Risks Of Ingrown Nails
Yet another one of the reasons why it is time to stop quitting the nail biting is mainly because of the fact that it increases the risks associated with ingrown nails.
In order to fight off the odds, it is always best suggested to ensure that you do avoid biting down on the nails like a maniac. When you are consistently biting on your nails, chances are that you might end up chewing off more than what you expect. Hangnail is often the most common outcome of the same.
While the condition is more prevalent for toenails, the same does have the potential to impact your fingernails as well, if you are not being conscious of the same. Instead of going ham with the biting, try to avoid the same for your own good.
Ingrown nails are not just painful but do have the potential to end up inflicting pain and even infection if it is left to fend to itself for far too long. Make sure to opt for effective remedies to get rid of the problems altogether.
Reasons To Stop Biting Your Nails
Many people have nervous habits, such as pacing or fidgeting, and although many are harmless, if you bite your nails when youre stressed or anxious, you are actually at risk for some ailments. Texas A& M University Health Science Center experts offer five reasons why you should kick this habit.
There are a lot of germs under your fingernails
Even if you wash your hands frequently, its difficult to get all the germs and dirt from under your nails. So just imagine what youre exposing your body to whenever you give these germs and dirt free access to your mouth. Yuck.
Once the germs that were under your fingernails get into your body, your chances of illness increase significantly. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and pay extra attention to your nails.
It increases risk of infection
Biting your nails increases the risk of paronychia, an infection of the nail. Symptoms of paronychia include a painful, red, swollen area around the nail, often at the cuticle or at the site of a hangnail or other injury. If the infection is bacterial, there may be pus-filled blisters at the site.
Also, if you chew on nails that have wartswhich are caused by a virusand then chew on other nails, this can cause warts to spread to other areas.
Its bad for your teeth
Also, the bacteria that is on your fingers or nails can linger in your mouth and cause halitosis, or bad breath.
You can have more hangnails or ingrown nails
Theres a risk of toxic poisoning
Make Your Nails Taste Bad
If something tastes bad, youre not going to want to put it in your mouth, right? Try applying this to your fingernails.
Not only can it help you associate the habit with something negative, it can also put a stop to absent-minded nail biting because sometimes you wont even realise youre biting your nails until its too late.
There are many nasty-tasting formulas on the market already that you can paint onto your nails, butheres some natural ways to help make those nails un-bitable:
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Enlist The Help Of Friends
Dont be afraid to ask for help. Enlist the assistance of those you love to help get you through. Research shows that teaming up with a friend to reach a goal can increase your chances of succeeding by 95 percent.
Ask friends and family to call you out if they see you start to bite your nails, or encourage them to cheer you on. Better yet, find a friend who also wants to stop biting their own nails and make a pledge to help each other.
I once had a client who told her boyfriend she was struggling with nail-biting and wasnt even aware of it most of the time, Smerling said. When she was with him, he helped her pull her hand away from her mouth whenever she started to bite. Eventually, she became more aware of the behavior and didnt need his help. It all starts with awareness, a serious commitment to stop and constantly practicing every day to get better.
The Lesson: When It Comes To Nail Biting Mindfulness Helps
These hacks didnt help much more than my mom applying anti-biting polish when I was younger. Will I be rubbing salt or jalapeños on my nails again? No, definitely not. I might keep carrying a cuticle scissor around with me, though, so that if I find myself obsessing over some rough skin, I can take care of it without turning to my teeth. The best thing to come out of my testing was realizing that my nail biting is clearly a subconscious behavior I do when Im anxious and bored, so the best thing for me to do is notice and stop. Being mindful of the fact that I’m biting my nailsand when and where and how often I do itis step one in getting myself not to bite my nails. So that’s what I’m going to focus on. And when I do, thinking about all the gross germs on my fingers is motivation enough to keep them out of my mouth. At least for the moment.
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Heres What Happened When Emily Rekstis Tried To Break Her Nail
Biting your nails is a terrible habit, one that I cant seem to knock. I turned to the internet and talked to experts to find the best hacks that will hopefully help me break my habit. Here’s how my little experiment went:
Ive used anti-biting polish like Maval Stop Polish in the past, so I didnt want to try that this time around. Instead, I went for a DIY solution that served the same purpose. This hack I found while scrolling through the many threads on Reddit about nail biting: First, you dip your nails in water. Then you dip them in salt and dust off some of the excess .
