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intoJesus , 05 Apr 2010

Finger biting--I'm not alone!

I feel so much better knowing there are other neurotic people out there like me! I have been compulsively biting/picking the skin on my fingers since I was...I don't know 7? I know for sure I was doing it in 3rd grade. I'm 23 now...and still going at it. My fingers are calloused and are always bloody. I pick the cuticles and all the skin around the nail...they're often sore and red...its so sad. People always comment and it makes me feel bad. I chew my cheeks and lips too...sometimes till they bleed. I will also pick scabs really bad if I have them. Its so hard to stop! I've tried several times...the most I've ever done is a couple weeks. I've tried the crappy tasting stuff, I've tried forcing myself not to, I've tried cutting my nails next attempt is going to be to put bandaids on my fingers for like a month. It will look stupid, but so do bloody, red, tore up fingers. I've never met someone who does the same thing, so it feels nice to know there are others out there. I just hope we can find a way to stop!
4 Answers
April 06, 2010
hey, i do that too. i've always been a nail-biter, but lately i've realized how out-of-control it is when my "nail biting" becomes ripping the skin around my cuticles until it bleeds. i haven't really found a solution yet, but i'll let you know if i do! hang in there! maybe, together, we can change our behavior... i'm trying to remain hopeful! :)
April 10, 2010
I have the exact same problems that you have, so you are most definitely not alone. I have tried all kinds of things, and nothing has worked for me. I have just recently gone to my GP for any medical advice and/or treatment options because I am sick of feeling depressed about how my fingers looked. He said that he has not had experience with someone that picks their nails as bad I do, and he asked me if I would feel more comfortable going to a psychologist or a psychiatrist to begin with. I told him that I didn't have a preference, and he referred me to a psychologist with the hopes that she will then recommend that I seek a psychiatrist (if needed). FYI, I have tried band-aids on my fingers, and I had trouble keeping them on (hand washing etc.) all the time. I then tried putting them on at night, but I would then take them off in the morning and spend all day picking until they were raw and bleeding. I then tried putting baby oil, neosporin, and lotion with aloe on my hands and sleeping all night with latex gloves on to keep the moisture in. It worked better than the band-aids, but all of the lotions/oils burn my open cuticles so it was hard to keep the gloves on the entire night. I tried the nasty tasting polish on my nails and cuticles, but all I did was pick it off instead of bite. I have tried paying myself money (for fun things) if I didn't pick, and that didn't work. There are only 2 things that have worked longer than anything else: Artificial nails (the acrylic is thick, and will not break the skin) and crocheting. Crocheting is great because it keeps my hands busy, but I only spend a few hours a week doing this and I pick the rest of the time. The acrylic nails are great, but the minute they come off your nails and cuticles become so weak that it hurts to do normal everyday activities like washing your hair or opening a can of soda. I hope that it helps to know that there are people out there that are suffering with the same issues, and are looking for ways to stop. I am 28, and I have spend over 20 years trying to figure out how to stop! Let me know if the band-aids work for you! Good luck!
April 10, 2010

In reply to by kcooksey25

hands definitely don't take to bandages as well as elsewhere on the body . they're to busy and get wet too often. your psychologist will probably recommend medication which will definitely help in its way, but unfortunately, ultimately, it is going to take you making a mental decision, once and for all, to stop the behaviour for your health's sake. that's what it takes to break any bad habit. of course employing various tactics definitely helps too, which medication is one, gloves might be another deterrent, but ultimately you have to really want to stop the behaviour, be willing to seriously employ all tactics that will work for you, and make a determined commitment to stop the behaviour. finding healthier behaviours to replace the picking may help too. i recently read an interesting and intriguing process called the Emotional Freedom Technique - Tapping - used to free oneself from negative feelings and beliefs and it just might be successful in breaking a habit and keeping your fingers busy doing something other than picking. visit to see if it is something you might try.
March 11, 2013
I chew my nails, skin around my nails, my knuckles, inner hands, the joints everything that is tender on my hands I chew I chew the inside of my cheeks and lips, and even my toes. I chew constantly all the time and my hands hurt so bad I have been doing this since I was 6. I'm 24 now and still going. Worse and worse.most of the time I don't even realize I'm chewing. Any ideas how to help me stop are welcome.

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