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admin , 30 Nov 2007

Cuticle picking problem

Hello I guess I'm the first one to post around here. I hope new folks will join soon... Anyhow I found this website by mistake while looking around the net for information about cuticle picking. I have been doing it since I'm a child, and never seized doing it. It's actually become a problem, since my fingers sometimes get to the point when it looks grotesque and ugly. I always thought that this problem I am having is just a bad habbit, but after I read stuff about it I begin to understand that it might be some inner turmoil inside me that has to do with it, and brings me to self distruciton will again and again. I notice that the picking picks in times of stress. Anyone has similar problem?
71 Answers
December 03, 2007
Hi Debra, I've had the same problem for years now. I am so sick of it, but honestly do not know how to stop. I find myself picking around the cuticles or sides of my nails while I'm driving to work, sitting in a meeting, watching tv, etc. It makes my nails look terrible since there's red scar tissue around the cuticle area. Like you, I always thought it was a habit. But I've been doing some reading lately and realize there may be something else involved. I do feel more relieved while I'm picking, but then afterwards I get distressed after seeing how awful my nails look. I figure, well, they already look bad, so it can't hurt to keep picking. UGH! Have you come across any remedies that might help stop this permanently?
December 03, 2007

In reply to by Sasha918

Hi Sasha, Well, I can totally relate to what you said. I too get frustrated again and again, however I can't stop. About remedies - I haven't tried anything actually. I keep telling myself over and over again - don't do it- but my body kind of has a will of its own and I constantly get caught off guard. I'm planning to turn to a physician and getting some advice. One thing's for sure - I need to stop, and I'm going to try any method available. How do You deal with it?
December 06, 2007

In reply to by debra_p

Hi Debra, I was reading online about how some people use methods like twisting a ring around their finger to distract them from the urge to pick. I have tried doing that the last few days and it helped. I don't think it's a cure-all, but when I noticed myself starting to pick, I consciously started twisting my ring and then the urge to pick subsided. Also, tonight I'm going to get acrylic nails because I have a work party to attend tomorrow. I know acrylic nails aren't the healthiest, but I found that when my nails look great, the urge to pick is less. (Something like once they look terrible, I figure all is lost so I give myself free reign, which is no good.) I'm hoping that my vanity may help me win the battle on this - I'm tired of having to hide my hands. Let me know how the meeting with the physician goes. I may end up doing that myself if I find I need more intense therapy. Good luck! -Sasha
November 30, 2009

In reply to by Sasha918

I am so glad I came across this site. I have had a problems with picking my cuticles and skin around my fingers since I was a child. I also pick at my lips when they are dry as well. I recently noticed my father does it with his fingers and my sister does it as well and we joke about it but we know it's a big problem. I am embarressed of my fingers and I know they can look good. When I was getting ready for my wedding I mentally told myself to stop and I did for a month! Once the wedding was over, I started up again. I don't know how to stop! I know it's a stress reliever and comforts me. It's so good to know I am not a lone. I have nice hands and I would like to stop for good!
December 28, 2010

In reply to by Sasha918

Hi Sasha, I've tried acrylic overlays and I end up picking at that but there is a new thing out called a gel manicure. I got one yesterday. The gel is in the polish plus they put gel on first and after the polish. No fill in's, no odor and as soon as I was done they were dry enough to walk out the door. One thing, I'm not sure if it will help my cuticle picking.
cuticle remover
February 03, 2008

In reply to by debra_p

Hiya, I identify with both of you, I am pretty healthy, don't smoke, drink quite little, don't pick any other things apart from cuticles, not even the nails. I have a toddler which causes immense joy as well as stress and tiredness however I cannot blame it on him because I have picked my cuticles since I was a teenager. The only thing I've always had since my teens is a full schedule with not much time left for being lazy. I pick cuticles, then they are sore, and yes,I think oh no it went over board and now they're red, my fingers are reddish, I correct the irritating corners with a cuticle remover tool, and then bathe my hands in olive oil for soothing them, as well as improving the looks. I find as long as they are quite mosturised the overall look does not give in quite how much I maltreated them, but it has to stop really. My puberty was too long ago to continue with this. Watching a movie, even during a romantic dinner hiding my hands under the table to surrender to some cuticle picking, during lectures (i am studying as well)... my best friends, my cuticles, always grow back in time for my next iddle moment. there is always enough of them somewhere, in a previously forgotten finger, where I can turn off and do some "work" on them. Very embarrasing to handle the cuttlery when the starter does arrive. Making strong eye contact is a way of distracting people from looking at the red fingertips. Oh dear...... yes, cuticle anonymous, I'll try playing with my ring.
little sister
January 18, 2009