Like the anti-biting polish, the salt is meant to leave a gross taste in your mouth when you bite your nails. This unappealing taste is worth a try if you are looking for a DIY solution, dermatologist Melanie D. Palm, M.D., explains. But some may not find this is enough of a deterrent, and the salt granules may cause a mess. She also points out that if you rub your eye with salt-covered fingers, it can really sting and hurt. Keeping that in mind, I decided to give it a try.
Did it work?
Did it work?
Did it work?
The scissors did keep my hands out of my mouth. But it did not help with my quest for stronger, longer, healthier nails and cuticles. In fact, my cuticles looked even worse after this hack.
Did it work?
Even though I know that nail biting and tonsillitis arent directly associated, I could use my distinct memories of the sore throat and fevers as an easy tool to use to break my habit.
So Whats The Trick To Stop Nail
Brainstorm about a reward that would motivate your child.
It needs to be something way bigger than normal, and trust me, its worth the investment!
Then, give your child a certain cut off date.
I have found five days to work best.
For younger kids, you can use a chart to mark off the days or make paper rings for the countdown.
Anything visible is a great reminder to keep going.
My daughter just needed verbal reminders, plus she has five siblings making sure she keeps her side of the bargain!
I always give my kids three strikes.
If I see them biting their nails three times, the plan is over no reward.
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Bring Out The Vinegar
This bitter-tasting ingredient is probably ready and waiting in your kitchen cupboard to help put an end to your nail-biting woes!
Whether its malt, apple cider or wine vinegar, dilute a few drops into water and dip your fingernails into it .
Let it dry naturally on your nails and serve as a pongy reminder to stop biting your nails.
After You Break The Nail Biting Habit Then What
With my experience, both of my children chose not to go back to their bad habits.
Once they were broken, they felt relief.
No one pointed out their bad habits anymore and they knew they didnt have to have those props for comfort.
They had learned to use other things for comfort, and those comfort items could stay, while the bad habits had to leave.
This formula has worked for my kids every single time.
But, if there was a child who was the exception to the rule, I would probably try the same method again in a few weeks, and find a more motivating prize.
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How To Stop Biting My Nails Using Bitter Gourd
Try Habit Reversal Training
Another way to stop biting your nails is habit reversal training, which is the process of substituting an unhealthy habit with a different, healthier activity. Once your habit is broken, the new practice is no longer necessary to continue.
There are many habits, both short and long-term, that you can try to do instead of biting your nails. When you feel the urge to bite your nails, experts recommend doing one of the following things instead:
- Chew a piece of gum: “This will keep your mouth busy and prevent you from nibbling your fingers,” says Gan.
- Play with something in your hands, like a ring or a stress ball
- Snap a rubber band around your wrist
- Move if you can. “When you find yourself biting your nails, don’t be hard on yourself instead, get up and do something different to shift your attention,” says Paul Greene, PhD, a psychologist in Manhattan, New York.
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Psychology Of Nail Biting
Many people bite their nails at some point, especially as children. Its a type of body-focused repetitive behavior that goes by the clinical name of onychophagia.
Theres a spectrum of nail biting. It can range from an occasional benign behavior to a deeply ingrained self-mutilative behavior.
Many people who begin biting their nails as children eventually outgrow the habit. For others, it becomes a lifelong habit that can be extremely difficult to quit.
Lets take a closer look at why people bite their nails, how to change the behavior, and when its time to see a doctor.
Nail biting typically begins in childhood and may accelerate during adolescence. Its not always clear why someone develops this particular habit, but once it starts, it can be difficult to manage.
If Your Child Bites Nails Dont Give In
Dont give into the temptation to give a reward to a child, or yourself, if nail-biting commenced before the five day period was up. Instead, start over until she is able to go five days straight without biting.
Not one little nibble 0)
Gently remind and encourage them throughout the day about your plan and the reward waiting for them at the end of the no nail-biting period.
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What Causes Nail Biting
Onychophagia is the medical term for nail biting, and is usually observed in the younger population. The peak age of this habit is 10-18, but it may begin much younger and continue for several years. Most people stop this habit once they reach adulthood.
Boys have been found to be more prone to onychophagia than girls. This habit causes people to not only bite their nails, but also the soft tissues that are around the nail bed, resulting in unsightly and often painful fingers.
Although a single cause of nail biting has yet to be identified, the following factors are the most commonly recognized causes for people to bite their nails.
