Here Are Some Ways To Stop Nail Biting Once And For All
Are you prone to biting your nails when stressed, anxious or bored? Unfortunately, you are not the only one. Interestingly, the habit is shared between 20 and 30% of the population. However, this seemingly harmless behavior can lead to serious health problems. Chronic nail-biting, if left untreated, can cause a host of health issues, including infections, and may even lead to permanent damage to your nails.
If you are one of those people who cannot help but nibble on their nails all day, you know it can be a difficult habit to break. But, there are ways to stop this urge from happening. Here are the top expert-approved tips for ending nail-biting and getting strong, healthy nails without being incessantly gnawed.
Why Biting Nails Is Bad
It sounds like a harmless habit, but biting nails can be harmful to your health. This is particularly true if it turns into a long-term issue. Here are some of the reasons why biting nails is bad:
- Damage to the skin around the nail
- Increased risk of infection
- Increased risk of spreading infection.
- Teeth damage.
As you can see, if you dont learn how to stop biting nails, it can result in both short and long-term health concerns.
Care For Your Nails And Fingers
One important aspect not to forego is the maintenance of your cuticles! In case you didnt know , the cuticle is a thin piece of skin that connects and covers your growing nails. A healthy cuticle will prevent bacteria from getting under your skin, which could damage new nails.
This simple fact blew my mind: if your cuticles arent kept moisturized and healthy, your nails pretty much have no chance of being strong right from their start!
I began using this cuticle oil by Cuccio right away! The results arent as obvious at first, but strong nails need to start somewhere and that somewhere is under the cuticle. Protecting and moisturizing the cuticles keeps your nails healthy and strong from the beginning so that they can grow longer and healthier down the line.
And please, dont even dare to pick your cuticles!!
Are you ready to stop biting your nails once and for all? Following the outlined plan and tips above will ensure your success!
Dont be afraid of setbacks they will come along. However, the steps taken afterward are what will lead to your ultimate triumph! And, trust me nothing feels better than that moment when you look down at your long, strong nails, and realize just how far youve come.
For so long, people would say to me, Stop biting your nails, and I would retort, I wish! However, once I found the correct process to nix my habit, now I can say, with confidence, to you: Stop biting your nails!
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Day : Quitting Cold Turkey
I kicked off my experiment with the simplest but arguably most difficult method: quitting cold turkey. Before I even got out of bed in the morning, I found it tough to kick the habit. In fact, weaning myself off cigarettes three years ago proved to be easier than telling myself to not put my fingers in my mouth.
The problem wasnt that I wanted to bite my nails. It was that my muscle memory took over without me realizing it, to the point that I found myself mindlessly chewing on my nails throughout the day. By the end of the day, I realized that quitting cold turkey was just not going to work.
A Full Nail Biting Stop Is Possible With The Right Treatment
The nail biting deterrent appliances are tailor-made products made from an FDA-approved material, aimed at curing nail biters.
These devices are made from an extremely thin and transparent material , yet extremely durable
This transparent coating will cover your front teeth and, therefore, your teeth will no longer be sharp. It is like coating the two blades of a pair of scissors, once the blades are no longer sharp the scissors cant cut. Thus, the teeth can no longer cause any damage to the fingernails and cuticles, and all damage is prevented. Once the nail-biting appliances starts protecting your fingernails and cuticles, you simply wont be able to cause any more damage – the most simple and effective nail biting solution.A 2-month nail biting treatment not only totally prevents nail biting but also completely stops the nail biting urge.After 8 weeks, the nail biting deterrent appliances can be removed and they wont be needed anymore in most cases, you will never bite your nails and cuticles again.
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Is Nail Biting A Symptom Of Ocd
A: Doctors classify chronic nail biting as a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder since the person has difficulty stopping. People often want to stop and make multiple attempts to quit without success. People with onychophagia cannot stop the behavior on their own, so its not effective to tell a loved one to stop.
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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What Health Risks Are Associated With Biting Your Nails
Although nail biting seems like a harmless activity, many risks are involved. These include, but are not limited to, infections. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic research and dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says nail-biting can lead to loose or raw skin. These infections can lead to permanent nail disfiguration and are serious in severe cases.
Other than nail deformities and skin infections, there are other potential risks, such as damage to your teeth or jaw problems. It can also be a hygiene problem, especially during the COVID-19 epidemic. Your hands and nails can become a breeding ground for germs, so it is essential to practice good hand hygiene. It is not believed that COVID-19 spreads primarily through inoculation. Do not put your dirty hands in your mouth. It’s best to be cautious when you are out in public.
Q: How Do People Stop Biting Nails
A: Doctors classify chronic nail biting as a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder since the person has difficulty stopping. People often want to stop and make multiple attempts to quit without success. People with onychophagia cannot stop the behavior on their own, so its not effective to tell a loved one to stop. While you want whats best for them, reprimanding only reinforces their feelings of being flawed. It can make someone feel worse and further fuel the behavior. With repeated effort and self-care, people can get closer to recovery. We usually recommend a combination treatment approach that includes:
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Ways To Stop Nail Biting
When it comes to the best way to stop biting nails, heres the only thing you need to know: do what works for you. As long as you have a strategy that generates the intended result, you can use it as a guide on how to stop biting nails permanently. And thats your primary goal. Keep reading for more detailed advice on how to stop biting your nails.
