Kicking the Habit

I have a confession to make. I have a really bad habit.

I pick at my fingers. What does that mean, you ask? Well, I don’t bite my nails, but I compulsively pick at the skin around them. (Yuck. I know.) It’s been going on for almost as long as I can remember. I actually remember someone telling me I should stop when I was in fourth grade. Wowsa. (Obviously, I should have listened to them. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.)

I would love to have awesome nails and beautiful skin like this for my wedding. (Image from Mila Tara)

I’ve tried to stop about a gazillion times. In fact, I once stopped for about six months. I was so proud. But I picked the habit up again during some stressful thing in graduate school. Booooo. What’s weird is that I’ll tell myself, “I’m going to stop,” and then five minutes later I look down and realize I’ve been doing it again. Ugh.

Honestly, up until now, having yucky looking hands hasn’t really done too much to discourage my habit. I’m just used to it at this point. But now, I’ve got this beautiful ring on my finger, and someone is going to be taking a picture of my hand on my wedding day! And what if my fingers look totally disgusting?

Part of my wants to say, “Who really cares? They’re fingers.” But another part of me wants to say, “You should have kicked this habit a long time ago. Maybe you can use this as an excuse to get it together once and for all.”

Hive, I need your help. I’ve been trying to figure out how to quit for ages. But I don’t know what to do. I’ve come up with a few possibilities”¦

  • Start getting regular manicures. My MOH was doing the shellac manicures for a while, and they do look awfully pretty. There are two downsides to this: (1) It’s expensive, and (2) I really don’t like the feeling of having long nails. I can’t really explain it, but I prefer to have my nails super short. (Could I do manicures and not have long nails??)
  • Wear band-aids all the time for as long as it takes. I know this seems ridiculous, but it’s the only way I’ve found right now that I can stop myself. The downsides: (1) I would need a LOT of band-aids, and (2) I would look so stupid.
  • Rely on my willpower. (This method has been failing for about twenty years.)
  • Get over it, and work on something else.

Suggestions? Has anyone else quit a similar habit? How did you do it?


Mrs. Blue Whale

College Park, MD
Wedding Date:
May 2013
Bling to Get Ready In and Tags for Bags
One Treasured Day: All Dressed Up

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  1. bracelet Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 279 posts, Helper bee @ 9:25 am

    Though I have no experience in this department, maybe wearing gloves (the lightweight cotton used for handling silver and jewelry) would help? Less of an investment and prettier than band-aids, plus you can take them off whenever you need to/ feel like it.

  2. Member
    BookishBelle 1629 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:27 am

    I bite my nails and pick at my fingers. I’ve just gotten over it. I’ve paid for tips and for gel manicures before (right after engaged to show off my ring lol) and they get ruined in less than a week (they’re supposed to last 2 weeks) because my nails are in such bad shape. I’ve learned to just say f*ck it. I may get gel the day before the wedding, but it’ll be gotten on short stubby nails. At least I never accidentally scratch my man, and never have to worry about breaking a nail! lol

  3. Member
    christinamarie980 761 posts, Busy bee @ 9:31 am

    I have the same habit. I do it when I’m stressed or bored. I managed to stop it for the wedding so my hands looked good in photos.. Basically just distract yourself when you feel the need to pick. Cut off any skin that’s hanging if you have picked, so you can’t keep doing it. I know it’s one of those things sometimes you aren’t even aware of.

    You can get a gel manicure without the false nails. My sister wears her nails short and had gel put on. It lasts forever, and looks so pretty!

  4. msmongoose Member
    msmongoose 264 posts, Helper bee @ 9:32 am

    Girl I share your bad habit, though I’m more of a nail biter. It’s happened so that I’ve now been able to identify my trigger–it’s cause by extreme stress. I’ve found that if I keep up with regular manicures, I tend to bite them less. AND when I acknowledge that I am stressed, I make a conscious effort to stop the biting (which actually works). Maybe you should try chewing gum? That might deter you from having bits of nail and skin in your mouth.

    I love shellac manis but only get them a few times a year–they are quite damaging to the nails when you get the polish taken off (it’s kind of an annoying process as well).

  5. Member
    loveandbasketball 34 posts, Newbee @ 9:35 am

    I have been biting my finger nails since I was a young child and just cant stop, so I completely understand. It finally took my fiance saying something AFTER we got engaged that I started to care about my nails. I now get routine manicures with acrylics, but I always ask them to make them short. They always look at me funny, but if you are the one paying for them, you better get what you want. I think regular manicures are the best option and they make your ring sparkle so much more! Good luck!

