Do you see that little piece of dry skin near the center of my cuticle? I am one of those people that if I don’t quickly get rid of this, I will pick at it. There is an actual medical condition for this type of problem called Dermatotillomania. I don’t know everything there is to know about this condition and there are varying degrees of it. If you suspect you need help, please skip this post and seek medical attention. As I have mentioned before, I am a registered nurse and nurses do not know everything. Maybe, I should just say this one does not know everything😉.
I have not been diagnosed with this condition. If you research it, you will see extreme cases that are are painful to look at, so proceed with caution. I am empathetic for those stricken with an extreme case. There are therapies available that are proven to help. This can be bad enough to interfere with activities of daily living or cause infection.
I know I have to do things to keep myself from picking at my cuticles. If I don’t take care of this little dry piece of skin, I will eventually pick at it, causing a sore area that could put me at risk of an infection. 😎Not cool!
I have found a solution that works for me that I thought was worth sharing. I see so many people that have dry skin around the nail that causes them to pick. What I use is very inexpensive and can be found at your nearest dollar store.
It is..drum roll please……a simple nail file.
I like the box that comes with several in it for about $1. It is common to file your nails, but I actually use a nail file to buff away the dry skin around my cuticle. I do it often, like whenever I am sitting around watching TV or taking a break. It is very effective in removing the dry, dead skin that surrounds the cuticle. The file reduces the irregular edge that will eventually lift, turning into a piece of hanging dry skin. If there is no dry skin hanging around the nail..there is nothing to pick!
So even if I have an urge to pick, there’s nothing there, so I can’t☺️. Also, filing nails and softly buffing your surrounding skin is a somewhat mindless, stress reducing activity. So that, in itself, may be helpful. The skin around my nails has an immediate, more healthy look after buffing.
Important things to consider:
1. When buffing the skin around nails with a file, it is important not to press down too hard. If the nail bed is damaged, a permanently bumpy nail could result. Gentle buffing is key.
2. If there is broken skin or bleeding, do not buff at this time. What has worked for me is to apply antibiotic ointment then apply a band-aid overnight. Then see if things are better in the morning. Applying a band-aid also helps to not pick the area and cause more damage😉.
3. Apply a moisturizer after buffing, I like to use simple olive oil, baby oil, coconut oil, or petroleum jelly. I do use lotion, if I don’t have anything else. Since most lotions contain alcohol, I feel like they can be somewhat drying for me.
4. Keep a file in your pocket at all times. Prevention is what makes this successful for me. While I go about my daily activities, if I notice a problem area, I take care of it right then.
If you try this tip, please let me know how it is working for you☺️. Oh, and this also works well for the dry skin around the toes😉.