Anyone else peel skin on your fingers?

Okay - This is an embarrassing habit that I only do when my anxiety is high, or maybe when I’m watching a scary movie. I don’t chew my nails, but, I will bite the skin on my fingertips or the side of my nails and peel it off. I tell myself to stop - that it is going to be painful the next day, but I do it anyway. I go through long periods leaving my skin alone, and then will have a bad few days or week of it. (pic attached) Does anyone else have this problem?

1 Like

Hi AM, oh, so sorry for this - my wife does this… no good weeks. Self-harm praps… But at the moment of doing it it doesn’t seem to hurt, so I guess it’s not being done *to hurt? And my sister picked her back when younger, but you can still see some of the scars.
I used to sometimes do 2 typical self-harm things when I was young too (which I’d praps better not describe, unless wanted…).

For some odd reason, I always find myself chuckling at you - When you say “do you want to know?” it makes me want to know - you know? But, no, you needn’t describe your problems of younger years which have been resolved (although I will still wonder…lol)
Thank you for sharing. I feel like I’m not such a freak when I know others deal with same…
Hubby always just says, “why do you do that?” while shaking his head. Anxiety is always my best guess.

:slight_smile: Yeah, I think so too: anxiety, insecurity, wanting to feel yourself, a sort of gone-wrong self-care? Whereas mine were *meant to hurt, also to feel myself and cut down the diffuse pain in my head… Maybe that’s why I’m so good at going into cold therapy… :wink:

All of that makes perfect sense. Your posts often make me think about things in a different way. I never knew much about self-harm, but now I want to learn more about it.
You are a breath of fresh air, JayCS - Or maybe I should say a splash of cold water, in this instance- LOL

1 Like

Hi AussieMom! I’m very sure you are NOT alone. People chew their fingernails, put out hair- one hair at a time, pull out their eyelashes or eyebrows or chew on their lip. I will twist my finger around my hair but not pull it out. I do it a lot when I’m falling asleep. I think that there could be two things happening. One would be that it’s starting off as an anxiety thing. Two is that it becomes a tactile thing. I say this because I’m a very tactile person. Even before Fibro, I was drawn to soft clothes or blankets. But, say that a nail is not perfectly round at the edge and there is a little raise in the nail, I will catch myself lightly touching or rubbing the raised edge. Or if there is a seam with a rough edge, I will find myself feeling the roughness. I don’t know if that makes sense or not. I’ve always been drawn to the feel of different textures. That sounds weird but I know other people who are “tactile “. So maybe when you pick at the skin due to anxiety, it may then turn into a tactile thing. I know of people who just pick at their skin. For one person, it turned out to be caused from OCD. You are not alone my friend. :blush: Have you tried putting a bandaid over the area when you first notice it? I just remembered, on occasion when I have needed a bandaid, I will feel the edge of it because of its texture. Having fibromyalgia and dealing with life in general, let alone Covid and the upcoming election, has caused me to have more anxiety. My advice, be kind and gentle towards yourself. Maybe get some special scented lotion and put some on your hands. You deserve huge doses of kindness. We ALL do! :hugs::hugs::hugs::hugs::hugs::hugs:. Freedom


Hi, Freedom.
Thank you for the very kind post :blush: It is amazing to me how friends on this site make me think about things I’ve never considered. I don’t think I’ve been drawn to touch different textures, but I see that it could be a comforting thing, and maybe even a relaxing thing. I think being “tactile” also means that you will touch people as you speak to them. Do you do this? (Or, did you before Covid, I guess I should ask). I’m kind of a touchy, feely kind of person, and a hugger. Now, with Covid, you have to stand 6 feet away from people.
If I have picked my finger tip raw, I will put antibiotic ointment and a bandaid on it, and “try” to leave it alone, but maybe end up messing with it a couple of more times before it heals. I think this is why I can never do the thing where you open up a phone with your fingerprint… It doesn’t ever work for me.
I do love using my Hempz vanilla lotion and also the sweet almond fragrance. I do think that stress & OCD may be the culprits here…Thank you, again. You are a dear lady! :blue_heart:

