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Csmile422 , 24 Nov 2011

My picking is unique..Please read..I NEED HELP!

I honestly do not know when I started doing this... I'm 18 now, I believe this has been going on since I was 13... My feet are really dry, and when I see that they are dry and there are cracks, I pick at them with my nails, or use a nail clipper to cut at them and more skin. I often try to pick off a really big sized piece of dry skin and keep them. I DON'T EAT THEM. I just like to look at them and feel them. I also like to roll them between my fingers, like some people do with boogers. My feet get to the point sometimes that they bleed a little and burn and I can't walk without pain. After a long session of this, when my feet are raw, if I take a shower, the water burns my feet, it hurts. The urge to do this is so great sometimes I just can't stop. It'll get to the point that my feet are so raw and bare and red and bloody I can't walk or have any type of fabric or ANYTHING touch them. I need to know how to stop. This happens EVERY SINGLE DAY, usually a few times a day. It happens absentmindedly when I'm with family or friends, and even when I'm with friends or family I can't stop the urge to pick at my feet and they look at me like I'm a freak. It's so embarrassing but I can't stop...What do I do? And why am I doing this?
6 Answers
November 25, 2011
When I was younger I picked the hell out of my feet. Much the same way you describe. Maybe it helps to know I grew out of it. I believe its a way of dealing with stress. Maybe you can keep track of when it happens, or when its at its worst, and see whats going on - are you about to get together with people? Is it right after you're with people? That might help you focus on the cause. At least we're heading into winter and covering our feet up now. Not like the summer with flip flops, bare feet, etc. I think its a way of distracting ourselves as well. When I pick my cuticles I find myself thinking about everything that's bugging me. One thing that helped me was exercise. I'm not doing it anymore and my picking has gotten worse. Having no outlet for stress and kind of isolating myself hasn't helped. Keep posting on here...not feeling alone and getting feelings out about it...things will likely improve.
November 27, 2011

In reply to by Deb

I also pick my cuticles on my fingers too...its like...if the cuticles are broken at all, I HAVE to remove/cut them off. See the thing is, it happens all the time, like clockwork, but not at the same time. Like, i don't know, when I come home from work, I do it. When I'm bored watching tv, I do it. When I am sitting down without shoes on, I do it. I seriously didn't even know about this as a condition..i thought I was alone...this is much more relieving now that I know I'm not the only one. But I am afraid that I won't ever stop this bad habit.
November 26, 2011
Hey, not sure if this will be a help but I found after using that Milky Foot/Feet stuff that because my feet had so much less dead dry skin I wasn't so tempted to pick and rip at them. If you don't know what it is, google it. It's like exfoliating socks that removes all the dead outer skin cells. Only problem is from what you've been describing you have open wounds on your feet, and would have to wait until they healed a bit before you could use it. Also, to answer why you're doing this : you might be feeling an 'imperfection' in the skin, and are trying to kind of 'improve' the way it feels/looks. Hope I was some help. Good luck!
November 27, 2011

In reply to by amnesiac

How did that foot stuff work for you? Did you completely stop? I think you're onto something with that last part about life has been really out of my own control lately, I became homeless and have been living in a homeless shelter for teen girls my age for the past month. I feel so out of control that my OCD has become worse. So maybe the reason why I do this to my feet is because I need to be in control of something?
November 29, 2011
Maybe you should try putting some kind of special mosturizer or Polysporin on your feet, then wrapping them in gauze or band-aid. Then you put socks on them without hurting and maybe consider wearing gloves and/or cutting your nails shorter.
December 06, 2011
I have done the same thing but not to your extent. I have picked before to the point where I can't walk in shoes. I have a small dry patch on the inside of my foot and I'll pick the skin or make the cracks worse with nail scissors or my fingers. I have already tried foot creams and lotions. So far only one thing has helped me but because I haven't made it into a ritual, I continue my problem. There are special sea salts available for feet and hands only. They are milky and lotion-y. You basically do it every single night for a few weeks along with scrubbing your feet with a pumice stone. The problem is I had to stop because if you have any exposed cuts or blood, it burns very bad. I keep myself from cutting off my skin but constantly using a pumice to my feet and constantly wearing socks. Good luck.

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