Want To Quit Nail Biting Here Are 4 Things That Worked For Me
1.; When you feel the urge to bite your nails, refocus your attention.
Instead of biting, slather on moisturizer, clean your nails, or paint them a bright color with cruelty-free nail polish.
Even though Id shied away from nail polish in the past, a bright color reminded me to stop. Plus, I didnt want to inadvertently swallow nail polish while nibbling on a nail.
2. If you get a snagged or split nail, dont risk using your teeth to fix it.
Instead get a nice nail file. Smooth the nail with the file, going in one direction.
3.; Dont let a broken nail get you down.
Life happens. There are going to be breaks along the way. Dont let that be an excuse to level the playing field on the other nails. Just smooth it out and let it go.
4.; At the end of each week that you make it through without biting, treat yourself.
Ive been building up a little collection of cruelty-free, non-toxic polishes and rich hand moisturizers. After all of these years of not playing this particular variety of dress up, its fun to indulge.
Have you ever quit a bad habit or created a new healthy habit that before youd thought impossible?; How did you do it?;
Get An Ibx Nail Treatment
The first thing to know about how I stopped biting my nails is, I didn’t do it on my own.
I had a lot of help from Sydney-based nail artist .
The first thing Jenna suggested we do at our first manicure together was an IBX treatment. I’d actually never heard of IBX before then, but I saw great results by the time my next appointment rolled around three weeks later.
A post shared by JENNA SYDNEY NAIL ARTIST on Jun 9, 2020 at 12:22am PDT
IBX is a nail treatment that uses conditioning monomers that can bond together and penetrate the nail plate to add a strengthening, protective shield.
Applied like regular gel polish and cured under an LED heat lamp, an IBX treatment can sit under your regular manicure to support your natural nails as they grow.
Want to learn more about nail health? Listen to the latest episode of the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast on growing healthy nails below!
How Your Doctor Can Help
If you have tried all these at-home methods with no luck, you may want to make an appointment with your doctor. For some people, nail biting may be a sign of a more serious psychological or emotional issue. Behavior therapy is another option that can help you. At your appointment, you can discuss your nail-biting habit with your doctor and ask for a referral to a therapist.
You should also contact your doctor if you notice any signs of infection on your fingers or nails. A dermatologist can help you heal your nails and fight any infection with medication or topical treatments.
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Is Biting Your Nails A Mental Disorder
Some experts group nail-biting into the same category as hair pulling which has been classified as an impulse control disorder, while others think its linked to OCD.
‘Nail-biting hasnt been classified in the DSM-V , which means its not a mental health condition,’ notes Ekta.
Psychodermatolgst Dr Alia Ahmed explained in an interview that ‘its not uncommon for these habits to run in the family. ‘Several studies indicate that there is a genetic component to nail biting. One study has shown that 36.8 percent of nail biters had at least one family member with this habit while studies of twins have shown that identical twins are more likely to both be nail biters than non-identical twins. ‘
Why Do I Bite My Nails
Before trying to stop your nail-biting habit, it’s important to know the causes behind the behavior or onychophagia, as medical experts call it in clinical settings. According to Rebecca Rialon Berry, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and director of the Tics, Tourette Disorder, and Trichotillomania Program at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Health, nail-biting falls along the lines of a type of behavior in the clinical world called body-focused repetitive behaviors, or BFRBs, which refer to any repetitive self-grooming behaviors that damage the skin, hair or nails.
Why is it that we engage in these types of behaviors? Research suggests that more likely than not, there’s a genetic cause behind this tick. But there are also a number of environmental triggers that manifest the onset of nail-biting behavior including stress, anxiety, boredom and other forms of emotional distress. “Sometimes people engage in these behaviors because they’re actually feeling underwhelmed, under-stimulated or bored,” adds Berry. “And then there is a subset of people that could be working more automatically as part of a stress response.”
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Keep Your Fingers Busy
One study shows that manipulating objects is somehow effective in preventing people from biting their nails. So, find an object of some sort to fiddle with. This could be a stress ball, a fidget spinner, or simply a pen to click. If your hands are occupied doing something else, you will be less likely to start biting your nails. If you feel nervous, try things such as:
- Keeping your hands in your pockets
- Playing with rubber bands
- Twiddling your thumbs
- Clasping your hands
All of these things will keep your hands occupied if you are stressed, and they will also keep your fingers away from your mouth. Make sure to always have something within reach for when you need it. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are replacing your nail biting habit with a less destructive one.
