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Is biting the cuticles of the fingers a symptom of pica?

1 doctor weighed in
David Escobar
Family Medicine

In brief: No

No, pica is the ingestion of non-food, usually non-biological material.
Finger nail biting is usually associated with anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder (not always). Cuticle biting often results when a person has dry skin or atopic dermatitis, so those conditions should be ruled out when evaluating someone who bites his or her cuticles. Hand-washing and allergies make it worse.

In brief: No

No, pica is the ingestion of non-food, usually non-biological material.
Finger nail biting is usually associated with anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder (not always). Cuticle biting often results when a person has dry skin or atopic dermatitis, so those conditions should be ruled out when evaluating someone who bites his or her cuticles. Hand-washing and allergies make it worse.
David Escobar
David Escobar
Answer assisted by David Escobar, Medical Student
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