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OCD hands... please help!!

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Laralucy

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
Messages
7
My OCD manifests itself in all kinds of ways - neatness, counting up to certain numbers, spending hours checking doors and windows and electrical appliances and.. worst of all, washing my hands constantly, if I so much as touch anything, I literally have to wash my hands straight away, which is not only annoying and time consuming, but painful too...

hands1.jpghands2.jpg

The above images show my hands after just waking up in the morning, I've slathered them in hand cream, but they're still horribly red and dry and sore (even though I've been asleep so haven't washed my hands for a few hours!) fortunately they're not bleeding this morning - most of the time the skin around my knuckles and on my fingers split and cracks and starts bleeding profusely :(

I'm so tired of rude people asking why my hands are so red, even in a shop the shop assistant will comment on how sore my hands look, and I have to try and shrug it off and pretend it's really cold outside or something.

I've tried numerous different hand creams, but I don't like the slightly greasy feel most hand creams leave (even when they say they're non-greasy) so I always have to wash my hands again. My favourite hand cream at the moment is Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, but even then I still sometimes have to wash it off, which is really wasteful and pretty much defeats the purpose.

What do all you fellow OCD suffering hand washers use to protect the skin on your hands and prevent it from going all red and cracked? I'd love to hear what works for you...
 
T

tailzzz24

Active member
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
44
You're hands look like mine during a bad week. I wish I had taken a picture of mine earlier in the week when I was doing some OCD laundry. lol My wrists and forearms get pretty bad too - the skin on them looks like alligator skin some days because when I OCD-wash my hands I tend to scrub like a surgeon, right up to the elbow. I rinse them under hot water to remove every last bit of soap and dirt, and this can easily take 20-30 minutes or more per wash. Then they start to bleed and I end up contaminating things with blood as I'm cleaning anyway. And if someone was just guessing my age from the condition of the skin on my hands? -it sometimes looks like that of an 80-year old woman.

My handwashing rituals tend to center around my laundry and certain things I'm cleaning that I don't want to contaminate. I have to wash my hands before I transfer a load of laundry to the dryer, for example, and then again before I remove them from the dryer and begin to fold. I've been avoiding both of these tasks because I'm so overwhelmed, so I'm probably not engaging in the handwashing ritual as often as I used to, but once I get up the motivation to wash down the insides of my closets, things will get bad again. Right now I'm just OCD when I wash towels, robes, bath rugs, and coats, and any item I put away inside the one closet I did clean, which is now filthy again anyway, so it doesn't make any sense - to OCD-wash my hands before placing a freshly washed coat inside a filthy closet. I also wash my hands this way when I'm cleaning, especially if I'm cleaning something that feels especially dirty as I don't want to recontaminate it with dirt still lingering on my hands from the process of cleaning it.

I'm weird though in that my concern isn't that I'll contaminate me (in most circumstances, except for example when I handle raw meat). My concern is that ---> I <--- have some sort of germ, mold, or dirt of some kind on me - or even natural oils on my skin that I may transfer to something I'm cleaning or organizing. I've already run out of hot water washing my hands for too long. Cleaning and then rinsing one household item can be a real problem too - I can stand there at the sink rinsing one item until the water runs cold.

As far as hand creams go, try Cetaphil. Most drug stores make their own brand which is usually just as good, and cheaper. My hands looked like yours earlier this week and when I first put it on it burned like h*ll and my hands actually felt worse, but once it absorbed in (maybe 10 minutes later), relief! I wouldn't be without this stuff. Another trick is to put it on before you go to bed - by morning your hands will look a lot better, knuckles and all, and it will take a lot longer for your hands to get that way again. The only thing is, all hand creams are a little greasy - this one feels greasy when you first put it on, but then it sort of dries into like a wax-like protective coating, not too greasy to the touch at all. Now if you put this stuff on and then an hour later decide to run your hands under any hot water, it will feel greasy again if your hands get wet, though at the same time it won't readily rinse off - probably why it is so effective. So if I'm doing any OCD-cleaning, I tend to wait until bedtime to put it on for that reason. But even if I wait until then, my hands always appear to be healing by morning. Don't let the initial burn scare you either - there are limited ingredients in it, most of them gentle, no real fragrance of any kind, and the initial burn is just your skin sucking up some needed moisture and oils. I swear by this stuff! Within 10 minutes the pain will be gone.
 
