Thursday, November 07, 2013

How I Stopped Destroying My Fingernails

I think 3 weeks ago now I got disgusted enough with myself to really stop biting my nails.  It's a habit that has been with me for a long time but it was a compulsion to bite at my nails and my cuticles.  It was gross. It's an image I've never wanted to project.

So I stopped.

My cuticles are still puffy from the years of trauma they've endured.  Excuse the slightly tacky nail polish, but keeping a good manicure is the only way I've found to really keep from picking.

Here's what I did to stop.
I picked up a bottle of this stuff at the drug store.  SUPER NASTY tasting, but in a couple of days I realized I put my fingers to my mouth roughly 85,000,000 times a day.  I just didn't know.  I couldn't believe how serious it was.

Awareness is half the battle.

I was constantly aware because the ends of my fingers were literally itchy from not being messed with.  I would chew or pick until I bled, and I guess my fingertips were used to nearly constant stimulation.  It's a really weird feeling.  I found that just pressing on the cuticles around my nails would help it to go away.

The other thing I did was figure out how to stop the little bits of dry cuticles from tempting me to pick or chew my fingers.  I did a lot of research and discovered that this:

Is some of the best rated cuticle creme ever.  It's also some of the most expensive EVER.  But the texture is exactly right- very thick and moisturizing and healing, slightly sticky.  I've tried other cuticle cremes and oils and even Neosporin, but nothing compares to the Christian Dior Abricot Creme.

So, what has worked:  forced awareness, nice manicures (if it gets chipped I will pick at it, and then it's all over), and stupifyingly expensive moisturizing creme.  And gallons of regular old hand cream.  Currently I'm using the Nivea Extended Moisture Hand Cream.
 Dehydration is the enemy.

It's working.  But I have to be very vigilant because it is really easy to slide right back into the habit.  Someone actually complimented my nails the other day.  And they don't embarrass me anymore.

And I also don't have to worry about getting some staph infection or something in my cuticles.  Ugh.

No comments: