Finger Taping to Create a BFRB Barrier

Are you kidding me? Why didn’t I know of this earlier? 

A seated position with one free hand is always tricky for me – especially for biting my nails and picking my fingers’ skin. My fingers are always moving, looking for something to pick, bite, squeeze, or scratch. When I draw, read, or watch TV. Or like now as I write this post.

If I catch myself nibbling on my fingers, I put medical tape on the fingers that are most tempting at that moment. The tape immediately creates a barrier, and tadah, problem solved! If it only would be that easy … 

Everybody’s experience with BFRB is slightly different. Sometimes the BFRBs help to self-soothe; sometimes, it’s a deep auto mechanism. If you’re using the tape, you may need to keep something else to fondle with closeby.

How to use the finger tape

Depending on how you apply the adhesive, this trick will help with dermatillomania and onychophagia.

  • Tape around the finger: Prevents picking of hangnails or cuticles. 
  • Tape over fingernail: Helps to prevent you from scratching and feeling blemishes. Plus, you can’t bite your fingernails. I’m not sure, but taping the finger this way should help with trichotillomania too? Please let me know if you have any experience with this!

I usually use medical adhesives. I like the softness and texture; it is also very convenient to tear the pieces off instead of using scissors. Sometimes I apply cuticle oil underneath the tape so I can heal the skin while protecting it.

If you need something stronger or sturdier, try out climbing tape! You can get this at any larger sports store. Just keep in mind that the nail polish might come off with the tape if you have painted nails.

4 replies on “Finger Taping to Create a BFRB Barrier”

I do tape my fingernails to prevent picking, but I usually use band-aids instead. I find it helpful only sometimes because I find myself just picking at the ends of the band-aids and eventually peeling them off.

Hi Laura! I can relate to the picking of the ends of the band-aids 😅 I usually keep my fingers additionally busy with some fidget toys. A good alternative to the taping would be using finger protectors. Sending positive coping vibes, Anja

Hi! This idea looks amazing, but I’m having trouble finding tape that seems right for me. The medical adhesive you have a picture of looks absolutely perfect, but I can’t seem to find one like it! Is it possible you have a specific product name or link you could share? Thanks so much 🙂

Hi Anna, thank you for your comment! I’m so sorry that I can’t remember the brand of this tape—I’ve had it for a long time. I think I got it from a drugstore or pharmacy. It has a fabric feel and it’s a bit thicker than other medical adhesives. I’ll look out for the brand and let you know if I find out!

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