To all my ladies out there who can't seem to stop picking their fingers, you are not alone! If you want to know how to quit picking your cuticles for good, prepare for a treatment method that actually has very little to do with your hands. I swear there is hope out there for us to have super on point manicures and wound-free fingers.
I've been unintentionally picking my cuticles since the fourth grade, and it's such an ingrained habit now that I don't even know I'm doing it until I realize I'm bleeding. I've tried gimmicky strategies like putting band-aids over my nails 24/7 or popping my wrist with a rubber band when I notice I'm doing it, but the first thing that ever actually helped quell the constant picking was therapy. And, as it turns out, that might be the best real cure out there.
To get the full story, I reached out to Donna Keehn, licensed marriage and family therapist. She says, "Cuticle picking is a symptom of anxiety, and a [painful] self-soother." As for how to stop, Keehn tells me, "The key is to figure out what's causing the anxiety and address it, which allows you to find a healthier self-soother when you're stressed than ripping your fingers apart. Evidence proves talk therapy is incredibly effective for treating anxiety, and I would highly recommend exploring it if you can't stop picking."
In between therapy sessions to treat your anxiety-rooted picking once and for all, you can help your cuticles physically heal with these products below.
When picking has left your cuticles split (YOWZA), this nourishing shea butter treatment will help your cracked skin heal fast.
If picking has left you with painful dry patches of skin around your fingers, reach for this soothing skin protectant with colloidal oatmeal.
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic, and this oil will help make sure you don't get an infection if picking made you bleed.
Images: Lindsey Rose Black; Courtesy of Brands