Habit Tic Deformity

  • Danya Reich
  • Corinna Eleni Psomadakis
  • Bobby Buka


A young woman attended the Primary Care clinic to have the bilateral nail bed deformities on her thumbs evaluated. The woman admitted to regular nail picking. The nail abnormalities were diagnosed as habit tic deformity, a traumatic injury to the nail that occurs as a result of a picking or biting tic. The thumbnail is most commonly affected as it is picked by the index finger of the same hand. Habit tic deformity is associated with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. If the picking behavior ceases, the nail bed generally normalizes as it grows out. Physical barriers such as tape can aid in extinguishing the picking behavior. Individuals may be referred to a mental health specialist if the tic is associated with an underlying psychological condition.


Median nail Habit Tic Deformity Onychotillomania Thumb nail Trauma Nail picking Psychology Psychological Fluoxetine Prozac 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danya Reich
    • 1
  • Corinna Eleni Psomadakis
    • 2
  • Bobby Buka
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineMount Sinai School of Medicine Attending Mount Sinai Doctors/Beth Israel Medical Group-WilliamsburgBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.School of Medicine Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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