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To ask you to help me fight this compulsion (pics)

(64 Posts)
Comealongpond89 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:21:17

I bite the skin around my nails. I've been doing for as long a so can remember. Sometimes I go through stages of not doing it as bad but at the moment I can't stop. They're getting really sore and I hate how they look. I've tried occupying my hands but I still do it. Anyone do similar or have any tips on how to stop a compulsion? I'll add pics on my next post

Comealongpond89 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:23:38

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Comealongpond89 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:24:17

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DroningOn Fri 10-Aug-18 21:25:04

I pull at rag nails and my cuticles and half of my fingers are usually sore and scabby.

Summer hols and daily sunscreen use moisturises my hands and fixes them for 2 weeks of the year, shame I can't make general moisturising stick at home for the other 50.

Scientistic Fri 10-Aug-18 21:25:06

No advice as I do similar and really frustrate myself!

blankiesandunicorns Fri 10-Aug-18 21:27:56

I'm a skin picker too. Iv done it for 10 years or so now. My latest is on my knuckle, was dry skin and now I can't stop picking it, looks horrible. I feel for you as its so difficult to stop.

Any tips welcome!

Smugpenguin Fri 10-Aug-18 21:29:28

Plasters on every finger worked for my friend. She used to do it without realising, but she wasn't so desperate to do it that she'd peel the plasters off, so the plasters stayed on and her fingers recovered whilst she broke the habit.

DroningOn Fri 10-Aug-18 21:31:39

Plasters! We can all become MJ tributes....

SingleCellParamecium Fri 10-Aug-18 21:32:52

Paint it with that anti nail biting stuff? Tastes horribly bitter so you stop as soon as you start.

muddlingalong42 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:33:20

I do this! It’s teally hard to stop! And it’s reallt painful!!
I do it more when I’m bored or anxious about something.
Lucas Paw Paw ointment is really good for healing.
I also find if I use nail strengthener, file my nails, moisturise a lot and generally look after my hands it’s lowers the compulsion a bit
You can also get a cuticle softener which stops the snags starting quite so much, so there’s less of a starting point for picking, if that makes sense.

Etymology23 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:35:12

Nail varnish you can pick off instead? I bite my nails (now much less badly) and my most successful method was slowly reducing the number I permitted myself to bite, til it was just my two little nails. Don’t know if that would work? Now it’s just if I’m really stressed!

Singlenotsingle Fri 10-Aug-18 21:35:32

That stuff you paint on your nails, can't you put it on the skin as well? Apparently it tastes bitter. Or maybe put thimbles on your fingers, then when you feel the urge to chew, you tap your fingers on the table instead? (Or the door, walls, floor?) grin

Thebookswereherfriends Fri 10-Aug-18 21:35:51

There’s a chapped skin stick called snow fire, meant for when you go skiing, but i use it in winter when I get cracked skin. It is amazingly healing and you just rub a bit on whenever you think about it. It doesn’t taste great,so might reduce the amount of biting going on.

NoNeedToArgue Fri 10-Aug-18 21:39:37

I totally understand this. My fingers sometimes look like yours, and often worse. I bite them when I am stressed. I think moisturising them as much as possible is a really good idea, but the only thing that sorts mine out is stopping biting, confused which happens when I'm feeling ok. The good thing is the skin heals super fast if you can leave them alone for a couple of days. I really feel for you OP. Mine get so bad I can't bend my fingers and the pain is excruciating.

AmericanEskimoDoge Fri 10-Aug-18 21:40:59

Back in school, I stopped biting my nails by sitting on my hands (just tucking them under my legs, really).

Laiste Fri 10-Aug-18 21:41:49

Is it the only place you bite or pick?

I'm grasping at straws here but when certain children have the urge to fiddle or pick all the time at primary school we recognise the anxiety and allow them a small toy to fiddle with so they can sit quiet and concentrate. Would something like that help? Something you can hold, pick at or squeeze when your hands are not busy?

pippop1317 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:41:49

I do this too. Like you I sometimes don't touch them and then other times I go mad. And even involve the nail clippers to help!! And then regret it when they are so sore!

Comealongpond89 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:42:28

I've tried the nasty tasting stuff but I still did it! I like painting my nails but I also get a bit ocd about that. If it gets chipped I hate it so I take it all off and start again. But using too much nail varnish remover has thinned my nails and now they chip too! I could try moisturiser but I hate the feel of cream on my hands. If I put suncream on dd I have to wash my hands straight after. That ski stuff sounds quite good too

dudsville Fri 10-Aug-18 21:42:57

Like any habit, you're going to have to really intentionally want to stop. Do something to get you out of the habit for a week or so, like plasters. Make a healthy routine of changing them, use a lovely kind hand wash, put on a nice hand cream ams something healthy rubbed in to your cuticles. Use a cloth to dry then enough to put the plasters back on. All the while being v mindful of your intention. After a week or so continue to be careful and whenever you notice the tendency allow your attention to really focus in and get yourself back on track with your intention. I say this having once been a nail biter. Over came that, then less than a decade later I began attacking my cuticles. I now only allow myself to clip off amy bits with nail clippers and I use hand cream and do my cuticles every evening as I watch TV.

Comealongpond89 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:44:17

I've tried doing cross stitch and playing with silk ribbons which did help a bit but I always end up doing again and worse. I also pick any scab or cut I have as well. Compulsive picker

EvaHarknessRose Fri 10-Aug-18 21:46:44

Actually I had some hypnotherapy years ago and mentioned this as a problem, it didn’t work for the other things, but I stopped biting my skin.

Its a stress habit, so I would say reduce your stress and concentrate your efforts in not doing it for a month, then the skin will heal and the habit will be broken.

Elisheva Fri 10-Aug-18 21:50:38

You need to make it impossible to chew, to give yourself a chance to break the habit. What about wearing cotton gloves? You could put a healing cream on your fingers and then the gloves, so they have a chance to heal. Have you tried chewing gum to help with the anxiety side?

UpstartCrow Fri 10-Aug-18 21:52:23

I thought I'd stopped doing that until I realised I'd started biting the inside of my mouth instead blush

TonicClonicAndTheWaves Fri 10-Aug-18 21:53:28

The only thing that really works for me is reducing my stress levels because it's always worse when I'm stressed out. Manicures can help too, because it sorts them out into a better state to begin with and then I want to keep them looking nice.

littlestrawby Fri 10-Aug-18 21:55:18

I second putting plasters or something over the top...if you have to think about getting through an obstacle to do it then maybe that will give you enough pause to distract yourself and resist doing it. Worked for me for biting my nails...for a while until I reached my goal of having nice nails on my wedding day!

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