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willwingate , 14 Jul 2011

FEET: Anyone using clippers to nip at small blisters, and continuing to pick all over?

Let me say first, that I'm so relieved that this is not just a disgusting quirk of mine, and there are others! (I should add a bit of background, I'm a 23 year old Male, and I've struggled with depression for years, just this year got it under control. I'm happier than I've ever been, but no change in this habit. In fact, I cannot find a pattern anywhere as to my mental state and this habit. just something I've always done, and it comes and goes.) I've been doing this, or similar things since I can remember. (Probably around my early teens when I had severe ingrown toenails.) Basically, my feet sweat really bad, and after taking my shoes off, I have tiny blisters in different areas on my feet. I take my clippers and nip at them to let the fluid out, but then I have a snag of skin left. So I clip that off, and continue until I feel like it's smooth all around. I do this, say 30-50 places all over my feet. I do it so badly in many places that I go past the tough layer of foot skin, and into the meat. I draw blood, and then move on. It's not my goal to do that, but it's oddly satisfying.I guess I feel like I'm making my feet look better, or removing dead skin as a necessity, but I'm figuring out that this is some subconscious justification. Other times, I take my clippers and nip at the tough skin on the ball of my big toes, then I continue until I feel I have removed all the tough dead skin. I also do this all over my feet where there is tough skin. When I'm not focusing on it, say watching TV, or reading, I do it with my nails without noticing I'm doing it. I don't eat my clippings, but I think I might have when I was much younger. ( I do chew the tough skin around my fingernails, and that ends up in my mouth, but I spit most of it out.) Anyone who does eat theirs, DON'T feel guilty. It is gross, but we obviously have a disorder and it's not your fault. My reason for posting is to first, thank everyone for sharing their stories, and second, to find out if anyone has a story similar to mine. I haven't found anyone who has the problem nipping at the blisters as a gateway picking, so I'd love to find out. This habit of mine hasn't caused any problems in my life yet, but it's obviously not healthy, and it seems to be indicative of other underlying causes. Thanks to anyone who shares their stories with me! -William
1 Answer
July 18, 2011
I can relate to what you are saying so well. I have an extreme case of OCD(obsessive compulsive disorder), due to being severely abused in every way,including rape for 18 years and sometimes I still get verbally abused by family members,so all this has made me develop the OCD as a control mechanism for when I am triggered by anything from my childhood or I feel as though I am not being treated fairly. Alittle background,I just turned 50 and have been teaching for nearly 30 years.I had a breakdown in 2006 and went in to therapy and found out about my condition. My main compulsions are picking with or without twizzers and I too do this until I see blood and I am satisfied as well. I pull the skin off my feet also and am not satisfied until it causes me pain. I also let my nails grow out very long so I can use them to scratch and pick. I bite the inside of my mouth and it usually looks like cottage cheese. I will find a place on my skin and pick it over and over. I get excited whe it has a scab,because the I get to pick at it. I have obsessive thoughts and I can't seem to control them. As I said I have very severs OCD. These are usually my triggers: If I am nervous/If I have a confrontation/If I fail at something,etc. I am a preacher's kid,so I try to pray and cling to my faith in God,but there is no cure for this condition,so I have to deal with it on a daily basis.As I am getting older,I must say,I have a lot of successes. SOME ADVICE FOR YOU: 1. Try to find something to keep your feet dry,you may even need to see a doctor and if they will stay dry,you may not be triggered as much. 2.Also,something is triggering you,because you do realize that it's not really normal to be satisfied the way we both are by what we do,especiaaly the blood. 3.I pray that your childhood was nothing like mine,but if you have had any type of traumatic event and have kept it inside or not dealt with it,it could bre triggering your situation. 4.I noticed you said you have been depressed and that came rom somewhwere. I was depressed also during my breakdown and I quickly got it under control,so I could return to teaching,which I love,but you could still need some help,if you continue to do these things. I am glad I got a chance to respond to you and I hope you get a resolution and have a happy life. i hope i helped in some ay God Bless You!

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