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How To Stop Nail Biting In Adults

Q: Are There Specific Triggers For Onychophagia

How to: Stop biting your nails! Advice Tips

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.

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.

Best Ways On How To Stop Nail Biting Habit In Toddlers & Adults For Good

1. Patiently Explain

For children, in any circumstance, parents should talk and explain in a calm and patient manner. Gently tell them about the harm that they may encounter while biting their nails, and state that they may be sick if continuing to do so. Anger and punishment are not the way to solve the problem. It only causes the situation to become worse because the kids will probably feel stressed and scared. Moreover, children tend to do the opposite of what they are forbidden therefore, force is something parents must avoid in educating their children.

2. Do Not Save Praise

No child is unhappy when receiving compliments from parents. In the process of helping your child quit the nail biting habit, do not hesitate to give him praise when he has endured half a day or a day without biting his nails. If possible, you can even build a reward system. For example, make an agreement with your child about the milestones that he will have to overcome without biting. Once he completes the quota, you will present him with a small reward. In this way, your child will not be pressured otherwise, he may treat it as a fun game of worthy prizes, and he will be more motivated to do it.

3. Avoid Nail-Biting Deterrents

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What Are The Most Common Triggers For Onychophagia

Individuals who bite their nails report many different triggers for doing so. Some bite when anxious or stressed, for example, others bite when bored or understimulated, and still others bite when theyre mentally engrossed in another activity. Identifying ones own triggers and establishing replacement behaviors is often a critical part of effective treatment.

Qooqi Nail Clippers Set

Learn How To Stop Biting Your Nails The Easy Way

This may seem painfully obvious, but if your nails are already cut super-short, the temptation will be less appealing when youre fighting the urge to chomp on down. In addition to trimming them often, youll also want to make sure to keep them clean just in case you cant fight the urge. This two-pack set comes with a larger size metal clipper for toenails and tougher fingernails, as well as a smaller one with a metal file attached.

Courtesy of Dermelect.

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How To Stop Biting Nails: 8 Dermatologist

If youre a nail-biter, dont fret. Youre not alone. According to one study, 20 to 30% of the population bites their nails, which means that its actually a common habit among adults and kids. And even though its not exactly a harmful habit, if done in excess it can be risky and come with consequences like skin infections or transmission of virus and flu. We tapped experts to get the scoop on nail-biting, why people bite their nails, if nail-biting is a bad habit, and how to avoid the habit altogether. Keep reading to learn more.

In This Article

  • 1 Why do people bite their nails? 2 Is it bad?
  • 3 Tips to stop biting 4 How to keep hands looking healthy

How To Stop Biting Nails:

There are lots of quick fixes for biting nails: trimming nails down to nubs, chewing gum, squeezing a stress ball, or applying bitter-tasting polishes to your fingertips, to name a few. But the root of the problemAKA what causes you to bite your nails in the first placewill remain if you don’t address it head-on.

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What Worked For Me

Over the course of about six weeks I try a variety of strategies.

When I feel anxiety coming on through work , I try to take a deep breath. I stand up and do a stretch. Sometimes I even manage to do a quick meditation or go for a walk.

My instinct is to barrel my way through stressful situations and I think the nail-biting gives my body something to do with all the nervous energy that creates.

More often than not, I’m able to stop the biting by actively doing something else with my body instead.

I also put a few things in place to address my issues with the nails themselves. I keep a nail file at my desk so I can file chips and cracks away rather than bite at them. I also start using a hardening solution, so the nail doesn’t feel as soft and pliable when I start fidgeting.

The strategies aren’t foolproof. Over the six weeks, I have had small waves of success and failure. I’ve spent a lifetime developing this habit, so it’ll take more than six weeks to break but the overall trend is looking good.


“Patience is key,” Dr Gunatheesan says. “If you’ve really chomped it down all the way, nails will take a good two to three months to grow out.”

So, for now, I’m taking this as a win.

“It’s not a problem of lacking willpower or motivation,” Dr Rehm says, reassuringly. “There’s many, many other factors that come into play .

“If it was easy to combat then people wouldn’t do it.”

Ask Your Friends And Family To Help

How To Stop Biting Your Nails

You may not notice youre biting your nails as often as you are, and once you do the damage is often already done.

One thing you can do is ask the people around you to remind you not to bite your nails you choose how cruel or kind you want them to be.

This not only gives you accountability and a better visibility of your nail-biting habit, but it also gives you the support to help you stop.

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How To Apply Bitter Mellon To Your Nails

  • The first thing you need to do is blend up a bitter melon with a small amount of water
  • Secondly, you should strain out any seeds and skins from your bitter melon juice.
  • Now you can take some of the juice and apply it to each nail you can use a brush to rub it on.
  • Just ensure you rub an ample amount of juice on each nail.
  • Finally, once the juice has been applied let it dry for 1 minute.
  • You can refrigerate the remainder of the juice to be reused.

If you are in a hurry and dont have time to blend your melon up you can just rub your nails with a piece of bitter melon.

This isnt as effective since you need to squeeze the melon really hard to extract the juice, blending is more tedious but you get more juice.

And also whenever you wash your hands you should reapply some juice onto your nails again so as to make them bitter again.

Now having to reapply the juice constantly is not convenient and thats why I recommend using a nail biting polish which can last for two days. You can click here to read more these polishes.

