Bad Habit Or Disorder
As with other body-focused repetitive behaviors, nail-biting and cuticle picking vary in behavioral presentation. On the one hand, mild nail-biting may occur as an unconscious automatic behavior that relieves anxiety while a person may engage in biting and picking behaviors with full awareness and intent.
Some people may experience this phenomenon as a bad habit that they engage in occasionally but do not consider it disordered behavior. In others, the behaviors cause significant damage to the nails and skin, some experience dental problems or get infections because of the behavior. When a behavior causes impairment and injury, then it may be considered a disorder.
Onychophagia is not a distinct diagnosis in the DSM-V, which is the psychiatric diagnostic manual, but it falls with the spectrum of obsessive-compulsive disorders and skin-picking disorder. In medical diagnostics, it falls under the category of other behavioral and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence. According to both diagnostics, several things need to occur in order;to classify nail-biting and cuticle picking as a disorder:
Why Do I Pick At The Skin Around My Nails
Before I jumped into any solutions , I first wanted to learn a bit more about cuticle picking in generalnamely, why TF it happens. Cuticle picking is a body-focused repetitive behavior,which, in simple terms, means a repetitive self-grooming habit, says Sanam Hafeez, MD, a neuropsychologist in New York City. Unlike a constructive habit that we repeat daily, like washing our face, cuticle picking falls under the category of a bad habit, she says, adding that people often pick their cuticles to relieve stress or when theyre bored and fidgety. Which, tbh, has been my entire mood during quarantine.
According to Dr. Hafeez, 75 percent of all skin pickers are womenso apparently Im one of the chosen ones. And remember when I said picking my cuticles felt oddly satisfying? Yeah, thats super common for people with body-focused repetitive behavior , since pulling, picking, or bitting can actually produce relaxing and pleasing feelings. So when someone with BFRB feels stressed or anxious , engaging in picking can have a soothing effect on the nervous system, says Dr. Hafeez. Ding, ding, ding.
What Kind Of Therapy Is Best For Skin
Behavioral interventions are thought to be the most effective way to treat BFRBs, including dermatillomania. One often effective intervention;is habit reversal training , which focuses on identifying triggers and devising prevention strategies specifically aimed at those triggers. CBT and ACT have also proven valuable for many, especially over the longer term; these approaches typically target the unpleasant thoughts and emotions that may compel someone to pick at their skin.
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
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I Causes Of Skin Picking Disorder
It can become a very serious disorder with the name Compulsive Skin Picking disorder. It is marked by many physical conditions such as scarring, severe tissue damage and discoloration. More importantly, emotional and mental damage such as social withdrawal, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, etc. caused by this disorder could be more difficult to resolve.
Some common causes of this disorder include:
- Trauma: In some cases, an extremely sad event can also cause the onset of skin picking disorder
- Genetics: According to a study , people who have a family history of excoriation disorder or some other related diseases would be at higher risk.
- Stress: Current study has found that picking the skin is the way to help some people cope with stress in their lives.
Fortunately, people with skin picking disorder have a few treatment options to choose from. These remedies are various, ranging from medication to alternative holistic care to behavioral therapies. If you suffer from skin picking disorder and want to get rid of this awful disorder, then the following home remedies can be helpful.
List of Top 48 Best Home Remedies For Stress Relief And Removal will show you some of the natural treatments for stress that you can apply with ease at home, so check it out!
But Don’t Be Afraid To Cover Up Areas That You’re Tempted To Pick If That’s What Helps
“I know it’s obvious, but sometimes I really just need that barrier. I pick my inner elbows, so I keep a sweatshirt around to put on if I need to cover my arms.”
Jackie Heaney, Facebook
“The only thing that ever worked for my excoriation disorder was getting fake nails that were too long/thick to be able to do any damage. I mostly pick my cuticles so I always considered it a win/win to have pretty nails and clean cuticles.”
Terry Cloche, Facebook
“I paint my nails so I can pick off the paint the next day/days or whenever it starts to chip. It makes my hands busy so that theyre not in my mouth .”
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A recent Australian study reported that people with clinical levels of body-focused repetitive behaviours are two to four times more likely to experience other mental health difficulties such as depression and anxiety.
The researchers expected that people with repetitive nail-biting and mouth-chewing would report better mental health than those with skin-picking and hair-pulling; this was not the case. Instead, all body-focused repetitive behaviours were related to poorer mental health and quality of life.
The causal nature of these relationships is difficult to establish. However, these behaviours typically develop during childhood or adolescence, and some studies suggest the onset of depression is due to distress caused by severe body-focused repetitive behaviours.
