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Question
Posted by: nibbles | 2013-02-08

OCD : Finger biting

Hi Doc

I don''t know if you''ve come across this before - but when I am bored, anxious/stressed or about to come down with a cold - I start biting the bits of skin around my fingernails when the skin is a bit broken. If it is starting to heal then I end up picking at it until it is sore again. I can''t seem to stop myself and it annoys my partner immensely - not to mention it makes my fingers look ugly. I can''t bear the feeling of the " lifted"  skin so when it is broken I bite it to try and make it " even"  again which just makes it worse. It is a compulsive habit and I need to break it. Also I don''t know if it can cause problems with health (I am sure I am picking up a lot of germs doing this - I do wash my hands often but still there could be some germ lurking) as I sometimes just bite the skin and end up chewing it - it''s disgusting I know, but I just can''t seem to help myself.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Like Maria I think use moisturizer to reduce the loose skin that sets you off. Pharmacies should have muti they sell for kids who bite their nails, which tastes awful, so it discourages you from nibbling. If his fails, a psychologist using CBT can help you unlearn such bad habits

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2013-02-08

I do the same thing but in a lesser degree. What helps for me is to make sure my skin stays hydrated. I apply moisturiser to my hands several times a day, really rubbing it in all around my nails. When the skin is broken I have found it helps to rub in Germolene. You can also use a file to file off pieces of hard skin that is sticking out. Maybe visit a beauty salon, get your nails done and ask for advice?

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