In reply to by debra_p

Lots and Lots of lotion!!! I never really thought about it, but I guess I was always kind of picking at my cuticles. Sort of a habit I didn't think about until I got older. Now I keep lotion everywhere. And whenever I look at my hands, I just slather them with hand cream. This makes my cuticles look better and the desire to pick at them goes away. I also have a job that requires a LOT of hand washing followed by lotion. And broken cuticles could let in Hep. I really don't want any HEP or MRSA, or any pathogens at all. Try lotion and/or gloves.
March 13, 2008
I go overboard with my picking,i start with the cuticles but when the skin lifts up i keep pulling until it reaches my fingertips and even further down my fingertips.I start bleeding and then i continue with the next finger.My friends and family are always hitting my hands when they catch me doing annoys the hell out of me that they do that to get me to stop!My husband tells me i can stop it,that i need to have willpower,i tell him it's beyond me...i cry,i get frustrated that he doesn't this madness?A co-worker told me that acupuncture might help because it helps with all sorts of addictions,has anybody tried it?
March 30, 2008
I have the same cuticle picking/biting problem. My boyfriend thinks its disgusting and insists on pointing that out until I stop and in all honesty I DO want to stop but i cant!!!! I have tried the Stop Biting polish you put on your nails but i would continue to bite and just tough out the bad taste!!! The only time i stopped the biting and picking was when i was in cancun for a week. I didnt bite because of the germs there and they healed up super fast from the humidty! as soon as i got back to calgary they dried up and i started all over again. its terrible and really hard to explain to someone who doesnt know what its like. Im going to try the ring spinning technique and see if i have any success with that. I need some advice, im afraid im going to get one of them infected one day and end up with a more serious issue. Please help!!!!!!!!!
December 31, 2008
Oh dear, I just found out that this wasn't just a "bad habit" as my mom would put it, but an obsessive compulsive disorder this year when I went to see my doctor about it, I finally got sick of it and realized I couldn't control the urge when my boyfriend would tell me to stop hurting my hands and I told him I couldn't. For me, if I see something on my fingers and don't pick it, it will eat at me, its like having a hang nail that catches on everything, or a red light in front of your face 24/7, I cant avoid it, and him telling me to stop, frustrated me. It started when I was old enough to chew, I started a nailbiter, and that became not enough to relieve my anxiety, so I would go to the cuticles. I even use tweezers, scissors, anything sharp to do the deed. I have given myself multiple infections in the side of my nail, where I had to drain (but did that stop me from picking at that nail...nope!) I even have nerve damage down my thumbs from all the damage. I have been doing it for so long I don't feel guilty about it, and I never knew what it was like to have pretty nails, so that didn't matter. I have never had my nails past the skin. I have almost had one of my nails come off. And right now I have the lower half of my thumb nail missing, I dont know how it really happened because when I start to pick I go into a zombie like state. I don't feel the pain. At any time at least 7 of my nails will be bleeding (or have recently bled to where you can tell) And now I have very low circulation in my fingers, they are always very very cold. The doctor put me on an anti depressant for my anxiety hoping it will help... I have been on all in the book. Wish I could show you all my thumb... I dont see any end in sight... I dont like cuticles for some reason and pushing them back makes them pop out...maybe thats how this all started...
March 10, 2009
I never thought I had a problem until, like most of you have said, my boyfriend pointed it out. I knew that I did it and my mom also does it, so I think that I learned the habit from her...(thanks, mom!) Anyway, I realize I am doing it a lot more lately. It starts when there is a little piece of dry skin right underneath the cuticle area, but before the first knuckle. Then I start picking at that piece and I can't stop! Or I pick around the nail at that skin and just keep picking because there are little pieces of skin that I want to get rid of! But, i'm scared because it's kind of getting out of control. It gets to the point where my fingers bleed or are just grossly red and they hurt so bad. I have started to used Bert's Bees cuticle cream but once my fingers are better, they dry up again and the skin picking continues. My boyfriend always hits my hands when he seems me doing it and he has me thinking now that it's a problem! I need advice. Do you think I should see someone about this? If so, WHO?!?!