Skin Picking Your Fingers Tips And Strategies To Help
If you pick at your cuticles, peel or rip hangnails, scratch or scrape or bite your fingers or nails, my new video is for you and will discuss all sorts of tips, tools and strategies to help you stop or greatly reduce these behaviors. If you prefer a written article, you can read my previous post on finger picking. I have also included a transcript below the video:
Hi, Im Annette Pasternak, the Stop Skin Picking Coach. Today in our body part series, were focusing on finger picking. So whether this is picking at your cuticles, peeling hangnails, scraping the sides of your fingers, even biting the skin around your fingers, or biting your nails even, this should help all of those things. Im going to give you a bunch of strategies. Putting some of these in place, you can greatly reduce your behaviors. I help people stop skin picking and related behaviors. And you can find all my info in the notes below as well as any products I discuss in this video.
And make sure youre taking breaks. So you might be doing these behaviors just automatically. And the longer you sit still, the more youre going to be fidgety and doing these kind of behaviors. So take breaks, walk around, use the bathroom, drink some water, have a snack, whatever you need to do, but take a little walk, do some exercises. That should help as well.
Definitely check out my other blog post on finger picking, where youll also meet two finger pickers and learn what works for them.
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Strategically Limit Which Nail You Can Bite Or Pick:
“I was going trough a really stressful time and my nails were paying the price; they were hurting and bleeding all day everyday. One day, my therapist came up with this idea she told me pick a finger out of blue and she didnt tell me the reason. I chose my little finger on my right hand for no reason. And she told me from now on that is the only finger you can bite. This may sound foolish but all of my fingers were in horrible condition, so I think this was clever and after a while, it worked and I havent bitten my nails for five years!”
Get it from Amazon for $8.85.
Create A Physical Barrier
Attempting to stop picking with sheer willpower alone is definitely not a good approach, and you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment. But there are some very practical things you can do to heal damaged tissue and help break the cyclelike wearing a bandage over the cuticles you tend to pick. “If something is covered, then it’s hard to access, and when you try to get to them but can’t, that’s enough time for you to think, Oh, I shouldn’t be doing this,” says Amy Wechsler, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist. “Sometimes my patients will be walking around with lots of Band-Aids, but it’s the only way to heal things.”
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Is Dermatillomania The Same As Self
Most experts consider dermatillomania to be distinct from self-harm. Self-harm often involves the deliberate infliction of pain upon oneself, usually as a means to seek relief from upsetting emotions or thoughts. While dermatillomania can be triggered by negative emotions such as anxiety, it isnt always; boredom, for example, is just as common a trigger. Whats more, any pain caused by skin-picking is rarely the intention; instead, the behaviors often are experienced as soothing or relaxing, at least in the moment.
Reduce Light Set A Timer In Bathroom Toilet:
You should set a timer when going to the bathroom or toilet . When the timer goes off, you need to stop what you are doing immediately. An easy distraction might be everything you need to stay away from your habit if you dissociate when picking. You should also shower, toilet, and bathe in either dark or dimmed light if you can because this will help you reduce the ability to see and find out your imperfections on your body and start picking.
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Ii How To Stop Skin Picking On Fingers And Scalp
There are some natural treatments that can help you know how to stop skin picking around nails habit naturally and effectively. They include:
1. Avoid Touching Your Skin
This trick may be a simple yet very effective way on how to stop skin picking on fingers. This is because when you do not touch your skin by yourself, you will be able to reduce the urge to pick skin. Therefore, you should try to limit the number of skin touching. You can use sponges, brushes to apply makeup; use some cotton pads to apply toner or remove your makeup; use a facial brush when washing your face; and use a loofah or washcloth when taking shower.
Read on 32 Best Ways On How To Remove Dead Skin Cells Naturally to discover some of the best natural remedies to get rid of dead skin cells.
2. Set A Timer When Using Bathroom
This is the second trick on how to stop skin picking on fingers and;scalp that we want to mention in this article and want all of my readers who have this disorder to apply for good. When you use bathroom or when you get the urge to pick the skin, you should set a timer. When the timer is over, you have to stop what you are doing right away. Actually, an easy distraction may be what you need to stop your habit.
3. Reduce Light
4. Paint The Nails With Bitter Nail Polish
If you want to discover some of the best ways that can help your nails grow fast and naturally read on 25 Effective Ways On How To Grow Nails Fast And Naturally
5. Cover Your Fingers
6. Moisturize Your Skin
Tips On How To Stop Skin Picking Habit On Fingers Best Natural Treatments:
A lot of people facing the embarrassment and shame of this disorder may not know that there are many things that can help them deal with the problem, so they continue to hide the issue and try to combat it themselves in silence.