  6. Member
    Mrs Canuck 1849 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:47 am

    I’m a cuticle picker/chewer, and the only thing that has saved me from myself (I almost feel like a cannibal) is acrylic nails. They are thicker than my regular nails, and won’t scrape my skin like my natural nails…

  7. Member
    spotted_giraffe 312 posts, Helper bee @ 9:49 am

    gel nails aren’t acrylics, so it’s just a tough polish that goes on top of your regular nail, so they can be as short as you like. In fact, I think shorter nails look cleaner, as long as they’re kept neat.
    I’d suggest either getting manicures done with your friend, or just getting some supplies and doing them yourself (which is what I do because it takes less time and costs less). I find that wearing polish (at least for a few days) will prevent me from picking at my skin too.
    And maybe keep some lightweight gloves at your desk or in your car or on your couch – like key places where you pick because you’re distracted?
    ALso, if you’re worried about the skin around the nail, applying a thick lotion at night (some are formulated for cuticles), and hand lotion or cuticle oil several times during the day will work wonders FAST. Especially in this dry winter air…and then you don’t have things to pick on. Good luck!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss T-Rex, Guest @ 9:50 am

    If you figure anything out please tell me! I thought I was the only one that picked at my cuticles until my hands look like I put the tips into a blender.
    I’m just going with the “i’ll worry about it 2 months before the wedding” category.
    The thing I’ve also thought about this product but I’m not sure if it would stop me, but rather make me at least aware of what I was doing.

  9. Member
    futuremrsweston 433 posts, Helper bee @ 9:52 am

    I bite my nails and have been trying to kick the habit since I got engaged in September. I found that getting regular manicures helps, but I still find myself biting ON my nails, causing the edges to break and forcing me to cut off the nail before I do more damage.
    Lately, I’ve been getting shellac manicures about once a month. They sort of act like a plastic coating on my nails and keep them from breaking even if I gnaw on them. For the first two weeks I just leave them be, then I paint over them in the third week to fill in the bottom and in the fourth week I file them down so that they don’t break and paint over them again. At the end of the fourth week, I remove them myself. I like this system because I can go to the salon with kinda short nails and they paint them at that length. No length added. I hate my nails when they’re super short from biting but I know I can’t realistically keep long nails without chewing on them and breaking them off, so I always keep them at a happy medium.

  10. Member
    madtowngirl 1787 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:55 am

    Miss Blue Whale, I can completely relate to you. I was an AWFUL nail bitter, one who never has had nails longer than a few millimeters since I had teeth (people used to call me ET fingers).

    2 months before the wedding I resorted to fake nails (I needed to give enough times so the puffy ends of my fingers would go down as my real nails grew).

    You can get fake nails, and ask them to be cut short. That’s what I did. You have to keep up regularly, at first every 2 weeks refilling, but after your nails grow a bit, they will last longer.

    Now, wedding is done, fake nails are off (I can’t afford to keep up with that), but I have nails I do not bite and that are “long” by my terms. I kicked the habit just like that. To me it was worth the price paid leading up to the wedding and now I just keep focused on continuing to have pretty fingers after!

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Eleutheria, Guest @ 10:01 am

    I am a chronic skin-picker, too, so I feel your pain! What works best for me is if I 1) moisturize my cuticles (there isn’t as much loose skin to pick if they are moisturized) and 2) get off the caffeine (caffeine tends to make my tendencies flare up).

    Good luck!

  12. Member
    miss narwhal 1297 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:04 am

    I get shellac manicures and my nails aren’t long. I am addicted to painting my nails but I am very hard on them so it seemed like they would chip a day after I painted them. I think that the shellac looks very nice and its a little treat for myself on pay days. I will say that they kinda wreck your nails. I just had my nails done 3 times in a row and I got the last polish off and my nails are horrible.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Spanglbee, Guest @ 10:06 am

    Hi Miss Blue Whale,

    I’ve been reading things on wedding bee for the last few months but never created an account until now, I wanted to reply to you.

