I don’t know how I could have lived without cuticle oil for so long! For most of my fellow BFRB copers, using cuticle oil is probably a no-brainer. But I indeed have never used it in those over 20 years of picking my fingers.
My restless fingers are constantly looking for or creating hangnails. Thanks to various coping techniques (finger taping, finger protectors, fidget ring, therapy, …) I have my finger picking pretty well under control.
The new problem, however, is that the new skin feels more rigid, which makes picking even more appealing and harder to control.
So I’m trying to counter that by using A LOT of cuticle oil and lotion. The oil moisturizes and smoothes the skin, so I don’t see any hangnails or imperfections. The smell of the oil also reminds me not to bite my nails when I get my hand near my mouth.
Over time, I’ve developed a healthy habit that creates awareness not to pick. As soon as I’m at my work desk, I apply cuticle oil to the nail beds.
This has an effect on me, similar to putting shoes on a dog. I spread my fingers apart to make sure they aren’t touching and not greasing the keyboard. For a while, at least, my fingers don’t wander around picking each other.
In summary, the cuticle oil not only softens and heals your skin, it also creates a slight barrier against picking your hangnails.
Tip: When I need heavier BFRB work gear or the extra healing boost, I apply cuticle oil before taping my fingers or putting on the finger protectors. This is how I protect my fingers and moisten them at the same time.