May 25, 2009
Since picking the cuticles is often a nervous habit, try to find something else to do with your hands so you don't fixate on your cuticles. epilare definitiva
May 26, 2009
My boyfriend gets so mad and i have always been told to stop picking at my cuticle, but i cant. I tell myself to stop, but i cant physically do it, i thought it was funnt, but now i dont. My friend has the same problem and we both became determined to find out about something that will make us stop. Do i really need to go to a doctor for this?
July 26, 2009
I've been a skin picker since I was little. Sometimes my thumbs are raw right up to the first knuckle. Its not just cuticles also. I demolish the skin on my face when I beak out. I pick scabs anywhere on my body, which inhibits the healing of mosquito bites and scratches I always have to carry around neosporin and band aids. Ive recognized it as a problem but at about age 19 the severity increased. I'm now 22 and i also experience the "zombie state". Its almost like a guilty pleasure. The pain is rewarding in a psychopathic way. Part of me feels like i need to peel my skin to clean it off by removing the dry skin. And when i slab on some neosporin and band aids it feels clean and fine. Then the cuticle grows back, and the more you pick an area the easier it is to peel it again. I need help. :(
July 27, 2009
This is to the comment below me. That is exactly the same as me. That guilty pleasure but you feel you need to clean it and pick off all the dried skin. I then rub paw paw cream on it to 'moisturise' the new skin underneath in hopes in will all get better but unfortunately the cycle is never ending. My middle left hand finger is raw from the cuticle right up to around the first knuckle and has produced this sort of callisced mound. It's so gross but i can't stop. I have even opted to the thin nail scissors to get right under the mound into the cuticle and i 'shave' off the dirty skin on top and up to my knuckle then put paw paw cream on it to moisterise the new skin underneath. Even to those reading this you can see what a viscious cycle it is. My mum and my boyfriend are pleading for me to stop but i can't! help!!
August 05, 2009
I pick my cuticles too. I notice that it's worse often than not when I'm under stress or am nervous. I too just think of it as a bad habit, but seriously wonder if it's a form of OCD. I've been doing it for as long as I can remember. I can't stand to see skin hanging off the edge of my fingertips so I'll pick it off. And I also notice that I pick in times of boredom as well when there's nothing else to do. I pick mine so bad that they bleed. My finger cuticles are almost always swollen and red. I can't remember the last time when they weren't. There's always at least one finger out of all of them on a contstant basis that's infected, scabbed over or picked at. It's tough. And when people see my fingers they wonder what my problem is and it's embarassing at times. There's really nothing I've found that keeps me from picking them. I know it's not good but I can't stop sometimes. I'll put bandages on my fingers to keep myself from picking them but as soon as the bandages come off, I'm picking again. I always feel like I'm the only one with this problem and it's nice to know that I'm not alone.
November 18, 2009
I pick my fingers to the extent that all ten of them look infected by a flesh eating virus all the time! The only remedy I have found is to put on professional acrylic nails, they are too thick/smooth to do any damage, try as I may. This however is a costly "treatment" if it can even be considered that because it doens't stop the picking only eliminates the nasty consequences. It costs between $25-$35 every 2-weeks to maintain them. Also, any parents out there: I used to think this was a genetic trait as I inherrited this behavior from my mother who does the exact same thing. Not so, my shrink says that you learn coping mechanisms from your parents. If your parents yell to cope, you will learn to yell etc. I learned that I can pick my fingers to deal with my stress! Also might be worth mentioning: I pick in my sleep, I know because sometimes the bandaids have "pick marks" on them in the morning haha. I also pick when I am excitied, not just negative feelings (stress, boredom, nervousness). And the picking doesn't end with fingers...pimples eat away at my brain until there is a even worse looking crater on my face, eww! rubber buttons on tv remotes call to me, peeling off labels do as well. One more thing: to everyone out there who tries to help by swatting our hands everytime you see us pick....stop it! You are NOT solving our self esteem issues, probably making it worse. Also, by the time we have found a piece of dangling flesh to pick off its too late....we WILL pick at it until it is GONE! swatting doesn't help, it just delays the inevitable.

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