In addition to keeping your fingers busy, you probably want to also keep your mouth busy. You can do this by chewing gum or sucking on candies throughout the day. It will be difficult to bite your nails if you have gum in your mouth or you are snacking on something a bit more palatable. Also, the texture of your bitten nails in addition to the flavor of your gum or a piece of candy is certain to be gross.
Eat small snacks throughout the day. You of course don’t want to eat so much that you are gaining weight, but you can carry around some healthy and crunchy snacks such as carrots or celery so you can chew on them throughout the day.
Effective Methods To Stop Nail Biting
At a basic level, Sutera says you can keep your nails short by trimming when needed to reduce the habit and limit tooth wear and tear.
Since nail biting is a parafunctional habit, its something that could benefit from treatment with a behavioral therapist versus a dermatologist. These types of habits tend to increase from stress, so reducing that with meditation or other safe mechanisms could help reduce the need/want to bite.
A few other ideas include:
- Use a foul-tasting polish: Putting something like Orlys No-Bite on your nails is a simple way to make them taste bad and build that new mindset.
- Focus on one finger at a time: The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that starting with one nail could be more successful. Its a less overwhelming approach and the singular approach is often more effective with a smaller focus. They suggest going in whichever order makes the most sense to you.
- Ask for help from friends: Having a friend or family member call you out every time you bite your nails will help instil the mindset that this is a negative habit. Plus, teaming up with a friend could offer as much as a 95% boost towards reaching your goal.
- Chew gum: Seriously. Chewing gum helps distract and offers something else to satisfy oral inclinations as you gradually stop biting fingernails.
- Get a custom mouthguard: Using a custom orthotic mouthguard to block the teeth from biting is a great measure for those who develop TMJ disorder a possible result of long-term biting.
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Learn Your Nail Biting Pattern If Any
For me, Im mostly right-handed but also use my left hand for some tasks particularly precision things like using a screwdriver or hammer, throwing a dart, etc so perhaps thats why my left hand is left unscathed and my right hand is the one I tend to bite and pick more often. 100% of the time, my left hand fingernails are longer than my right hand. Ive never spent on much time biting the nails on my left hand as much as on the right. Perhaps you notice a pattern too?
For me, it should be easier for me to quit biting and picking nails on my left hand because I actually dont do it that much to begin with.
Keep Nails Trimmed Short
Not sure this will help me but it might help you. I already keep my nails short as it is by biting and picking them. Thats kind of why Im doing this website. But if you really like to go to town on long nails, keeping them cut short may help to dissuade you from biting them and making them shorter.
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.
Biting Your Fingernails Is A Tough Habit To Break Heres How You Can Do It
While its one of the most common unhealthy habits, fingernail biting is one of the toughest to stop. You can do it anywhere, anytime and you dont need anything but your fingers to get your fix.
It’s a habit that continually introduces outside pathogens into the mouth, so people who tend to nibble their nails could also get sick more often, says Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD and president and co-founder of Modern Dermatology of Connecticut.
Additionally, its a slow, yet destructive process to other aspects of your mouth, according to Dr. Charles Sutera, a Boston-based dentist. He notes that over time, it can actually dull and flatten your teeth as well. He likens it to the ocean slowly eroding rocks.
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Break The Nail Biting Habit
For me thats really what it boiled down to. I just broke the habit. I basically just quit one day and although I picked at my nails a few times that same day and a few times over the next week, I pretty much quit after that completely. I dont bite or pick nails at all anymore.
Clearly it isnt this easy otherwise everyone would do it. Then again, had I put forth more effort in the recent past perhaps I could have quit sooner. Maybe years ago.
But researching and learning about nail biting in general and also what other nail biters experience did make me realize the cold truth of it all.
After you get past the bitter nail polish, the nail biting gloves, flicking yourself with a rubber band and all the other things we may do to quit nail biting, the truth is that you have to want to quit.
You have to want to quit nail biting and picking otherwise youll never quit.
Or youll quit and just start up again. For me, I basically just gave up nail biting and now I dont even spend a second of any single day thinking about even subconsciously biting my nails anymore. It doesnt dawn on me to do it anymore.
