But, what if you have started to not just bite your nails but also the skin around your nails? Does that signify you have a bigger problem on your hands?

What Is Dermatophagia?

The sufferers are termed as ‘wolf biters’ in medical lingo and doctors believe that Dermatophagia is related to OCD.

What is worrying is that biting of one’s nails is not compulsorily a response to a stressful situation for Dermatophagia patients, but becomes more of an obsession that results in compulsive biting till the skin starts to bleed.

And yes, while the bleeding skin hurts, a patient who truly suffers from Dermatophagia still feels a moment of gratification for having given in to the compulsion to bite and tends to believe this is the ideal coping mechanism for stress relief. As is obvious, biting of the skin can cause severe (sometimes permanent) damage, which is why proper diagnosis and timely intervention are crucial. You can asses your situation by getting free online therapy before the condition gets worse.

Are YOU Suffering from Dermatophagia?

There is nothing wrong with biting on that occasional hangnail when a pair of clippers is not handy. It may not be the most hygienically safe way to deal with that ‘excess’ skin, but that doesn’t mean you are a ‘wolf bitter’.

So, here we list the top 5 signs that warrant you could be suffering from Dermatophagia

Discolored Skin – You think that you only tend to bite your nails and the surrounding skin when in a tense situation. But in your line of work, stress is an everyday factor. So look closely at your nails; if the skin around the nail looks discolored by perpetual biting that causes scars, you need to seek help.

Skin damage –If your fingers look like they are fit to be featured in a horror movie, with excessive skin damage and scarring around the nails, you have taken that occasional ‘nail biting’ a tad too far.

Think carefully, why are you biting your nails and surrounding skin so often? What are your feelings at the time? Are you consciously doing this to quell anxiety which could signify you have OCD, or is this something you do subconsciously when lost in deep thought?

Bleeding – Sufferers of Dermatophagia are no strangers to bleeding skin. If you are just a normal person who was gnawing at an annoying hangnail but somehow managed to nip the skin and ran to get first aid, everything is fine. But if you constantly bite at your skin and ignore the bleeding wounds just because it provides momentary stress relief, you need to find help.

Calluses and Hangnails – Has biting your nails and skin constantly resulted in ugly calluses on your fingers? If your fingernails look disfigured from obsessive biting and chewing and this has also made you prone to skin infections, you have a serious problem at hand. Ignored, this can result in permanent tissue damage.

Excessive Biting in Stress – You stopped biting your fingernails and surrounding skin because the calluses and scars on your hands started to embarrass you. Yet, in a stressful situation, you have an uncontrollable urge to bite so you resort to self-biting your lips, inside of your mouth and cheeks. Your mouth may bleed, and you know you are inflicting pain upon yourself, yet you feel compelled to continue and at least are relieved that no-one but you will ever find out.

If the above mentioned 5 signs seem a little too familiar, you are suffering from Dermatophagia.

While it isn’t all that hard to give up self-biting nails and surrounding skin by using simple deterrents like foul tasting nail varnish, behavioral therapy and sometimes even mouth guards, make sure that you seek treatment to address the real cause behind your condition.

Dermatophagia can be the reason behind your low self worth, lack of confidence, low self-esteem and embarrassment.

Together, these aggravate the condition in a patient, and can truly wreck havoc on your mental health. What could have started as a minor case of OCD can soon turn in to severe depression, and this is why seeking medical help immediately is important.

 

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108 replies on “5 Signs That You Suffer from Dermatophagia

  1. This is way off. The symptoms are accurate, but clearly not written by someone with this problem, or close to someone with this problem.

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    1. Hi Ben,

      Thank you for reading. Actually, I do suffer from this problem since as long as I can remember and as hard as I try, cant shake it off. The slightest uncomfortable situation triggers my biting habit and sometimes I don’t even realize it. Do share your viewpoints on the issue, if you feel like it.

