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Unread 02-03-2007, 01:24 AM   #1
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Default Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

Hello:
I'm a 32 year old guy who has grown up with a very peculiar way of coping with stress, fear, anxiety, etc.

For as long as I could remember - I've been biting my knuckles - not one or two - but all of them. I bite them pretty deep so that I actually peel layers of skin off of them - and yes, they do bleed. In the winter time its awful as dry skin leads to to some very raw red knuckles. I've developed what is known in the medical community as "knucklepads' where the skin on my knuckles has been aggravated so much that it looks like I've been a pro boxer for many years or that I have old man hands at my age.

I still do this - I've tried many things to avoid doing it - which sadly had led to other substance abuse issues - which only led 'back' to this ill activity.

Has anyone heard of this peculiar self injurious habit? I really do make my knuckles bleed and find some sort of satisfaction in causing myself pain - that I'm deserving of said pain albeit as small and hidden as the injury is. Though its not hidden as I have some embarassingly ugly hands thanks to this 'issue'.

Any information or support of folks who know exactly what I'm talking about is greatly appreciated.
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Unread 02-03-2007, 04:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

Well, I bite myself. I also mess up my hands just by letting them get chapped and refusing to use lotion. Have you tried putting lots of lotion on? Then your knuckles would taste bad, which could be a deterrent to biting them. Someone told me to slather on lots of Neutragena Norwegian Formula hand cream, and put on disposible gloves, and sleep that way.

The other thing is, if you need something like this (or substances), then you are lacking healthy coping methods. I highly recommend going to therapy to work on coping and stress management.

And welcome to PC!
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Unread 02-03-2007, 11:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

Thank you for the reply.

I am considering seeking some therapy - I've never addressed this before at a clinical/professional level. I find that when I do abuse substances or alcohol (really talking about pot and alcohol) my anxiety level goes up enough that I take it out on my hands.

The hours later I'm very regretful I have laid waste to my knuckles.

It takes a great deal of willpower to consciously not have me bite my knuckles. Does hypnotherapy work?
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Unread 02-03-2007, 01:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

Hi razzy,

Wow i never actually thought that anybody else did this. What you just described above about your knuckles is exactly, and i mean EXACTLY what i have done to mine. Unfortunately .. i don't know what to do to help ths situation because i still don't know what to do with mine .. but i just wanted to share that you are most definitely not alone.
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Unread 02-03-2007, 02:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

Razzy, some people like hypnotherapy, and others are sceptical about it. You are probably thinking about something like the stop smoking programs that attempt to lessen the desire and help motivate you to break the habit? Hypnotherapy really is just advanced relaxation techniques, and relaxation can be a good coping strategy to have. It could be useful in conjunction with the rest of your therapy. My concern with relying on just hypnotherapy is that it would not address the emotions and stress and whatever there is that you are not dealing with effectively in your life such that you need to resort to maladaptive coping methods. It really is important to face the problems, hard as that is, and learn to take care of them effectively.
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Unread 02-04-2007, 02:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
jacq10 said:
Hi razzy,

Wow i never actually thought that anybody else did this. What you just described above about your knuckles is exactly, and i mean EXACTLY what i have done to mine. Unfortunately .. i don't know what to do to help ths situation because i still don't know what to do with mine .. but i just wanted to share that you are most definitely not alone.
(((((hugs)))))
Jacq

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">


Well this is then an excellent first for me - I have never ever met anyone else who has said they did this....I've lied so much about what exactly is wrong with my knuckles over the years to everyone that I'm a bit ashamed to tell people - 'oh, its just my nervous habit of biting myself til I bleed'.

well - thanks for sharing - it really is comforting to know 'someone' else knows this little misery of mine.

Ras - thanks for the message - I understand that I have to deal with this effectively and not mask the solution. I'll be diligent in doing so - this has gone far long enough.
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Unread 02-04-2007, 02:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

Just curious - what stories have you told to friends or close family about your knuckles?

My mother thinks its a skin condition.
My father is ashamed of it (but is supportive - ironic as it sounds).
My friends think its mountain biking injuries - perpetual!
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Unread 02-04-2007, 03:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

Well i've gone from telling people that it's because its winter and dry skin ect and that I just have the bad habit of picking at it .. and to others i've said that i have bad excema in that area. Fortunately I don't live at home so my family doesn't really know about it. But once my mom noticed and i told her it was just from rubbing up against the inside of my hockey gloves ... she seemed to buy it ...

Its so embarassing though ... like even when i went to see my T for the first time, she said, and i quote "oh my gosh what happened to your knuckles? Did you get in a fight?" ... what a good way to start off a relationship eh? .. and one of my guy friends when i told him that i picked at them b.c of dry skin just kept being like "that is so weird, i've never heard of anyone doing that before" ... and i know that he just doesn't know the situation, but i'm not going to tell him. Actually, only one of my friends actually knows why they're like this ...

But hey, if you come up with any other excuses let me know!
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Unread 02-06-2007, 09:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
jacq10 said:
Well i've gone from telling people that it's because its winter and dry skin ect and that I just have the bad habit of picking at it .. and to others i've said that i have bad excema in that area. Fortunately I don't live at home so my family doesn't really know about it. But once my mom noticed and i told her it was just from rubbing up against the inside of my hockey gloves ... she seemed to buy it ...

Its so embarassing though ... like even when i went to see my T for the first time, she said, and i quote "oh my gosh what happened to your knuckles? Did you get in a fight?" ... what a good way to start off a relationship eh? .. and one of my guy friends when i told him that i picked at them b.c of dry skin just kept being like "that is so weird, i've never heard of anyone doing that before" ... and i know that he just doesn't know the situation, but i'm not going to tell him. Actually, only one of my friends actually knows why they're like this ...

But hey, if you come up with any other excuses let me know!

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">

More Excuses:
I'm a boxer.
I'm a ninja.
I play guitar.
Cycling Accident - again.
Got caught in a an elevator.
My dog bit me - on each knuckle while gnawing for a treat.
My brother bit me.
Was playing with toddlers on the floor.
Garbage Disposal.
Degenerative Arthritis.
Keratin deficiency.
Coffee Spill/Burn.

These are all excuses I've used or use currently. Good grief.
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Unread 02-06-2007, 09:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Knuckle Biting (Knuckle Pads)

wow thats a good list of excuses ... unfortunately i can't use most of them because i live in residence and people know me for the most part .. oooh well such is life.

Sorry i dont have any encouraging ideas ..
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