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.
Carry Cuticle Scissors With You
How to stop biting your nails may be as easy as having a set of nail clippers or cuticle scissors on hand That way when you have a hangnail, snipping it away is even quicker than being tempted to try to bite it off. It will be more efficient, offer a cleaner cut, and is far more hygienic. Plus, you can use them in front of other people without being self-conscious.
Manage Stress And Anxiety
Stress, anxiety, frustration, and fear are common nail-biting;causes. So whether youre feeling uneasy about work, your relationship, or Michael Meyers moving in next door, pinpointing whats;plaguing;you can help keep your nails out of your mouth.
Since you probably wont meditate even though its proven to help manage stress, try Suntheanine . Its green tea extract that improves focus and relieves tension without hindering sleep.
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Find New Ways To Manage Anxiety
If youre wondering how to stop biting nails, learn how to effectively deal with your anxiety. Anxiety is almost always at the root of this habit, Dr. Bank says. Thats why its critical to identify your stress triggers and try to avoid them for the time being. The next step is to redirect your nervous energy toward activities that can help ease your mind, such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, boxing, or taking long walks.
When To Look For Help To Stop Nail Biting
No matter how hard you try, you may realize that youre not making progress. But that doesnt mean you should give up. It means that you need to look for help. Here are some times when its best to get the help of a doctor or therapist:
- When all other options have failed to generate results.;
- If you believe the habit is related to a more serious problem, such as an anxiety disorder.;
- When your nail biting is causing other health problems, such as gaps in your teeth.
When it comes to learning how to help kids stop biting nails, you may need a little bit of help getting through to them.;
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Create New Positive Habits
In the same study mentioned above, the results revealed that creating new habits to replace the negative one is the most effective way to prevent nail biting. Learning the triggers to habitual behavior is often referred to as awareness training, and most peoples habits have lasted for so long that they dont pay attention to the causal factors.
It is also important to identify the reward that you receive from biting your nails. This might be a sense of completeness, or any kind of physical sensation that you start to crave. The ultimate goal here is to have the cues and rewards remain the same, but the habit change. Once you are aware of how your habit worksthe cues and rewards you are getting from ityou have already made a lot of progress toward changing it.
Some new positive habits that you can consider taking up include:
Cleaning your house: Not only will this result in a cleaner house, but it will also help you feel happier and less stressed when you are at home, which are common triggers for nail biting.
Knitting: Learning to knit can help you create beautiful scarves, blankets, and clothing that you can gift to other people. This will also keep your hands busy.
Running and/or walking: When you exercise, you release endorphins, which will help calm your nerves. Having a calmer mindset will be more helpful if you are the type of person who bites their nails when they feel tense.
Five Days To Break The Nailbiting Habit
Because it was a goal she could fathom and reach.
When encouraging your kids to reach goals they get frustrated and lose motivation if its too far from reach.
Five days doesnt sound too daunting to a child, but 30?!
Youve got to be kidding!
I wanted, no, I needed my daughter to use every ounce of motivation I could give hershe had a yucky addiction!
Throughout the week I saw her lift her hand to her mouth, only to put it back down as she remembered that $20 that was so close to reach.
In fact, she came to me laughing one day saying, Mom, over and over I catch myself getting ready to bite my nails, and stop!
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Acknowledge That Nail Biting Is A Negative Habit That You Want To Stop
Prepare yourself for the changes you need to make and the challenges you will face in order to overcome this bad habit. Make a commitment to stop nail biting for good.
This is the most difficult part, even though it sounds easy. Tell other people that you are committing to this change so they can help keep you accountable. Write it on a piece of paper and put it over your desk so you will look at it every day. Take this commitment seriouslyyoure either in or youre out.
This may also involve identifying your triggers. If you know what makes you bite your nails, you can look out for those things and be conscious of your resulting actions. Identify your triggers, alter your behavior, and you will find it easier to stop biting your nails.
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.
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Get Ahead Of Hangnails
Often people start biting their nails by going after a loose hangnail. Then, before long, they have moved onto the actual nail tip and then its off to the races. The secret to stopping this pattern from repeating, according to Elliott, is to be prepared.