      Neha

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    2. I chew on my hands not by my fingernails but I have the same symptoms. It’s really aggravating when people at school and on my baseball team make fun of me because I do it. I have been doing it since I was very little. Since i was like 4 or 5. I am 14 now, so does that mean its incurable. Am I going to be like this forever. I’ve also suffered depression and anxiety issues in the past. If you could answer back. That would be so helpful. Thank You.

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      1. I have similar symptoms but the trigger for me is different. I am 30 and have been biting my skin since I was 8 years old. I have always been a confident and happy person. I am however an extremely creative person so I daydream constantly and have decided that the two may be related. I have tried to quit numerous times, tried meditation, and even just excepting it but it all ends the same. Over the years I have somehow figured out how to bite just enough before I start to bleed. I’m kinda thinking they’re really isn’t a real cure for this.

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      2. Its very hard to stop these habbits , ive tried and tries . But im really going to try to beat the habbit now I know its a real disorder and orhers have similar actions . I gotta keep soaking my hands in warm epsom salt water to heal them and try to sand smooth the scarred and damaged skin . The epsom salt really does help heal quickly , I just think its great that im bot alone and others are dealing with this also

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  2. So I have all these symptoms and have been working on trying to stop. I go through bouts where I stop biting at the skin around my nails, but the discoloration is still there. The skin around my finger nails is perpetually reddish and raw looking. Is there anyway to even the skin tone?

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    1. Hi AJ,

      As someone who suffer’s from this, I dont know of any solution except for to stop biting and the let the skin repair itself. But since that is quite difficult atleast for me, I just put on fake nails when I have to attend a formal event.

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  3. I bite and peel skin off of my lips in stressful situations. They’re always bleeding, and discolored. I have been doing this for about five years now. Is this a form of dermatophagia?

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  4. Hey, I finally have a name for this thing! And it’s got a snappy nickname too. Next time someone asks about my bright red cuticles I can shrug and say “wolf biting”. Much better than hanging my head and mumbling something about stress and the need to fidget.

    Been wolf biting for close on 30 years. Used to make new years and birthday resolutions to stop EVERY year. Once I decided, hey, its just who am I, the compulsion to do it went way down. Still, oh so glad they make those tiny Lil band aids now.

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  5. I bite my fingers, lips, and inside of my mouth. Mostly the inside cheeks, until it bleeds and feel disgusting! I do this practically everyday. When my cheeks start bleeding too much I go to my fingers. Is this Dermatophagia?

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    1. Hi Bella,

      No that’s not Dermatophagia but a general stress reaction. You can talk your oral health practitioner as she/ he will give you a cream to soothe the peeled skin. I suggest that you stay aware and notice what causes you to start chewing the skin of your mouth. The minute you start, stop. And breathe 🙂

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      1. Please please please don’t say things like this. Dermatophagia is most commonly done on fingers but can also be biting one’s lips and mouth.

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  6. Any good tips to stop? I bite rip and peel my skin on all of my fingers, and feet untill they bleed. To a point where I sometimes am in so much pain I can’t even text. And even as they bleed I continue to remove any easily accesable piece of skin regardless of the pain or blood. Does anybody have anything that works for them? I’ve been doing this since I’ve had teeth, and I’m 23. I will try anything

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    1. Hi Alexis,

      I go through the same thing like you. Sometimes the skin of my fingers are peeled so badly that it hurts. And bleeds. And even though I feel quite terrible, I just cant seem to stop. So try and stay calm. Meditation helps because the minute the hit the silent panic button, the biting, chewing and peeling starts. Try deep breathing and a simple 10 minute meditation, it will help for sure:)

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  7. I have it so bad. My thumbs and middle fingers are starting to callous. My husband is always on me about it. I just do it all the time. I literally can not stop. I’m sure mine started out as nail biting I can remember being 4 with bloody fingers and I’m 31 now. I get manicures but can’t explain enough that I need them to nip every piece of skin or I’ll pick or bite it. I’ve tried the nasty stuff on fingers but I’ll bite through it. Does anyone know what type of DR to see? I’m definitely thinking that medicine is the only thing to work at this point. I’m in need of serious help!