For a guy who spent 40+ years consistently biting my nails, my new job is learning how to use nail clippers for the first time ever.
What Are The Side Effects Of Nail
Possible physical side effects of nail-biting include damaged or disfigured nails and skin, skin infections, fungal infections, and mouth pain or tooth damage. Individuals who swallow the bitten nails may be at risk for stomach or intestinal infections as well. Because nails and fingers often carry bacteria or viruses, biting them may transmit pathogens into the body, potentially increasing the risk of internal infections or gastrointestinal problems.;
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Ella+mila No More Biting
Doubling as a base coat and topcoat for nail polish, the Ella+Mila No More Biting polish helps curb nail biting and thumb sucking with its foul-tasting formula, which is 7-free and excludes formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate , formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP and xylene. It also fills ridges in the nails and smoothes imperfections to prevent stimulating the urge to bite or pick.
Is It Bad To Bite Your Nails
This really depends on how far you take it. ‘There have been several articles written by orthodontists that reference nail-biting as being bad for the alignment of your teeth,’ says Ekta.
‘Whilst severe fingernail biting may produce root resorption of the teeth and lead to further dental problems or health complications.’
So, if you want to avoid a trip to the dentist then kicking the habit is a good start. Keep reading for how to stop biting your nails and the best ways to tackle your nail-biting habit once and for all…
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Q: Are There Specific Triggers For Onychophagia
A:;The behavior is typically automatic people dont realize theyre doing it. Chronic nail biting often has a self-soothing quality , so people;may;use it as a coping mechanism.;;Sometimes, a hangnail or nail imperfection could spur someone to excessively groom the nail. Their goal is to improve the look of the nail, but unfortunately, the nail often ends up looking worse. They dont intend to self-harm its a grooming behavior run amok. Other triggers could be boredom, needing to concentrate or a stressful situation.;
How Biting Fingernails Is Bad For Your Health
In this current COVID-19 pandemic climate, its important to consider the simple facts about nail biting: it can put you at a higher risk for infection via bacteria or virus.
One study suggests that 76 percent of people who bite their nails had E. coli in their saliva, compared to 26 percent of non-nail-biters. Thats a significantly higher chance of picking up germs, Sutera says.
This follows the fairly obvious notion that our hands are one of the most germ-laden contact points on our bodies and biting is an easy way to transfer that into our bodies.
Robinson adds that the physical action of biting nails causes small tears and openings, which opens up a pathway for those infection-causing pathogens. She says it can lead to one of the most common infections she sees: paronychia. This is an infection of the skin around the nail, usually around the edges of the nail at the bottom or sides. Its characterized by inflammation, pain and abscesses containing pus.
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A Cuccio Cuticle Oil To Soothe Torn Up Fingers And Get Them Back To A Healthier State It’ll Heal Cracked Cuticles And Prevent Additional Damage When You See How Pretty Your Fingers Are You’ll Want To Keep Them That Way Foreva
Promising review: “I love this. I really do. Ive been a nail-biter my entire life. Ive been embarrassed to show my hands and I would chew and chew until my fingers were bleeding and raw and just moving my hand hurt SO much. This oil healed my hands in just a few days after putting it on morning and night. In three weeks, youd never think I was a nail biter!” D
Get it from Amazon for $4.49+ .
A Sign Of Perfectionism
Perfectionists cannot relax or perform tasks at a normal pace, so they’re prone to becoming frustrated, impatient, and dissatisfied when they fail to reach their goals.
Nail biting helps perfectionists reduce their feelings of frustration in the current moment. As one might expect, it helps people release some of the pent-up energy and tension that they’re holding onto.
If nail biting remains untreated, it can lead to problems beyond cosmetic issues. Continuous nail biting can lead to an infection and can damage the skin on your fingers. It may also lead to the following:
- Chronic paronchyia, which is a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation of the skin on fingers and around the nails.
- Subungual infection, which is a painful condition under the fingernails in which blood pools together .
- Onychomycosis, which is a fungal infection in the nails.
- Onycholysis, which is severe damage to the nail bed.
- Infections contracted through touching objects with harmful bacteria on them and then introducing the bacteria into the mouth from the fingers.
- Permanent damage and the hindrance of normal nail development.
- Dental problems.
- Temporomandibular dysfunction, which is difficulty using the chewing muscles and the joints that are located between the skull’s base and the lower jaw.
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