aaargh - poor you, poor her. I used to do this. It's a horrible habit. I find plasters are the only way forward, I've never found anything else. But you have to get the right plaster that will stay on for a full day and be able to bear lots of picking at, which is what will happen when she can't bite them. I think fabric plasters work best. Oh yes, the other thing worth trying is putting some calendula ointment on, it is a healing ointment which obviously helps and is also very slithery so harder to bite, Doesn't taste great either.
However, is very likely there is something more to this. Is she stressed? Worried? nervous about something? It might be worth a trip to GP if you have a good one who will be able to talk around the issues and try to determine what is really going on with her.
FWIW, I seem to have stopped in the past three months, since I have started regular meditating and am much calmer.
I used to do this and still do - I definitely do it more when I am stressed/worried though when less severe it's more through absentmindedness/fidgeting. I agree with the fabric plasters, it's the only thing that at least slows me down! but they do have to be sturdy and hard to get off or there's no point.
cream is probably a good idea at bedtime but I would imagine during the day she'll just wipe it off/wash her hands? But cream+plasters prob a good idea.
It is SUCH a horrible habit. And quite embarrassing too when you are older and have bitten down fingers.
yes it is embarassing - and even when you have the plasters on is embarrassing - especially if both thumbs are bad at same time so you have two on - people do wonder what is going on as with just one plaster on you could have just cut yourself or something. I have a friend who when he sees both thumbs plastered now gives me a hug and asks what is stressing me.
do try to help her sort it out - I know someone else who does this and her thumbs are pretty much deformed now. Odd, as she is otherwise a very elegant woman.
yes, can be a mindless activity in front of TV. I knit now, which also helps as hands are busy. Try to get her to keep the plasters on - I actually find picking the plasters just as effective as mindless habits go.
You know the awful thing is that it often hurts badly enough to brings tears to your eyes. But you keep doing it.