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    1. Hi Abbie

      Your and my situation is kinds similar. I have been suffering from this ailment for many many years now and to be honest, my fingers look rather bruised. But this is more than just a ‘habit’ and not easy to stop. People who tend to be of anxious personality feel the need to bite and pull the skin of their fingers more. Try 10 minute meditation daily cause it helped me a lot. When I am calm, I am good. The minute something happens which triggers off the stress reaction. the biting starts and I don’t even realize it 🙂 So my advise to you? Stay calm and stay aware.

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  8. Hi everyone, I too suffer all of these symptoms. Ironically I’m not a nail bitter, my nails are actually long and strong but, I can’t even think about enjoying a simple manicure because of the discoloration and calluses, the embarrassment. Like many of you stated you don’t even realize at times your doing it, it’s the same for me until I feel burning and I look down and it’s bleeding…I’m super glad I found this blog and maybe we can all help one another out with coping and resistance techniques 🙂 Stay relaxed

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    1. Hi Felica,

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. Its great that so many people are sharing their thoughts and here I thought I was the only one suffering from this 😉 You are absolutely right, staying calm and relaxed is crucial and meditation helps. But for a manicure? Yikes! Not yet. Its embarrassing as hell but hopefully with some deep breathing we all will get better soon. Cheers!

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  9. Hello i know i have the same problem and it seems to have gotten worse. Not only i bite because of stress but i just do it however i feel. It never hurts to bite and sometimes i dont even realize it. I try to stop but never works. I do need help!

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    1. Hi Ashley,

      No need to panic 🙂 Yes, i understand how troublesome this ailment can be and the fact that our fingers look less than appealing is another story. Try mediating at least once a day to ensure that you stay calm and less anxious because this is one trick that has helped me a lot 🙂

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      1. Been biting the skin off my fingers for thirty years plus …..as long as I can remember ! I have two very stressful jobs and never feel the need to bite while I am working . If I’m honest , I am at my worst whilst driving – will subconsciously chew non stop as there is no one to stop me . It drives my wife mad…..she will threaten to slap me as a consequence, even after a slap I will carry on ….oblivious !
        I only typed in ” finger biting”on a whim and am surprised at how many people it affects and the fact it is a legitimate medical condition.
        I spent the day yesterday spraying / soaking and scrubbing my hands with kitchen cleaning spray to rid the dirt from my hAnds which can occasionally get ground in to the skin as a consequence of biting as I was embarrassed to go out.
        Now clean , my hands look a little sore . I am , however , determined to beat this habit and I think the first step is admitting you have a problem to yourself before you actually get on and deal with it. If I can stop smoking I’m sure I can stop eating my hands ?
        The wife has encouraged me to visit the doctors also ( not so comfortable with this one ) to express my concerns . There may be a need to medicate if it’s thought anxiety/OCD is potentially my problem although I have never given this a second thought – we shall see.
        Will let you know how it goes………feels good to get this out in the open ……first steps…….thanks for listening.

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  10. Hi! I’d never heard of the term ‘dermatophagia’ before today when I discovered it on a dermatellomania blog. I always thought of my skin biting as a bad habit like nail biting (I used to bite my nails but it didn’t give the same relief). I tend to bite my skin when I get stressed, and as someone with anxiety and in education I am stressed constantly. The scary thing is that now I’ve noticed that all the time, even whilst typing this, I’m biting the inside of my mouth, and I just can’t stop it.

    Any tips?

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  11. My thumbs are both very discolored and I am only 16 due to me biting and peeling the skin around them. I also bite the middle piece of skin on my lip that hangs down a bit so I don’t really have it anymore.
    I relate to all the symptoms, however I’m an extremely relaxed person, almost to the point that I am completely demotivated as I very very rarely get stressed about anything?
    Is that something i should seek help about?
    Thank you for writing this article! 🙂

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  12. I hate having all the symptoms, especially when the greatest satisfaction of it all is when blood starts to flow out of my fingers. The relief it brings is addicting.

