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Skin picking...

(22 Posts)

I thought while I was here about my DH's problems I'd broach a subject that's been concerning me for a while.

I've always bitten my nails, I chew the skin around the fingers quite excessively until it bleeds and is very sore. I've always just lived with this and put it down to "oh I bite my nails"

It wasn't until I started skin picking elsewhere it made me think...is this a compulsion? With all the stress I've been through recently, I've started picking the skin on the soles of my feet...starting with the hard sole skin and tearing it down to the soft bits. I know that sounds rancid, I'm really sorry, but I really need to talk about it. I can't stop doing it. I spend most days hobbling about from the pains...it bleeds and is so sore I don't know what to do.

I was put on anti-depressants a few weeks ago and I've just had my dosage upped...hasn't made much of a difference yet (I'm on Seroxat). I mentioned the skin picking but I don't feel he really addressed it. Does anyone else suffer this?

Wolfiefan Thu 03-Oct-13 23:22:57

Um yes. Embarrassed to say I do. I sort of bite and pick around my nails when anxious. It's horrid but oddly therapeutic (although self harmy?)

I do this too. The only way I can help it is to cut my nails short and minimise the damage

5madthings Thu 03-Oct-13 23:25:54

I do this, I have eczema as well so its not good.

I think its partly habit now but its def worse when is, stressed, mine is mainly my elbows and scalp or occasionally my feet.

Its awful. Looks hideous, I don't like wearing short sleeves as it looks sore. The eczema in my scalp means I dotn want to go to the hairdressers...

Anyway my cpn said it is a form of self harm and its quite common.

I try to distract myself or slather moisturizer on rather than pick, or smoke hmm

I can soemtiems stop completely but then as soon as I get a bit of dry skin (often) it starts again...

My nails are almost non-existant, and the skin around is terrible. To the point when I got randomly arrested once (my friend had weed, I got released without charge) the finger-print lady accused me of trying to deliberately destroy my fingerprints shock

It's the feet thing that gets me...It was so painful the other night and I was STILL picking it...to the point it was bleeding through my sock. Is this self harm?

Wolfiefan Thu 03-Oct-13 23:27:26

Glad it is not just me!

Wolfiefan Thu 03-Oct-13 23:29:18

Sorry x post.
I would think of anything that deliberately causes pain and suffering as self harm but I am no doctor. If your feet are bleeding and it hurts to walk then it would concern me. (Risk of infection?)

That's what I'm like 5madthings - it started with a little blister from wearing shoes....then the dry skin on my heels (which I'm sorry is SO satisfying to pick)

God that sounds so wrong...I'm glad I'm not alone.

5madthings Thu 03-Oct-13 23:31:34

Yes it so self had,, it is also compulsive behavior.

Mine is painful as well yet I can't not do it and there is some relief in it in a woerd way.

I would be worried about infection in your feet as well, did you show the Dr?

I put Sudocrem on them when it's bad, and to be fair I have tried really hard to leave it alone for a few nights so it's not as raw.

I didn't show them...I just told them. I do use anti-septic stuff and it hasn't got infected yet. i just feel like a wierd freak admitting it to anyone. My DH didn't even notice until I showed him. A couple of weeks ago it was REALLY bad and I could barely walk on it.

5madthings Thu 03-Oct-13 23:35:04

Yep if I get a blister on my feet or heal I can't leave it alone.

Rather revoltingly I will use nail scissors or hair clips to pick it more blush

Should have name changed...

I don't see my cpn anymore and am off antidepressants (I had pnd after ds4 now 5) but the picking has stayed a problem, I may go back to my gp and ask what help I can get, cognitive behavioral therapy or something?!

Wolfiefan Thu 03-Oct-13 23:38:13

Aargh. I've done the nail scissors thing too in the past. It is satisfying and I understand why you'd say it is wrong but it's a coping mechanism. We just need a different one. Please someone tell me if you have beaten this. (I often think people can read my state of mind by looking at my hands.)

I haven't used scissors but I can see why you might. My short stubby nails are good for picking although with really hard bits I end up taking it too far and leaving a big hole in my foot

EBearhug Thu 03-Oct-13 23:40:01

I'm a bit vain about my nails, which are in quite good condition - and also nicely sharp, making them jolly good tools for skin picking. Any hint of a spot or minor skin blemish of any sort, if I'm under a bit of stress, I'm there. I can be very focussed about it, usually in a way that I'm completely not about whatever is stressing me.

I caught up with an old friend recently, and she admitted her scarred face was not acne but skin picking.

Dunno why I do it, but it's a habit that dates back to my school days, so at least 30 years, ehich means I have no real ideas about how to stop yourself.

I hate sitting in front of people and chewing my fingers...it's awful, I feel so self-conscious but I don't realise I'm doing it half the time. I've tried all the "paint nasty shit on your nails" treatments...dont' work FOR SHIT!

Wolfiefan Thu 03-Oct-13 23:47:42

I tend to do it in private. Painting something on my nails doesn't stop me. I need something that makes me feel better about myself and less anxious. (Exercise is good!)

The feet picking is private, but I've always bitten nails so do that anywhere...it's disgusting, I hate it.

recall Thu 03-Oct-13 23:53:08

I pick an area on one of my eyebrows. its so weird, but I just go straight for it if i get stressed or bored. It looks terrible, and has left a gap in the eyebrow and a sort of dent. I have suffered from anxiety for years and I am on Sertraline.

Apparently there is an official name - dermatillomania - and it is a form of self harm. I've done it for over 40 years & only found out a few months ago that a) it's not just me and b) it's a recognised "thing".

recall Thu 03-Oct-13 23:55:55

I also chew the skin inside my mouth which can become sore.

I didn't ever think it was a "thing" Just like biting my nails...it wasn't until I suddenly realized it was technically "self-harm" and and anxiety coping mechanism,

It's nice to know I'm not alone!

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