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Jenny415 , 30 Mar 2008

Cuticle Picking & Biting: I need HELP ASAP!!!

I have a bad 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 extremely infected one day and end up with a more serious issue. Please help!!!!!!!!!
74 Answers
March 30, 2008
You could try putting something potentially hazardous on them so that when you're itching to bite you know something bad will happen when you do. It's kinda like training a dog, or a human for this matter. 2 types or training: Perform and reward or Perform and punishment. Since there was never any kind of reward you could get out of this habit you can only punish yourself to help control your problem. What you could put on your fingers would have to be worse than that polish since you can bite through the taste. Hope this helps. -Biscuit
April 01, 2008
My problem is more with picking my skin, but if there is nothing else to do, I will go for my cuticles. I have dry thick cuticles that grow very quickly. I have recently found a product called disapearing act instant cuticle remover from Bath and Body Works. It is made by TRUE BLUE SPA. It works better than any other product I have used. Using this a few times a week and pushing my cuticles down right when I get out of the shower with my terry cloth towel has eliminated my cuticles so there is nothing to pick. I also keep my cuticles moisturized so no dry skin begins to appear. I hope this will help, and hope it is not too naive. My problems really are with picking my face, back and arms.
November 04, 2011

In reply to by k.raniere

Hands down, the BEST hand cream for cuticles is the Lady Soma Skin and Nail Treatment ,It's great for those who like to change up their nail polish but hate stripped & brittle nails. It keeps my nails firm & in good shape. I swear, my it makes my nails grow faster. The cream itself is relatively lightweight and sinks right in with a lovely fragrance. I'll put it on my hands (and nails) at night, and they stay moisturized through the next day. I also wash my hands A LOT, and this saves them from hard water and winter weather. I'm young, so I can't comment on its anti-aging properties, but I do believe this will keep my hands looking young, too. amazing!
November 24, 2008
I leave my cuticles alone, but the skin along the sides of my nails / hangnails is terrible! I've started to (gently) use a nail file to buff down irregular areas so that there's nothing to grab onto / pick at. Just a plain emory board when my hands are dry works best. That, and keeping my hands really moisturized - I also like the True Blue Spa line from Bath and Body Works - they have a protectant hand cream (something about "glove" is in the title, I think) that works well. It's really important to put on cream / lotion right after drying your hands (within 3 minutes is the rule of thumb) to keep them soft and moist.
November 25, 2008
I completely understand. I have gotten them almost completely healed and then it starts back up again. It started since second grade for me and is still really bad eight years later. But it doesn't matter if my skin is moist or if there is nothing to grab onto I can always get at it especially because i dont just have chronic skin picking....i have dermatophagia which is biting the skin. I cant really give u advice because i havent stopped but i used to have a stop watch and I would time how long I could go without tearing the skin. My record was like two days or something. that doesn't work anymore though and the urge seems almost stronger now so good luck. I thought i was the only one with this problem until this year.
January 19, 2009
Hello, I have been thinking about "Googleing"" my problem for a long time. I have been biting my skin around my fingers forever. My mom was a nail biter and I just started doing the same thing. I don't know how to stop because I have tried really hard. My hands are now ugly scared discolored and raw, but I can't stop. I need help I guess. I didn't even know there was a such thing called Dermatophagia intill today, please someone.. help me.
February 09, 2009
I bite my cuticles on every finger. The only time i was able to stop is when I had arcyrical nails for my wedding, because I couldnt phyically get my teeth to the nail bed. I have found that If i carry hand moisturizer everywhere I go and Apply it every time I catch myself biting my cuticles it helps, I don't stop when I do this, but I may only have one bleeding finger instead of 10. I know it is just deflecting, but at least if your obsession is hand moisturer no one gives you a hard time about your fingers. The longest I was able to go was 2 days when there was a case of MRSA around and the threat of nail biting was death, but it only worked until I bleach every surface.
February 20, 2009
I am also a nail and skin biter. I've been biting my nails since kindergarten, which was 16 years ago. My does time fly. However, in the past 5 years, I have also picked up biting the skin around my fingernails. I can't stop. Sometime I might go 4 days without doing it, but that's usually only because I will have painted my nails. I also agree that the bad tasting finger nail polish doesn't work. I too, just continue and just rough out the bad taste. It's a completely disgusting habit. I'm currently in Nursing School and learning about all of the nasty germs hiding out in our nails and that hasn't even made me quit. This could really get detrimental to my health. What do I do? I feel like I've tried everything. :[ Atleast I'm not the only one! I feel so relieved.
March 02, 2009
I have been chewing on the sides of my fingers ever since I was a child, I am now 27! I also chew on my lips and the inside of my cheek. I've tried stopping and I want to soooo bad because its bloody and painful. The only thing that helps me with the side of my fingers is when I have fake nails on. I can't get to it as easily as I can with out fake nails. I still pick but not as much! But when I'm not picking at my fingers I chew on my lips and cheeks so ether way I'm always picking or chewing. It seems to be getting worse. It has gotten so bad that I find my self picking and chewing even when I'm having sex with my husband!!!!! I hate it I don't know what to do anymore. I am a little relieved to know that I'm not the only one and it is a disorder and not just a habit that I won't give up, because I would love nothing more than to just stop. Oh by the way it took me a really long time to type this because I CANT STOP PICKING!!!!!!!!
June 02, 2009

