not too naive. My problems really are with picking my face, back and arms.
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November 04, 2011

Hands down, the BEST hand cream for cuticles is the Lady Soma Skin and Nail Treatment ,It's great for those who like to change up their nail polish but hate stripped & brittle nails. It keeps my nails firm & in good shape. I swear, my it makes my nails grow faster. The cream itself is relatively lightweight and sinks right in with a lovely fragrance. I'll put it on my hands (and nails) at night, and they stay moisturized through the next day. I also wash my hands A LOT, and this saves them from hard water and winter weather. I'm young, so I can't comment on its anti-aging properties, but I do believe this will keep my hands looking young, too. amazing!
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November 24, 2008

I leave my cuticles alone, but the skin along the sides of my nails / hangnails is terrible! I've started to (gently) use a nail file to buff down irregular areas so that there's nothing to grab onto / pick at. Just a plain emory board when my hands are dry works best. That, and keeping my hands really moisturized - I also like the True Blue Spa line from Bath and Body Works - they have a protectant hand cream (something about "glove" is in the title, I think) that works well. It's really important to put on cream / lotion right after drying your hands (within 3 minutes is the rule of thumb) to keep them soft and moist.
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November 25, 2008

I completely understand. I have gotten them almost completely healed and then it starts back up again. It started since second grade for me and is still really bad eight years later. But it doesn't matter if my skin is moist or if there is nothing to grab onto I can always get at it especially because i dont just have chronic skin picking....i have dermatophagia which is biting the skin. I cant really give u advice because i havent stopped but i used to have a stop watch and I would time how long I could go without tearing the skin. My record was like two days or something. that doesn't work anymore though and the urge seems almost stronger now so good luck. I thought i was the only one with this problem until this year.
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January 19, 2009

I really thought I was THE ONLY ONE! It's crazy how you think you are but your not. I feel almost better. Thanks for your story- Tara
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January 19, 2009

Hello, I have been thinking about "Googleing"" my problem for a long time. I have been biting my skin around my fingers forever. My mom was a nail biter and I just started doing the same thing. I don't know how to stop because I have tried really hard. My hands are now ugly scared discolored and raw, but I can't stop. I need help I guess. I didn't even know there was a such thing called Dermatophagia intill today, please someone.. help me.
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February 09, 2009

I bite my cuticles on every finger. The only time i was able to stop is when I had arcyrical nails for my wedding, because I couldnt phyically get my teeth to the nail bed. I have found that If i carry hand moisturizer everywhere I go and Apply it every time I catch myself biting my cuticles it helps, I don't stop when I do this, but I may only have one bleeding finger instead of 10. I know it is just deflecting, but at least if your obsession is hand moisturer no one gives you a hard time about your fingers. The longest I was able to go was 2 days when there was a case of MRSA around and the threat of nail biting was death, but it only worked until I bleach every surface.
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February 20, 2009

I am also a nail and skin biter. I've been biting my nails since kindergarten, which was 16 years ago. My does time fly. However, in the past 5 years, I have also picked up biting the skin around my fingernails. I can't stop. Sometime I might go 4 days without doing it, but that's usually only because I will have painted my nails. I also agree that the bad tasting finger nail polish doesn't work. I too, just continue and just rough out the bad taste. It's a completely disgusting habit. I'm currently in Nursing School and learning about all of the nasty germs hiding out in our nails and that hasn't even made me quit. This could really get detrimental to my health. What do I do? I feel like I've tried everything. :[ Atleast I'm not the only one! I feel so relieved.
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March 02, 2009

I have been chewing on the sides of my fingers ever since I was a child, I am now 27! I also chew on my lips and the inside of my cheek. I've tried stopping and I want to soooo bad because its bloody and painful. The only thing that helps me with the side of my fingers is when I have fake nails on. I can't get to it as easily as I can with out fake nails. I still pick but not as much! But when I'm not picking at my fingers I chew on my lips and cheeks so ether way I'm always picking or chewing. It seems to be getting worse. It has gotten so bad that I find my self picking and chewing even when I'm having sex with my husband!!!!! I hate it I don't know what to do anymore. I am a little relieved to know that I'm not the only one and it is a disorder and not just a habit that I won't give up, because I would love nothing more than to just stop. Oh by the way it took me a really long time to type this because I CANT STOP PICKING!!!!!!!!
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June 02, 2009

i can relate!! i am 40 years old and in this last year, it has interfered when being intimate with my partner. i find myself obsessing on skin on my thumbs and other fingers while having sex--! it's crazy.. i can't believe it. i am glad i am not alone. i just want it to stop and to not have my fingers hurt anymore! thanks for your post.
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March 25, 2012

Try adding Natural Calm - magnesium/calcium powder to your diet. I love the stuff! I buy it from my health food store or chiropractor. I don't think about the cheek biting....now to attack the cuticle care with those emery boards all around the house/car/work! :)
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March 10, 2009

