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  1. #1
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    Default Compulsive urge to pick finger skin - how do I get help for this?

    I think I have this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatillomania

    I pick my finger skin. Mostly on my thumb, index and middle finger on my left hand... It comes in bouts that last for months. I'm on my third "bout" of it now. Nothing I do "stops" it from happening... though painting my nails each and every night does sort of help because I am too vain to want to chip it. It doesn't stop it enough though... because if I don't think anyone is going to see me, I don't care. It'll only be useful on the days I'm working, and the other days I'll go to town on my fingers. I do it until they're raw and bleeding. It's gross and I really want to stop, but just CAN'T.

    I try to stop it by instead, when realising I'm doing it, rubbing one finger on another instead of picking... but that only really helps temporarily before I start picking again...

    Anyway, that's all gross, but how on earth do I get this diagnosed and seen to? Everyone always thinks it's dermatitis... and that my picking is a result of an itch. But it's not. I just compulsively pick. Mostly using my other fingers, so putting foul-tasting stuff on it doesn't work (tried it).

    HELP! Who do I see? WTF do I say? I am so sick of it - especially as I work with people's skin, and as if they want my feral hands on them when they're all destroyed and gross.

    It's also happened both ON and OFF medication for anxiety/depression... (I wasn't taking it FOR this). It actually started when I was on meds, the 2nd bout when I was weaning off meds... and then this bout while I'm completely off meds (and have been for about 6-ish months). So those meds obviously have no effect (Zoloft).

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    Default Compulsive urge to pick finger skin - how do I get help for this?

    Wow...I do this to my fingers. I didn't realise there was an actual name for it!

    I find I do it more frequently when I am anxious or stressed. I pick the skin around my finger nails until I bleed. My fingers always look gross. Whenever my husband catches me doing it he tries and grabs my hands and holds them to stop me..but I fight and pull away and keep going.

    Mine seems to come in waves too. I've started again recently as I've just returned to work after a years maternity leave and it's really stressing me out being back there and having to leave my little boy.

    I'm probably no help, but just wanted you to know you are not alone xx

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    Default Compulsive urge to pick finger skin - how do I get help for this?

    I do this! I keep cutting my nails down to stop!

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    Have you spoken to a GP about it? They might refer you to a psychologist or even a dermatologist (then they might refer to a psychologist). If its a neurological thing as apposed to a skin condition then it will probably need to be treated with councilling as apposed to medication.

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    Default Compulsive urge to pick finger skin - how do I get help for this?

    Are You under Stress? Could it be like an OCD type thing?
    I had some ritual type things I did when I was younger and in hindsight it was because I had too much on my plate. Was only resolved when the stressors were removed.

    Hopefully chatting with your doctor will help?

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    i Do this too. As an anxious or upset or sometimes bored thing. mine gets reaaaly bad. When it scabs i pick at it more too. Maybe Try talking to ur gp and see what they think might be the best treatment for it. Sorry Im not much help. I still do it so dont have a cure. Sorry. Good luck sassy

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    Default Compulsive urge to pick finger skin - how do I get help for this?

    I run my nails down the side of my thumb nail separating the skin from my nail. Actually I do it to all my nails and sometimes the skin comes away and bleeds. Is this the same sort of thing?

    I don't do it all the time, but am doing it as we speak....

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    Default Compulsive urge to pick finger skin - how do I get help for this?

    I do this too. As soon as the skin around my nail starts getting hard I'm picking at it like crazy, it makes my hands look so gross .

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone.

    Yes, it starts with the cuticles for me... and then that skin hardens and then I pick at that... etc. I only do it on my first three fingers... and right now I'm only really doing it to my thumb and middle finger on my left hand. There's a little on my index, and on the right hand, but it's not much at all.

    I pick at it, even when it hurts. I mostly confine it to the sides of my finger that face my thumb (or the "inside" side of the thumb, the side facing away from my index finger)... but it does move around to the pad of my finger sometimes, and that gentle skin bleeds and hurts like hell! Still, I pick at it.

    If it gets too painful, I move on to other fingers until it heals enough for me to continue back there again.

    I'm actually wondering if maybe it could be a result of my weight loss surgery. I was thinking about when this first happened, and I THINK it started sooner after my surgery. I was an emotional and binge eater. Now I physically cannot do it, and even if I try to emotionally eat, it's a pathetic amount so doesn't do its "job" so to speak... so maybe I Just moved on to this?

    I have to go back to the GP soon about some tests I've having, so I might bring it up with her then. That's a bit of a mental problem though... I HATE talking to people (face to face) about my problems... a result of my anxiety.

    There are no triggers to this as far as I can see, apart from just general OTT anxiety that I get from almost each and every thing. I stress and over-react to most life situations... creating "what if," problems where there are none... a result of my anxiety... but I suppose it's either suck it up and somehow force myself to talk to her, or keep at this and destroy my fingers and freak out clients at work.

    THanks everyone for the replies. I was really happy to have found the wiki entry,and numerous other results during a google search... I thought I was just some freak.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to SassyMummy For This Useful Post:

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    Default Compulsive urge to pick finger skin - how do I get help for this?

    Wow thanks so much for posting this, the link was fascinating and I realise now that I have this too - focused mainly on my heels. The idea of it being an "impulse control disorder" really resonates with me, and I think this extends for me to overeating, and pre-kids to drinking and smoking.
    Thanks again, it's really given me food for thought x


 

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