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I have been silent on the forum for quite a long while, but I came back for a look because I can't believe how at 57 years old, I am STILL picking at my thumbs. I've been looking back on things - when did this start - when/how/why do I do it, etc. I've tried to be strong, convince myself I'm just going to stop, and then I have a stressful moment, and that's the first thing I turn to. For me, acrylic nails helped because I can't get to the cuticle that has toughened up to a point where I can pick or bite at it. But it's so expensive. . . I find that once the skin toughens up, I begin the cycle of tearing it back down again. Then it heals over & we start all over again. To a lesser extent, I do bite at the inside of my cheeks & scratch at my scalp, so even if can conquer the picking on my fingers, I move on to the next thing. Last week I read a post by someone who said emery boards do the trick for her. I thought about that - and used sometimes use that technique.
I think for me anyway, the best thing to do is to avoid feeling the area that tends to get a ragged piece of skin, or that is ready to be picked, all together. Let it heal to a point where it can return to its natural texture. So I set out to find something to fidget with, because in the end, that's what I do - fidget endlessly. I wonder if people notice it or what they think. Is it annoying to them? Anyway I found some of those little they-used-to-call them hacky sacks - small balls that are squeezy (they were in the party favor section at Walmart in a bag of 4 designed to look like a soccer ball, football, etc.). They fit in the palm of my hand & are kind of "crunchy." They seem to provide enough stimulation to the tips of my thumbs, & I think they work pretty well. Time will tell. Thank God there is place where we can talk about this stuff. I've only told one other person about this problem in my whole life.
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