I don't really have any cuticles left from biting and picking at them for so long, probably about 11+ years as I know I was picking in kindergarten (and I'm 19 now). But that doesn't stop me from getting at whatever skin tries to grow. It's really gross and I wish I could stop. I've tried a nail solution called 'Nibble No More' and you're right, I too would just bite through the taste it wasn't pleasant but it's just like I had to get at them. I've had acrylics for prom and other dances, but I'd end up picking the nails off and picking at the glue if I left them on longer than the day after the dance. As for getting seriously infected fingers, I always have hydrogen peroxide, neosporin and bandaids in my bathroom just in case one of my fingers starts to hurt more than usual. I've actually had a semi-bad infection in right pointer finger a few years ago, but I was very lucky and ended up getting a sinus infection and got antibiotics and even though they weren't meant for the finger, the infection cleared up without any serious damage.
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March 10, 2009

I posted a question about Control It Omega 3 cream for nail biting yesterday. I am in the same boat with picking and biting and I need to do something as my fingers are so sore and bloody I can't stand to show them to anyone - even my toddler children. I am afraid they are going to grow up watching me do this and I am going to pass on the horrible habit. If anyone has tried this cream or know someone who has, can you please let me know? I am ready to purchase it as a last resort.
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March 12, 2009

I just found this forum two days ago. I've been picking/biting my fingers as long as I can remember... it started from a finger-sucking habit when I was a baby, which progressed to a nail-biting habit, which I was trained out of, only to start on my finger skin. That very day I read everyone's story, I decided I'm going to try to stop for the first time ever. I put lotion all over my hands to try to soften out the dry, damaged areas, and put on a pair of gloves. Every time I had to take off the gloves (like to do the dishes) I put on more lotion and put them back in the gloves right away. It was hard. Every time I had my gloves off, I would run my fingers over each other, like I always do, to find any rough spots, and keeping myself from attacking the rough spots was almost painful to do. I also felt a tingle in my teeth like I needed to be biting something. But when you have the gloves on, it keeps you out of your habitual behaviors. You have to make a conscious choice to remove the gloves and go at your fingers... and if you really don't want to do it anymore, I think you can handle keeping the gloves on, or putting more lotion on and replacing the gloves. It's two days later, and I haven't been wearing gloves at all today. My skin is healing and becoming much smoother. Every time I find a rough spot and want to pick, I put lotion all over my fingers and massage it in, until they're not rough anymore. That also provides some stimulation for my fingers, which seems to help relieve the urge. When they were still rough even with lotion, that's when I had to put them in gloves to keep myself away from them. I'm keeping travel-size lotion with me everywhere I go. The really creamy kind (body butter) is working much better than the watery kind. It lasts much longer and feels less "sticky" on my hands. If I get a hanging piece of skin, I allow myself to get a cuticle nipper and carefully cut off just the part that's hanging off. It's a lot of self control. Now that I can see my hands getting nicer, it's a motivator as well. At least now there aren't any areas that are really ripped apart, there's no raw/bleeding skin, etc. Every day I show them off to my boyfriend, and I get my due praise, lol. I still haven't tried any of my "uh-oh" activities yet, which include riding in a car or a train, watching a movie, or writing a paper. Those make it REALLY hard for me not to pick my fingers. I'll have to make sure to bring a knitting project along so I have something to do with my hands. Or even back to the gloves (at least it's still chilly outside!). Honestly I wonder how long it'll take them to heal up so the scars aren't a deep pink anymore. I guess we'll find out... if I can stick with it!
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March 17, 2009

I'm new to this, and like others, have just now discovered that there's a name to what we're all going through. The one thing that I've found that helps me to not pick at my cuticles and the skin on my fingers is to keep nail clippers close by and use them to clip off the rough areas. As long as there's nothing to bite at or get my fingernail under, I'm pretty much ok. Unfortunately, this doesn't work well on the bottoms of my feet which is where I do most of my picking.
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April 03, 2009

Like everyone else, I had no idea there were so many other people with this same issue or that it was actually a diagnosable disorder. I'm 23 now and I still remember the first time I realized my picking was a problem. I was in kindergarten! I remember thinking "I really need to stop this". So obviously it's still a problem. Mainly I pick the skin on the sides of my thumbs, and I've tried to stop sooo many times, but as everyone keeps saying, it's almost impossible. I saw some girl in one of my college classes the other day also picking her thumbs, and it just lit in me this desire to finally stop this for good. I found this website and read some suggestions about occupying your fingers, which I think will help me tremendously. I'm using silly putty now. My record was like a month once, so here's hoping I can stop for good!
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April 04, 2009

