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Avatar universal

Dry Hand OCD?

I'm not entirely sure how to explain this. I've had it my entire life, or for as long as I can remember. (I'm 17.)
I have searched for what it is so I can put a name on it many times, with no success. Just recently I found a forum post which relates very closely to what I have been experiencing.

So when I touch water, mainly with my hands but it happens on my feet too, I'll get a dry, unbearable feeling that makes me clench my fists. I'll be unable to touch anything rough, and the thought of it gives me goosebumps. Touching very soft blankets, or my hair releaves the feeling. So does touching water again, for as long as I keep my hands in it, and then I'll get the feeling again. I wouldn't necessarily call the feeling pain, but it's extremely uncomfortable. Enough to instinctively clench my fists, which seems to help.

So far, the only way to help it is to use lotion, and as a guy it seems a bit weird, but I always have lotion on me. If I don't have lotion, I have to wait it out.

From the 2nd quote below, he says "Anything dry touching teeth... this one drives me crazy where I have to rub my teeth with my fingers to get rid of the feeling it gives me."
I'm exactly the same way, thinking about it has my teeth feeling dry.

I'll quote what others said on the forum I found.

"Hi. My name is Ashley. I am 29. I have the exact same "compulsion" I guess we are calling it regarding my hands feeling dry. I never in a million years thought this would be something shared by another individual. I have the same obsession/dependence on lotions, and the same discomfort and even anxiety over hands (or even feet) that "feel" dry (whether they truly are or not). I have several surfaces I "can't" touch. The WORST of these is after I shower, and go to dry off. The feeling of a towel on my pruny hands makes me gag and get goosebumps all over. I either have to have my husband dry me off, or I wear latex gloves to dry off. I, too, get goosebumps even writing about this. Touching paper, clothing, PAPER TOWELS (shudder), really anything besides a smooth plastic or metal surface is bothersome to me. I know my hands cannot really be dry, as I moisturize constantly and do NOT overly wash my hands. I ball my fists up, and have also licked my palms to dissipate the "dry" feeling.
I have a history with extreme anxiety issues, since childhood. I don't know why I never attributed this odd behavior to something like anxiety (or OCD). I guess I just thought I was a weirdo with a weird phobia. Turns out I am not alone! Let us "dry handed" freaks unite! "

And

"I have this same problem but mine goes in different directions too. I'm curious if these things bother you...

Anything dry touching teeth... this one drives me crazy where I have to rub my teeth with my fingers to get rid of the feeling it gives me.

Thats really the worst one for me. I cannot touch anything dry with my feet or hands. As soon as I step out of the shower, I have to put lotion on my feet and hands because of the dryness. I'm actually having surgery tomorrow and they said that I have to shower the night before AND that morning and CANNOT put any type of moisturizer on. I'm thinking of skipping the shower just so that i dont have to go through the dry torture. "



If you could shed some light, tell me what this is, or anything, I would be much appreciated.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
So you don't like being wet or you like the feeling of it im confused. Help explain it more for me? It sounds like it's a form of OCD.
2 Comments
it's an OCD of the oils being removed from the skin. Once the water strips away the oils, your hands are DRY and feel vulnerable to external touch stimuli, so by leaving your hands in the water it ironically provides a "temporary fix". Keep in mind it is a disorder and it's not supposed to make deep logical sense.

I have the exact same thing as OP. What does it feel like? "the anxiety of nails on a chalkboard but 10x worse, goosebumpy tingles shoot all over body." touching dry/rough materials (towel) is the WORST as you have a subconscious knowledge that this material will dry your hands out further. Remember, the anxiety is spawned by a desire to rebalance the oil (lubrication) content.

Therefore, thick solutions provide the best immediate relief for the OCD/anxiety.
***thick lotions
1699033 tn?1514116733
COMMUNITY LEADER
I don't have experience with this but it sounds like you have some kind of tactile sensory disorder that could very well fall under OCD.  Have you looked up something like that?  Also, have you ever seen  a psychologist for help?  
Avatar universal
I am 20 year old male with exact symptoms and i've had them ever since I was baby.

it's an OCD of the oils being removed from the skin. Once the water strips away the oils, your hands are DRY and feel vulnerable to external touch stimuli, so by leaving your hands in the water it ironically provides a "temporary fix".

What does it feel like? The anxiety of nails on a chalkboard but 10x worse... goosebumpy tingles shoot all over body. fight or flight response is acutely activated and reactivates constantly" touching dry/rough materials (towel) is the WORST as you have a subconscious knowledge that this material will dry your hands out further. Remember, the anxiety is spawned by a desire to rebalance the oil (lubrication) content. The longer the water contacts your hands the more it dries them out.

Therefore, thick lotions provide the best immediate relief for the OCD/anxiety.
1 Comments
Hi I am 15 years old. I just want to share that I also feel the same way. I always wash my hands because I always feel dry and it irritates me. My hands became rough through out the years, I think it is because of always washing my hands.
Avatar universal
I've had the same exact thing all of my life and I've hated it and felt so different and thought I was the only one, I'm 16 years old my name is Leya this is crazy I thought I was crazy I thought I was asburgers... Wow does anyone know if there's a cure? I dont want to live with this horrible feeling my whole life I feel so weird and stupid about it and I'm having a upcoming interview for pet smart being a dog wash and groomer.. But how will I be able to work if I can't even touch towels ?? Or not feel dry after getting soap and water on my hands this is horrible!! Its like tourcher!! I don't even have to be the one touching a towel or biting dry fabric all I need to do is think about it and I grind my teeth and get goosebumps its so dry and horrible
Avatar universal
Ive found that hand lotions,foot lotions and soap bars with Shea butter helps ALOT ! Its what Ive been using to try and get over this weird ocd its drives me crazy and effects me very much. Theres also towels at Walmart that are super soft, not the texture that drives us crazy a almost like a blanket but it takes longer to dry off because theyre not as absorbent as regular towels. At Fred Meyers theres silky socks for anyone who also have problems with the texture of socks (I do !) Ive been trying to deal with this ocd best I can by finding ways around it, so im more comfortable in this cringy dry world lol hope I could help someone out there!! Youre not alone!
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