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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

AIBU to put chilli on his fingers?

(64 Posts)
Creamcrackered1 Thu 14-Jul-16 20:39:15

Hi, my 5yr old is biting his nails really badly so much so that they are frequently swelling with infection and needing lancing. We have tried stop-and-grow, but he just nibbles through it and don't know what else to do. If it was just nail biting, I wouldn't mind, but they get so painful and infected that he sobs when he washes his hands. Someone suggested rubbing a chilli on them as a stronger deterrent... would that be unreasonable?! He is very shy, but has lots of friends and is very happy so don't think there is a big psychological issue to deal with.

Houseconfusion Thu 14-Jul-16 20:41:02

You are asking if you should rub chilli on the swollen broken and infected skin of a child? Or what? Wait for it to barely heal and then put some on?

OrianaBanana Thu 14-Jul-16 20:42:23

He sobs when hand washing and you want to rub a chilli on them? Are you serious?

ktmummy1 Thu 14-Jul-16 20:42:55

Wouldn't chilli be extremely painful on broken skin. I definitely wouldn't be doing that. Maybe stick plasters on them all day take them off at night but chilli would sting

SunnySomer Thu 14-Jul-16 20:43:02

Chilli would be unforgivable IMO. Imagine the pain when he has a wee? If his eyes itch and he rubs them?
However, I'm not sure if I can think of a helpful solution. My DS - despite years of attempted solutions - only stopped when he decided to. Me too, tbh.
But I can understand your upset and frustration - it looks incredibly painful. Sorry not to be helpful.

TheRealAdaLovelace Thu 14-Jul-16 20:43:11

no that would be really cruel - do you really need telling?
If you did that, your child would need protection from you.

TheoriginalLEM Thu 14-Jul-16 20:43:54

Are you fucking serious???

CocktailQueen Thu 14-Jul-16 20:43:59

No, not chilli!!!

How about giving him a fiddle toy that he can play with instead of biting his poor fingers? Looks terribly sore.

TheRealAdaLovelace Thu 14-Jul-16 20:44:38

You could try 'Stop n Gro'.
Who on earth is suggesting chilli oil? What about his eyes, his bum, his penis if he were to touch them? FFS.

Fairylea Thu 14-Jul-16 20:45:57

That would be abusive. You can't do that. shockbiscuit

Skin picking is linked to anxiety and ocd. It is actually a recognised condition in itself. If you google compulsive skin picking you will find lots of info.

I skin pick at my fingers and often make them bleed and have done since I was about 4/5. The only thing that has ever stopped me is having gel overlay on my nails as it makes them too thick at the edge to use to pick.

AnyFucker Thu 14-Jul-16 20:45:57





monkeywithacowface Thu 14-Jul-16 20:46:42

Just as an alternative you could try addressing the root cause of his nail biting hmm if there's an emotional issue that needs working on then he'll just transfer this habit onto something else anyway.

isthistoonosy Thu 14-Jul-16 20:46:58

Tell him the doctor says he has to wear gloves at all times, use a Velcro strap to keep them on?
Maybe combine with rewards / bribes for keeping them on all day.

Do you know when he bites, his triggers - can you help.him avoid them?

I'm trying to stop a thumb sucker and am constantly putting things in her hands to take to places, dancing etc to keep her hands occupied. smile

Maybebabybee Thu 14-Jul-16 20:47:21

Jesus Christ shock

Who the fuck suggested that to you?

Houseconfusion Thu 14-Jul-16 20:47:32

I actually feel sick now at the thought of what you're thinking of doing. Oh god

BusStopBetty Thu 14-Jul-16 20:48:11

Fucking hell. No.

RachelGoldberg Thu 14-Jul-16 20:48:13

I cannot believe this is real.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Thu 14-Jul-16 20:48:31

Poor little sausage ☹️

You CANNOT put chili on him. DEFINITELY NOT.

I get that you think that there's nothing worrying/upsetting him but I'm not sure you're right, I'd be extremely worried about him. I wouldn't mess about with the NHS, I'd spend some serious money on a specialist play therapist to see if they can get to the bottom of it.

Something isn't right.

AmberNectarine Thu 14-Jul-16 20:48:53

I really hope this is a troll.

VertiginousOust Thu 14-Jul-16 20:49:27

As a grown up nail biter myself, I'm not sure there's much you can do to stop it tbh. I have bitten my nails my whole life. I learnt not to bite them so much that they got infected when I was old enough to make the link properly. I've tried lots of things over the years to stop (not chilli though hmm) and nothing works, it's an almost unconscious compulsion.
Don't do chilli or anything like that, that would be insane. How about a fabric finger guard (usually used for thumb-sucking) for the worst affected finger until it heals more?

JacquelineChan Thu 14-Jul-16 20:49:34

What about a cautionary tale?

When I was about 6 I was visiting my mum's elderly auntie and she had a figurine of the Venus di milo. I asked her why she had no arms and ( she must have been aware of my nail biting habit ) she told me this lady bit her nails until she ate her arms !
Awful I know and you couldn't get away with it these days but it frightened the life out of me and I never did it since

NeedACleverNN Thu 14-Jul-16 20:49:50

Yeah go on. Try the chilli

Will be waiting for the "ds has just had a wee and now he is screaming the place down" thread

glasgowlass Thu 14-Jul-16 20:50:35

What the fucking fuck?
Are you actually serious?
What next? Cut his fingers off so he can't bite the nails?
I am appalled that you even have to ask this question. Fuck sake.

JackieAndHyde4eva Thu 14-Jul-16 20:51:49


How could anyone be this stupid?

ThoraGruntwhistle Thu 14-Jul-16 20:51:55

What everyone else said. For gods sake, don't put chilli on the broken and sore skin of a small child.

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