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  13. I’ve been bitting and eating my nails, skin, cheaks, and scabs… and some other things like…. the stuff in your eyes in the A.M, and boogers… its disgusting I know. But i cant stop. Iv stopped myself from doing most of this in public… but when I’m at home around family and loved ones, or alone.. I go so hard at my hands that they don’t really bleed anymore. They just get so sore that it hurts to use them. Actually hurts to type this now.

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  14. My nerve endings ony finger tips are damaged to the point that pain is delayed, heat pain is delayed… and I have calloused skin around every fingernail and base of each finger. My cuticles are basically gone. Ahaah. And my nail beds are very messed up. As soon as my nail grows even a little to where the tip “turns white” I see it and I bite it off. Because it must never be that long. No, no, no no, never.and Pools in public… pshhh… only if I hide my hands the entire time. No one wants to see those pruney things
    Looking like an alligator tried taking my hands off….

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  15. Thanks for the article, I’m 14 ;-; I’m not only biting around nails but also joints near my fingers and it often bleeds and I’ve been doing since I was 5, I remember my kindergarten teachers punished me because of that bad habbit. They taped my fingers .-. I once stop biting when I was on grade 5, the scars faded out, it took years however, I pulled my hair for the replacement until I got back biting my hands when I was 12 ;-; I really want to stop pulling my hair, biting my skin blah blah because I love my hair and skin err :/, it hurts, leaves scars, makes my hands look scary but I don’t know I just can’t, even my parents shout and try to remind me not to do that, they aren’t always there so I’m like “oh forget it I don’t care(which I actually do care) *bites*” I can’t control it! please help I don’t know what’s happening until now, I thought it was just a usual normal habbit? I don’t know! I tried to google everything and I’m sorry for grammar errors, I’m a foreign, I don’t speak English well T_T thanks again

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    1. Dear Roselyn,

      Thank you for sharing. I understand what you must be going through because I go through the same. Its tough to control the urge to bite and peel, and my hands looks ugly. And yes, sometimes my fingers bleed as well. Do you have anxiety issues? Because that’s one of the primary cause of this condition. Try slow and deep breathing and meditating for 10 min everyday, it will help. And don’t beat yourself up, biting nails isn’t the worst thing 😉 Just be aware as to how you react when in a stressful situation and you might find a clue as to why you bite your nails. Rest, stay calm and relaxed. There’s no better solution 🙂

      Neha

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  16. I’ve been wolf biting for over 20 years. I also pull hair which I have read that they are sister disorders. The only thing that ever helped me was acupuncture. And that only helped for 3 months. I get more stressed about my hair than fingers. We all have our ticks.

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  17. I suffer from it pretty bad and can’t stop and I’ve had an history with self harm and this is just an addictive thing but my mother thinks I have gone crazy..

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    1. Hello everyone, I’ve been doing this since I was 12 and I am 39 now. My fingers are scared and permanently red and sore. I’ve had 2 sessions of hypnosis last week and again, 3 days ago. They have already healed and stopped being sore. It’s been 9 days with hardly any chewing, and an immediate reaction to stop before my hand even gets to my mouth. Needless to say I would recommend you try Hypnosis to encourage mind over matter and will power kicks in. I have put nail varnish on my nails for the 1st time in ages (I don’t chew the nails, just the skin). The future is brighter.

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    2. I eat the finger skin and squeeze the blood out and suck it off too. I have no cuticles . Thanks to my cousin when were were like 8 years old she turned me on to splitting hair ends and pulling out the thicker and darkest hairs on my head, and also trying to get a root out as a prize or something. I have not been doing the hair thing that much anymore since I am 64 years old now. But the chewing of finger skin will be with me until the day I die.

