Cuticle picking?

  1. 0
    I am an RN and I simply cannot stop picking my cuticles!! I do it until they bleed. I've done it for as long as I can remember, and I am desperate to find ways to stop. My trusty fix was always acrylic nails, but in this profession I can't do that. I am so afraid because I am obviously leaving my skin open as a portal of entry for pathogens. Does anyone else have this problem? I use lotions frequently and try my best to simply NOT do it, but I can't seem to stop. I pick at work. I pick at home. I pick in my car. I pick everywhere. I am desperate!
  2. 12 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I am a nail biter, have been since I was 15 months old, so my mother says. Nail biting and skin picking are self-soothing behaviors that are related to OCD. I know when I'm biting. i know it looks nasty. I know my nails look disgusting(I have literally bitten them all down to the cuticle. All I have is bare nail beds.) I dont' like the way it looks, but I have been powerless to stop it. I have a lot of anxiety and stress in my life and biting my nails instantly diffuses the anxiety.

    I have been in therapy and i still take psychotropic medications, but it has had no effect on the nail biting. I wash hands a LOT and I wear gloves when there is risk of transmitting germs. But I'm 56 and I don't think it's gonna change any time soon. I have learned to make peace with myself over nail biting.
  4. 0
    My kids' eyebrowless, lashless best friend has something similiar. Except she pulls hair instead of cuticles. She tells me she is on medication for this; I am not sure what.
  5. 3
    In the winter time, my hands get so dry from hand washing. My knuckles sometimes crack, so I'll paint some liquid bandaid on the cracks before work. Perhaps that will help you while you deal with your habit.
    barbyann, Meriwhen, and GrnTea like this.
  6. 1
    I confess. I have the same habit. It comes and goes. Each time, I say "I am not going to do this again."
    And then I do.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  7. 2
    This is called excoriation, or skin picking. Barring any last-minute changes, it's going to be included in the DSM-V (a.k.a. Psych Diagnosis Bible) in the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders section.

    I do it too...it's usually tied in with my stress level.

    As we can't give medical advice here, you need to seek the advice of your medical/psychiatric care provider if you are concerned about your behavior and/or the damage it has done to your skin. You need to address the underlying cause(s)...the problem is a tough one and won't be fixed overnight.

    The extent of what I can suggest here is plenty of moisturizing: I find that dry skin is more tempting to pick at than skin that is soft and smooth.

    Best of luck.
    poppycat and not.done.yet like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from jennylee01
    I am an RN and I simply cannot stop picking my cuticles!! I do it until they bleed. I've done it for as long as I can remember, and I am desperate to find ways to stop. My trusty fix was always acrylic nails, but in this profession I can't do that. I am so afraid because I am obviously leaving my skin open as a portal of entry for pathogens. Does anyone else have this problem? I use lotions frequently and try my best to simply NOT do it, but I can't seem to stop. I pick at work. I pick at home. I pick in my car. I pick everywhere. I am desperate!
    I have the same issue. I used to keep acrylics on for the same reason as well. I haven't had my nails done since before nursing school while doing aide work.
    I was never one for manicures. I thought about getting those 'gel nail' ( iforget what they're called. Like nail polish but a harder-to-remove type of polish), but with all the handwashing?

    To be honest? Three weeks ago, I came to terms with the fact that my fingernails are just going to be jacked the heck up and there isn't a thing to be done about it!
    It's a losing battle.
  9. 2
    Quote from RNperdiem
    My kids' eyebrowless, lashless best friend has something similiar. Except she pulls hair instead of cuticles. She tells me she is on medication for this; I am not sure what.
    Trichotillomania. Antidepressants help, but don't totally take away the urge to pull.
    poppycat and RNperdiem like this.
  10. 0
    I too am a 'picker'. And the more rough, irritated it gets, the more I want to pick.

    The one thing that really helps me is getting manicures every 2 weeks minimum. I have them polished with a pale gel polish (it's still allowed by my facility).

    If I get a cuticle that is ragged, I try to immediately try it so that I won't pick it til it bleeds.

    If there's an open area, I coat it with NuSkin or another liquid bandage product.

    I try to moisturize really well when I'm off work---I adore Burt's Bees' Almond hand cream. I can apply it before bed and wake up with incredibly soft, repaired hands. I don't use lotion at work--I either have to wash it right off so I can get gloves on or take it off by washing or using alcohol gel.
  11. 0
    Quote from MessyMomma
    I too am a 'picker'. And the more rough, irritated it gets, the more I want to pick.

    The one thing that really helps me is getting manicures every 2 weeks minimum. I have them polished with a pale gel polish (it's still allowed by my facility).

    If I get a cuticle that is ragged, I try to immediately try it so that I won't pick it til it bleeds.

    If there's an open area, I coat it with NuSkin or another liquid bandage product.

    I try to moisturize really well when I'm off work---I adore Burt's Bees' Almond hand cream. I can apply it before bed and wake up with incredibly soft, repaired hands. I don't use lotion at work--I either have to wash it right off so I can get gloves on or take it off by washing or using alcohol gel.
    I agree with the hand creams as well as the manicures with the gel polish. Your cuticles will stay cleaned up (and professional) while your nails look neat and tidy as well. I have a very, very light color pink color right now with my nails kept short and square. It is unreal how long the gel polish stays nice and fresh looking. There is a lot of focus on my hands due to the type of nursing I do, so having super professional hands/nails is a must for me.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top