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phenomenonone , 29 Dec 2011

New here, seeking some help

I have picked my cuticles on and off for many years, I’m 43 now. I can go years and not pick, and then stress starts me picking again. Once I start its very hard to stop. The last few years have been very stressful and my picking is really out of control now. My process starts like this. I feel this overwhelming urge to pick my cuticles, its as if they are itching or something. I use my nails to start picking at the skin, once I get a chunk of skin lifted, I use a pair of manicure scissors to cut the excess skin. Once the scissors come out, I try to cut away any excess skin that might tempt me to pick more, this usually causes me to cut too deep and my fingers start to bleed. I can spend hours cutting. Once I’ve got a finger all bloody, I put a bandaid on it and move on to the next one. Some days it seems like all I do it pick and cut. I can easily mess up all 10 fingers if I have the time and no one is watching. I also cut the skin under the nail. At times of extreme stress, I will also pick at my nails once the cuticle is all picked away, until I end up peeling the nail off. Usually I just mess with the cuticles. I’ve tried acrylic nail overlays, and they do stop me from picking for about 3-4 days, but once my nail grows and my cuticle starts showing, I start picking again and usually end up tearing the fake nail off. Sometimes when just a little stressed, I can just file my cuticles, and that works for me. My fingers just look awful even when they aren’t bloody and cut up. So much of the lunula (white) is showing, it just look unnatural and weird. My cuticles start way up high on my fingers. I read that reducing sugar and complex carbohydrates in your diet is supposed to help anxiety. I eat pretty healthy and I don’t drink soda or eat much sugar or processed foods and do I notice that my picking is the really bad on the days I eat something sugary like cookies or chocolate. I’ve tried to cut out all sweets but that’s really hard.
2 Answers
January 03, 2012
Hi, I'm like you in that I'm 46 and have been skin picking for a very long time with long periods of non-picking, but I pick all over, especially on my face and arms. I look terrible and I can't help it. I want to stop so badly but this past few years have been extra stressful. I totally understand where you are coming from. I'm working on the issues that trigger my stress - my mother, but it will take time. Thanks for the advice on the sugar, that makes sense to me. I also have Fibromyalgia and it's hard to have the energy to cook something healthy, processed microwaved food is easiest. Good luck to you.
John Klopfenstein
January 03, 2012
Hi, I am new to this site. I used to spend hrs picking at my skin but through therapy and a 12 step program that deals with prayer and meditation, I spend maybe 5 minutes picking. I do not pick every day but eventually I do pick. Most I've been able to go for is about 1 week. I used to use a magnifying mirror but have now gone for more than 3 months without using the mirror. The mirror would magnify the problem and trigger more picking. I think I am better but would like to quit all together.

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