    This may seem hokey to some people, but I am a strong believer of personal growth and development. I went to a Tony Robbins course last summer in San Jose (I’m from Canada) and at the course he cured a boy’s habit of stuttering in 10 minutes!! Right in front of our eyes, it was incredible. If you don’t know who Tony Robbins is, he’s is a peak performance specialist, works with many top athletes, world leaders, presidents etc around the world. Look him up.

    Everything we do is based on our associations and our mental images of how we see ourselves. Whether we link pain or pleasure to something we are doing. Even people who smoke are linking more pleasure to is smoking than pain. Right now, although you see your nails as pain and want to stop, subconsciously you have some sort of pleasure associated with it. Whether it be stress relief, or something else. The only way to change is to link MASSIVE PAIN with picking your nails!

    Imagine yourself at your wedding with gross looking nails. Imagine everyone commenting on how gross they look. Now imagine 5 years down the road, nothing has changed, in fact it’s gotten worse. They’ve started to become infected. Everywhere you go you are self conscious to show your hands to anyone. Now imagine 10-20 years down the road when you have young children who see you doing it and start to imitate you. Their young precious hands are now going to be ruined for the rest of their life because they saw you doing it and thought it was normal. Imagine if you NEVER break the habit, imagine how your hands will look when you’re 70 and 80. Schriveled up, wrinkly, and infected and misshaped. Is that what you want?

    Now think back to today. None of this has happened yet. You have the choice and the strength to make that future not happen. Now imagine if you STOP picking your fingers today. Imagine at your wedding, everyone asking to see your ring and commenting on how beautiful your nails look! Imagine 5 years from now, knowing you have kicked the habit and how great it feels.

    The key to this, is not just reading this, but actually sitting, closing your eyes and imagining and really FEELING the pain and pleasure.

    See if you can google Tony Robbins Dickens pattern. It has helped me tremendously in my life, and if you are actually serious about wanting to kick the habit, I suggest trying it. What do you have to lose?

    Best of luck, and well wishes to your new life together!

  14. Member
    mariewest 304 posts, Helper bee @ 10:10 am

    I am the worst when it comes to bitting my nails and picking at my cuticles. I was so embarrassed by my nails I had never gotten a manicure. But after I got engaged and knew we had some engagement photos coming up that would be taking pictures of my hands I knew I had to do something about it. I went a couple weeks before my engagement photos and got a manicure. Then I tried not to mess up the work that I’d paid for. Then the day of the engagement photos I got another manicure. My hands were model perfect, but they didn’t look as bad as they normally do. I haven’t done a very good job of keeping them that way, but probably about a month or so before the wedding I will be getting regular manicures to prevent me from picking and bitting my nails. They aren’t as expensive as I thought, and you don’t need to do them too often, just often enough. Also I find that when I wear nail polish I bit/pick less than when I don’t wear nail polish.

  15. Member
    mecattacow 278 posts, Helper bee @ 10:13 am

    I, too, share the habit. I have been doing it for years. It’s been pointed out by many (even when I worked as an LSA with children with needs and I told him to stop biting his nails and he was like ‘Well, YOU do it!” and then he took to smacking my and every time I went in for a gnaw…really!) and I STILL did not stop. It has been my new years resolution this year (and every year since I was about 5) and I am doing OK. I had a chew the other day on my weddingring finger ..thing is for some reason I also gnaw on the knuckle on the little finger too – the one closest to the nail. It is GROSS and I hate myself for it! It hurts, it is gross, it looks horrible NO positives. It is all to do, apparently, with what’s called ‘Oral Fixation’ (I think!, least I was told it ages ago) and it’s all Freudian and mixed up and deep-rooted to do with 1) not enough/ no breast-feeding as a baby OR …it’s an attention-gaining thing. I always thought it was just…I did it without realizing (I don’t seriously go…ohh I want attention I will chew my finger skin til it bleeds) but apparently there is a deep-rooted attention thing in there somewhere. Despite the origins, it is ming. I used to bite my nails and stopped that easy but it’s the skin. If I don’t chew it I pick and fiddle with it manually. My fiancee shouts ‘NO!’ at me everytime I do it – like you would with a cat peeing in the corner and that helps minimally. I have been good since 1st (wow! 9 whole days!) and have had only one chew but I am constantly thinking about what I’m doing with my hands…don’t let them go anywhere near your face (even to push your specs up or anything) without thinking WHY you are doing it. It is quite laborious but it is working for me so far. Maybe we could, like some ‘losing’ bees post regular updates and support and congrats of days without chewery. I hope ive broken through and have stopped for my wedding in Aug (and not just for this, I would like to be Mrs-Nice-Hands!) Good luck!!

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Lauren, Guest @ 10:19 am

    I have the same history and habit, Miss Blue Whale! The *best* thing that *actually works* is what all the other Bees are saying: GEL MANICURE. No-chip manicure. Shellac. Whatever you want to call it. It protects your nails from bad habits for two weeks while looking super pretty all the while. Once removed after two weeks, your nails underneath will be long and healthy. MAGIC!

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    bb, Guest @ 10:28 am

    I used to bite my cuticles, but I stopped. for me the answer was super easy: keep dry/hanging cuticles trimmed away and moisturized so there’s nothing to pick at. I’d recommend getting a manicurist to do this (at least the first couple of times) so it’s done properly and you can watch how they do it. now I have a good quality cuticle trimmer and do it at home. I also moisturize my hands often and rub balm into the cuticles before bed.

    carry trimmers in your purse so that if you’re away from home and encounter a hanging cuticle, you won’t be tempted to pick it off.

    I had always thought that cutting your cuticles was a no-no and they would just keep coming back. but ever since I started trimming mine they look awesome and it’s easy to keep it maintained.

  18. Member
    luvmesumhim 1209 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:48 am

    I’m sort of happy (though not really) to see others have this horrible habit. As a child I bit my nails but somehow willed my self to stop (around middle school) but then sometime during the college I started picking at my cuticles instead.

    Now i have nice long nails (real long) and disgusting cuticles. As a black woman this looks awful because there’s more of a color difference between the picked at skin and the healthy skin. UGH! My sister stays on me about it and I want to stop, but sadly I don’t usually realize I’m doing it unless someone points it out.

    Here are my tips (which obviously don’t work):
    1. I do do better when I keep a manicure (you don’t have to have nails for this) when my nails are polish I hate to distract from then AND if my cuticles are moisturizer and trimmed they are harder to pick.
    1a. I have an at home gel nail polish kit. This keeps costs down. The kit was $50 or 60 from Walmart. Google Sensationail. Sally Hansen now has a kit as well as Red carpet manicure.
    2. I think the gloves will help. I hate to resort to this but I might. At least it’s winter.
    3. I find I do it subconsciously so sometimes if I’m just sitting I sit on my hands. This way I’ll notice if I raise them up to pick at them.

    That’s all I got. I hope you (well all ofus) can beat this. I’d hate to have a lovely ring and ugly hands :-( I’ve for a little time in still waiting :-)

  19. Member
    radishtime 316 posts, Helper bee @ 10:50 am

    you can do manicures without long nails! I like my nails as short as possible so I usually trim them before I go (otherwise they never end up as short as I want) and just have the manicurist file them up nicely.

    Good luck in trying to break the habit!

  20. bluewhale Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 10:53 am

    You all have totally made me feel like I can do this!! Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

    @BookishBelle: Well at least I know that if I don’t manage to quit, I won’t be the only one :)

    @spotted_giraffe: Can you do gel manicures yourself? (I’ve literally only had one manicure ever, so I know nothing about nails.)

    @Miss T-Rex: If I manage to quit, you can bet I’ll proudly post a life-size picture of my beautiful skin. Hopefully, we’ll be able to stop…

    @MadTownGirl: That’s awesome that you stopped even after the nails came off! There’s hope!

    @mariewest: My engagement photos are this Saturday! I should have thought of this sooner… at least there’s still time before the wedding.

    @Lauren: I guess I’m going to have to try it. I’m going to investigate the gel manicure.

    @bb: I think part of my problem is that I hate the feeling of lotion on my hands. I guess I just need to get over that :)

  21. bluewhale Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 10:54 am

    @luvmesumhim: I’m going to see about getting one of those kits! Thanks!