Carry a nail clipper with you at all times and clip those hangnails before you have the urge to bite, she said.
Put a nail clipper in your purse, in the center console of your car, or in a desk drawer at work.
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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Reward Yourself For Not Biting Your Nails
Its generally easier to reach your short and long-term goals when you reward yourself for doing so. The reward doesnt have to set you back an arm and a leg. It simply needs to give you the motivation necessary to kick this habit to the curb. For example, you could reward yourself with dinner at your favorite restaurant if you dont bite your nails for one month.;
Ways To Stop Biting Your Nails And Save Your Teeth
Chewing on your nails is a bad habit for some of us. If youre a nail biter, you know how hard it is to try to stop doing it every day. The teeth damage from nail biting is real. Plus, putting your fingers in your mouth these days adds to the risk of spreading viruses, germs, etc. When you stop biting nails or other chewing habits, it significantly benefits both your smiles integrity as well as your overall health. Today well talk about 9 ways to help you learn how to stop biting your nails ever again.
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Make The Stop Biting Nails Reward Match The Nailbiter
I knew I couldnt just hand her $5 nope, not this money-saving teen.
It had to be worth the hard work to stop biting her nails.
After all, she rather enjoyed it.
It was something to keep her busy when she had to sit still.
It was something she could do when she felt nervous or pressured and now, what would she do?
So, I raised the stakes and offered her $20 to stop biting her nails for five days.
Her eyes grew big at $20!
Her sister piped in, I bite my nails too!
She immediately became the object of envy.
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
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Mavala Stop Deterrent Nail Polish Treatment
A top-rated no-biting nail product for adults and children, the Mavala Stop Deterrent Nail Polish Treatment is designed to discourage you from putting your fingers in your mouth with its bitter-tasting formula. Not only does it help prevent biting and thumb sucking, but it also works as a nail conditioner so you can enjoy healthier and stronger nails and cuticles.;
Is Nail Biting Actually That Bad
Heres the thing: Some viruses live on surfaces and when we touch those spots and then touch our eyes, nose, or mouths, we run the risk of helping those germs get into our bodies, Philip Tierno, Ph.D., microbiologist and clinical professor of pathology at NYU Langone, previously told SELF. Its not a given that biting your nails will make you sick more frequently than those who dont, but putting your fingers in your mouth isnt doing your immune system any favors.
But even if youre not thinking about germs, biting your fingernails can also cause damage to your nail bed, the Mayo Clinic explains. This can leave tiny cuts that put you at greater risk for bacteria and fungus to hang out and cause infections, the Mayo Clinic says. Biting your fingernails can also potentially damage your teeth, according to the Mayo Clinic. All of that means its best to keep your fingernails out of your mouth. So, how to do that you may wonder?
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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:
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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No Bite Nail Polishes
There are special coatings or polishes out there on the market that you can apply to your fingernails, which make them a bit foul-tasting. That way if you instinctively put your finger to your mouth, the taste will turn you off within a second or two. The hardest part is just remembering to keep it on hand to apply it as needed
Foolproof Ways To Stop Biting Your Nails For Good
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Lets face it: Nail biting is a bad habit.
But if this is a habit that you have, you’ve likely noticed that it isn’t easy to stop.
Nail biting is common in children and teenagers. In fact, it is the most common nervous habit worldwide, and its a popular habit among adolescents because the teen years can be especially stressful, and stress can manifest itself through nail biting. But there are also numerous adults who bite their nails in times of stress as their coping mechanism.
Although nail biting is generally considered a minor bad habit, and some might say it is not as gross as picking your nose in public, habitual nail biting can certainly reveal a persons emotional state. It is considered one of the indicators of some mental health disorders, including ADHD.
This habit can make the fingernails grow in a strange way. In the long term, nail biting can cause damage to the teeth by chipping the tooth enamel, which can lead to cracks or even breakage.
Side bar: One simple health habit you can build is to drink this superfood green drink, which gives you a boost of energy and supplies your body with the nutrients it needs to get through the day.
What You Will Learn
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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.