According to psychology today, this picking disorder affects "1.4 percent of the total population, and approximately 75 percent of those affected are female". I knew I wasn't alone, heck I personally know two women who have the same bloody picking issues as I do. But just because other people do it, does not make it okay.
To those who are also struggling, you will know that its painful, embarrassing, and also opens a door to infection. After many years, my cuticles did end up getting infected. After going to the doctor I found out I had a mild case of periungual warts... It sounds disgusting right? Warts are what the nerds get in grade school! The doctor told me I was washing my hands too much and that the soap was damaging my cuticles. He told me to keep them moisturized and stop picking.
This is SO much easier said than done. I remember if my dad would see me pick he would say "just stop!" But for someone who has this disorder, you can't just stop. You would like to stop of course, but it's not that easy.
Sometimes we pick without even knowing it. Sometimes the picking is a huge stress reliever. Sometimes if there is just that little patch of imperfect skin, we can't stand it. It has to go. We want smooth skin so any abnormal texture has to be picked off.
For me it was a never ending cycle. The more I picked, the more abnormalities my skin would get. The skin would get thick, calloused, dry, and a day later, perfect picking material. Some good news is that our hands are wonderfully resilient and heal very quickly if taken care of. I still have setbacks every once in a while and a definite desire to pick, but for the most part my skin picking days are over. I would like to share with everyone a few things that helped free me from this embarrassing habit.