If you bite the skin around your nails, you are probably familiar with the scarred, damaged appearance of your cuticles.
Biting your skin can lead to painful cuts and can even pave the path for infections and illness.
Are you trying to heal the damage and search for how to heal bitten skin around nails?
Here are some things you need to know about this condition.
What Is Dermatophagia?
Dermatophagia is a condition where that makes you feel an impulse to chew on or bite the skin around your nails.
You might find that it can be triggered by anxiety or stress, but you may also discover yourself picking on your skin unconsciously for no particular reason.
Dermatophagia is more than a habit because the behavior is impulsive and is damaging to your skin.
If you have this condition, the skin around your nails can be bloody, cut or scarred, which can lead to swelling and infection.
You may also have caused enough trauma to your skin to alter its appearance completely, such as discoloration or calluses.
What Can You Do To Stop?
Before you begin the healing process, you need to put an end to this behavior.
If you can identify what pushes you to bite your skin, you can avoid those triggers or find alternate ways of dealing with them that don’t involve harm to your skin.
Stopping the behavior completely before you work on the affected skin will ensure that your skin can heal once and for all.
Otherwise, you might start the healing process and bite the skin off again, taking you back to square one.
Besides identifying the reasons in your environment or way of thinking that trigger the onset of skin-biting, you also have to keep in mind that the only way to stop is to quit cold turkey.
There is no fixed treatment for preventing skin-biting, so, as hard as it seems, the only way to put an end to it is to cultivate the willpower to make yourself stop.
Some ways you can practice this is by being more aware of your actions at all times.
If you catch yourself unconsciously engaging in this behavior, try focusing on your breath and the environment around you in order to be more mindful.
You can also find other ways to release your stress and anxiety, such as a stress ball or a fidget spinner to keep your hands busy.
This helps you vent your stress but keep your skin intact at the same time.
Telling your closest friends and family to keep an eye on you and reprimand you is a great way to feel embarrassed enough to put an end to the skin-biting.
How To Heal The Damaged Skin
Now that you’ve put a halt on this troubling behavior, the next step is to start the healing process. Here are some strategies you can try.
Get A Manicure
Getting a manicure from a reputable salon with medicated treatments is a great place to start.
You’ll start to feel better about your cuticles and you will feel motivated to keep them healthier after an effective manicure.
You can also start regularly applying nail polish and moisturizing your hands as often as possible.
When you appreciate the way your cuticles look after being groomed and well cared for, you’ll think twice before picking at your skin.
Bandages Are Your Best Friend
The worst feeling when working on the healing process is if you find yourself picking at your nails again.
No one succeeds at giving their skin a chance to recover in the first go, so you will have to come up with interventions.
One effective technique is to have bandages over your cuticles as often as you can.
This way, even if your fingers find a way back to your teeth or you attempt to peel the skin off, your cuticles will be protected with the bandage. This gives your skin ample time to mend.
Don’t Forget The Vaseline
Applying Vaseline on your damaged skin before going to bed every night will soften the skin.
It’ll reduce your tendency to pick on the skin as well because there won’t be any dry skin sticking up that you can start picking on.
Use Moisture-Induced Gloves
Moisturizing gloves that you can put on overnight are very helpful as well.
If you apply Vaseline on your cuticles, pairing it with moisturizing gloves will ensure that you don’t wipe the Vaseline off on your bed.
Combined with Vaseline, the gloves will give your skin a chance to absorb the moisture and become softer and smoother.
You’ll also be saving money on constantly buying moisturizer because the gloves retain the moisture and help it work more effectively and seep into your skin, rather than stay on a surface level.
Invest In Shea Butter And Oils
Softer skin gives you a weaker incentive to pick on it because one of the most common reasons to start is by picking on a scab or a cracked part of the skin.
The taste of the oil becomes a reason to avoid bringing your fingers close to your mouth. They also strengthen your nails and keeps your skin moisturized.
At night, after you’ve washed up and are reading to bed, put a few drops of oil and your skin will feel smoother and more hydrated.
Put on the moisturizing gloves to avoid getting oil on your sheets or clothes.
Fighting the urge to pick on the skin around your nails is very difficult.
Even after learning how to heal bitten skin around nails, you may constantly worry about relapsing and falling prey to that harmful behavior again.
However, as long as you have patience, willpower and are able to keep a careful watch on yourself, you’ll be able to put an end to the skin-biting and let your skin heal once and for all.
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