Online Test

Find out the severity of your symptoms with this free online test

lilac_sunset , 24 Sep 2011

SEVERE finger and skin picking

I am a 24 year old female and I have been picking my fingers since I can remember, I sometimes even peel the skin back to the knuckle and under the fingers which causes pain to the point I avoid washing may hands because it stings so badly. I have caused my nails to become ridged and a couple have faint thin brown lines on the nail bed (has anyone had this before?) I am so embarrased of how they look I avoid letting people see them; sometimes when people notice and ask whats wrong/or whats happened to them I try and make up an excuse. My husband hates me doing it although he accepts me for who I am how my fingers 'look' doesnt bother him, its the fact im hurting myself that bothers him. I didnt have the easiest childhood witnessing alot of family physical/emotional abuse, I vaguely remember my childhood which I can only conclude I have physchologically blocked it out to avoid further pain. Although others consider me attractive I can not see it and contantly find things to dislike myself for, I am very hard on myself and my appearence, I have had eating disorders, suffered from depression, alcohol abuse and panic attacks before. I guess I am looking for help/advice from anyone who has had or been through anything similar to me? I would really love to be able to stop destroying my hands so I can be normal physically, but everytime I try I may stop for a couple of weeks then I start again and cause them to bleed, become inflammed and very painful again. Not to mention cause further trauma to the nail. Not only that but I want so badly to be emotionally normal so I can quit this self mutilation. Is there a way to stop this? has anybody tried something before which has helped them to cure this problem? any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!!
3 Answers
September 24, 2011
While reading your post, I kept wanting to stop and reply throughout because I can relate to pretty much everything in your post, but I made myself read the entire post. I had a similar problem with my fingers, but I have stopped and I think my solution will help you. I also had problems during childhood and high school years. I am 32 now and also do not have many memories of early school years really except for my friends i met throughout the years. While going to college recentlly, I took a couple psyschology classes and found out that blocking memories in the past is ultimately shaping our personality and outlook on life today. I have been to different psychiatrists and now am on Seroquel Xr 600mg by night and Seroque 25mg l by day 3-4 times as needed. I have found out that I enjoy talking about my problems in the past to different therapists, and different groups. I have been able to recall many good memories and found ways to deal with bad memories by accepting them and moving on, by leaving them in the past. I was diagnosed bipolar and I feel wonderful now and the medicine helped me want to go to college. I also decided one day while on the new medicine that I Was tired of how my fingers looked and concluded that it would take weeks for them to heal so I kept them bandaged with nerosporin and made myself be patient knowing it is going to take some time to heal. I cant tell you how much seroquel helped me. I also took a antidepressant but one psychiatrist noticed it was causing me to have sever mania spells so he took me off the antidepressant and put me on heavier doses of seroquel and now my moods are perfectly level, and I have more drive to succeed in life and feel really good. Before the medicine, I had no desire to go to school and had previous alcohol abuse tendencies as well.
September 28, 2011
Hello. While reading your post, I felt overwhelmed that someone could be going through the same thing I am going through. I'm 26 years old and have been biting my fingers for years now. I hate my fingers. They are discolored and disfigured. I make up many excuses as to why they are like this to everyone. This is my first time actually researching this and it surprised me that I could have a form of OCD. Now I need advice as to how to get my fingers looking normal again. I read up on some things and some advice was to see a dermatologist. That's what I may look into it. Seeing all this information just shows I do have a problem and it's not uncommon.
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 - The study was for hair-pulling, but skin-picking and nail-biting result from similar sets of urges.

Start your journey with SkinPick

Take control of your life and find freedom from skin picking through professional therapy and evidence-based behavioral techniques.

Start Now