Anyones child eat their own skin?

Has anyone dealt with their kid eating their skin? Specifically, my daughter is eating her skin off of her fingers to the point she’s bleeding. I have taken her to the doctor and asked about seeing a dermatologist and her doctor thinks it’s just anxiety. I can put bandaids on her fingers but she’ll take them off. When we see her doing it and tell her to stop, she looks at us and says no and continues to do it. I can’t hold her hands all day so she doesn’t do it. She is on a waitlist for occupational therapy, but I’m not even sure that will help? She’s 4, will be 5 in March.


Me and my mom both do this. It’s anxiety.

Sounds like anxiety to me!

Can you try providing a light snack to keep her hands and mouth busy during idle times until you can see someone? Grapes, cheerios, goldfish, berries, pretzels?

I did that too, finally grew out of it, can’t remember at what age.

Yes I couldn’t ever stop it

It is anxiety. Try getting her fidgets to redirect to keep her hands busy.

I’ve done it since I was a child I was never able to stop

There is this stuff called good dog. It’s really bitter spray. You can put a little bit of it on her fingers and it would taste awful. She won’t want to do it anymore. It is anxiety though. So you need to find a different outlet for her. You need to change something. Whatever is going on in her life isn’t working. Those Rainbow Loom things are really fun for kids. It helps to keep their hands busy and gives them something to do. Even if she builds miles and miles of it lol. Maybe paint her nails so they look all pretty? Might be a deterrent for her. Let Her paint your nails? Find some common ground and spend some time with her doing stuff she likes.


I did this as a child and now my son does it it’s an anxiety thing


Yes - definitely an anxiety thing.
Could also be a sensory thing.


Aniexty my daughter use to do the same thing

I sort of used to do this as a kid I think it’s from anxiety/being stressed. I would chew my knuckles…Kind of like nail biting? I don’t remember how or when I stopped but eventually I outgrew it🤷‍♀️


hot sauce or hot pepper juice on her hands until she quits :woman_shrugging:t3: other than that, definitely take her to see someone about that type of anxiety asap.


I do this!!! The only thing that stops me from doing it is when I have my nails done. I will get shellac and my skin will completely heal. Then when the shellac comes off its straight back to biting my fingers. I do it without even thinking about it - just habit. Maybe try getting shellac and see if her fingers will heal.

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My son use to do this all the time and it was 100% from anxiety! I found out that it was from school/ bullying at school and once I pulled him out and started homeschooling he stopped within 2 weeks. I tried the gross nail polish and bandaids and nothing was helping. He chewed up his fingers for over 2 years.

Just anxiety… What an insult to the beast anxiety is. Look into CBD and get her involved in physical work/play and art

I used to bite my nails/the skin around my nails until I bled when I was a child. It definitely could be an anxiety thing, but it also could be a form of stimming like in ADHD.


My son bites his nails so bad, he has developed warts on his nail beds. They are nearly impossible to get rid of :confused: I think there is nail polish you can purchase that she won’t like to taste but I’m not sure how toxic that might be :sweat_smile:

I agree with the doctor she must be a very nervous child find out what’s causing her to be nervous to that extent that she is biting herself.

They make chew necklaces that may be an alternative to her fingers. Also, I’d suggest therapy if she isn’t already seeing someone to help with the anxiety and offer healthy behavioral changes to cope.


I would get her to a psychiatrist asap. Early intervention is needed. It’s likely anxiety related but could be something deeper rooted. Has she experienced a trauma etc…

Take her to a therapist for anxiety

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The only thing that works for me as an adult is getting my nails done. It’s total anxiety for me. I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

I did this most my life. It was caused by anxiety and ADHD. ADHD is harder to diagnose in girls at a young age.

Give her a small toy to fidget with. My daughter used to get anxiety at bedtime when she was 2.5/3. I gave her a tiny toy to roll around her fingers and she stopped.

Anxiety… I’ve done it since I was a little kid… they have stuff called “stop the bite” that you can paint on like nail polish and help
Her to stop chewing

Anxiety is triggered because of parasites. She needs to do a parasite cleanse.

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It sounds like anxiety. She would benefit from the stuff on the fingers as mentioned above to make them not taste good. But also she would benefit from a fidget toy. Something she can help ease her nerves even in school.

Maybe take her to “have her nails done” just a fancy clean and polish. It might stop her from wanting to.

Maybe some form of counseling. Maybe something triggered this, or she’s scared about something,

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Rub hot sauce on her fingers


I would find out why she has anxiety……

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Maybe put something that tastes terrible on her fingers,
(But safe). It used to be used to help people stop biting their fingernails.

Yup my son is 15 and still does it but it’s due to anxiety. There is something you can paint on their fingernails or spray on her fingers and it’s super bitter. Maybe paint her nails or get a tiny spa day with you n her and afterwards just gush over how pretty her nails are and explain that she can’t bite them no more cause they’re so pretty. How’s your guys home dynamic? Is there tension in the home? Here’s the thing kids absorb everything even if we think they don’t know (they do trust me) N if something is bothering them especially at her age it’s best to get her into child play therapy cause I guarantee she might just be overwhelmed with her emotions and biting her skin off might be only way for her to comfort herself.

Someone needs to find out why she is so anxious

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I used to suck my thumb and my mother put some type of liquid on my fingers. It was NASTY but cured me from putting my fingers in my mouth. Now this was in 1971, but ask her doctor if he knows of such a thing.

My nearly 15 year old has done this for years due to anxiety.his fingers end up bleeding iv been trying to get him to stop for years its murder.maybe that nail polish stuff that tastes horrible

I did when I was a kid! It was definitely from anxiety. I stopped when I was old enough to start getting acrylic nails. For some reason it deterred me from biting them anymore.

I’m 37 and still do this. For me it’s not anxiety, I just don’t like the feeling of my skin sticking up. It has to be smooth. Same with my lips, I will peel my lips if I feel skin.

Wow just wow instead off putting crap on her fingers and being mean about it mabey take her to a child psychiatrist and see y your child is having trouble in the first place :neutral_face: just anxiety mabey find out y your 4 year old is having so much anxiety something could b going on you don’t know about but this is major red flags

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Anxiety. My mum did this and I started at 5 and haven’t really stopped I’m 38 now the only way I’ve stopped is by wearing fake nails but when them nails come off I’ll be straight to ripping my fingers apart. I’ve tried absoulty everything and nothing has worked for me.

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It sounds like your child is stimming which is when they engage in repetitive motion to help cope with anxiety and emotions. It could be just anxiety but it could also be an indication of something more such as adhd or autism.