Online Test

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

aprilmarie , 02 Jan 2012

Hello, my fellow Dermatillomaniacs.

My name is April. I'm 26 years old from Central Jersey. I've been picking at the skin on my fingers for about 15 years or so and I never really understood why. Some people would look at my fingers and think that I was burned, others would say "Oh my god whats wrong with you? Doesn't that hurt?" Duh, a$$hole of course it hurts, but at the same time makes me feel so much better. I always thought of it as self-mutilation, such as cutting yourself, but I guess it's not really the same. As I'm typing this I'm even picking at my fingers. I'm running my index finger along a piece of skin on my middle finger that needs to come off, but I know if I remove it with those shiny tweezers then I'll bleed. I'm trying REALLY hard to not do that. I'm currently hungover from New Years last night and not feeling well = anxiety for me. I noticed that as my stress level increases, especially working 12 hour shifts as a transcriptionist in an emergency room, I pick and bite the skin mostly on my thumbs and middle fingers. And, when there's skin I can't immediately get to, it drives me absolutely crazy and I day dream about finally getting home and grabbing the sharp, comforting tweezers. Sometimes I'll even use a paperclip if I'm really desperate. What makes this worse is that I work in a hospital, the nesting grounds for the nastiest life-threatening infections ever. Knock on wood, I've worked in a hospital for the past like 7 years and I've never gotten an infection thank goodness. For the past few months it has really started to get to me about how gruesome my fingers look. I never draw attention to my fingers so I never have nail polish on or wear rings and it sucks. Even my thumb nails are growing irregularly because I destroy the cuticle so bad. I just want pretty fingers! When my boyfriend proposes to me I don't want him putting a pretty diamond on a finger that looks like my dogs chew toy. I just recently found out what this skin picking is called thanks to Wikipedia and it made me feel somewhat better knowing that I'm not alone in this. I searched for a long time on the internet, even asked my doctor one time, but she just told me its a bad habit and to try using this nasty tasting crap you brush on your fingers. But obviously we all know that its deeper than that and almost nothing can stop the picking and biting. I tried acrylic nails once and that lasted for like a day. What I have found is that dermatillomania may be linked to addiction. So, that got me thinking. I am an alcoholic. I've been battling this for the past 2 years since getting a DUI and realized- oh crap, I'm an alcoholic, FML. Alcohol and drug addiction runs strongly in my moms side of the family. So I'm wondering if anyone else has an addiction? Whether it be cigarettes, alcohol or drugs or whatever. You know now that I'm trying to figure this out, I just remembered that birds rip out their feathers when they're stressed. Hmmm...
1 Answer
January 03, 2012
Hi April, Thanks for sharing your story with us. I'm new here and have been skin picking for a very long time, but I quit for the most part for a long time also, so I know there is hope. Stress is a major trigger for a lot of people. My sister picks on her thumb and that is all, I always think she is lucky because I pick everywhere, especially my face and I look like a crack addict - I hate that. I commend you for your work on your drinking issues and wanting to stop your destructive behaviors - both drinking and picking. I wish you luck, and hope your hands look beautiful when your boyfriend puts a ring on it!! take care of yourself, keep up the good work!

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