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  18. I suffer with this also, have for years (I’m 48). I used to bite my nails up until the age of 18 but stopping that I supplemented with this. My husband bugs me constantly about it, my hands are a mess (especially my thumbs and middle fingers) on top of it I have eczema. I never knew that this is a medical condition (and I’ve been to dermatologists about the eczema and not once has anyone said anything). I do it unconsciously

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  19. I think I have this disorder but I’m not sure. i have just paid attention to my nail biting and I have had this happen before but I’m a senior and I’m always stressed out so I bite my nails.. And sometimes I bite at them cause I can. But I bit my thumb so bad and it has like a little tiny bump and it bled but now it hurts like hell. But I woke up today and it hurt so bad I wasn’t gonna go to school. I did but I had to get a band aid from the office like 4 times cause it was hurting so bad. It still hurts. But I don’t know if I have this disorder.

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  20. I want to stop this habit of biting the skin around my nails but in the end of the day I tend to fail and I still have this habit so far the best idea I’ve came up withis to wear gloves lol :/

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  21. My daughter is 3 years old. Her fingers and toes are so chewed up, they look so so painful . there is little skin left, and will certinaly be bleeding in a few days. She obviously cannot communicate why she bites them, but it is for sure anxiety! I am afraid it is only going to get worse and never stop. She has a very caring home, we have been seeking therapy, and introduced lots of relaxation techniques.
    Nothing is working…nothing is helping, and talking about it encourages her to do it more. It seems to be subconscious .
    Help!

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  22. I’ve been doing this for well over 10 years now and I can’t seem to stop. I bite around my fingers, cuticles, top lip, inside my cheeks and sometimes my tongue. I’ve tried nail varnish stuff and all the rest, but nothing works. At the moment, I’m wearing gloves all the time apart from when I’m in the shower which seems to work because I can’t pick or bite my fingers. When I’m in the shower, I get a pumice stone and rub the puffed out skin till they’re smooth and go pink. Therefore, my solution is to wear gloves most of the time so that the skin can heal.

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  23. I’m not a nail biter but I have picked and chewed the skin from my fingers and sometimes my toes until they sting and bleed. My toes, sometimes swollen from infection caused by this. I also have panic attacks which sometimes prevents me from sleeping for up to five days.. I’ve any mental health problems before. This all started when my husband began to suffer from bipolar disorder. I love him but I’m constantly in a state of anxiety ranging form extreme to mild depending on how my husband is at the time. It’s very rare that I feel ok. As I’m writing this I haven’t slept in 45 hours but I’ve been in bed with the curtains closed on my own reading and having a good old pick at my fingers. I’m starting to hate my life as I’m wasting it away on my own. My husband goes from running around like working, doing jobs and refusing to come to bed to being very irritable & sleeping at any opportunity – either way I feel alone and isolated. I have wanted to die at some points but I wouldn’t commit suicide but I do quite like the thought of not being alive. I know I sound like a complete miserable bastard but I do sometimes have good days and I adore seeing my parents but mostly I haven’t the energy to go out once I’ve finished my working week. Regards to you all and sorry.

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  24. I’ve been doing it for a long time. They say people sometimes consume flesh when this happens and I sadly do it. I mostly eat/chew on the inside of my mouth, and I rip up the inside of my mouth so much it stings to even brush my teeth. I rarely cut too deep but about a week ago I did it during class and caused massive bleeding in my mouth for about 10 minutes. I hate it. I feel like most people don’t understand/wouldn’t understand it though. I never even knew it was a disorder until now.

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    1. I do the same!! I actually just commented and I wasn’t sure if this was the same as the finger biting… As a posed to mouth biting??
      So I understand you completely!!! I do it so much most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it 😕

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      1. Same with me! I don’t get a whole lot of blood when I do though. Sometimes I’ll bite my lip or just in the inside of it aswell and it’s not just when in stressful situations either, it’s just a habit I can’t get out of! Im 18 and have been doing it for a couple of years

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    2. Wow looks like we’re all in the same boat. It honestly is so embarrassing that i do this and consumes my thoughts.

