Top 3 Ways to Stop Nail Biting

image 5Nail biting is one of the most common habits. Many studies have estimated the number of nail biters worldwide, with figures ranging from 20-30% of the general population. Typically, the habit starts in early childhood between the age of 4-7 years.

The nails are likely to be bitten when the mind is otherwise occupied, such as when watching TV, reading, driving or focusing on a particular task. The biting provides a sense of tension relief, pleasure, or gratification. It can also help to regulate intense emotions and thus serve as self-soothing mechanism.

Serious nail biting, where nails are bitten down to the nail bed, can be severe enough to result in bleeding, open sores and disfigured fingertips. Many nail biters are constantly worried whether someone catches a glimpse of their short, ragged fingernails, and go great lengths to hide their problem. The feelings of shame and frustration can take a tremendous toll on sufferers.

The following three strategies will explain how to stop biting nails permanently.. Thumb or finger with clipping path Carry a Nail File With You

A nail file will be your best defense against the worst enemy of any nail biter—rough edges. As your nails begin to grow out, having a decent nail file handy to immediately address little snags or splitting nails can be a life saver as it's these exact irregularities that give reason to start biting.

  • The key to making this approach work is consistency. Commit to taking care of any sharp edge or jagged nail immediately. If you find yourself in a public venue such as a restaurant or class room, excuse yourself and carry out the smoothing in a more private setting. .
  • The quality and kind of nail file is of high importance as well. Metal nail files typically aren't grained fine enough and leave a ragged, thin piece of nail that hangs off underneath. In addition to that, many nail biters complain that metal files remove too much material too quickly. Crystal glass nail files, on the other hand, leave the surface noticeably smoother and allow better handling.

Become Aware Of Your Biting Situations

Certain situations, activities or emotional states can trigger nail biting. For some people the risk is greates when working on the computer, watching TV or focusing on a particular task. Other mainly enage in their habit when sitting in a boring meeting or when something pressing is on their mind.

Identifying these high-risk situations that leave you vulnerable to nail biting is often referred to as "awareness training" and it is the first step in getting a grip on bad habits. It helps to raise a red flag in habit provoking situations, giving you a chance to infere before damage has been done to the nails.

  • Try to identify the situations in which you frequently indulge in your habitual behavior. When do you feel that tension in your fingertips? Is it when working on the computer, driving on the highway or relaxing in bed? What kind of emotions do you sense right before you pull your hands up to your mouth? Bored, worried, nervous or stressed? .
  • One practical way to increase your awareness is to carry an index card with you for a few days. Each time the desire to bite your nails comes up, take out the card and write in a few short words what feelings and situations prompted the urge. Once the task is completed, take a few minutes to elaborate on the results..

Strengthen Your Fingernails

Nail biting causes the fingernails to become weak and brittle. After years of picking and chomping, the fingernails tend to crack and split easily. And it's often a simple irregularity like a cracked edge or rough side that calls for biting attention.

One great way to make the nails more durable is the application of nail strengthener. The ingredient formaldehyde causes the layers of the fingernail to grow stronger – making them less susceptible to outward influences. As a side-effect, the nails will be harder to bite.

  • Pay attention to the sequencing. As a general guideline, the fulid should be applied once every two or three days over the period of several weeks. Thereafter, the application needs to be paused for several weeks, as to protect the health and natural growth pattern of the fingernails.
  • Keep in mind that nail hardener should be coated on the front part of the nail only, as to avoid disturbing nail growth. In the case of severe skin damage or injured nail beds, it's best to wait for these wounds to be fully healed before applying nail strengthener.

By using these three simple tips on how to stop biting nails, you will be well on your way to ridding yourself of this mindless habit forever.

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8 Responses to "Top 3 Ways to Stop Nail Biting"

  1. Lynn says:

    Great tip. I found the period when you’ve managed to grow a set of sharp little ends to your usual stumps the most difficult- it feels great to have them but just can’t stop wiggling them about and picking at them until the inevitable happens and a split appears on the side and off it has to come. I wil use your suggestion immediately and get myself some nice nail strengthener to avoid this from happening. Thanks.

  2. Cesuga says:

    there are stop nail biting formulas that you can put on your nails, but after a while you can get used to the horrible taste so this may not work. try to only bite your thumb nails, then if you manage to let the rest of your nails grow, you will see how nice the rest of your nails look and stop biting your thumbs as well. good luck

  3. Brianna says:

    These are great tips. I like the index card idea because it allows me to break a habit and learn about my emotional self. I have grown my nails out before but unfortunately, my nails were not very strong and would tear on the sides easily. I’m a college student, and sitting in a desk all day with nothing else to entertain me besides my nails…you can imagine how strong the urge to bite gets. I find that I bite my nails the most when I’m thinking long and hard about something. For example, in class, while taking tests or exams, writing essays…since I’m a full time college student pursuing a bachelors in English, I’m doing these things all the time. I’m at a loss for other ideas. But I would like to try these. Thank you for this article.

    • Jagath says:

      Get some vanilla ertaxct or some super hot louisiana hot sause and put it on ur fingers and then when you bite them they will taste nasty. or get some spinach juice. You will never bite your finger nails again.

  4. Nail Biter says:

    Thanks for the useful tips. Since I was about 7 years old I’ve been chewing my nails. I can’t remember the last time I have used a nail clipper for my nails! I pretty much bite them every single day. Sometimes I bite them so much that it hurts to touch things. It’s really annoying. I’ve tried to stop multiple times but still haven’t been able to do so. I will use your tips as I haven’t tried that before. thanks again.

  5. Bubba666 says:

    Biting on and off since the womb (my mother says) Thumb sucker for many years straight to nail chewing then smoking. Obvious oral fixation issues :) Have grown out lovely nails through various stress less periods in life (would say total five pretty nail years out of 30) But this last period of stress – 5 years – has meant biting down past bleeding, letting them dry then picking all I can again. Cuticle biter and cutter unless I am growing. During any fixing or growing phase I try to only use emery board – have had a few unsuccessful grows in the past few years…
    Anyhow! As I said I was chewing far beyond the point of be return for 5 years, and, now (without ANY buffing beds or cutting cuticles) have managed to grow out (as I keep boarding) to the ends of my fingertips…I have noticed the ends of my fingertip pads are numb – not "no feeling" numb – but almost "pain numb" to the touch? Has anyone else experienced this? 
    My Best grow tips:
    Only use emery on cuticles when you have polish one (so it doesn't damage nail bed), and don't buff nail beds unless you have all your ridges grown out, then only lightly with a proper buffer/sealer…
    Use nailpolish…especially full color (not sheer) they keep your cuticles from growing over your nail bed, less picking :) and if you use darker colors you don't see little dirt imperfections and start picking under your nails which lifts the nail bed… if you hate color use a hardening polish just to keep cuticles away!
    Find a cuticle oil that works and use it every day…I use Opi cause it works for me…
    Lotion, lotion, lotion! I have to wash my hands at least 50 times a day just at work…so I try to use lotion as often as I can during the day…then one of those "special" nail lotions at night before bed…
    Good Luck – I am hoping to keep on growing :)

  6. Sammy says:

    iv been biting my nails for about 15 years, it definitely a smoother in some situations, and mostly notice myself biting when am watching T.V or on the computer, am considering to
    use a nail strengthen cause after years of biting, my poor nails are tired of growing. lol.

    Thanks for the useful tips, especially the nail strengthener

  7. admin says:

    Another habit similar to nail biting is nail and cuticle picking. We will be posting blog entries on this topic soon.

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