Self-care gone wrong. hmmm. You know what, JayCS - You may have hit the nail on the head! If I feel a rough place on my finger, by my nail, my brain says - fix that! Well, logically, leaving it alone would be better than pulling & removing the skin, but I do it anyway. And, when it is trying to heal, if some skin is sticking up, that bothers me, so I pick at it until it’s not, which makes the injury worse. Probably a combination of OCD & self-care gone wrong… It feels “right” when I’m doing it, although my brain is whispering that I’m hurting myself…A scary movie will get me right back to doing it -
SO…a combination of OCD, Anxiety, and Self-Care Gone Wrong.

I read that there are people that bite off the skin and eat it. I don’t have the urge to eat the skin, so that’s a plus.
Thanks for always making me think. think. think. :star_struck:

1 Like

& self-comfort is what I hear in from Freedom’s thoughts.
You can watch scary movies?! :scream: I tried it for a time after being stabilized, but that’s self-harm for me, I can only watch things for under 12yo. Esp. no hint of kids being abused & that sort of stuff… :woozy_face:

It is good to know your limits, for sure!
As long as they aren’t graphic, I can watch scary movies. (Scary - Not Horror films) And I love mystery books - Usually audio books now, rather than actual reading. But, I also like lighthearted romances and some fiction stories… Even biographies can be great to listen to…
But, I’m coming to realize that I shouldn’t watch scary movies when I’m going through high anxiety…Live and learn! :upside_down_face:

JayCS and AussieMom, I can’t watch scary movies either. It makes my anxiety level go up. I also stopped watching the news almost a year ago and I don’t miss it at all. I also use to watch Dr Phil but that too would give me anxiety. I find happy, joyful movies keep my anxiety more stable. I do like some action packed movies but I have to be careful. I also only watch them when I’m with someone, not alone. But that is part of my self care and what I need. I need to work a little harder on nutrition and finding if there are any foods that increase my pain and put me into a flare. I gave up sugar. That didn’t change anything. Self care is so important and can look different to each individual.

1 Like

Freedom, this statement is filled with wisdom! And, each FMS sufferer on this site is searching for what works best for their body, while also sharing what therapies are already helping them.
Or, maybe they are here for the emotional support, or to lend emotional support, which is just as important. Or, maybe they just need to find friends who relate, which is what first brought me here.

I peal the palm of my hand😕I have read skin issues are common.I have a condition that is causing my skin to tighten in my palm and a large cyst.I get discouraged because I have so many issues.Doctor will say oh it’s just a little if this here or there.But its a little if this and that all over my body.I wish so much that they would study fibromyalgia more.

1 Like

Yes, I do it too! Only when having movie anxiety!

1 Like

I agree, Eviemore - A “little” here and there, ALL over the body, is overwhelming at times. Thank you for your post. Hang in there!!! :blue_heart:

Hi AussieMom,
This is something I have been doing for some years now, can’t remember when it started, but I tend to pull any loose skin from fingers around the nail, my poor fingers can get a bit of a sight. My husband used to tell me to stop, but I tend to do it when we are watching TV and I sit in another chair which is more comfortable than our sofa.
I am sure it is down to nerves/stress, so I think I must have been stressed for years!
Still waiting for my scan, been 5 weeks now, makes me wonder if I’m going to have one.
Take care. SueT.

1 Like

It sounds like your habit is a lot like mine, Sue T - Stress related. I tore up my thumb some more, last night :frowning_face: I seem to go through bouts of it and then stop for a while…
I’m sorry you are still having to wait for your scan. Praying things go well for you, dear Sue T! :blue_heart:

I usually tried to ignore it, because I know it shames her if I take notice, and she protests when I do, but sometimes it really hurts/pains me to see it, so I ask her to please stop or more often stroke or kiss her hands and tell her how beautiful they are - that shames her too, of course, but it’s a compromise. Really she needs to get a job in which she is not put under pressure as much, but she can’t manage to let go, altho she knows that (with and without therapists…) But I think she’s “always” had it, reasons lie way back…

1 Like