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Topcat

Guest
Sorry if this is a dumb suggestion as I have zero OCD experience, would you be able to wear latex type gloves some of the time to avoid feeling like your hands have touched things?
Xx
 
T

tailzzz24

Active member
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
44
I know I personally wouldn't be able to without first having to wash the gloves at least. Actually no, even that wouldn't work with me because I'd worry that dirty water somehow got inside the gloves. Plus isn't there some kind of powder inside these gloves to make them easier to get on and off? Powder is dirt to me. Maybe it would help the poster though.
 
L

Laralucy

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
Messages
7
You're hands look like mine during a bad week. I wish I had taken a picture of mine earlier in the week when I was doing some OCD laundry. lol My wrists and forearms get pretty bad too - the skin on them looks like alligator skin some days because when I OCD-wash my hands I tend to scrub like a surgeon, right up to the elbow. I rinse them under hot water to remove every last bit of soap and dirt, and this can easily take 20-30 minutes or more per wash. Then they start to bleed and I end up contaminating things with blood as I'm cleaning anyway. And if someone was just guessing my age from the condition of the skin on my hands? -it sometimes looks like that of an 80-year old woman.

My handwashing rituals tend to center around my laundry and certain things I'm cleaning that I don't want to contaminate. I have to wash my hands before I transfer a load of laundry to the dryer, for example, and then again before I remove them from the dryer and begin to fold. I've been avoiding both of these tasks because I'm so overwhelmed, so I'm probably not engaging in the handwashing ritual as often as I used to, but once I get up the motivation to wash down the insides of my closets, things will get bad again. Right now I'm just OCD when I wash towels, robes, bath rugs, and coats, and any item I put away inside the one closet I did clean, which is now filthy again anyway, so it doesn't make any sense - to OCD-wash my hands before placing a freshly washed coat inside a filthy closet. I also wash my hands this way when I'm cleaning, especially if I'm cleaning something that feels especially dirty as I don't want to recontaminate it with dirt still lingering on my hands from the process of cleaning it.

I'm weird though in that my concern isn't that I'll contaminate me (in most circumstances, except for example when I handle raw meat). My concern is that ---> I <--- have some sort of germ, mold, or dirt of some kind on me - or even natural oils on my skin that I may transfer to something I'm cleaning or organizing. I've already run out of hot water washing my hands for too long. Cleaning and then rinsing one household item can be a real problem too - I can stand there at the sink rinsing one item until the water runs cold.

As far as hand creams go, try Cetaphil. Most drug stores make their own brand which is usually just as good, and cheaper. My hands looked like yours earlier this week and when I first put it on it burned like h*ll and my hands actually felt worse, but once it absorbed in (maybe 10 minutes later), relief! I wouldn't be without this stuff. Another trick is to put it on before you go to bed - by morning your hands will look a lot better, knuckles and all, and it will take a lot longer for your hands to get that way again. The only thing is, all hand creams are a little greasy - this one feels greasy when you first put it on, but then it sort of dries into like a wax-like protective coating, not too greasy to the touch at all. Now if you put this stuff on and then an hour later decide to run your hands under any hot water, it will feel greasy again if your hands get wet, though at the same time it won't readily rinse off - probably why it is so effective. So if I'm doing any OCD-cleaning, I tend to wait until bedtime to put it on for that reason. But even if I wait until then, my hands always appear to be healing by morning. Don't let the initial burn scare you either - there are limited ingredients in it, most of them gentle, no real fragrance of any kind, and the initial burn is just your skin sucking up some needed moisture and oils. I swear by this stuff! Within 10 minutes the pain will be gone.

