Hangnail Rubbing (and other fun stuff) ;)

by Katie Pollard
(Wickenburg, AZ)

Me and my kids

Me and my kids

I originally came to this site and just made this comment on somebody else's texture blog, but I figured, why not make my own blog and see how many people can relate?


"OK...so I cannot seem to find anything on this issue but I know I can't be the only one! I love rubbing my hangnails on the inside seam of t-shirts or on blankets that have started to ball up and will catch the hangnail in a certain way. I will rub until the hangnail is gone and sometimes to the point of bleeding and I don't even realize it! I also like to rub my chapped lips on the same types of material hoping to catch the dry skin on a thread. Typing it out makes me sound so lame...but I've done this my whole life!! Does anyone else out there have this issue???"

This habit is a very calming sensation for me. Whenever I see a certain blanket that I like I can't resist but to break into this behavior. I also like to smell the blanket. LOL...so embarrassing to admit, but it's true. Must just be a childhood thing that I've brought with me into adulthood.

I also have a very sensitive nose/sense of smell and can smell things that most are unaware of. I've been able to 'sniff out' and find things that were burning (light bulbs, old electric cords, etc.), leaking gas, pet accidents and rotting food.

Things that freak me out and make me cringe:
Filing nails
Pushing back cuticles
Cutting my toe nails
Writing with a wooden pencil on paper
Erasing with a wooden pencil on paper
Touching Porcelain
Anything touching or entering my belly button (finger, etc.)
Watching someone else touch inside their belly button
Someone pulling on my fingers or toes in order to pop them
Watching someone else pull on their fingers or toes to pop them
God just typing it out and thinking about it is making me wig out!

If you can relate and would like to talk more about these issues feel free to email me at KatieMama101482@gmail.com :)Look forward to hearing from you :)

Comments for Hangnail Rubbing (and other fun stuff) ;)

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Feb 14, 2017
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Yikes
by: Anonymous

I am currently reading this, while rubbing my hangnails on my blanket (blankie from childhood) and I am a 26-year-old wife and mother. Yes, I totally get it! Also rub it on my lips and am a blanket sniffer....

Feb 12, 2017
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My other half hates it...
by: Anonymous

I catch myself driving to work rubbing the strings of my Hoodie, rubbing anything my dry skin can catch on. No understandING what I do it, frequently catch myself doing it. I always thought it was an A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. thing or maybe ocd. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. It causes alot of turmoil between me and my other half. I'm glad to see there's other people out there. Thank you

Feb 07, 2017
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Me too
by: Anonymous

Add me to the list. I'm a 49 yr old male and have done this as long as I can remember. Some of the descriptions here are uncanny in describing fabric and textile surfaces that I am drawn to. Unlike some here I will not create a hangnail to perform this but can always find some bit of loose skin around the fingertips that will snag on the right surface. A lot of automobile headliner material can be a very attractive nuisance, btw! ;-)

Feb 02, 2017
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So weird
by: Anonymous

I thought I was the only one who did this.

Feb 01, 2017
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I feel normal now
by: Anonymous

I can't believe I came across this thread I always thought I was freaky because people would look weird when I randomly whip out a piece of silk and just feel away at it, it feels so nice to know it's common maybe lots of people do it but won't admit to it but I cannot resist sometimes I'm 20 and I've been doing it since primary school with the labels on my polo shirt ahhhh it's pure euphoria

Feb 01, 2017
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another one
by: Anonymous

Hi all,
as i was typing in google about rubbing fingers on clothes, i was expecting it to come back 'sorry no match found'! I was just floored to see the list come back - and then these comments from all of you guys!!!.

So it sounds like i have had spd pretty much my whole life, earliest memories of skin picking on ears and fingers, lips, around 8-9yo. pushing 45 now.

Pick certain places till it bleeds and then poke at those with rough dry finger tip skin and side nails to make it sting. Love it!

Recently started to run fingertips over fabric- the dry skin catch on the fibers - the feeling and sound is too captivating. To visually describe it when the skin is catching on is like when a jet fighter lands on an aircraft carrier, the hook that catches on the cable to help stop the plane.

I feel relieved that i am not alone in whatever it is that we suffer from. I too have the other characteristics of sensitive smell and depression issues.

Thank you all for sharing.


Jan 05, 2017
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it just feels good
by: cyndi

I rub my hang nail with my other fingers. I like it so much that I've used clippers to make a hang nail so I can rub it with my other fingers. I do it every day to the point that my fingers hurt and are sore from constent movement. And burning from the hang nail I made. It's crazy. But I've done it as long as I can remember. What's worse I'm an adult thumb sucker. 33 years old and still suck my thumb. Wow it feels good to type that. I've never told anyone. My siblings think I've stopped. The only person that knows is my husband...thanks for this blog

Jan 02, 2017
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Me too
by: lsu14soccer

Oh my gosh I am the same way! Mine aren't hangnails it's the skin below the finger tips that I pick at to make like a hangnail so that it catches on different fabrics. Mainly tshirt seams, hair ties, scrub pant strings, and some microfiber cloths. But I usually rub it to much to get the same effect. Doesn't work for me if it's too furry. Sometimes when I'm standing talking to people I know well I will just start rubbing their tshirt seam on their sleeve. And they look at me like I'm nuts. I do it all the time. On my wedding day I totally forgot about not having anything to rub until I was walking down the aisle and I had nothing to rub. As soon as we took our pictures I got a hairtie to keep in my hand. My kids think I'm nuts. My husband is used to it. I've been doing this since I was a kid as well. Helps me calm down and focus.

Dec 13, 2016
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Hang nail disorder
by: Anonymous

Oh my! I thought I was the only one. I like to rub my sore hang nail spot after the hangnail is gone. I like to rub it to feel he pain which comforts me and helps me to sleep. I do this all the time, and will do it on sharp corners of sheets, paper naplkins, tags on anything. I also have a heightened sense of smell and I am 46 years old. I'm a female.

Nov 04, 2016
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Still loving it
by: Anonymous

I love that more and more people are commenting and relating to me. I will also bring a certain blanket with me in the car if i know I have to drive a long way. And even tho I can sleep without it I really prefer not too. As it helps me to relax and fall asleep as well. If I dont have it with me I will then use the inseam on my tshirt or sweatshirt. Love hearin bout the hair tye, and the sock and how some of u have labeled the behavior. Even tho Im 34, my inner child rejoices each time she hears shes not alone :).

Nov 04, 2016
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Sensory needs
by: Anonymous

Oh yes, the right kind of material is a lovely feeling when rubbing, catching hangnails and rough skin around nails that have picked. Problem comes when stressed, pick too much, get very sore fingers have to put on plasters.

Driving is a big picking time so often have to wear gloves. As a child, I sucked my tongue whilst rubbing, my Mum thought i had SEN but stopped when had a brace. We all need to meet our sensory needs!!

Oct 29, 2016
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Hair tie rubber
by: Melissa

Oh my goodness! I thought I was the only one! I am 31 years old and have this very odd habit as well. I used to have a stuffed animal that I would sleep with every night and had to rub it's ears with my fingernails & cuticles. I literally rubbed the long ears off to nothing!

I now rub a hair tie every night to fall asleep. Sometimes I rub it when I'm driving and when I'm just watching tv. I like to stick with the same hairtie because the more often you rub it, it changes the texture, making it easier to snag on my fingernails and cuictals. I've lost several of these hair ties and end up having to start over with a new one lol it sounds so crazy but it's just so relaxing to me. I've also rubbed blankets and even shoe laces. And as you said, I have a very heightened sense of smell. I'm so glad I'm not the only one :)

Oct 18, 2016
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Scratching
by: Anonymous

My whole life i thought i might be the only one in the world who like to rub on fuzzy stuff and catch it with dry lips dry flaky cuticles. Wow i found my family lol

Oct 12, 2016
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Yesssss
by: Anonymous

I've rubbed flaky skin at the tip of my fingers and dried lips on cloths my whole life. Some cloths are much better than other ones. Farthest I remember doing this is at 3 years old and loving my then blanket. BUT my grandpa once was hospitalized and my mom stayed the night with him and saw him do the same thing! I've never seen my grandpa go to sleep. This is a completely genetic thing, not learned at all. Today, I have a sock with stretchy cloth that is my "Sockie". I lose my shit when it gets lost because it is my relaxer and helps me get sleepy. I do it automatically all the time without noticing. I wish there was a term for this behavior or know what it is that it does chemically to us. I'm sure us who do this release serotonin or something when we do it.

