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I've sen others in my family pick at their own scabs, mostly when bored or when stressed. I've bitten at the inside of my mouth and bitten my nails since I can remember. Sometimes I can go months, even a year without doing it, until I suddenly start all over again. About a decade ago I began picking at the sides of my feet, around the same time I began having diabetic problems due to the use of Zyprexa. I usually will bite at the nail clippings of my toes and then spit them out, but only when I'm stressed or bored, and from time to time I'll clip and bite at the side skin of my toenails. I know this is somewhat linked to some possible deficiencies in some vitamins, and that it is kind of unhealthy, but I always do the clipping after a shower and often rub my feet with alcohol before I begin. Now the bit that I find is somewhat weird, sometimes I'll grow some extra skin at the side of my feet, and when I wear shoes this will peel off a bit, specially after a hot soak, and If I'm distracted I'll peel the skin and munch on it. Often I notice and spit it, but once I peeled a big chunk out, it came off after a day at the beach and I was surprised to notice I actually wanted to put it in my mouth, but I fought down the impulse. Its been suggested I may have a protein deficiency, but I think that is one theory I can safely put aside, I eat plenty of meats, actually I consider myself a carnivore, I eat fruits and rice and fish but I don't eat veggies. Roots and algae are something else, I ate algae for about a week and potatoes are sort of roots, like carrots and some other stuff, but potatoes, sweet potatoes and another root I don't know what it is called in English are about the closest to veggies I ever get. Maybe celery but with lots of Philadelphia cheese. I'd go with the theory of vitamin and mineral def, but I think its something normal that humans do when we revert to our more "natural" instincts, seeing as many animals do eat lots of their scabs and stuff, even hair and humans are animals just like any other primate and mammalian in the planet and only some really right wing fundamentalist may refuse to acknowledge they are animals too. Still we can contain most of these impulses, or redirect the energies or find and modify behaviors we deem unnecessary or counter productive. For one I know what I am, I know that when stressed or tired the human mind sort of losses a bit to instinct and we will act out on impulse, as a defense or to supply ourselves with something we are unaware we need. Now I've noticed that I am more prone to pick at my feet if I've worn shoes during the day, closed shoes, but since a few years I'm mostly barefoot when at home or in sandals most of the time I go out, and so I barely pick at my feet anymore. I really don't care much what other think of my "habit" but I care not to do it in view of others, or pick too much that I may be braking into the raw skin, either of the side of my fingernails or at the feet. There is nothing worse than having to shake someone hands knowing your fingertips are a bit raw, or having to walk with a limp cuz it stings. I have asked my doctor about it but she confessed to eating her hair once in a while when stressed and trying to find something other than shaving off her hair and nothing really works. This is the way we are build mayhap, and maybe if we lived a more natural life, less stressed less pharmaceuticals and less artificial stuff on our bodies we might not have a need to do any of this skin picking, that in a way is sort of a reaction to an allergy or something. Maybe I'm wrong...
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