Stress, anxiety or other psychological disorders can cause a condition called dermatophagia. This is a disease that is usually described as compulsive biting at your skin, especially your fingers and around your nails. This frequently ends up in discoloration and bleeding of this part of your skin. Many people are bothered by this and it makes them self-conscious. Not to mention that this is not a very pleasant thing to be seen by people around you. Here’s how to stop biting fingers and how to get back to your old self.
Get a good cuticle cream
Biting fingers surely does a lot of damage and your skin will need some love. Therefore you’ll need good cuticle cream to repair it and subside the pain. Some of the recommendations include Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, OPI Avoplex Nail and Cuticle Replenishing Oil or Bliss Cuticles Ain’t Cute Cuticle Remover . Some natural remedies such as honey, olive oil or coconut oil will greatly help too.
Psychological problems are usually manifested through physical movements. Extreme emotional surge is almost always indirectly in relation with tics. Therefore, when you feel the urge to bite the skin on your fingers just try to halt it for a moment and think about what is actually causing it. It may be nervousness or simple boredom. Nevertheless, once you relate the habit with a certain emotion at a conscious level, you will also be able to reduce it little by little on your own free will.
Covering the fingertips
Putting bandages on your fingers does miracles deep in our minds. It will make you feel embarrassed because other people will see them, but you yourself might feel some shame too as you try to bite on ‘’a finger full’ of bandages. If you don’t like using bandages you can also try using transparent tape or just cover the fingers that you tend to bite the most.
The nibble inhibitor
Having your fingers taste bad only sounds out of the ordinary, but is very effective and actually a common practice among both nail and finger biters. The nibble inhibitors are actually a kind of a nail polish that is very bitter. The taste should repel you from biting at your fingers once you try doing this again.
Competing response technique
This is a really impressive technique that entails keeping your mouth and fingers occupied. Bet you never thought chewing gum or keeping candies by yourself would come in handy! Well, these being in your mouth from time to time will actually distract your brain from biting your fingers and you’ll see a great improvement in a few weeks. Knitting, doodling or simply sitting on your hands will be good enough to get your fingers busy. This should be done for a few weeks in order for this to work out.
Think about the consequences
As much as it seems satisfying to bite your fingers think about the infections you can get. In the worst case, you can get Paronychia which causes your hands to be swollen and a lot of pus gathering inside them. Let the thought ‘’I don’t want to make this even worse’’ flash through your brain every time before you try to bite your fingers.
Put a lot of time into your manicure at home. Once you see your nails all done up you’ll probably be sad to ruin that by biting the fingers. Start with pushing your cuticles back to their place and then add some nail-strengthening polish. Follow this up by putting a few coats of nail polish on your nails. Let it be red or bright pink as these are the most likely to be easily damaged and show you that the habit is destructive. Finish this up with a top-coat.
People with the problem of biting their skin which is also called ‘’wolf biting” usually are diagnosed with ADSH or OCD. These persons at times have the problem concentrating at one particular action and start over-analysing things which in the end leads to sticking your fingers into your mouth.
Having too many things on your mind makes you be oblivious to what you are actually doing. You’re pretty much spaced out, to say the least. Having said this, try to keep yourself focused on whatever you’re doing.
Even when you’re walking, don’t go and analyze people around you, don’t glance at them, don’t try to see what they’re wearing, don’t try to observe their manner of walking. Just keep the straight line towards your goal.This will be extremely difficult and will probably cause a lot of discomfort and awkwardness but rest assured it will pay off once you get your normal fingers back!