Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeSkinHow To Stop Biting Nails And Skin

How To Stop Biting Nails And Skin

Take Care Of The Emotions Below


Sometimes the trigger that causes you to stick your finger in your mouth is not physical. Heather Edwards, LMHC, is a New York-based psychotherapist who says that changing your environment wont make a difference. For example, you can identify a physical prompt to bite your nails but not the thoughts or feelings you had just before.

What was your inner monologue at this moment? Edwards says that sometimes we use unhealthy coping strategies to cope with life. What did you think about the situation? Are you able to challenge your self-talk or train of thought? For example, you may find yourself anxiously reacting or grabbing your nails to cope with feelings and thoughts. What would be a better solution? Keeping your hands busy while dealing with anxiety and stress-related emotions can be challenging. However, it is possible to make things easier by being aware of these emotions in advance.

Breaking The Habit One Nail At A Time

  • 1Pick one nail to “protect” at a time. If you have one nail that appears more damaged than the rest, it might be in your best interest to start with that nail. If all nails appear the same, however, you can pick any nail you wish.
  • If you find it difficult to break the habit all at once, working on one nail at a time can make things easier by allowing you to slowly build better habits instead of demanding too much of yourself all at once.
  • 2Go a few days without biting that nail. You might be able to do so without help, but if you need some extra assistance, consider wrapping an adhesive bandage around the fingertip of your chosen nail. Doing so should block your access to the nail, making it harder to bite it.
  • 3Notice how much better that nail looks than the others. After a few days, a non-bitten nail will flourish and reward you.
  • Do not bite your chosen nail during this time. If you must, bite one of the ‘unprotected’ ones. Sometimes it even helps knowing that you have another nail to bite, even if you don’t actually nibble at any unprotected ones.
  • 4Pick another nail to stop biting. Once you have grown your non-bitten nail for a while, start protecting another one. During this time, however, it’s important that you leave both the first and second nails alone. You wouldn’t want to undo the good work you accomplished on the first nail by biting it after switching your focus to a new one!
  • What Causes People To Bite Their Nails

    People bite their nails because they get into a habit. Habits usually start when you are emotional, and stress and anxiety are emotions that contribute most to nail-biting.

    Its more common to start nail-biting as a child or young adult, especially if you feel stressed. There are some other conditions that are more commonly associated with nail-biting such as ADHD.

    Too much stress or being bored is thought to make it worse.

    Nail-biting can be associated with mental ill-health such as anxiety and depression. Severe nail biting can lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphia. Its a form of body-focused repetitive behaviour.

    Also Check: What Nail Colors Are Trending

    Both Awareness And Guilt Enabled Me To Stop

    It was the awareness and subsequent guilt from picking and biting which enabled me to stop. I was in therapy, which allowed me to sit more comfortably within myself and take stock of my life, and I found that my picking was becoming less involuntary.

    It started bothering me that I was uncontrollably inflicting such horrible wounds on myself. As a first step towards stopping, I forbade myself from injuring my third fingers, my least damaged. The rest were still fair game.

    Amazingly, they healed completely within a couple of days. Emboldened, and thrilled by how perfect two of my fingers now looked, I set my middle and then my little fingers as out of bounds also.

    This gradual approach combined with ongoing therapy for non-finger-related matters worked. It was like I was reprogramming my brain to not touch that part of my hands any more.

    I had previously been too grossed out by my fingers to get manicures, but I found getting gels meant I didn’t want to ruin the untouched look of my nails, and I directed any picking urges to my thumbs and index fingers.

    Plasters were an incredibly useful tool, too, as I began taping up my index fingers so I couldn’t see or access them. This allowed them to heal, and I found it much easier to not touch them if there was no rough skin to pick at. Soon, only my thumbs remained.

    Atkin also found relief in redirecting her urges.

    Finding that she often picked while travelling, Atkin began drawing while commuting.

    Do You Know What Happens With Nail

    Looking for Advice on How to Stop Pulling and Biting Skin Around Nails ...

    I do. I have met so many nail-biters who have been nibbling for years. Let me tell you about nail-biting and picking

    If you are a nail biter, you probably dont feel very proud of the habit. You want to stop. You dont want this embarrassment and shame.

    So you usually hide your hands at work. You might like to keep your hands in your pockets.

    But hiding wont stop it, as you have now discovered through the lockdown.

    At least the pandemic and social distancing has meant that you dont need to shake hands now.

    If you are a nail-biter, have you noticed that you fiddle with your hands and fingers a lot?

    Its the rough bit that triggers it. You feel for that rough nail edge.

    You rub a finger over it, and the more you feel that loose bit of skin or broken nail, the more you seem to hone in on it.

    You get that urge. Unconsciously or consciously, you know that you need to bite. To attack and sort it out.

