In this article, we will discuss how to stop biting your nails. Nail biting is medically termed as Onychophagia. Nail biting is generally caused due to an underlying emotional condition. However, this may not be the case with all nail biters. Some people are just stuck with a bad habit of biting nails. Preventing someone from biting their nails is a useless advice and scolding your kids is totally counterproductive. Until and unless a biter himself/herself doesn’t want to stop biting, it is unnecessary to intervene him/her. Many of you would have tried to give up this habit but would have started again unknowingly. In fact the late Princess Diana has been well known for biting her nails frequently. Another example you can see is “Britney spears”. Though there is no big risk caused by biting nails, but one should prevent him/her from this habit. This is because of the following reasons:
- If you are a frequent nail biter, you are at risk of passing bacteria into your mouth.
- The look of your hands and fingers is greatly affected due to unsightly and chewed nails.
- Nail biting makes your finger tips to sore constantly and the hangnails which form will catch and bleed.
- Nail biting can be transmitted as a form of learned behavior between parent and child or siblings.
Causes of Nail Biting:
Nail biting can also be a sign of some psychological conditions, such as:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Separation anxiety disorder or bed-wetting.
Effects of Nail Biting:
Nail biting causes both physical and emotional consequences. Excessive nail biting can cause following:
- Ugly appearance
- Severe damage to your nail, cuticles and the surrounding skin.
- The nails can become red and sore.
- It can cause bleeding and infection.
- Nail biting can also harm your gums and teeth.
- Infection in the stomach as bacteria passing inside due to chewing nails.
Nail biting is a very hard habit to get rid of, but it is not completely impossible. With a little motivation and strong will power, you can avoid biting nails. There are also some natural home remedies that can help you to stop biting your nails. Some of these remedies are listed below.
Home Remedies to Stop Biting Your Nails:
1.) Bitter Gourd to Stop Biting Your Nails
Bitter gourd is a very effective natural aid to prevent nail biting. As suggested by the name, bitter gourd is known for its bitter taste. Here is the method to use it.
- Crush one bitter gourd and mix with water to make a fine paste.
- Keep the paste on a strainer to extract the juice.
- Apply this juice on your nails and fingers and let it dry.
- The bitter taste of this juice will prevent you from biting your nails.
2.) Regular Manicure to Avoid Biting Your Nails
Treat yourself with manicure as often as possible to help yourself from breaking the habit of nail biting. A manicurist can apply some acrylic nails over your natural nails, or can add nail decor like jewels, patterns and textures. The more beautiful your nails appear, the more it will work as a deterrent. Also, the cost you’ll pay for the manicure will also deter you from biting those nails.
3.) Neem Oil (Azadirachta indica) to Stop Biting Your Nails
Like a bitter gourd, the bitter taste of neem oil can also help you stop biting nail. Other than that, being an antiseptic, neem oil will also help in keeping your nails free from infection.
- Use a cotton ball to rub neem oil on your nails.
- Let it dry on its own.
- When you involuntarily bite your nails, the bitter taste of this oil will alert you to remove your fingers from your mouth.
4.) Trim the Nails to Avoid Biting Nails
Another fine option to stop nail biting is to cut your nails regularly. If you keep your nails short, there will be less left to bite. Trimming your nails also helps keep them looking neat and tidy. Choose a right clipper for the job and after trimming, polish the edges using a nail filer.
5.) Wear Gloves to Prevent Nail Biting
Gloves can work as a good barrier method which can help you stop biting your nails frequently. It will prevent you from biting your nails unconsciously. Wearing gloves during winter months is fine, but wearing them in the summer can look stupid. Remind yourself frequently that if you stop biting your nails, there will be no need for you to wear the gloves.
6.) Nail Biting Polish to Avoid Biting Your Nails Frequently
There are several nail biting polish available in the market which are specifically designed to help you quit the habit of biting nails.
- Chose a bitter-tasting nail biting polish to paint your nails with. The bitter taste of this polish will prevent you from biting nails.
- Instead, you can even go for a regular dark-colored nail polish. When the nails are painted in dark colors, they look bad when chipped from biting. This will help motivate you to break the habit.
7.) Adopt a New Habit
If you bite your nails when you feel depressed, stressed or bored, pick up a new habit which can keep you distracted. Opt for a hobby which can keep your both hands and mind busy. Such habit will prevent you from biting your nails frequently. Such hobbies include knitting or crocheting, making clay models, cooking, drawing, painting and music. Taking up such activities will also help reduce the emotional distress which is contributing to the nail biting.
8.) Adhesive Bandages to Get Rid of Nail Biting Habit
Another fine barrier to prevent you from nail biting is applying a self-adhesive bandages on your fingertips. Additionally, as bandaged nails do not look good, they will work as a motivator to prevent you from nail biting.
- Keep the bandages on the fingers during the day and take them off at night.
- You can also apply fresh bandages every time you take shower, or every time they become wet or dirty.
9.) Garlic to Get Rid of Nail Biting Frequently
Garlic is another excellent natural ingredient which can help you fight nail biting. This is because it has a strong taste and smell. As garlic is a also a natural antiseptic, it also helps strengthen your nails and keep infections at bay. For this, you can use either raw garlic or garlic oil.
- Cut a garlic clove into halves.
- Rub one piece on your nails evenly.
- Allow it to set for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
- The lingering taste of garlic will stop you from biting your nails.
- Optionally, you can also rub garlic oil on your nails and fingers.
10.) Artificial Nails to Avoid Biting Nails
Wearing some artificial nails is another great way to keep your nails covered. This will also help you avoid biting them. Also, artificial nails will hide your bitten nails in a stylish way.
- There are numerous types of artificial nails available in the market.
- You can go for wraps, acrylics, gels or press-on nails.
- Always chose a right size of artificial nails to lower the risk of it falling off.