Picking Skin Around Nails and its Causes

Compulsive skin picking disorder is not limited to certain parts of the body, it extends to a lotof parts as well. It also includes biting and picking skin around nails on the hands and at times, the feet. Onychophagia is called the continuous biting, chewing and picking of skin around the fingers and cuticle areas. Children as well as adults are affected by this common oral compulsive habit.

Sensitivity to pain by the bitten fingertips are one of the effects of picking skin around nails. This occurs usually at the place the skin meets the edge of the nail. Hangnails are those broken skin around the cuticles. Broken and loose distended skin particles are often painful when hit by other objects. They are often removed through the use of nail clippers and tweezers. If they are improperly removed, chances of complications may occur.

They are susceptible to microbial and viral infections. This may be caused by the transportation of bacteria that are buried under the surface of the nail or by pinworms from the anus region then straight to the mouth. The social interaction of a person is greatly affected because of the low-self esteem brought about permanent disfigurement. Another compounding situation is that if a person has OCD, he or she will continue picking until it leads to further skin tissue damage. It’s a vicious cycle because the damage skin will entice the person to keep on biting and chewing.

Treatment for people picking skin around nails are a dime a dozen. Usually, the suggestion is to replace this bad habit by discouraging it and employing a more constructive and better habit.

The other types of treatment are behavioral therapy. This treatment is a resort used when other treatments have failed. To unlearn the habit of nail biting, habit reversal training is employed. Stimulation control therapy concentrates on the cause of the picking and tries to address it immediately.

What matters is diagnosing and treating the disorder.

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