Hello, thank you everyone for telling your painful stories. I have picked for 30+ years. I sucked my fingers till i was 8, bit my fingernails after that and then during my teen age years started ripping the skin around the nails. I am a nurse and it was impossible for me to manage the situation. I wore acrylic nails for many years; this helped so I couldn't grab onto anything but 1 year ago, i developed an allergic response to the acrylic nails. I nearly lost all my finger nails and the skin around my nails just peeled and peeled. It was so awful. My nails are finally starting to grow back right now. I used Biotin (OTC); it helped the nails grow and made them stronger. But now, I am back to the horrid picking and peeling until everyday all my fingers are bleeding. I am at my wits end. I will never be able to use acrylic nails or any form of "fake" nails. No matter how much lotion or gloves (at night) i apply, nothing is helping. I am treated for depression and have discussed this with my psychiatrist; they have never thought much of it. Nice to know there are others out there that are as embarrassed as me. I am not sure my comments are of any help, but to let people know they are not alone out there.
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April 19, 2009

I also pick my cuticles. I use to bite my nails until i was like 17 and when I stopped, thats when the picking and biting of my cuticles started. I've been doing that now for like 4 years. I pick them so much that they usually start bleeding and I have scars on my fingers. My boyfriend also makes sure to tell me how bad my fingers look. It looks even worse when I get out of the bath or shower and my hands are pruned. I recently was doing a google search to figure out why I also have these horizontal ridges on my thumb nails and come to find out its because of my cuticle picking. I guess from me pushing my cuticles down it leaves no support when my nails grow and makes the ridges. I really want to just stop. It seems like it was easier for me to stop biting my nails than trying to stop picking at my cuticles. I find myself doing it more when im at work, when I'm thinking like when I'm doing my homework, or when I have drank like an energy drink or coffee. My fingers look pretty bad and I am going to school to become an Interpreter for American Sign Language so I would really like to stop this habbit.
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June 01, 2009

I'm 53 and had a real issue with cuticle biting through my junior and senior high years through my early 40s. For the past almost 10 years I've had acrylic nails and did not have an issue with biting my cuticles with my fake nails. I loved them but wanted to give myself a break from them and save a little money too. I thought that I'd have broken that bad habit since its been so long, but unfortunately, that was not true! I buy bandaids and cover them up and let them heal and then start all over again. I do think that it has a lot to do with living in such a dry climate, like where I live in central Arizona. When I went to New Orleans for a week, I was fine and with the Swine Flu scare I was careful about not putting my hands in my mouth as much as when I'm home and am near soap and water and am less worried about the germs. I'm a professional, but do not feel professional when have ugly bandaids on my fingers or leave them out with sores and gross fingers. I have to be fingerprinted for my job and every time the prints come back rejected, probably due to my cuticle biting issue. I am hoping that by learning from others I can finally get off this bad habit. I have never smoked, done drugs, or had any other addiction issues like this. I've got stress like everyone else in the world. I stuff my stress inside and then vent every once in awhile or laugh about it all. Maybe I should take up a more socially appropriate addiction.... I chew on my cuticles more when I am reading or watching TV or sitting down "relaxing". I have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and find that doing one thing at a time is very hard for me. I did better in the 80s when I was crosstitching or doodling while watching TV or attending a meeting. Now I try to play on the laptop while watching TV. Busy fingers are fingers that stay out of my mouth! Others have said that they know how gross it is and I agree, but why can't I stop? The best I can say is that I "manage" it with lots of lotion, bandaids, and trying to keep my hands busy. I thought I'd have grown out of this by now! Thanks. Feels good just to express it!
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June 02, 2009

i have the same fears and picking that you do. i want to stop. i will try the ring thing as well. whenever i am in humid weather, they heal and feel good and i don't pick. it has gotten really bad in the last year for me and i find i am putting so much energy into hiding my fingers. at times, i will cancel a date just cause i don't want to have to hide them. i want to stop. i hope this site can help cause it is interfering with my life!!!!
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June 10, 2009

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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June 20, 2009

Wow...am 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!
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July 27, 2009

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.
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December 28, 2009

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!
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September 14, 2010

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)123mail.org
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December 02, 2010

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?
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November 01, 2011

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.
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February 11, 2011

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.
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May 04, 2011

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.
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April 18, 2011

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
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May 04, 2011

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.
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May 04, 2011

Same here. It's infuriating and I'm so used to doing it now that I feel uncomfortable when I don't.
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May 05, 2011

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!
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July 20, 2011

I Rip out my Cuticles Till they bleed Then my fingers are infected help me im scared
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July 26, 2011

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.
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August 14, 2011

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.
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September 08, 2011

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.
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September 08, 2011

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.
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September 13, 2011

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.
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October 03, 2011

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)
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October 04, 2011

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 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19581567. The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.
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November 01, 2011

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.
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November 03, 2011

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. :-)
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November 01, 2011

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??
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November 03, 2011

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.
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November 07, 2011

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!!
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March 25, 2012

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!
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February 28, 2013

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!! :)) :))
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December 01, 2011

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.

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