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olivialove , 13 Feb 2015

Is this Dermatophagia?

I’ve been biting and picking (though not consuming) the skin around my fingernails as well as my actual fingernails for as long as I can remember. I think it started from just having a bad nail biting habit as a child. It’s not a stress relief for me and I don’t really do it out of anxiety, so I think that it’s more OCD-related than anything. I basically do it when I feel like my nails are uneven or if I feel like the skin around my nails aren’t “perfect” (for lack of a better word. Basically in my mind I’m just trying to “fix” it). I pick at my skin more often than biting it but I bite too if my nails aren’t sharp/long enough to do what I’m trying to do. I don’t do it ALL the time (but I do do it often), but I do it subconsciously as well sometimes. I especially go after the dead skin around my thumbs after getting out of the shower. My fingers do tend to bleed from the constant picking though that’s never my goal and in school it was always more of an annoyance that I would have to try to write without getting blood on my paper. Usually my fingers will heal for the most part (only takes a couple days) before I pick at them again. I also do sometimes do this to my toenails (except I don’t bite them) but only if they are REALLY bothering me. Here are a couple photos (taken 3 days apart of opposite hands), but these were freshly picked at so tw:

I really want to know if this is actually dermatophagia or just a bad habit. Please if anyone can give me their opinions I would appreciate it!

1 Answer
February 17, 2015

Having same problem for the past 40yrs I don't know how to stop....

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