  22. Member
    ladymegbeth 227 posts, Helper bee @ 11:07 am

    I know this isn’t very supportive (at least not in the way you were looking for…lol) but if you can’t kick the habit, your wedding “hand photos” can always be cleaned up in post. I do it all the time whenever I take a photo I place way too much importance on (holiday pics with The Boyfriend spring to mind) and I find out later that some little blemish looks like a volcano on my face, or something smudged or spilled on my blouse. Just use photo editing software (even free versions like and airbrush that imperfection right out! No one will even notice, years down the line and you’ll avoid super-stressing yourself out right before your big day trying to kick a habit decades in the making. *This has been your Professional Enabler at work… 😉

  23. Member
    primcess 209 posts, Helper bee @ 11:15 am

    I pick at my cuticles too — so much so that FI threatened not to propose until I stopped! It has been a combination of him smacking my hand every time I start picking and severe moisturizing that has left my hands in pretty decent shape. Keep those cuticles moisturized and you won’t have as much dead skin to pick at — I love the Rose Salve from Bath and Body Works.′ defer=’defer

  24. buffalo Member
    buffalo 178 posts, Blushing bee @ 11:22 am

    I”m a nail biter–and I’ve found getting manicures are the best way to prevent it! Of course i still don’t do it regularly because of the price! But it helped me get a lot better about NOT biting my nails!

    And I always do Shellac and I ALWAYS get them short!

  25. Member
    jilleeann 409 posts, Helper bee @ 11:23 am

    1. You can have a short manicure, I hate having long nails and the lady who did my nails last time said that short nails are actually “in” right now.

    2. I have trichotillomania, which means I pull my hair out. Its kinda strange, but its always been this way. I’ve finally learned to deal with it in some ways. One of them is grooming, so that i’m aware of , “hey, leave your hair alone!” Another is through knit and crochet. I’ve learned that if my hands are doing something else, they can’t pull out strands of hair. The only time its a Problem with a capital p now is when i’m curled up with a book reading. It really is those little moments when your mind is somewhere else that its a problem. On the bright side, i have eyebrows (neat, meticulous eyebrows) and no bald spots on the ol’ noggin.

    3. I’m now sending you huge thoughts of encouragement, because I think with a set goal you can accomplish what you want.

  26. Member
    hma812 368 posts, Helper bee @ 11:25 am

    I’m a nail biter. I was able to stop for an entire year but then I took a little too long to get a manicure one month and my nails started breaking and I starting biting again. So unattractive. I figured it’s about time to try to stop again.

  27. Member
    honeybee33 60 posts, Worker bee @ 11:39 am

    I, too, was a compulsive nail biter and cuticle picker. My fingers were constantly sore, scabby, and red. Finally, my senior year of undergrad, I decided enough was enough and I needed to stop. Since I was on a student budget, I knew that I couldn’t just go around getting manicures all of the time, so I invested in three things:

    1. Nail Envy by opi: This helps with flaking and breaking so I had fewer split nails that I would be tempted to bite/pick. I also was not very good at applying nail polish, so I could mess up the manicure, but still look nice, since it is colorless. I put this on every two days as they stated, as well as filed my nails just as often. When I started doing my own colored manicures, I used this as the base and top coat. Gotta love a multi-use product!

    2. Cuticle oil: A lot of people have already mentioned this, and it is definitely a good option. I put it on twice a day, once after my morning shower, and once before going to bed. Keeping your cuticles moisturized keeps hang-nails from forming, and I swear it has made my nails stronger overall. My favorites are Avoplex, and Essies brand in a tube, since you can take it anywhere. DO IT!

    3. One neutral color of nail polish. I ended up getting one of the more expensive brands of polish because they chip less. If I ever get a chip in my nail polish, I will pick at it until I have no polish left on my nails. Knowing that I cannot have chips on my nails, I repainted my nails every time I got a chip.

    With these three things, I kicked the habit. I also kept my hands really busy. I carried around some silly putty for a while, so that I could play with something rather than my hands.

    I have not bitten my nails or picked my cuticles since 2010. It took me a few months to stop picking, and I had relapses of picking, but I really kept up with it. Now I have nice nails and hands that I can be proud of because I take care of them. I am extremely proud of my hands now, and have turned into a nail polish addict (at last count, I had 21 polishes!), so just watch your wallet!

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    APeters, Guest @ 11:50 am

    Oh, sweetie, I have this problem too! It might make you feel better to know that cuticle picking is a form of OCD called self-injurious skin picking (SISP), also known as dermotillomania or psychogenic excoriation. It is literally beyond your control.

    You can utilize some of the same tricks to help anyone get over OCD behavior. Negative reinforcement can be helpful; one thing that works for me is to keep a rubber band around my wrist. Whenever I find myself picking, I pluck the rubber band, so my brain will identify picking with pain and the behavior will stop. I tried to keep them clipped but that actually made my behavior worse as I would compulsively clip the healthy skin!

