5 Quick Tips to Stop the Habit of Nail Biting.

Nail Biting

Stop Nail Biting

Do you have the habit of Nail Biting? Do you often bite your nails and experience shame or insult for that? Especially you start to bite your nails unknowingly if you are in tension or stress? Though this habit of biting nails is very common in childhood but it may continue to adulthood also for some people and those adults are often in awkward position for this habit of biting nails which is also known as Onychophagia. Generally, the Nail Biting is age related and it’s prevalence decreases as the age increases.

Causes of Nail Biting

Different factors are related to this habit of biting nails like tension, stress, anxiety, insecurities or other mental health issues. Often, it’s a sign of your disturbed mental or emotional health as it is seen as an effort to find temporary relief from stress or anxiety. According to the Article” Ghanizadeh A. Association of nail biting and psychiatric disorders in children and their parents in a psychiatrically referred sample of children. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2008;2:13. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]” it is mentioned that

Three most common co-occurring psychiatric disorders in clinical sample children with NB are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (74.6%), oppositional defiant disorder (36%), and separation anxiety disorder (20.6%).6 Other co-morbid disorders include enuresis (15.6%), tic disorder (12.7%) and obsessive compulsive disorder (11.1%), major depressive disorder (6.7%), mental retardation (9.5%), and pervasive developmental disorder (3.2%).6 Co-morbidity with psychiatric disorder“.

Recent studies have shown that the habit of Nail Biting is also related to Boredom and Frustration, it is also an outcome of parental neglect and abuse.

Read More-How to Manage an Aggressive Child? 5 Tips to follow. (wingsofwishes.in)

Why Should We Stop Biting of Nails?

We must stop this bad habit as it may cause serious infections to us, not only in fingers but also the stomach infections as the dirt and germs will go directly into us if we have this habit of biting nails. Biting bails can lead to broken cuticles and also cause perionychophagia, the affected adjacent skin. Moreover, it also leads us to social withdrawal as those people try to avoid handshakes or namaste due to their bitten nails and also create the feelings of shame, guilt or inferiority complex in those people who are struggling with Nail Biting.

Tips to Stop Nail Biting

Though it’s little bit difficult to stop this habit of biting nails immediately but we can do it gradually if we have the determination and mindset to do this. Behavioral Modification, Exchange or Pairing with Good Habit, Alternative Act, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy etc. are really beneficial to stop this issue. Here some simple but effective methods are discussed to help people to stop their Nail Biting.

Regular Trimming

If we cut down or trim nails regularly, we can reduce the chances of nail biting remarkably. So regular trimming of nails is the first recommended step here. Regular Manicures also helpful here as it makes your nails attractive and you feel less likely to bite your nails.

Cover your Nails

You may try to cover your nails with tapes, cloths or stickers to reduce your habit of biting nails. You can also apply a coat of bitter- testing nail polish on your nails to prevent you from biting nails. Those nail polishes are safe but tastes bitter and available over the counter.

Read More-7 Useful Tips for Good Mental Health of Mothers (wingsofwishes.in)

Choose Alternative

Here you can pair a good habit as the alternative one or exchanging one with the habit of nail biting. And whenever you feel the urge to bite your nails, you will choose that good habit not the biting nails. For example, you can pair up the habit of write a line or draw a figure or simply take a deep breathe with the habit of nail biting. So, whenever you may feel the tendency to bite nails, you may choose the good alternate one.

Nail Bitting can be stopped by putting bitter nail polish
Nail biting can be stopped by putting Bitter Nail Polish

Manage Stress and Anxiety

Most of the time the reasons behind the Nail Biting are the stress, tension or anxiety present in people and people start to bite nails only to manage their stress or anxiety. So, if we learn to manage our regular stress and tension by adding yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques etc., we will surely be able to stop Nail Biting.

Read More-Are You in Emotional Healing Process? 5 Effective ways to Heal (wingsofwishes.in)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective way to get rid of this habit of biting nails. When Nail Biting is due to the mental health issues like ADHD, Depressive Disorder, OCD, Separation Anxiety Disorder etc., the CBT is the way to help people to bring change in their thoughts, beliefs to stop biting their nails.

Words from wingsofwishes.in

In extreme cases of Nail Biting we may require the help of professional support and may also need to take medications. But above all our mindset to overcome this habit is the prime concern here. Identify the trigger points and avoidance of triggers, stimulus control, reward system\token system for not biting nails etc. are also effective.


1Why Do I Bite My Nails and How Can I Stop? (verywellhealth.com)

2.Why Do I Bite My Nails and How Can I Stop? (verywellhealth.com)

3.Nail biting – Wikipedia

4.Nail Biting: Causes, Risks, How to Stop (health.com)

5.How To Stop Biting Your Nails: Tips to Break The Habit (webmd.com)

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