In reply to by charity

i can relate!! i am 40 years old and in this last year, it has interfered when being intimate with my partner. i find myself obsessing on skin on my thumbs and other fingers while having sex--! it's crazy.. i can't believe it. i am glad i am not alone. i just want it to stop and to not have my fingers hurt anymore! thanks for your post.
March 25, 2012

In reply to by charity

Try adding Natural Calm - magnesium/calcium powder to your diet. I love the stuff! I buy it from my health food store or chiropractor. I don't think about the cheek to attack the cuticle care with those emery boards all around the house/car/work! :)
March 10, 2009
I don't really have any cuticles left from biting and picking at them for so long, probably about 11+ years as I know I was picking in kindergarten (and I'm 19 now). But that doesn't stop me from getting at whatever skin tries to grow. It's really gross and I wish I could stop. I've tried a nail solution called 'Nibble No More' and you're right, I too would just bite through the taste it wasn't pleasant but it's just like I had to get at them. I've had acrylics for prom and other dances, but I'd end up picking the nails off and picking at the glue if I left them on longer than the day after the dance. As for getting seriously infected fingers, I always have hydrogen peroxide, neosporin and bandaids in my bathroom just in case one of my fingers starts to hurt more than usual. I've actually had a semi-bad infection in right pointer finger a few years ago, but I was very lucky and ended up getting a sinus infection and got antibiotics and even though they weren't meant for the finger, the infection cleared up without any serious damage.
March 10, 2009
I posted a question about Control It Omega 3 cream for nail biting yesterday. I am in the same boat with picking and biting and I need to do something as my fingers are so sore and bloody I can't stand to show them to anyone - even my toddler children. I am afraid they are going to grow up watching me do this and I am going to pass on the horrible habit. If anyone has tried this cream or know someone who has, can you please let me know? I am ready to purchase it as a last resort.
March 12, 2009
I just found this forum two days ago. I've been picking/biting my fingers as long as I can remember... it started from a finger-sucking habit when I was a baby, which progressed to a nail-biting habit, which I was trained out of, only to start on my finger skin. That very day I read everyone's story, I decided I'm going to try to stop for the first time ever. I put lotion all over my hands to try to soften out the dry, damaged areas, and put on a pair of gloves. Every time I had to take off the gloves (like to do the dishes) I put on more lotion and put them back in the gloves right away. It was hard. Every time I had my gloves off, I would run my fingers over each other, like I always do, to find any rough spots, and keeping myself from attacking the rough spots was almost painful to do. I also felt a tingle in my teeth like I needed to be biting something. But when you have the gloves on, it keeps you out of your habitual behaviors. You have to make a conscious choice to remove the gloves and go at your fingers... and if you really don't want to do it anymore, I think you can handle keeping the gloves on, or putting more lotion on and replacing the gloves. It's two days later, and I haven't been wearing gloves at all today. My skin is healing and becoming much smoother. Every time I find a rough spot and want to pick, I put lotion all over my fingers and massage it in, until they're not rough anymore. That also provides some stimulation for my fingers, which seems to help relieve the urge. When they were still rough even with lotion, that's when I had to put them in gloves to keep myself away from them. I'm keeping travel-size lotion with me everywhere I go. The really creamy kind (body butter) is working much better than the watery kind. It lasts much longer and feels less "sticky" on my hands. If I get a hanging piece of skin, I allow myself to get a cuticle nipper and carefully cut off just the part that's hanging off. It's a lot of self control. Now that I can see my hands getting nicer, it's a motivator as well. At least now there aren't any areas that are really ripped apart, there's no raw/bleeding skin, etc. Every day I show them off to my boyfriend, and I get my due praise, lol. I still haven't tried any of my "uh-oh" activities yet, which include riding in a car or a train, watching a movie, or writing a paper. Those make it REALLY hard for me not to pick my fingers. I'll have to make sure to bring a knitting project along so I have something to do with my hands. Or even back to the gloves (at least it's still chilly outside!). Honestly I wonder how long it'll take them to heal up so the scars aren't a deep pink anymore. I guess we'll find out... if I can stick with it!