    You want to deal with it now. You must!

    Then without much thought, your hand comes up to your mouth, and you bite on that nail or skin.

    Your teeth penetrate the offender. You might hear a crack.

    If its a bit short, you might have a couple of attempts at biting. Like a pneumatic drill, you will break it.

    If its a bit of skin, it probably feels sore, but you want to get rid of that extra skin, so you carry on until you can bite it off.

    Sometimes a bit of skin peels off, but that feels really sore when it gets to the fresh new skin. Ouch!

    Also Check: How Much Are Gel Nails

    Types: Fashion Motors Electronics Sports & Leisure Health & Beaut

    • d her alot and then she tells me she isnt even doing it! She doesnt even realize its happening! She is also a nail biterlike m
    • d them to stop
    • This weeks expert, CARD Research Manager and BCBA Karen Nohelty answers your autism questions LIVE!Like Autism Live on Facebook at
    • utes without spitting. Gradually increase the time until the child no longer spits
    • Fingernail biting is a disgusting habit cursed by nervousness, often accelerated by masturbation or astigmatism. Thus intoned Ray C. Beery in 1917 in his Practical Child Training Book.Public.
    • Is nail biting an autistic stim? I used to bite my nails a lot as a child up to age 10 or 11. I found torn nails, and tears to the quick a pain so I stopped. I cut my nails from then on. I began chewing pens inces..

    Try A Diy Healthy Manicure

    Theres nothing like a little self care to help yourself feel and look your best. Try giving yourself a DIY manicure by utilizing healthy tips and tricks to avoid inflicting any damage to the nails. You can also try implementing a nail strengthener instead of a polish as the final step to help maintain the integrity of the nails.

    Recommended Reading: Are Static Nails Sold In Stores

    Risks And Side Effects Of Nail Biting

    A common side effect of nail biting is visible damage to the nails and the surrounding areas. This damage may result in an unappealing cosmetic appearance, potentially causing feelings of shame, guilt, or embarrassment for some individuals. It can also increase the risk of other complications, including:

    Other potential complications include alveolar destruction and intestinal parasitic infections.

    Onychophagia is also associated with various psychiatric conditions, although it does not cause them. These conditions include:

    How To Stop Biting Nails

    How to Stop Picking/Biting Cuticles

    Why do Ichew my nails?

    Beforeseeking to prevent your nail-biting addiction, its vital to know the causesbehind the conduct or onychophagia, as medical experts name it in clinicalsettings. According to Rebecca Rialon Berry, Ph.D. a licensed psychologist,and director of the Tics, Tourette Disorder, and Trichotillomania Program atthe Child Study Center at NYU Langone Health, nail-biting falls alongside thetraces of a kind of behavior within the medical international calledbody-centered repetitive behaviors, or BFRBs, which discuss with any repetitiveself-grooming behaviors that harm the pores and skin, hair or nails.

    Why is itthat we have interaction in those varieties of behaviors? Research indicatesthat more likely than not, theres a genetic purpose at the back of this tick.But there also are some environmental triggers that occur the onset ofnail-biting behavior together with pressure, anxiety, boredom, and other formsof emotional distress. Sometimes human beings have interaction in thosebehaviors due to the fact they are feeling underwhelmed, underneath-inspired orbored, adds Berry. And then there may be a subset of human beingsthat could be running greater robotically as part of a strain reaction.

    Dont Miss: How To Remove Contact Lenses With Nails

    Don’t Miss: How To Remove Dip Powder Nails At Home

    Get To The Root Of The Problem

    Studies show that nail biting is often triggered by stress or anxiety. But it may also be the result of boredom or concentrating on a tough problem. Either way, understanding why you bite your nails can help you stop.

    Make a list of situations where you feel the urge to bite. Then, think about what you can do to either avoid these situations or handle them more easily.

    Make The Most Of Technology

    A suite of mobile apps is available for free that can help you stop nailbiting. This includes top-rated apps like Quit That! & Nomo. Some apps can be used with technology, such as smartwatches and standalone devices. For example, McMackins patients love the HabitAware bracelet. This wearable device vibrates every time you touch your lips with your nails.

    Users train their bracelet to recognize the motions that indicate the behavior they want to change. McMackin explains that the bracelet alerts the user when it senses engaging in the behavior. This method is popular because it removes much of the effort involved in self-monitoring.

    Dont Miss: How To Take Off Contacts With Nails

    Recommended Reading: Where Can I Buy Professional Acrylic Nail Supplies

    Keep Clippers Or A File Around At All Times

    A Reddit thread titled tips to stop nail biting is filled with comments from biters who advocate keeping clippers or a file to hand.

    The reason I bite my nails is because I hate the rough edges catching on to things, but that creates more rough edges. Vicious cycle. Now I just file them when Im bored to make them nice and smooth.