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  25. Please Help!!!!
    I don’t bite or chew the skin on my fingers… I do it in the inside of my lips and cheeks…
    So I don’t know if I have this!!! I have been doing this for years since 2002 at 11yrs old and I’m 23 now… Half the time I don’t even know I’m doing it until I taste blood then I just move to the other cheek or lip (its not massive amounts of blood) and I keep on getting weird looks or questions like “why do you do that?” Or “you know that will give you sores or olsores on the inside of your mouth?” Well I don’t get the sores or the olsores (don’t know how to spell that) its like soggy skin how it gets soft and so I chew it… I don’t know how I started or why!! But its driving me crazy!!! I feel that sometimes I have to keep on eating or doing something like talk and doing something with my hands all at the same time just so I don’t bite!!!
    So does it sound like I have this because if I do then I finally have a name for it and that would be amazing!!! If I don’t I’ll just have to keep searching… Please please get back to me!!!!!

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  26. I never bit my fingers but I do constantly bite off the skin in my cheeks, sometimes causing it to bleed. Sometimes I’ll bite my lip aswell but it’s mostly my cheeks. I don’t think it is only in stressful situations so I’m pretty sure it’s just a habit. Do you think I have this? Thanks!

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    1. sounds like you have the same problem as me… I actually scrape my skin off with my finger nail. I know it isn’t healthy but can’t seem to stop myself it’s become very compulsive.

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  27. Very good , im 42 and have dealt with this first with fingernails as a child and then the skin as a teen . My finger tips are all torn up back to the first knuckle. Scarring and skin color has changed now over time . I will sometimes soak my hand in epsom salt to help them heal , I had them healed pretty well and had alot of stress and started the habit again , ive never met anyone else who does this so its good to know im not alone . Glenn

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  28. I think i have this. However, my situation is a bit different and i feel it is an OCD. I pretty much every second of the day drag my nail across the inside of my mouth all around and peel off all the skin and then eat it. I want to stop so badly and everyday i promise myself i’m going to stop but i think about it incessantly until it raises my anxiety and i finally give in. It gets bad i end up scratching the inside of my mouth raw and am left with a disgusting bloody/lead taste. Does anyone know what this is called and how i can shake this horrible habit?

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  29. My boyfriend does this. He has never been diagnosed but when we started living together I noticed all of his t shirts were stretched right at the front. I threw most of them out. I saw it as a nail biter who was never given a way to stop. He does have social anxiety and gets nervous in situations where he goes directly to the fingers. I notice he does it when he is driving or focusing hard. This has become an issue because he has moved from the shirts to his knuckles and finger nails. The calluses are raised and I know they must hurt. I tell him to stop, and put skin wrap therapy lotion on him. Sometimes when he is asleep I’ll put it on his hands. I realized it bothered me when we were at the movies and I could hear him chewing. It sounded like a rodent chewing on something. It was so loud. I was embarrassed. Now, after seeing this I am worried about his oral fixation. We gave up smoking a few months ago. It’s not fair to ask him to give up another habit this soon. My thoughts are to do some research. I really believe in hypnosis and mind relaxation. I feel like he has a hard time quieting his very intelligent brain. I have a friend who used to say addictions we for weak minded people. But I don’t believe that anymore. He kicked the smoking habit cold turkey. One thing at a time. I’m glad to know there are others experiencing this. I want to fix this for him. I feel so helpless and don’t want to be a nag. He has been doing it for 26 years. I worry he will get an ulcer or damage himself more. I don’t want him to hurt the thing I love most. Himself.

    Thanks,
    Taylor

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  30. I’m 41 and have been bitting my knuckles since I was 8 or 9. I find myself doing it when I’m in deep stressful thoughts. My sister and father embezzled 3,8 million from me for years ago and have caused me to lose everything I spent 20 yrs. of my life building. Since this has happen, the chewing and bitting have become much worse. Thank you for shedding light on this, I thought I was the only weird one who did this.