  29. Member
    Demarca11 279 posts, Helper bee @ 12:12 pm

    I have had the same gross problem for years. I know this an extreme answer to stopping nail biting, but getting invisalign stopped me. Of course I got originally got invisalign to help straighten a couple teeth, but the unplanned side effect was stopping nail biting b/c it’s physically impossible to bite your nails/skin. My hands and nails looked amazing during this time and lasted throughout my engagement and wedding day. Only lately have I started to bite and pick again due to stresses at work and looking for a new job! Again, my method was a much welcomed outcome from another issue, but just sharing what worked for me!

  30. Member
    shaniqua 253 posts, Helper bee @ 12:15 pm

    I also have the cuticle picking habbit you have. Recently, I was made aware that it is not entirely my fault, it is because the skin around my nails is incredible dry and thus more tempting to pick. I also learned that drug store cuticle oils do nothing to moisturize you cuticles for more than 5 minutes. What you need to do, is dab some fresh citrus juice (lemon or orange) on you cuticles in the mornings and whenever you feel inclined to pick at them. That is going to keep them nice and moistureized. Try it.

  31. Member
    jaina8851 107 posts, Blushing bee @ 1:07 pm

    I was a nail biter, not a picker, but I will add my voice to the chorus that says SHELLAC. I did mine for two months before the wedding, and like other commenters, I am now six months post wedding and I have a new-found addiction: nail polish. My nails grew strong and healthy with the shellac polish, and now I maintain them myself. Hopefully it will help you too :) My nail girl filed my nails pretty short to make them all even when she first put the shellac on, and they do get a little long (not like claws or anything, haha) by the time the shellac is ready to come off, but it is awesome. No chips, no breaks, just awesome nails. Good luck!!

  32. Member
    chipper_bride 40 posts, Newbee @ 1:26 pm

    I also thought I was the only one with this nasty habit!!!

    As much as the gel nails MIGHT help.. it costs a fortune. And the look is a bit hit or miss.

    I’ve been struggling forever, but one thing that I have found that helps (along with some will power) is this:

    *you can buy “cuticle clippers” at your local pharmacy.
    (It’s basically just a straight tool with a cuticle pusher on one end, and a v shaped blade on the other)

    *you push your cuticles, so that they sort of clump up, and then guide the blade along the cuticle. It painlessly slides and takes off quite a bit.

    (If you’re anything like me, it’s kind of rewarding taking it off all in one piece so it’s kind of satisfying)

    THEN.. once the cuticle has been cut (because there are still going to be little pieces that trigger you to do it again…

    *Buy a cuticle oil (be it a pen or little bottle and brush) and apply that over the freshly trimmed cuticle.

    Combined this might cost you $10, and not only do you not see the bits that trigger the urge, but your cuticles and nails get some good TLC and look great.

    Once I stop and the little splits stop showing up, I don’t notice them as much and stop reoffending.

    So if you feel stressed or an urge come on, turn that negative urge into a positive one and treat your cuticles!!

    Give it a try and let me know what you come up with hun!

    You have inspired me to work harder again, because I too have fallen back into old habits.

    Good Luck

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    bb, Guest @ 2:22 pm

    @Miss Blue Whale: interesting that you hate the feeling of lotion on your hands! is it that you hate the greasy feeling? or is it that you just hate all lotions no matter what? if you don’t moisturize, your cuticles will definitely dry and peel.

    personally, I can’t stand my hands feeling greasy, so I choose lotions that are glycerin based rather than oil based. my favorite is pretty much anything from the St Ives line. I use a small amount and it sinks into my skin fast, leaving no residue.

    anyway, hope this helps. good luck!

  34. Member
    ecjohnson 157 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:28 pm

    i get terrible hangnails and will definitely pick at them if they are there. like everyone else, i recommend the shellac manicures they are beautiful and last a couple of weeks! however, i am not sure how it would necessarily help you stop picking. i still get hangnails when i choose to get shellac. good luck!

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    Kefloydfreak, Guest @ 8:39 am

    Definitely buy some cuticle oil! This stuff works great and it helps heal the “bitten” part! Im currently in “recovery” of nail biting and skin biting and its helped me a lot! Good luck!