I'm exactly the same, I constantly worry about contaminating everything... like, if I take my shoes off, I then have to wash my hands, but then I'll touch the bathroom door handle, so I'll have to wash my hands again and so on, it's a never ending cycle. Same with doing laundry - I have to wash my hands before and after I transfer it from the washing machine to the tumble dryer and also when I take clothes out of the tumble dryer. Eating is a nightmare because I won't touch any food so I have to eat things that I don't have to touch, I also can't eat with my hands (even if I've scrubbed them clean with bleach) so even the simplest thing like having a packet of crisps means I have to eat like a horse from the bag, it's all very annoying :(

I'll definitely give the hand cream you recommended a go! I'm used to hand creams burning my skin so I reckon I'll be able to cope with it, I just want something that's going to take away the redness and cracks in my skin!!
 
L

Laralucy

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
Messages
7
Sorry if this is a dumb suggestion as I have zero OCD experience, would you be able to wear latex type gloves some of the time to avoid feeling like your hands have touched things?
Xx
I do wear gloves when I'm doing any cleaning around the house but I still have to scrub my hands afterwards too as I don't trust the gloves and think that germs have still got all over my hands :(
 
T

tailzzz24

Active member
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
44
Let me know if the Cetaphil works for you...I love it...
 
M

Malliesmom

New member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
1
Hi I actually was looking in my search engine for ocd and I found this. Let me explain... I have severe OCD. I wash my hands about 200 times a day with amongst other things dish soap. I cannot touch anything people have touched and wear latex gloves under winter gloves to the store. Even though I wear the gloves I have to Lysol my hands, feet and body before I get in the car. When I get home I have to immediately take my clothes off, wash them, take an hour long shower, and then rehash my hands after I get out because they feel unclean. Every night, I put A+D diaper rash cream on my hands and sleep with them in socks. This helps. The off brand works as well as the name branch and it helps. Let me know if you try it.
 
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Mandyjayne20

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
6
I'm the same I refuse to touch anything with my hands if I'm going outside I use the sleeve of my jumper or kitchen towel to open the door (handle) if someone drinks out the MY cup it goes in the bin same with cutlery plates
 
V

voidling

New member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
2
Could you get to the doctor and get some steroid cream? After a particularly bad week mine developed into dermatitis and spread up my arms and no amount of moisturizing helped but a week of steroid cream and it was baby soft.

Also with the hand washing, try and switch to a moisturizing, gentle soap, maybe something with some kind of oil in it if you don't already. Antibacterial stuff doesn't make much of a difference to the amount of germs as you don't leave it on long enough, but it is incredibly drying so it'd at least be damage limitation. (At first I struggled but then reasoned/convinced myself that antibacterial stuff was even worse as I was just likely to breed some kind of superbug immune to it)
 
M

Mykie

New member
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
1
Location
Kentucky
I have hands like this every winter especially, they’re bad all year but even worse in the cold dry winter. I use O’keefs working hands cream, because I can use super small amounts and it isn’t oily, so I don’t usually worry about feeling it. Sometimes I still wash it off, but only when i’m having a pretty bad day. I suggest it highly, I usually only use it once my hands are already cracked bad, as it helps heal them very well. Hope this helps!
 
D

Darknesssdaughter

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
187
Location
Italy
Omg your hands are almost bleeding.. try to put gloves when you are touching things at home.
I use nitrile gloves (monouse). I think they can help you because instead of washing your hands, you can change them, wash them.
Try to use a cream with glicerine, it's greasy I know but put it at night before sleep so you don't have to wash it. Is better if you use it morning and evening. And choose a gentle soap. Another good cream is bioderma atoderm. At night, after applying the cream wear cotton gloves if you feel comfortable with them.
 
D

Darknesssdaughter

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
187
Location
Italy
I tryed latex glives, but they dry the skin even the same as washing your hands constantly. So nitrile is better
 
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