Dermatophagia - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Dermatophagia


Dermatophagia: A type of Impulse Control Disorder wherein a sufferer compulsively bites his or her own skin. Sufferers typically bite the skin around the nails, leading to bleeding and discoloration over time.

Just found out about this dermatophagia disorder. I would say I have a slight case of this, nothing to serious. I sometimes bite the skin around my nails when I'm really nervous. In my toddler years I would constantly bite my nails, not sure if this is related to dermatophagia.

Does anyone else have this disorder?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 01:57 AM
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I have dermatillomania, which is fairly similar, except that it's picking rather than biting. Especially on the arms and face. It's something that I find the impulse for everyday, multiple times a day, and have struggled with since very early childhood. Apparently, it's very difficult to quit without CBT or similar intervention. Which I'd have to agree with - I've tried stopping a number of times, but the next day I always wind up back on the wagon.

Can you easily refrain from the biting? Or is it impulsive also?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 02:02 AM
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im a cheekbiter...i think they may all be manifestations of the same thing. SSRIs help
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 03:04 AM
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im a cheekbiter...i think they may all be manifestations of the same thing. SSRIs help
Oh yes, I've also had cheek biting phases in the past year or so.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Anyanka View Post
I have dermatillomania, which is fairly similar, except that it's picking rather than biting. Especially on the arms and face. It's something that I find the impulse for everyday, multiple times a day, and have struggled with since very early childhood. Apparently, it's very difficult to quit without CBT or similar intervention. Which I'd have to agree with - I've tried stopping a number of times, but the next day I always wind up back on the wagon.

Can you easily refrain from the biting? Or is it impulsive also?
I can control it, but I do it subconsciously sometimes and I only start biting when my hands are clean xS

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yes, I've also had cheek biting phases in the past year or so.
Whoa cheekbiting is also a form of dermatophagia? I do that also...

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 08:52 AM
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I had that when I was kid but whenever my siblings noticed me biting my nails they'd insult me and my parents would scold me. I think my dad had even hit me several times because of it. I was scared of them so I completely stopped that habit at the age of 12.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 08:55 AM
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Eeep. I think I have this :-/
I am often picking and biting at the skin around my nails. It gets worse in times of stress.

I am going to completely work on making myself happy.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 10:57 AM
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I used to get this but I don't have it so bad now, in the end I began to look at my fingers which were bloody and red all the time and realise that it was too destructive. I think i've sort of replaced this behaviour with hair pulling though :/
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 12:48 PM
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I chew the insides of my cheeks, and bite/pick at skin around my nails (as well as picking at other things--tough little bits of skin just beg to be picked at or bitten ), though for me it's more of a compulsive/boredom behavior than anything caused by stress. It gets a little ugly now and then but for the most part it doesn't excessively bother me.

I also pull off/bite off dead skin on my lips so much that they often get chapped and bleed...I had a therapist once worried that I was dehydrating myself because of the state of my lips. Didn't even know they looked that bad. I can't stand using chapstick though, I'd just wipe it off.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tehuti88 View Post
I chew the insides of my cheeks, and bite/pick at skin around my nails (as well as picking at other things--tough little bits of skin just beg to be picked at or bitten ), though for me it's more of a compulsive/boredom behavior than anything caused by stress. It gets a little ugly now and then but for the most part it doesn't excessively bother me.

I also pull off/bite off dead skin on my lips so much that they often get chapped and bleed...I had a therapist once worried that I was dehydrating myself because of the state of my lips. Didn't even know they looked that bad. I can't stand using chapstick though, I'd just wipe it off.
I find that using toothpicks really helps with the cheekbiting and lip biting; it takes away from the boredom (you have something to fiddle with xD) and its sortof a replacement/occupies your mouth.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 06:55 AM
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Hello. I've been suffering with this condition for 5 years now, and over the past 20 days, I've had a miracle recovery. I have tracked my journey and provided tips for recovery on this tumblr site, http://dermatophagiaddiction.tumblr.com/page/3
I really want to help as many people as I can with this, so please check it out and spread the word.

Really, what triggered me to start my recovery was when my friend asked me if I had cut or burnt my fingers. I could not say anything else but agree, because I was too embarrassed to confess that I had dermatophagia. Furthermore, it was getting to be a real hassle because I could not focus or think without having to rip out skin from my cuticles and taste the blood and skin against the back of my throat.

I was, too, getting very sensitive to other people who have dermatophagia. I would get really disgusted when I see other people doing their thing, and I would have a deep self-hatred because I would, too, be picking at my fingers under the table.

So, what is my true secret for recovering from this? I learned to love myself. Instead of treating my fingers as the enemy, I treated them as my baby. I used cuticle massage creams, lip balm, Polysporin, nail polish, and a lot more knacky ways to help myself.

I've posted all my methods on my Tumblr site (http://dermatophagiaddiction.tumblr.com/page/3), so please follow along with pictures of progress, and help yourself.

All the best!

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-04-2013, 01:12 PM
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i dont know if i have it...


Well I used to bite and pick nails and skin around my fingernails, toenails and on soles of my feet, not obsessively though, now I bite my cheeks quite often but not until they bleed, except every so often (every few months), usually when I am bored, I chew my tongue badly until it it is raw and bleeding, and then I move onto my cheeks. It is very painful after and means I can't eat salty or acidic foods for a good few days, but as I said its not very often? I mean I've heard stories where people bite their fingers/cheeks raw and bloody daily? If anyone could tell me if I have dermatophagia or not, that would be great, thanks.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 05:20 PM
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Thumbs up

www.instagram.com/DermaToSaviour


Hi - I recently set up a support resource on Instagram for those living with Dermatophagia & other BFRB disorders. Please feel free to come have a Look, Like, Follow or spread the word.

Thanks so much 👋🙏✌️
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 09:26 PM
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Sometimes I did that as well.
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