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Caroline97 , 28 Dec 2019

What is my first step to recovery?

Hi, I have been picking the skin around my nails for my whole life. I pick until they bleed and I have truly tried to stop many many times. It’s embarrassing to show my hands to people. I kept on thinking “I’ll stop in high school” then “I’ll stop in college” and so on. I just started researching it and found out that there are more people who struggle with this. Any support and help would be appreciated. I am not sure what my next step is but I know that I am tired of living like this.

2 Answers
December 29, 2019

What have you tried in the past? Are you using any products on your fingers to help the area heal? Have you seen a dermatologist to make sure you dont have other issues going on around your fingers that could be treated?

March 24, 2020

I'm 52 and have had this disorder since early childhood. The earliest I recall is about 7 years old. At that time is was inside cheeks and lips but (shall I say "thankfully") it has moved to just my fingertips but it is daily and I've kept a list of everything I've tried to control it. I'm currently on Fluvoxamine (sp) which has helped a bit. Niacinamide, Inositol, and N-Acetyl Cysteine in larger amounts has helped a bit too but it's something I've basically accepted after having it for 45 years. I'd say that one medication (expensive fyi) and the three supplements have been the best things to work for me so far. SSRIs do NOTHING for me and I've tried bunches of them. If your doc prescribes them, feel free to give them a try but the number one drug in testing that has the highest success rate for our disorder is FLUVOXIMINE. I actually take it with Welbutrin but I'd love to try it without the Welbutrin eventually.

Take HIGH doses of the supplements with your doctor's recommendations for them.

In fact, I'm writing a fictional novel and the MC in it has dermatillomania...actually, she's a "wolfbiting" dermatillomaniac (wolfbiting being dermatophagia) for those who aren't aware. I'd like to bring more awareness to the disorder because, yes, it isn't the same thing as cutting and I've been through everything mentioned on the skin-excoriation sites. Cutting is for creating intentional pain while dermatillomania/etc. is to self soothe that is incited by skin imperfections...I compare it to knitting while rocking in a chair for hours on end. It feels good and it happens as a stimulus balance in the body IMO. Good luck!

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