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    heather, Guest @ 11:53 am

    I too was a terrible nail biter/picker. I would make them bleed, use any nearby sharp object to get that one little piece up to bite off. They were embarassing and did it for 20 plus years. Many times I tried to stop, always failed. Last time I won and that was a few years back. I think it was mind over matter, thinking/ telling myself that I would never get a man to ask me to marry him with nasty looking nails.ick. So I quit. Took to filing any spot that was a temptation, snag rip or tear. File file file till the spot is gone. Eventually the urge goes away. to this day. I still “bite” at my nails but not actually bite them. I put my nail up to my clenched teath and move finger aroung like i am biting ..weird but i get my fix i guess. Also the comment about not liking lotion on hands. i wonder if you made an effort to lotion up more would help, if i remember the lotion on fingers didnt taste as so it might be a deterrent to the bitting. Good luck

  37. Member
    nyyandlace 29 posts, Newbee @ 10:03 am

    I’m not sure if you’ve gotten any advice that can help or not but I am also guilty of picking at the skin around my nails as well as my nails to be honest. I began to battle the habit after I got engaged (I didn’t want to show off my ring and have swollen red nail beds). I can share some of the tips that have helped me tackle the habit…

    1. Paint your nails with a clear coat underneath-I’ve noticed that if I paint my nails with a clear coat underneath I will pick at the nail polish instead of my nails. I end the day with unpolished nails but no new trauma!

    2. Slather lotion on your hands and apply gloves–when I’m at home I try to keep my nails covered with gloves to prevent picking at them. I’ve noticed that if I keep my hands hydrated there seems to be less dead skin/hangnails around my nails to pick at.

    3. When you go to sleep line your nail beds with Triple-antibiotic ointment (the ointment stays on better than the cream) and then place gloves on your hands. This has helped heal the sore/swollen nail beds and like the lotion have prevented as many hangnails/skin to pick at.

    4. Carry nail clippers, a file, and a cuticle trimmer with you. This way you won’t pull at the skin and cause trauma but you can cut away the dead skin that is bugging you. I also recommend a cuticle oil or the C.E. Bigelow rose salve. It can be used for your cuticles and lips and I LOVE it–I keep one in my purse and by my bed. (′ defer=’defer)

    I still have my days I notice I’m picking at my nails but they look a whole lot better than they did before. I hope some of these will be helpful for you and good luck in your battle with the nail beds! :)

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    roxanne legrand, Guest @ 3:15 pm

    une et d’entraide et paix

  39. Member
    prettypincushion 889 posts, Busy bee @ 4:13 am

    You don’t have to get a gel manicure you can get any manicure with short nails. A manicure does not include getting fake nails a full set does. A manicure should be treating, trimming, and polishing the nails as well as treating the hands and I am not sure where you live but everywhere I have ever lived you can get a basic manicure for $15 or less. Only problem with a standard manicure is it is just plain polish not the gel or anything so it isn’t nearly as resistant to chipping. Hope you kick the habit soon. I just quit smoking and if I could do that of all people then you can totally do this

  40. Member
    littlemisssally 262 posts, Helper bee @ 1:15 pm

    I used to be a chronic picker/nail biter until I shelled out for acrylic nails in 2009. I loved how gorgeous my hands and nails looked, so when I eventually wanted the acrylics removed I didn’t pick or chew once. Sounds crazy but the acrylics really boosted my self confidence as well, I was no longer trying to hide my chewed ugly nailed or my red-raw cuticles. I’d say go for fake nails, you don’t have to have them long, you can say how short you want them! :)

  41. bluewhale Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 8:32 pm

    @primcess: Everyone says I need moisturizer. Maybe that’s what I’ve needed all along…

    @jilleeann: I always do it when I’m reading too!! That’s how I know it’s not necessarily stress related… I just do it because my hands want to be doing something. Maybe if I had something else that I could pick stuff off of…don’t know what that would be.

    @honeybee33: Hmmm… I hadn’t thought of silly putty. Thanks for all your suggestions!

    @chipper_bride: A cuticle cutter? Obviously I’ve never had a real manicure, because I didn’t know these things existed :) Thanks for the tips!

    @bb: Yeah, I just hate the greasy feeling on my hands. Whenever I put lotion on my body, I always wipe my hands off on a towel afterward because I hate it on my hands. But I think I’ll try what you suggested, because I could handle it if it soaked in fast enough.

    @NYYandLace: What kind of gloves do you use? I might try putting them on at night, but I don’t want to look like a muppet :)

    @prettypincushion: Thanks for the encouragement!!

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