How To Get Rid Of Nail Biting Habit Of Your Children
The children between the age of 8-16 are habitual of biting their nails. There are different reasons for nail biting.
The nail biting habit in children starts at any age.
There is no particular age in which children start biting the nails. It is a type of nervous habit.
Nail biting is not a very harmful habit but it is an annoying habit.
Depending on different children nail biting can be due to stress, anxiety, curiosity, excitement, etc. This nail biting habit can grow with age if parents dont take any action.
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How To Stop Biting Your Nails
How to stop biting your nails
Nail biting typically begins in childhood and can continue through adulthood, and the side effects can be more than cosmetic. Repeated nail biting can make the skin around your nails feel sore, and it can damage the tissue that makes nails grow, resulting in abnormal-looking nails. To help you stop biting your nails, dermatologists recommend following these tips.
Nail biting typically begins in childhood and can continue through adulthood, and the side effects can be more than cosmetic. Repeated nail biting can make the skin around your nails feel sore, and it can damage the tissue that makes nails grow, resulting in abnormal-looking nails. Chronic nail biting can also leave you vulnerable to infection as you pass harmful bacteria and viruses from your mouth to your fingers and from your nails to your face and mouth.
To help you stop biting your nails, dermatologists recommend the following tips:
Keep your nails trimmed short. Having less nail provides less to bite and is less tempting.
Apply bitter-tasting nail polish to your nails. Available over-the-counter, this safe, but awful-tasting formula discourages many people from biting their nails.
Get regular manicures. Spending money to keep your nails looking attractive may make you less likely to bite them. Alternatively, you can also cover your nails with tape or stickers or wear gloves to prevent biting.
Related AAD resources
Or Simpler Reusable Press
These’ll be especially great for the initial stages of your anti-nail biting journey when you’re simply trying to break yourself out of the habit. If you do like the polish or the press-ons, then these could also help reinforce those protections.
Promising review: “I bought this to avoid biting my nails and it works perfectly. You can keep doing everything including using your phones screen. My daughter was also delighted with these since shes an esthetician and they are awesome for her while working on extractions and facials.”
Get them from Amazon for $5.29+ .
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Nail Biting And Dysmorphia
If left untreated, severe onychophagia can lead to dysmorphic dental problems, including:
- Malocclusion of the front teeth
- Crowding, attrition and rotation of the teeth noted on X-rays
- Attrition of the incisional edge of the mandibular incisors
- Protrusion of the maxillary incisors .
These problems can affect the individuals physical appearance, but this can be avoided if the nail-biting habit is broken early.
Enhances The Risks Of Infection
Yet another one of the problems that you can be experiencing while biting on your nails is that you expose yourself to the risks of infection altogether.
If you are wondering what kind, we are talking about nail infection. Paronychia is a form of nail infection which is caused when you bite your nails consistently, thus exposing the nails to get infected because of the lesions caused around. It is often seen around the cuticles of the nails because that part is the one at the maximum risk altogether.
The infestation of bacteria in the site of the infection can even contribute to the formation of pus filled pockets around. Additionally, if your nails are exposed to warts and then you bite on them, chances are that you are exposing the same to your body as well.
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Use Your Phone To Your Advantage
Enlist the help of apps like Streaks, which can help you tally how many days in a row you avoid biting your nails. The goal of the program is to rack up consecutive days of achievement so that you will work harder to maintain the momentum.
Bad habits will stop with deliberate practice, and using an app like this is an excellent way to adhere to a goal, said DePompo, who recommended tracking your habits closely for three weeks. It can take that long to turn it around, he explained.
If you want to get even fancier, you can try a product like HabitAware. The bracelet looks like a fitness tracker and uses motion sensors to detect its wearers specific behavior after a one-time training with a companion mobile app. When the device senses your hand doing your unwanted gesture, it vibrates to make you aware of what you are doing, giving you an opportunity to stop.
Find A Secret Signal To Stop Them Biting
Nail biting can often be subconscious, so coming up with a way to make your child aware of their biting can be useful.
Try lightly tapping your childs arm or leg when they are biting their nails without telling anybody else.
Keep it friendly and avoid scolding them, this is only to make them more aware of their biting.
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Do The Opposite Of Your Urges
If the urge to bite your nails strikes, try tending to your nails instead of chomping on them, said DePompo.
When you catch yourself biting, no matter what, take time to either paint your nails, file them, apply lotion on your hands, he said. The idea is to take a bad act and replace it with a good and nurturing one.