Dermatillomania can become a very serious disorder. It is well-known with the name that is Compulsive Skin Picking disorder a disorder marked by a great deal of physical diseases, including severe tissue damage, scarring, and discoloration. Yet the mental and emotional damage due to compulsive skin picking disorder could be far worse to deal with. This damage usually manifests itself as:
- Emotional and Social Withdrawal
Causes Of The Disease:
- Trauma sometimes just an extremely sad event in life can be the trigger factor for the onset of skin picking disorder
- Stress current study suggests another trigger of dermatillomania may be the stress;in life resulted in anxiety that some people just can cope with by picking their skin.
- Genetics people who have one or both parents or sibling suffering from the excoriation disorder or other related diseases would be much more likely to get this condition
Symptoms Of The Disease:
Today, in this article, I would like to reveal some of the best tips on how to stop skin picking habit on fingers that are proven to work useful for dealing this skin condition. The home remedies;contain:
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How Can I Stop Picking The Skin Around My Nails
- Answer #1
After you shower/bath and are all clean and ready to go out for your day…dip your fingers into something horrible,clean behind the toilet and dont wash your hands after….that would work for me…just dont forget and start nibbling away lol.
- FUNADVICE HEALTH
- Why is there a stigma about getting therapy for mental health?
Put on lotion instead. Put on pretty nail polish that you like enough that when you look at your nails you don’t wanna pick at it & mess it up. Wear rings as a distraction.
put bandaids on all of your fingers?.. my friend did that for a few weeks and it helped.
I know it sounds weird but .. it works
Try to keep yourself occupied, so you dont even think about that!
hey i have the same problem iv done it since i was a little kid
When To Talk With A Doctor
If youve tried the tips above and still cant break the cycle of nail picking, it may be time to see your healthcare provider for help. You should also seek help if your habits have led to injuries to your nails and fingers.
Your primary doctor can also refer you to a mental health professional if they suspect your chronic nail behaviors are related to an underlying anxiety disorder, such as GAD or OCD.
Nail picking may indicate an underlying anxiety disorder, but this habit may also have other health consequences if left untreated. These include:
- permanent damage to your nails and cuticles
- fungal infections of the nails
- skin and bone infections
- possible stomach infections from swallowing nails
- dental problems
- injuries to your mouth
You may also consider seeing a dermatologist if your nails and cuticles become infected or deformed. This type of doctor specializes in conditions of the nails, skin, and hair. See your dentist if you develop mouth injuries or tooth deformities.
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Manage Stress Andpractice Mindfulness
Reducing stress;is a crucial component of healing.Toward that end, Dr. Darling suggests practicing stress management on a dailybasis using techniques such as:
- Guided imagery.
These relaxation techniques,along with a healthy diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep, provide anintegrative approach to the treatment of skin picking disorder.
Those with SPDtypically go into a trance or zone out while picking, she says.In order to overcome the behavior, its important to learn how to staygrounded in the present moment.
Developing awareness through a regular mindfulness-based meditation practice can help you recognize skin-picking urges when they come up. Instead, you can choose to do something different in those moments such as;going for a walk.
Can Medication Treat Excoriation Disorder
Medicationparticularly SSRIsmay provide some relief for symptoms of excoriation disorder, especially for individuals who are also struggling with anxiety, depression, or OCD. Supplements have also been tested in small studies, with a few appearing to help reduce symptoms a significant amount. Overall, however, medication is not considered the first-line treatment for BFRBs; therapy tends to be significantly more effective and does not come with the same risk of side effects.
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Is Excoriation Disorder Genetic
Most experts believe that BFRBs are to some extent genetic; the disorders tend to run in families, and twin studies have suggested an inherited component. However, genes are likely only one potential cause of BFRBS, including excoriation disorder/dermatillomania. Other factorssuch as stress levels, family environment, and temperamentare thought to play a role as well.;
What Is The Difference Between Excoriation Disorder And Trichotillomania
Trichotillomania, or hair-pulling disorder, is characterized by a compulsive need to pull out ones own hair; dermatillomania/excoriation disorder, by contrast, is characterized by a drive to pick or otherwise damage ones own skin. The two disorders otherwise share symptomspsychological distress, repeated attempts to stop the behavior, etc.and may co-occur.
To learn more about hair-pulling disorder, see Trichotillomania.
What Happens At Your Appointment
A GP will ask you about your skin picking behaviour and look at your skin.
If they think you have skin picking disorder, they may refer you to a specialist for diagnosis and possible treatment.
This could be with a type of talking therapy or medicine.
They may also refer you to a skin specialist if your skin is badly damaged or you have any underlying skin conditions that may be triggering your skin picking, like acne or eczema.