Sep 21, 2016
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I can't believe there are others like me.
by: Anonymous

I can not remember how my habit started but I know I've been doing it for as long as I can remember. I'm a male, 22 years old and I love scratching my hangnails.

When I was little I had a blanket that had thin ropes that swing from both ends and I always slept with it, I will scratch it and sniff it and fall into a deep sleep. I call my habit "scratchy" I have a string that use to be inside my shorts to keep them from falling and I took it off and to this day I still use it to go to bed. Over time the string created particles around it so my hangnail could get stuck and feel the amazing pain from it. I LOVE IT!

Sometimes when I loose it I ask my siblings... Have you seen my scratchy? Lol my shirts are all used up from scratching them. My blanket is all torn up from all the edges, but the feeling is just too addicting.

Sometimes I take my string scratchy while I drive or when I'm watching tv. It helps me think clear or fall asleep when I'm tired. I'm so glad that there are people I can relate with. Thanks for submitting your responses.

Sep 05, 2016
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Wow!! :)
by: Kathleen

Thanks for all the responses!! :) It is so nice to see that I'm not the only one! I will also rub the hangnail "spot" even after the hang nail is gone...so odd haha! You guys are my peeps! Love you all...cheers to the woobie and t-shirt rubbing. I also have holes in some of my t-shirts from compulsive rubbing...its so soothing! lol...so crazy!

Aug 19, 2016
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omg there are others out there!
by: Amy

I do the same thing!I have an old pillow case that's a rough silk feeling and I rub my fingernails or even dry lips on it at bedtime. I'm 33 years old and I have a hard time sleeping without it. Sometimes I rub on other materials like scarves or clothing and it makes me sleepy when I do it. I call it "picking" and my boyfriend finds it funny how sleepy it makes me. Such a comforting feeling.

Aug 09, 2016
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Similar
by: Anonymous

I pick at my hang nails. I like peeling the skin back and exposing the new skin. That sharp pain very soothing for some reason.

Jul 08, 2016
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So I'm not alone
by: Anonymous

First I have found of anyone talking about this. Sense of smell, hangnail pain, yes to both. Wife will squeeze the hangnail for me until it bleeds sometimes. I only wish there was some type of small automated vice that could squeeze the hangnail. I've actually thought of designing one, though pretty sure the market for hangnail vices is fairly small. Ha.

Wife has the extreme belly button fear. Older sister told her when she was a child that she would bleed to death if you put anything in there.

Jul 03, 2016
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Hangnail rubbing
by: Anonymous

I do the exact same thing! I ruin my shirts from tubing so much to the point wear u have made holes. And I pick at the skin around my nails .

Jun 30, 2016
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Fun with hangnails
by: Anonymous

I love playing with my hangnails, rubbing them, hanging things on them

Jun 10, 2016
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yes
by: Anonymous

i thought i was the only person in the world like this

May 11, 2016
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!!
by: Tbuck

I was trying to explain my habit to a patient today and was left feeling like a complete weirdo. Ever since I can remember, my mom and I would share our scratchy blankets and relax. To this day I scratch while relaxing and often put myself to sleep, though nowadays I snag my three year-old's paw patrol blanket. Seems ridiculous, but humorous to know I'm not the only one :)

Dec 14, 2015
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Mee too
by: Anonymous

I do the same thing. I take it even further and rub the hangnail or the sore finger where the hangnail used to be and I rub it on anything. Hair ties, cardboard, etc. For some reason small moments of the slight pain feels good and I get obsessed with it for a couple of days and then stop. I feel really strange about it and don't like to tell people. I do ask my husband to rub it sometimes and grab it and let go. He laughs at me. I have done this since childhood also. Funny thing I have a keen sense of smell also. I ALWAYS smell things before everyone else and I have to smell everything before I eat or drink it. I also LOVE the small of New rubber tires.

Nov 13, 2015
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yes someone else does it too!
by: Richard

So glad to see others do this too. I'm nearly 40 years old and the calming effect of doing this is just the same as when I was child. I think it began because i used to have a comfort blanket that would get frayed and just felt nice I guess. It's certainly a bit of a weird habit when you think about it but its not doing anyone any harm so I'm not too concerned about stopping it. It's funny you mention a heightened sense of smell too I have pretty much the same experience with them must be a link there.

Jul 25, 2015
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Hangnails
by: Anonymous

OMG SAME!!!!
I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE!!!

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