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I don't know what compelled me to finally google this finger picking problem of mine, but I am so glad for it led me to this website & forum. I am 52 & have been picking at my cuticles & fingers since I was very young. It's not even fair to say "cuticles" because let's face it, it's the entire tip of my thumbs & forefingers. Everything I've read here rings true for me. It relieves tension & gives me a perverse sense of satisfaction when I peel off a really big piece of skin. I've never vocalized this to ANYONE in my whole life. I understand from my siblings that my parents were worried about me (although they did nothing about it). I was bullied as a kid & think that's why I do this. I bit my nails as a kid but for some unknown reason outgrew that but moved on to the skin. It's my dirty little secret because I will hide my fingers when I've really done a number on them. It's true that acrylic nails prevent me from picking. I could run down & get a full set but you see it would only mask the problem which is me dealing with my stress. Just knowing this is a real problem & others out there experience the same thing is a HUGE RELIEF. I just got some stress balls; keep one at work & one at home. I think they help me focus on when I'm getting stressed. I'm SO tired of doing this over & over again. As soon as the skin begins to heal & callous, I get the urge to tear it down again. After the satisfaction comes the shame & depression. The cycle begins again. Despite all of this, I am hopeful I can learn to manage my stress & beat it.