March 17, 2009
I'm new to this, and like others, have just now discovered that there's a name to what we're all going through. The one thing that I've found that helps me to not pick at my cuticles and the skin on my fingers is to keep nail clippers close by and use them to clip off the rough areas. As long as there's nothing to bite at or get my fingernail under, I'm pretty much ok. Unfortunately, this doesn't work well on the bottoms of my feet which is where I do most of my picking.
April 03, 2009
Like everyone else, I had no idea there were so many other people with this same issue or that it was actually a diagnosable disorder. I'm 23 now and I still remember the first time I realized my picking was a problem. I was in kindergarten! I remember thinking "I really need to stop this". So obviously it's still a problem. Mainly I pick the skin on the sides of my thumbs, and I've tried to stop sooo many times, but as everyone keeps saying, it's almost impossible. I saw some girl in one of my college classes the other day also picking her thumbs, and it just lit in me this desire to finally stop this for good. I found this website and read some suggestions about occupying your fingers, which I think will help me tremendously. I'm using silly putty now. My record was like a month once, so here's hoping I can stop for good!
April 04, 2009
Hello, thank you everyone for telling your painful stories. I have picked for 30+ years. I sucked my fingers till i was 8, bit my fingernails after that and then during my teen age years started ripping the skin around the nails. I am a nurse and it was impossible for me to manage the situation. I wore acrylic nails for many years; this helped so I couldn't grab onto anything but 1 year ago, i developed an allergic response to the acrylic nails. I nearly lost all my finger nails and the skin around my nails just peeled and peeled. It was so awful. My nails are finally starting to grow back right now. I used Biotin (OTC); it helped the nails grow and made them stronger. But now, I am back to the horrid picking and peeling until everyday all my fingers are bleeding. I am at my wits end. I will never be able to use acrylic nails or any form of "fake" nails. No matter how much lotion or gloves (at night) i apply, nothing is helping. I am treated for depression and have discussed this with my psychiatrist; they have never thought much of it. Nice to know there are others out there that are as embarrassed as me. I am not sure my comments are of any help, but to let people know they are not alone out there.
April 19, 2009
I also pick my cuticles. I use to bite my nails until i was like 17 and when I stopped, thats when the picking and biting of my cuticles started. I've been doing that now for like 4 years. I pick them so much that they usually start bleeding and I have scars on my fingers. My boyfriend also makes sure to tell me how bad my fingers look. It looks even worse when I get out of the bath or shower and my hands are pruned. I recently was doing a google search to figure out why I also have these horizontal ridges on my thumb nails and come to find out its because of my cuticle picking. I guess from me pushing my cuticles down it leaves no support when my nails grow and makes the ridges. I really want to just stop. It seems like it was easier for me to stop biting my nails than trying to stop picking at my cuticles. I find myself doing it more when im at work, when I'm thinking like when I'm doing my homework, or when I have drank like an energy drink or coffee. My fingers look pretty bad and I am going to school to become an Interpreter for American Sign Language so I would really like to stop this habbit.

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