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  31. Well I have been biting the cuticles on my fingers and the skin right up to the first knuckle on and off for 42 years since my mum died when I was 10 years old. I am sure the fact that no-one stopped me as a child (thinking I would grow out of it) is the reason the neurological pathways to keep doing it are so well developed it is so hard to stop now. I am a musician and music teacher, yet even the embarrassment of people looking very closely at my hands and having a very tactile profession has not helped me stop completely. I have gone through periods of not biting, usually when on holiday so relaxed, stress free and out of usual routine. Driving is the worst time, especially if waiting in traffic. Working at the computer is also bad too…i.e. whenever my hands are a bit idle. Best for me to keep playing my violin or piano, then I cannot do it. I am going to wear gloves while driving now (used to wear them to bed with moisturiser on to help soften the hardened skin) It is a bit better now I am older and just don’t give a damn about a lot of things I used to get stressed about. Meno pause is helping (hormone change perhaps?) Anyway, first time I havegoogled this problem and it is comforting to know I am not the only one (never met anyone else that did this) and that it has a name. I am probably an OCD sufferer too but again age has helped as I don’t care about mess or dirt or being organised any more (used to be very tidy and super organised)…..I am aware life is too short to worry about too much so fun is the main thing on my agenda right now….You will find it will get better as you age and stop worrying about lots of stuff too. Jude

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  32. Athough i never went to the extent of bleeding, i use to bite my lateral nail folds (side walls) or sometimes bind with thread or clip with clothes peg. it always makes me feel so relief even if it hurts and bite marks comes out. I feel weird about it but i can’t stop doing this daily…. Is this symptoms of dermatophagia?

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  33. Unlike many of you I am much older and can honestly say I cannot recall when I started biting my nails and skin. Only that I am too old for this embarrassing nervous tick. So, I am making a conscious effort to stop. I am not a quitter but will be proud to say, I am one; when I actually do stop. I will be praying for will power for one and all. Peace

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  34. Hi, Ever since 6th grade around, (I’ve always bit my nails) But I’ve been biting the skin around them and it’s not smooth anymore, it’s rough, and if I see a hangnail I’ll rip it off no matter how much it hurts, even if it bleeds, if it bleeds I’ll squeeze the blood, anyhow, I chew my knuckles as well, one of my knuckles is so bad that it’s always raw. It has never healed and it has a bump their now and if I curl my finger it shows a big white area where my bone. Still not sure if I have Dermatophagia. I’ll do this if I’m scared or nervous, or even just bored.

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  35. well, sometimes I bite my nails when I was a child. But then I started biting my cheeks when I was a 4th grader, I never really knew what happened. I just found out that I’m chewing my cheeks when one of my ckassmate told me. That was about the time when I am in the 6th grade. Now I am about to be a 7th grader, I still chew my cheeks and I don’t know why. Is there someone here who have the same problem? What should I do?

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  36. I do this too – I nibble around the edges of my fingers and I cannot bear any hangs or tags/rough patches, so I bite them all off, which, as we know, creates more plus sore/bleedng patches. I have done this as long as I can remember and it’s pretty automatic now. Very embarrassing in team meetings, where I can easily forget this is not what all people do!I used to bite my nails until they bled but now I have lovely long nails and red raw skin. I also chew the inside of my cheeks and lips; I have noticed it gets worse with stress but it’s pretty much always happening regardless.Nothing seems to stop it but I am starting an intensive moisturising programme to see if this helps to soften the skin and reduce the roughness and sharp, hanging bits which stress me out and exacerbate the action. I hope you all find a way to manage this, it’s good to know this is not just me!