Identify Triggers for Nail Biting
Before you can follow any tips to stop biting nails, you must first identify the triggers causing this habit.
The most common triggers include:
- Anxiety: For example, if youre nervous about an upcoming test or work presentation, you may bite your nails.
- Boredom: You may notice that you immediately begin to bite your nails when youre bored.
- Genetics: If your parents are nail biters, theres a good chance you will be too.
Cut Your Nails
You cant talk about how to stop biting nails without mentioning this tip. When you cut your nails, theres less surface to bite. And with that, you may soon realize that trying isnt worth the effort.
The key to success is to maintain short nails at all times. The second they become long enough to bite, youll once again be tempted to do so. Protect against this by getting into the habit of cutting your nails every second or third day.
Cover Your Nails
It sounds extreme, but it works. You can use gloves, press on nails, or band-aids to cover your nails. Its simple to see how this will work. If you cant put your nails in your mouth, you cant bite them.
How To Stop Biting Your Nails:
You may not be able to break the habit overnight, but with a little time and effort, you can work to curb your nail-biting urge for good. Here are our experts’ best tips and strategies to finally stop biting your nails.
Identify your triggers.
If you’re trying to stop biting your nails, the first thing you should do is to take a hard look at where in your day you’re commonly engaging in the behavior, advises Dr. Berry. You may, for example, notice that you often start nibbling when you’re scrolling through emails, doing work or watching TV. “We want to look specifically at what a person is doing, where they are, who’s around them, what are they feeling,” explains Berry. “Is there any emotional connection of boredom, anxiety, etc., that are potentially contributing and reinforcing the behavior?”
Once you know what exactly kicks you into the nail-biting drive, you can take the next step to modify your environment to make it harder to engage in the habit. If you find that you most often start biting your nails when you’re doing work in your bedroom alone, for instance, you can try sitting in the dining room instead and doing it around other people, which can help you become more aware and conscious of the behavior.
Make a running list of urges.
Address beneath-the-surface emotions.
Keep your nails short.
Get a nice manicure.
Coat your nails with a bad taste.
Cover your nails up.
Keep your hands or mouth busy.
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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.”
How To Stop Children From Biting Their Nails
If your child bites their nails, they’re 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, it’s characterized as a body-focused repetitive behavior. While some kids bite their nails because they are fidgety, others don’t 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 they’re 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 isn’t a sign of a deeper-rooted issue. Instead, it’s just a little nervous habit that often drives parents nuts.
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What To Do Instead Of Biting Nails
Weve already established that nail-biting is an unhealthy habit and it can lead to many more serious health issues. So, once youve decided to get rid of your nail-biting habit you may find yourself wondering what to do instead. Weve compiled a few tips to help you fight the biting urges that are bound to happen.
Replace the Habit
Its always a good idea to replace one habit with another, healthier one. So instead of biting your nails, try chewing gum, eating healthy snacks, or keeping your hands busy with a stress ball or a fidget spinner.
Make Gradual Changes
One of the best tips to stop biting nails is to do it gradually. You can set a goal to stop biting just your thumbnails, then you can extend the ban to your pinky nails. If you say a finger is off-limits, dont nibble on it. Once youll see the change, itll be easier to stop altogether.
Try a Mouthguard
If youre bad at fighting your urges, you can wear a mouthguard that will prevent you from using your teeth, thus making it impossible to bite your nails.
Experiment With Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is one of the useful tricks to stop biting nails, as it can be very helpful if you want to calm down and relax. You can get one of the amazing aromatherapy diffusers to which you can add essential oils, or you can always light an aromatherapy candle. Whatever you choose to do, youll find yourself feeling better and calmer.
Q: When Is Nail Biting A Problem That Needs Medical Attention
A: If nail biting causes physical harm and psychological distress, then professional treatment is necessary. Usually, the person knows the behavior is problematic, but they cant control it on their own. It is important to seek help if the behavior is affecting mental and physical health:
- Damage to the nail, cuticle or surrounding skin.
- Psychological damage .
- Relationship problems.
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Reward Each Little Victory
Who doesnt love a good sticker chart? They can be a fun and useful way to reward your child for not biting their nails.
Choose a time marker, e.g. day, half a day and give your child a sticker if they manage not to bite their nails during this time.
Once they have earned a specific number of stickers, give them an award like a trip to the cinema or a toy theyve had their eye on for a while.
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.
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How Long Does It Take To Stop Biting Nails
Theres no specific length of time youll need to stop biting your fingernails, although some experts agree that you should be able to kick the habit in 21 days. However, dont be disappointed if you need more time than 3 weeks every individual is different and we all need different amounts of time to overcome our bad habits.
Its also good to remember that the longer youve had the habit, the harder it is to kick. So if youve been a nail-biter since childhood, prepare yourself for a long ride.
Try A Bit Of Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd is a vegetable commonly used in Asian cuisine hailed for its naturally bitter taste.
Also known as bitter squash or bitter melon, this vegetable is very potent when used on its own.
Its bitter taste is sure to put you off biting your nails, leaving a gag-worthy taste in your mouth if you choose to get nibbling.
You can either crush bitter gourd, apply the juices on your nails and leave to dry, or find a pre-prepared bitter gourd nail-biting treatment in the shops.
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