When it comes to dermatophagia, there are a few physical and psychological symptoms that you should watch out for.
Nail biting and finger chewing are activities that one undertakes in order to soothe oneself. Therefore, many experts link BFRBs with stress and anxiety, believing that individuals that are either genetically predisposed to stress or live in an environment that induces high stress are more likely to develop this disorder. Other risk factors for developing dermatophagia include:
It is essential to note that though dermatophagia presents with compulsive behaviour, it is not a form of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and should not be confused with the same.
Now, if you think that biting your nails and chewing your fingers are harmless habits, you must think again as there are dire consequences associated with this disorder. Some of these include the following:
When you bite your fingers and nails to the extent of creating open wounds and causing bleeding, it leaves you susceptible to infections. Repeatedly tearing open the same wound can increase your chances of the same. When you develop a skin infection due to your dermatophagia, you can expect the following signs:
Do keep in mind that an untreated infection can also lead to bacteria seeping into the bloodstream, which can be deadly. This is why it is absolutely vital to seek help from a professional if you or a loved one suffers from this disorder!
Most individuals shy away from admitting that they have a problem, and as a result, they’d rather lock themselves in their homes than have anyone catch a glimpse of their hands! Social isolation is not something you should take lightly as you can end up feeling depressed, ashamed and even have low self-esteem.
Many people avoid speaking to professionals about their dermatophagia as they believe it’s just a harmless habit that they’ll eventually outgrow. However, this is a common misconception as chronic nail biting is actually a disorder that can only be treated via professional help!
What makes dermatophagia even more dangerous is the fact that it is not easy to diagnose. In fact, the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) does not offer physicians any insight specifically into BFRBs, and the conditions associated with the same are generally classified under a broader category of other “obsessive compulsive and related disorders”. As a result, many patients who speak to professionals sometimes find themselves walking away with a mis-diagnosis and grow even more disheartened regarding seeking help in the future.
With over 3% of the global population suffering from BFRDs, it is important to know that you are not alone, and that you can certainly seek help for this condition.
Hypnotherapy treatments are used to help individuals come to term with their demons to cure most anxiety related disorders. When it comes to dermatophagia, hypnotherapy is one of the leading treatments out there and is lauded for helping a multitude of patients throughout the world. Of course, as dermatophagia is a pervasive disorder, it takes a few hypnotherapy sessions for patients to be able to manage the condition sufficiently. By helping you identify triggers and develop healthier coping mechanisms, a hypnotherapist can actually do wonders for you!
One of the biggest advantages of hypnosis is that it makes patients grow more open to conversations and self-exploration, which helps you get a better understanding of why you indulge in the behaviours that you do. In this sense, hypnotherapy does not only aim to treat the behaviour that is bothering you (such as nail biting), but also help you address the cause behind it in the first place (such as a stressful home environment, traumatic event in your childhood, and so on). As a result, this treatment serves as a highly comprehensive one, helping patients develop a stronger resistance to their problems.