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  37. I have wolf biters disorder also, I’ve been chewing on my fingers since I can remember (i’m 26 years old) and almost always i don’t even realize i’m doing it, often partners, family and friends have told me off tried to stop me but the urge to get that little bit of niggling skin is too much funny thing is i don’t touch my nails i have lovely long nails but the skin around my nails are horrible mine tend to go all down the pads of my fingers and around the nail beds my fingers look horrible when they are wet because then you can see just how serious the damage to my fingers is and when dry they are terrible plus i have purple and blue hair so because the skin is so fresh where i pull the skin off, if i even touch my hair even when dry the fresher parts of my skin are tinted the colour of my hair 😦 people scorn me for doing so but i cannot express how hard it is NOT to do so once you’ve started you absolutely have to finish where you started or the satisfaction just isn’t there i cannot even explain how frustrated i feel if someone trys to stop it even if when i started i never even realized, i do tend to find i start doing it when i’m in what i call “auto-pilot” mainly at work when i’m doing work that is so drilled into me now i could do it with my eyes closed “zombie state” lol or when i’m watching a programme that doesn’t take up much of my brain capacity my mind wonders into “zombie mode” thinking over the days tasks and whatnot and that’s when i catch myself doing it but cannot stop 😦 its a horrible disorder and i have been searching for years for a solution on how to stop it, its just not possible the only thing i can think of is going “cold Turkey” like a smoker would but how can you control something you don’t even realize your doing??
    my intentions are to follow what this guy did on this forum and see how far this gets me.

    http://www.skinpick.com/node/1883

    if anyones tried what this guy did please let me know how you got on i’d love some help and ideas on how to finally kick this horrible habit in the butt

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  38. For as long as I can remember I have biten my thumb’s,I stopped for a little while and it felt good just can’t tell you how,think it was less stress and anxiety I have been to many Dr.s for this condition and not one them told me about wolf biter.Now I can get the help I need;)

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  39. I used to bite off my nails until I couldn’t anymore then I’d bite the skin around my nails also since I was little I have always bit the skin off my cheeks I even have scars in my mouth from biting my cheeks but recently I stopped biting my nails so I chew on my lips and cheeks until they bleed but I often find myself staring at my fingers wanting to rip the nails off I probably have a problem huh???

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  40. Woah. I never realized there was a word for this. I’m 27 years old and I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. Its so embarrassing but I can’t stop. The longest I’ve gone without biting is maybe a week after getting my nails done because I don’t want to ruin my paint job. But even getting my nails done is embarrassing because the women always comment on the skin around my nails.
    I didnt realize this was associated with OCD either but it makes sense. Thanks!

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  41. I’ve been doing this for years, though I don’t really exhibit any of the additional tendencies described. I’m pretty confident in social situations and enjoy meeting new people, I’m probably the opposite of OCD in that I am a disgusting slob, and depression has never reared it’s ugly head. Tbh sometimes I think I just like the pain. Especially when I was younger and I’d play guitar and violin. I’d bite my left hand fingers and peel away the upper layer of skin, and then the metal strings would really really hurt. Ok this sounds kinda disturbing now haha. But I guess… I’ve never found this habit shameful in any way, I enjoy my friends freaked out reactions, though by now they’re all used to it so it’s not as funny. But anyway, sometimes I feel like my immune system is so strong because I ate my finger skin when I was young, since apparently that’s the part of the body that comes into contact with the most bacteria.
    If my condition gets worse maybe I would see a therapist, but right now I’m kinda okay with it :3

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  42. I’m not sure whether or not I have this… I chew the skin but generally only around the top of the nail and although I take off a fair bit I never go far enough to bleed. It’s a habit I’ve had for years but my fingers honestly look fine, no discoloration or callouses. They only look odd if I’ve been swimming and the skin shrivels (the way it does with everyone) and marks showing the missing layers show. So do I have it? I’m curious.

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  43. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years and the ONLY thing that has ever helped me is using a nail file to reduce “picks” as I call them. For me, if my fingers are smooth then the compulsion calms down significantly. Get a pack of those cheap disposable files and keep one with you wherever you go. If you feel compelled to pick at a certain spot, file it down. You’ll also want to moisturize your hands often. Dry skin is just awful for this condition. The first couple of days will be rough, but if you stick to it the need to pick will deminish. It feels a bit like detoxing from sugar. Those first few days are super crappy, but then you stop thinking about it as often. You can beat this. You just need the right tools and the will to make a change. 🙂

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