    How To Stop Picking Your Cuticles


    Welcome to Season one of my self-care series: Physical Self Care. You may see bloody fingers and suck a quick breath in and want to look away, but I would like to raise awareness on this topic and the effects it can bring.

    Heres a segment to the bloody fingie committee.

    Ive had bloody fingers for as long as I can remember. I was amazing at hiding them. It interfered with my work life, social life and self-esteem. I carried band aids with me in my purse everyday for when things got out of hand. It wasnt until recently that Ive started addressing this situation and analyzing why it happens. Self harm? OCD? Anxiety? Can we even put a name on it?

    Recommended Reading: How Much Is Essie Nail Polish

    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…

    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:

    Recommended Reading: How Do You Get Nail Polish Out Of Carpet

    What To Do About Nail

    Address her anxieties.“Our initial response when children do something that worries us is to try to stop the behavior, and that’s fine as a long-term goal,” says parenting educator Janis Keyser, co-author of Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. But before you can do that, it’s essential that you deal with the underlying causes of the behavior and think about whether there’s stress in your child’s life that you need to address.”

    If you have an idea about what might be making your child anxious a recent move, a divorce in the family, a new school, or an upcoming piano recital make a special effort to help her talk about her worries. This is easier said than done for most kids, of course, but suggesting a patently ridiculous reason for the nail-biting may prompt her to tell you what’s really bothering her.

    Don’t nag or punish. Unless your child really wants to stop biting his nails, you probably can’t do much about it. Like other nervous habits, nail-biting tends to be unconscious.

    If your child doesn’t even know he’s doing it, nagging and punishing him are pretty useless strategies. Even adults have a terrible time breaking habits like this.

    If the habit really bothers you, set limits. “No nail-biting at the dinner table” is as reasonable a rule as “no feeding the dog from your plate.”

    Help her when she wants to stop. If your child’s friends are teasing her, she may be ready to stop and she’ll need your help.

    Ways To Stop Nail Biting And Skin Picking

    How to stop biting your nails
    • Keep nails short and have a regular manicure if you think you are developing a bad habit.
    • Habit reversal training. This is about learning new behaviours.
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy . CBT helps you understand the thought processes, emotions and behaviours that drive the habit. Its a type of counselling that has the additional benefit that it often helps with anxiety and depression, and OCD.
    • Hypnotherapy. Hypnosis helps to reduce anxiety, reframe any negative thoughts and help you to relax. CBT can be used with hypnosis as it gives a better success rate.
    • Medication. For some people, antidepressants help.
    • Learn to relax. Try deep breathing, yoga, mindfulness and meditation.
    • Eat a healthy balanced diet.
    • Take up a new hobby, mix with friends or have a laugh as these can reduce anxiety.

    If you have already got terrible nails and sore areas, then keep your hands clean and cover bleeding areas. You can also apply an antiseptic cream to help in the healing. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.

    Recommended Reading: Fastest Way To Cure Toe Fungus

    How To Stop Children From Biting Their Nails

    If your child bites their nails, theyre not the only one. Around 50% of children between 10 and 18 bite their nails at least occasionally, and for many kids, the habit starts even younger.

    Its one of the most common nervous habits, a category that also includes hair-twisting, nose-picking, and thumb-sucking. Formally, its characterized as a body-focused repetitive behavior. While some kids bite their nails because they are fidgety, others dont know what else to do when they feel anxious. Fingernail biting can be self-soothing.

    In addition to being unpleasant to witness, nail-biting could do some damage to your childs teeth and nails. So, if your child is particularly aggressive when theyre gnawing on their nails, it may be important to address the issue with their dentist.

    For the most part, nail-biting doesnt create any serious health issuesand it usually isnt a sign of a deeper-rooted issue. Instead, its just a little nervous habit that often drives parents nuts.

    Dermatophagia Signs And Symptoms

    The signs and symptoms of this type of anxiety disorder are obviously visible when the fingers are targeted. With some sites of dermatophagia being out of sight, there are non-prevalent signs to watch for such as:

    • Obsessive behavior
    • Compulsion

    To understand the importance of the symptoms of dermatophagia, lets take a more in-depth look at the most common signs.

    Recommended Reading: Remove Impress Nails

    Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Nail Dipping Powder

    Trim Or Manicure Your Nails Often

    Long nails may be hard to resist, so keeping them trimmed is a good idea. Set a particular day and time every week for your trim, and take care of hangnails and ragged edges so youre not tempted to bite them.

    Another option is to get regular professional manicures. Spending the money and knowing that someone is going to check your nails soon may keep you from reverting to the habit.

    Choose only licensed salons and manicurists who properly sterilize tools, so as to prevent fungal nail infection.


    Popular Articles