Wear Gloves Or Mittens

While this isnt possible in every situation, sporting gloves makes nail-biting, well, impossible. Khurana says even if you cant wear them all day long, wearing them during stressful situations or even boring circumstances can help reduce nail-biting tendencies.

At the very least, try and create a physical barrierlike wearing a bandage over the cuticles you tend to pick. If something is covered, then its hard to access, and when you try to get to them but cant, thats enough time for you to think, Oh, I shouldnt be doing this, says Amy Wechsler, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist. Sometimes my patients will be walking around with lots of Band-Aids, but its the only way to heal things.

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Why Is Nail Biting Bad For You

Sure, your nails and the soft skin around them might look a little tattered if you bite them occasionally. But regular nail biting can actually cause a whole host of bigger issues, including bruising of the nail bed , nail ridges, and lifting or loss of the nail plate .

âIt can cause chipping and misalignment of teeth, not to mention potential fungal infections of the nail plate and surrounding skin,â shares Gina.

Related:The risk of not fixing a chipped or cracked tooth

The skin around your nails could become painful, and you might damage the tissue that makes your nails grow, which can lead to abnormal-looking nails. You may also transfer harmful bacteria and viruses from your mouth to your fingers or vice versa.

Swallowing bitten nails can also result in stomach infections or intestinal parasitic infections, as well as jaw pain and dysfunction.

There are also potential psychological effects to consider.

âNail biting can be an embarrassing habit, especially for adults,â Gina explains.

What Causes Excessive Nail Biting

How To Stop Biting Your Nails

Why some individuals bite their nails and others do not is not fully understood. Like other BFRBs, nail-biting appears to run in families to some degree, and may share neurological roots with OCD, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Some researchers also speculate that nail-biting may partially stem from an overall tendency toward perfectionism in ones personality, or from a desire to seek stimulation when bored or frustrated. Nail-biting that begins suddenly in adulthood may be the side effect of a medication.

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Hold Your Fingers Busy

One research reveals that manipulating objects is by some means efficient in stopping individuals from biting their nails.

So, discover an object of some kind to fiddle with. This might be a stress ball, a fidget spinner, or just a pen to click on.

In case your arms are occupied doing one thing else, you can be much less prone to begin biting your nails. When you really feel nervous, strive issues comparable to:

  • Protecting your arms in your pockets
  • Enjoying with rubber bands
  • Twiddling your thumbs
  • Clasping your arms

All of this stuff will hold your arms occupied in case you are burdened, and theyll additionally hold your fingers away out of your mouth.

Make certain to all the time have one thing inside attain for whenever you want it.

No matter what you select, just be sure you are changing your nail-biting behavior with a much less damaging one.

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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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?

Where To Get Aloe Vera Leaves

How Can You Help Your Child Stop Biting Their Nails? (Raising Children #25)

If you are fortunate like me to have an Aloe Vera plant you can just cut off one its leaves and then proceed to extract the gel.

Now if you are one of the majority who doesnt have a plant you can buy the aloe leaves from herbal stores or supermarkets such as Walmart, Whole Foods, and Amazon, sometimes have them in stock. You can

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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.

Q: Whats Behind Chewed

A: For most people, nail biting is an occasional thing. When people cant stop the behavior on their own, doctors consider it a type of body-focused repetitive behavior . We refer to chronic nail biting as onychophagia and we dont fully understand the cause . We do know that people with these conditions often have onychophagia as well:

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder : Hyperactivity and impulsiveness, plus difficulty paying attention.
  • Oppositional defiant disorder: Defiance and disobedience toward people of authority.
  • Excessive anxiety when separated from particular people or pets.
  • Tourette syndrome: Involuntary movements and sounds.
  • Other BFRBs: Chronic skin picking, hair pulling, cheek biting and grinding teeth.

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Enlist The Assistance Of Associates

Dont be afraid to ask for assist. Enlist the help of these youre keen on to assist get you thru.

Analysis reveals that teaming up with a pal to succeed in an objective can improve your probabilities of succeeding by 95 %.

Ask family and friends to name you out in the event that they see you begin to chew your nails, or encourage them to cheer you on.

Higher but, discover a pal who additionally desires to cease biting their very own nails and make a pledge to assist one another.

I as soon as had a shopper who instructed her boyfriend she was fighting nail-biting and wasnt even conscious of it more often than not, Smerling mentioned.

When she was with him, he helped her pull her hand away from her mouth every time she began to chew. Ultimately, she grew to become extra conscious of the conduct and didnt want his assist.

All of it begins with consciousness, a critical dedication to cease and continually training daily to get higher.

What Causes Nail Biting

How to Stop Nailbiting: One FUN Trick to Stop 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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What Have You Tried Already

If you are a nail-biter, you probably have tried willpower, but that didnt work. If you get into stressful situations, it makes things worse.

You may have tried painting your nails, either with attractive coloured nail varnish or horrible tasting stuff that you brought from the chemist shop. But that didnt work either.

Maybe your mum or friend has told you lots of traditional ways that they were taught to stop. They didnt work.

Usually, you would just try and get on with your life.

But if its been really bad and your fingers have become infected, you might have had to go to the doctors. But once the infection was tackled that didnt stop it either.


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